Editor’s Letter: World-class performance

As projects go, managing the America’s Cup is big business. We have done it successfully before and there’s no reason at this advanced stage of the game, to think it will be less successfully orchestrated international event this time – even if the boys on the water miss the boat.

The hype and the headlines are directed at the racing. That, of course, is as it should be. But for Management magazine there was story to be told about what goes on behind the scenes to ensure America’s Cup Inc is successfully managed project. Management’s associate editor Vicki Jayne found the spirit of Sir Peter Blake alive well and providing leadership inspiration to small, highly motivated and very efficient team. The Kiwi management approach of multi-tasking, flat management structure and lean, mean administration pervades. Resources are limited so everyone must be prepared to fly many different flags.

But this is multi-billion-dollar exercise with the world and the rich and famous looking on. Nothing can be left to chance. Slipshod is not word in the viaduct vocabulary. The America’s Cup in New Zealand is managed by small team of individuals that some of the world’s most successful corporate leaders praise nightly on their superyachts while sipping local sauvignon blanc or imported champagne. Their management role is unique. It lasts for short and very finite period but is world class in every sense. Jayne provides compelling insight into how band of top class managers meet major challenge with the inspiration of dead, but not forgotten, leader to inspire them.

For those who see something of an example in the mentoring, coaching and inspiration Peter Blake provided, there is whole new industry springing up. recent report from the US suggested executive coaching is now the fastest-growing business sector in the economy. And it is rapidly catching on here too. As Vicki Jayne explains in her story on coaches and mentors, there’s whole new hunt for direction going on. “Mix this self-development fervour with organisational recognition that building people is good way to grow business, and one outcome is an explosion of coaching and mentoring.” Jayne explains what is behind this boom in executive development and what coaches can do for you. We also feature an interview with the world’s most successful coach, Marshall Goldsmith, who explains what his stock in trade is all about.

Welcome to another year of leadership reading. We’ve introduced new column, Backup, at the back of the magazine and you’ll find some other minor changes. They’re all designed with you in mind.

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