When I joined KPR in 2003 I had no idea what I was getting involved in, the only aspect that made it attractive was my ex-boss had joined them two months prior to me joining. What appealed to me about working with him again was the understanding we’d developed over the years, he’d been my mentor through the early years of my career, and we’d developed a very good understanding of each other’s characteristics and business ethics.
What was missing was a distinct culture of success and clearly defined leadership. The first task at hand was to set clear goals for the team and to identify areas that required attention, the changes were subtle with the emphasis on changing the culture of staff. The philosophy was I won’t expect you to do anything I wouldn’t do. Part of the challenge was to get the older staff to buy into the style of management. As business improved so people bought into the culture and philosophy being instilled by management.
With success came the inevitable recruitment of staff and relevant skills required to drive the business forward. The staff were selected from individuals who we knew and would importantly fit into the culture of the business, they possessed both the technical and interpersonal skills required to be a success. By bringing in these individuals we had already ensured the integrity, character and ability of these individuals to fit into the culture of the business. The organisations culture and management actions brought about a sense of openness, honesty, commitment and fun to ensure a healthy working environment.
“Good communication and negotiating skills were paramount to the success of the business.”
The commitment to the brand was incredible, it instilled healthy competition between the consultants to outperform each other, but always ensuring the success of the business was paramount. The enjoyment of working for a company with clear objectives that go with success enabled us to development a mutual respect between all staff and to ensure a fun filled environment in which to express yourself. The success the business was also in a large part due to the internal support and commitment of payroll and administration staff.
One memory that will live with me in my retirement was the mental telepathy I developed with one of the support staff, it was uncanny how we were on the same wave length, she had a sixth sense of knowing exactly what I wanted before I requested her to perform a task. I trusted her implicitly in dealing with my biggest clients as she had this ability to gain a clear understanding of their needs and in certain cases resolve the issue before bringing it to my attention. This was a very special relationship that I will cherish as this happens once in a lifetime.
This is exactly the culture we shared at KPR, I clearly recall a time away in the Okavango Delta where the manager of the lodge we were staying at found it hard to believe one of us was the MD of the company, she remarked about the camaraderie and friendship akin to a bunch of mates away for a weekend, that was the culture instilled by management that ensured a healthy, profitable, committed and dedicated team that had one objective of making us an industry leader whilst enjoying the growth and success of the business.