John Purdy heads up a highly successful Irish business, and believes that leaders should be led by example.
We operate within a marketplace that is full of change; the tech sector by its very nature is prone to change. We've got to make sure we have a team that is very adaptable. When hiring, we say you're coming into an organisation that is continually on a change process. Change is never new for us; it's continuous. By having that approach you make sure that as a company you're lean, fresh and innovative.
You must watch your behaviour, and keep it and your thinking consistent. Don't act on whims; use your nose for the market but back that up with empirical research. Listen; nobody in my organisation has the monopoly on a good idea. Have an open, transparent relationship with staff.
Personal success is when an individual uses his or her talents in a way that maximises the effects and the benefits to that Individual and to the organisation. At Ergo, we have an individual who joined straight from school, went and worked in stores, taught themselves a basic level of programming at night, went back to Dublin City University to do a computer applications course, and a number of years later returned to do an MBA.
He is now considered a very senior person in this organisation, and there would be 10 or 20 examples of people at Ergo who have gone on similar journeys, and best describe personal and organisational achievements.
The behaviour of a leader is very important. In terms of ethics, I can't go around and tell people that we've got to make sure we're managing our costs well, and then go off and do the exact opposite.
It's about having a balance between the individual's needs and the company's needs. It's about being professional. It's about having some fun, building something that's sustainable, and having an attitude towards change that's healthy.
You've got to embrace the situation and the circumstances that you're in. You've got to communicate with all the stakeholders in your business. You've got to be available and transparent. Without joining all the dots, it just won't work.
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