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Business wisdom from John Borghetti 15 Aug 2016

Doug Nancarrow has written a biography of John Borghetti, who never got a tertiary education but still got almost to the top of Qantas and became the CEO of Virgin Australia.

Borghetti is quoted in the book as saying,

“The CEO has two main tasks, which are to:

  • set the strategy;

  • keep the staff on side to deliver that strategy.”

    From your perspective, the message is to work with your staff to help them deliver the goods. Avoid criticising – none of us is perfect. Instead, take a positive approach to helping them succeed at their job.

    If you really have to correct someone, there’s a right way of doing it. Start by imagining you were the employee and work out how you would feel. What can you do to soften the blow? If that doesn’t work, you may have employed the wrong person.

    When hiring staff Borghetti doesn’t look at the CVs. Instead, he likes to get the candidates talking about their home lives to get an insight into their ethics and personal values.

    At the end of the book he lists 10 lessons he has learnt about business. One good one is the importance of relationships. While it is obviously true that keeping a good relationship with your customers is crucial, don’t forget your suppliers and your staff. Keep them on side.

    For staff, don’t forget “those who play together stay together”.

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