Blog — Leadership Commentary

Resilience Essentials for Leaders and Pioneers to Grow and Prosper on the African Continent

Joanne Walsh
Joanne Walsh
Managing Director – IDG-SA
Resilience Essentials for Leaders and Pioneers to Grow and Prosper on the African Continent

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Resilience Essentials for Leaders and Pioneers to Grow and Prosper on the African Continent

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The second part of Joanne Walsh’s interview with Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, Founder and Chairman Juli PLC and former Minister of Health in Nigeria.

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IDG South Africa in association with FPD Business School hosted Prince Juli at their quarterly executive dialogue forum for the Pharmaceuticals Industry in Sandton. Before his visit, Joanne Walsh asked him some pressing questions about the challenges facing the Pharmaceutical industry.

JW – You pioneered the very first listing of a truly indigenous company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. What were the challenges that faced you?

PJ – The challenges were created largely as a result of perception. The listing led to the assumption that our little company was now a big one. Many regulations were not in place for a second-tier securities market. The assumption was that we were now a large business. This led to increased taxes, increased listing fees, more onerous reporting standards and a required shift in serving shareholders which grew from 5 – 4000.

JW – What were the leadership skills that afforded you resilience to build and grow your organisation, despite the challenges?

PJ – When you are in business the passion is what drives you. Reputation for service at the highest ethical level is key to building shareholder and client confidence. Very significantly, “living within our budget” ensured we survived the long haul, despite difficult economic times. With the perception that we were a large company, we were mindful not to indulge in drinking the Champagne with Coco-Cola earnings.

Our continent needs leaders, not for decoration of self, but rather to create enduring impact and legacy. My determination to sustain success despite a tough economic outlook is fed by my passion to set an inspiring example for the younger generations. It is my mantra to “encourage people to aspire to inspire others before they expire”.

JW – South African companies are looking to expand further north on the continent. What would you suggest to companies considering new, diverse and unchartered territories?

PJ – There are 4 primary solutions to ensure you have no problems;

  • Get to know the territory – seek knowledge about the terrain you are going to.
  • Ensure always, best practice standards.
  • Collaborate – become part of the system.
  • Communicate – truth, fairness and goodwill.

JW – IDG’s Founder and Chairman, Stephen Bennett says “Ethical way of working is the right way of working” – He goes on further to strongly recommend it should be given equal importance to factors like performance and results. In our prior conversation ethics was a recurring theme in your insights. How (and why) do you suggest leaders embrace ethics as an opportunity to build and grow their organisations?

PJ – This has all been said before, yet we have failed to achieve real attitudinal change. We need to go beyond a knowledge driven world to a humanity driven world. In a humanity driven world, high ethical standards will ensure high quality products and services from manufacturing through distribution to the satisfaction of the final consumer. A humane system will ensure stability, security and dependable prosperity.

 

Joanne Walsh is the Managing Director of Inspirational Development Group, South Africa (IDG-SA).
Joanne’s extensive global experience, her intimate understanding of shareholder value and investor confidence in the world of capital markets, along with her passion to raise the bar for individuals, teams and organisations ensures that IDG’s business performance engagements deliver ROI.

“IDG-SA is a business performance company with access to truly extraordinary client interventions across the globe. Our global faculty of subject matter experts ensures that our leadership, followership and partnership model fully serve the cross-functional business processes, leveraging functional competencies and fulfilling behavioural change required to raise the commercial excellence bar.” – Joanne Walsh

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