Intouch : Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders

The last, but by no means the least, of this year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year finalists is Christ­church’s Jono Brent.
After several years with Deloitte, the qualified chartered accountant joined Christchurch’s City Care (a construction and maintenance business) in 2003.
He began as management accountant for the roading, water and wastewater businesses before being promoted year later as the company’s financial controller and part of the management team. In August last year, Brent was promoted to the senior executive team of City Care in his current role as national business development manager.
Brent has three main things he is proud of, work wise, over the past few years:
• the ability to step in and learn the skills of managing the operational aspects of the business;
• the development of the company’s long-term strategic plan; and
• the revenue growth achieved.
During the past two years he has led teams which successfully gained around $30 million per annum of new work and in new locations for the company. This puts the company ahead of its 10-year growth targets.
Brent describes himself as an extrovert and says he enjoys leading groups.
“By this, I mean I enjoy being at the front of group, and have no issues with facilitating or speaking in front of groups of people.”
He says it’s hard to describe his leadership style as he may have “different opinion” from those he works with but, when pushed, says he is “pretty open leader with tendency to be bit controlling by wanting to have control over all aspects – something I work on to not happen.”
The thing he has learned most over the past two years is the need to coach and develop others as part of developing great teams and company success.
“I have responsibility for small team of four who are all reasonably new to the organisation. I believe my role is not only delivering on my responsibilities but giving them all the tools they need to complete their jobs effectively and efficiently.”
Outside City Care, he is involved with Christchurch Boys High School’s Year 12 and 13 business management curriculum, presenting speeches to the boys, acting as mentor for the Young Enterprise Scheme, and offering City Care and himself for case studies and feedback on assignments and projects.
“This has been rewarding to see the young guys develop their thinking on business management and hopefully I am playing part in creating tomorrow’s leaders.”

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