Leadership is a critical aspect of any organization, and it plays an essential role in the success of the company. Ricardo Coetzee, Head of Auto and General, is a seasoned leader in the insurance industry. In an interview with Tony, Ricardo shared his perspective on leadership and his role as a leader in a large company in the insurance industry.
Watch the interview below, or continue reading the article
According to Ricardo, his primary responsibility as a leader is to inspire and empower his team. He helps them unlock their great ideas and initiatives and turn them into customer solutions. He creates an environment in which his team can share ideas freely, challenge the status quo, challenge ideas, challenge products, and challenge how the business operates. He recognizes his team for their efforts, and he acts as a coach to support them in reaching their full potential.
Tony asked Ricardo how he keeps his team motivated with so much uncertainty around, given the global economic, climatic, and political uncertainty. Ricardo’s response was that he asks his team, “Why are we in business?” and reminds them that their purpose is to provide peace of mind to their customers. This focus on purpose gives them internal motivation. They are in the business of restoring lives and livelihoods when incidents or accidents occur. During events such as the KZN floods, the unrest, and Covid-19, when many customers lost loved ones, homes, and businesses, Ricardo’s team steps in and helps them restore their livelihoods and their lives.
As a leader, Ricardo also has a responsibility for strategy and long-term sustainability. Tony asked him how he makes strategic decisions, especially longer-term decisions, with so much uncertainty in the future. Ricardo responded that uncertainty is the new normal, and the first step is to embrace it and not get paralyzed by it. Times of turmoil create great opportunities, and challenges spark creative ideas. Ricardo believes that this term has fantastic opportunities, but the key is to have courage, be agile, and be resilient. Accepting the environment, being agile, and resilient will enable organizations to emerge stronger on the other side.
The interview also touched on the political uncertainty in South Africa. As an industry and business leader, Ricardo believes that it is crucial to focus on what they can control and not worry about what they cannot control. They need to focus on their purpose, their customers, and their employees.
In conclusion, Ricardo Coetzee’s perspective on leadership is inspiring. As a leader, his primary responsibility is to inspire and empower his team, and he achieves this by creating an environment in which his team can share ideas freely, challenge the status quo, and innovate. He reminds his team of their purpose, which gives them internal motivation. When faced with uncertainty, he embraces it, sparks creative ideas, and has the courage to make strategic decisions.
Ricardo’s leadership style is an excellent example of what it takes to lead a large company in the insurance industry successfully.