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DEC 06 by

Two very different people, two very different stories, two very different styles but one captivating evening of leadership learning: Inspired Leaders Network ended 2006 in style!

Roy Andersen Chairman of “three” of South Africa’s largest corporates; Murray and Roberts, Sanlam and Virgin Active and Ben Magara CEO of Anglo Coal shared insights and learnings from their very different leadership journeys.

At another new venue “The Palms” in Sandton on a very hot December evening, Ben Magara opened the evening recalling his journey to the top of Anglo. His style is relaxed and humility was wrapped around every word. This is a man who has done it the hard way, his personal drive, personal goals, complete honesty and complete focus have got him to where is today.

Do you make your career choices? With clearly documented goals that you share with you employer!? Do you have mentors to help you steer your journey? And notice the plural in “Mentors” – maybe we need different ones for different reasons? Do you have the courage to be honest with yourself and talk to your employer about it? Ben has done all this; he has carefully plotted and planned his way to the top!


Three “big things” stood out as he spoke. His thirst to “learn” and his hunger to “listen” and his courage to ask, ask, ask until he understood and by that I mean really understood.

Ben proclaimed more than once that he sees no substitute for hard work and no substitute for hands on experience but be yourself and true to your beliefs and values. Ben is truly a very good person who is proud of what he achieved and so he should be!!

Andy Rigg CEO of Inspired Leaders Network stopped Ben to invite another leader and one that needed little introduction – Roy Andersen.


Roy is precision itself and oozes professionalism and confidence. A man with a gigantic reputation for delivery learned across military and corporate life. Roy delivers and he delivers big and his leadership stories were all based around the delivery of success.

This is a key learning when all is said and done “delivery” is the hallmark of a great leader. Are you delivering??? and what is your biggest achievement this year, week, today?

Roy clearly has many stories to tell and this he does with great timing and humour. Maybe this is a leadership lesson itself, the ability to laugh at situations and at yourself can be truly effective in great leaders.

The message from Roy was very clear. You need a clear vision and all team members need to understand thier role in its achievement. A skill I am sure he learnt in his military days.

This vision and clarity must be backed by three personal attributes that Roy espouses. Be consistent in your values, be visible – use the escalator not the lifts! And trust people to deliver.

These were supported by “courage” you have to lead! And recognition when people have done a good job!


The Leadership Surgery was deep and meaningful as the two leaders although different in style agreed on most things but they take out was around clear vision, courage and brilliant execution.

A question that came up for both our leaders was how you achieve a work/life balance which led to much discussion with Roy suggesting that it is impossible to achieve and that you must choose your partner carefully!!!

Another leadership masterclass!!!!

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