The Last Word: Mark Waller

For Waller, who is Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, success is about building and creating things through people. “I have management style that I call ‘voluntary co-operation’ – if I can’t convince somebody to follow and contribute, then I’ve failed as leader.

“I’ll go out of my way to explain to people why we want to do something, and if they disagree with some of those things, then I will explain why we think we need to do them. It’s not about forcing anybody to do anything; your staff have to believe in what you want to do. If you get that right people come along on the journey; they feed off each other, and you create positive snowball.”

Waller says his background has made him more flexible as person and as leader. “All of us when we are kids are programmed certain way, and I was lucky to have grown up as an expatriate in colonial society in Fiji. I mixed with lot of different cultures, went to foreign schools, and I saw that there is not one way of doing things. It made me very adaptable.”

Waller regards adaptability as an essential component to success in today’s fast moving new world of business. “Business is not prescriptive, it’s live thing. We can over plan. You’ve got to be able to feel and sense and react quickly to things. That’s more important than the mission statements.”

 

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