Leader.co.za - Management, Training and Career Advice for Business Leaders

Follow the leaders
by Gaye Crossley
Gain access to Africa’s top executives, professionals and entrepreneurs – all under one roof.

Leaderex will offer attendees unfettered access to leading executives, professionals and entrepreneurs; all will gather under one roof, for one day, to share their insights and expertise.

Commenting on the event, Clive Butkow, former chief operating officer of Accenture South Africa and a non-executive director of venture capital firm Grovest, says: “It is almost like a hypermarket of services – from entrepreneurs to academics, to professionals. It is an event where everyone can get together and see what their options are around their career opportunities. The world is changing so fast that people need to start looking at their choices.”

Gareth Armstrong, founder and executive director of Future CEOs, adds: “Leaderex is the coming together of big business, higher education and the consulting industry, where those in attendance are able to compare and debate around the very important and far-reaching impact of leadership and leadership development.”

In addition, Leaderex understands that leaders do not come from only one strata of society, and everyone can benefit from the networking, advice and opportunities on offer at the event. Armstrong explains: “Leaderex provides an opportunity for all those with potential – rich or poor, educated or not – to rub shoulders with one another as they visit and explore the various forums and opportunities an event like this provides.”

The highlights

Across 150 events and 120 exhibitors, visitors will be hard-pressed not to find value. The masterclasses and one-on-one coaching sessions alone are a highlight on the schedule. They are free of charge, although the services are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Armstrong comments: “The masterclasses on offer are incredible opportunities to associate and interact with the best and the brightest CEOs and executives, thought leaders and industry experts in our country.”

Piet Naudé, director of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, notes: “These classes are presented by experts with practical experience, and will offer new insights to anyone who attends them.”

The masterclasses are short, ranging from 30 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Naudé believes this format will ensure that speakers get straight to the point, while still leaving time for lively debate. They also vary in structure, with many of the events being hosted by more than one speaker, thus giving attendees even greater access to top-notch business leaders.

When deciding what masterclasses to attend, Butkow advises: “You have to be very particular about what you want to learn from the masterclasses. It is important for you to know what you are going to Leaderex to learn, what you want to see, and then make sure you get the most out of it.”

Twenty-minute one-on-one coaching sessions are also a great way to get invaluable insights from South Africa’s 20 top business and executive coaches.

Mastering the event

Everyone involved in Leaderex stresses that planning ahead is essential to getting the most out of the event. “The best is to study the programme and then plan visits and attendance accordingly. A big event like this can be overwhelming, and you have to seek contact with those who can enhance your own ideals and career goals,” recommends Naudé.

Adds Armstrong: “It is essential to sit down and do an honest and thorough personal and career inventory. There are going to be a lot of views and opinions shared on the day, and it is vital that you go to the event with a good idea of where you currently are and where you want to be going forward.”

Butkow agrees. “You need to treat your career as if you are at the helm of your own start-up venture, whether you are an entrepreneur, a corporate or a professional. As people develop their careers, they need to be thinking about what their plan A is, then their plan B and their plan Z.”

Certainly, Leaderex can offer individuals the opportunity to see what is out there, so they can begin to see their futures more clearly. It is never too early to start planning your future, notes Butkow. “It depends what you want to get out of a masterclass; there is some exceptional talent, and leaders that have made it in their particular areas. I think people shouldn’t look at where they are today, but where they want to be tomorrow, and those are the masterclasses they need to attend.”

Leaderex takeaways

Whatever your career or business aspirations, Leaderex offers any South African an opportunity to get one step ahead on their career paths.

“To me Leaderex is what this country needs. Whether you are in academia, business or a professional, businesses rise and fall on leadership. Leaderex is great; it will help people develop a plan of how they are going to become better leaders. And better leaders grow better businesses which change more and more lives,” says Butkow.

“For me, the most important part of Leaderex is the networking. I believe that an entrepreneur’s network is their net worth; their network is their social cement.

“So before people come through, it is important to decide whom they want to meet, and actually plan around this. They need to know why they want to meet that person and what they want to get out of that person.

“I really do believe it is a great opportunity to start networking for your future.”
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