Here are the last five of the 25 best quotes from the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit 2012. I’ve released five a day throughout this week, so go back and read the others if you want the full picture – there’s enough for you to feel like you were there! The series includes quotes from all the speakers: Adrian Gore, Garry Kasparov, Pravin Gordhan, Prof Tim Noakes, Stephen Koseff, Sir Terry Leahy, Michael Porter and Tony Blair. Submit your summary of any theme, and if your summary gets chosen I’ll publish that next week so you can win bragging rights over your peers!
Adrian Gore #3 | On job creation
“Discovery has generated some 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. The job shortfall in South Africa is 3.3 million. Therefore 33 new Discovery’s would make up the shortfall. I hope I don’t sound irrational, in fact I believe the opposite, that negativity and pessimism is irrational. I look for great leadership.”
Pravin Gordhan #5 | On corruption
“It’s important to fight corruption. Let me tell you very clearly from where I stand and what I see this is a disease. It’s going to require a decision that we as South Africans make: when you see any kind of corruption, it’s not only your head that must turn but also your gut. The head might say it’s too risky, but the gut won’t listen to that. The honest people need to be heard. We have too many people who say one thing in public and do another in private.”
“We have to fight the underlying factors that lead to corruption: greed, selfishness, if we don’t do that, don’t fight the culture that says, ‘I want the best house, the best car, and I want it now even if I can’t afford it,’ then we’re creating the wrong culture.”
Tony Blair #5 | On crime
“When I was prime minister I was told that rising affluence would increase crime. I pointed out that I’d been taught that increasing unemployment would have that affect, so what I was hearing was that crime was going to increase, regardless. Well it didn’t, it went down, and we resolved it by focusing on it and doing different things. We swept aside traditional ways of looking at and thinking about things. It’s about focus on the priorities and on getting the job done.”
Sir Terry Leahy #5 | On competition
“Look for the strengths of your competitors and see if you can bring those into your business. We didn’t copy Wal-Mart, we stayed Tesco and followed the customer, but we studied Wal-Mart and grew faster after they entered the UK than before.”
Michael Porter #5 | On creating shared value
“Philanthropy and corporate responsibility programs cannot keep up with the growing societal needs. Creating shared value is a more fundamental way of affecting society: it means dealing with the issues by being capitalist, tackling them through the business itself, with a business model, finding out where and how a company with a particular set of assets in a particular part of society can engage. Integrating societal improvement into economic value creation itself and make a business model work – then we get scalability.”
Garry Kasparov #5 | On success
“I don’t believe there is any universal advice [for achieving success] that can work for all of us. The secret to success is as unique as DNA, something that might work for you will be counterproductive for me. In my career I made [just over] 89,000 chess moves, and each one was a decision. Thankfully there were more good than bad ones. Before we have our own decision-making formula, we have to know our strengths and weaknesses. At every moment, even subconsciously, we are leaning towards our instincts. Brazil football team has an attacking style of play and has won the World Cup five times. Italy has a defensive style and has won it four times. You do what works for you. An army with a cavalry and no archers will look for a valley to fight in, while an army with archers and no cavalry will look for the heights. So the right choice of battleground will be decisive.”
Neil attended the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit 2012 courtesy of Leadership magazine. Look out for more comprehensive coverage and commentary in upcoming issues.