In honour of Father’s Day this Sunday, here are the top tips senior executives from Audi, Facebook, Groupon and more would pass onto the next generation.
Here, they reveal how they anticipate their children and their children’s children will innovate and create change in business, including what will make the foundations of good leadership tomorrow and how to trust your instincts and dominate the space.
Paul Sansom, managing director, Audi Australia
“The company of the future isn’t just built on advanced technologies or innovative products. Emerging leaders need to recognise that the values they bring to the table also directly impact their organisation’s culture, which is then the driving force for their brand’s performance.
“For us, our core value as a leadership team has to be our customer, and putting them at the centre of everything we do. Accordingly, this core value is reflective of our company culture.
“While agility is important, leadership teams must avoid the temptation to move with such speed that it comes at the expense of their organisation’s core values. After all, you always have to know who you are, to know where you’re going.
“If we want to stay ahead of customer behaviours and expectations, then as a leadership team, we need to adapt to mobility’s changing landscape, without losing sight of our history.”
Dane Sharp, head of marketing, Groupon ANZ
“Why say no? That’s the best piece of advice I can give to our next generation of marketers. The world is moving and evolving so quickly that if you want to progress and develop with it, and be at the forefront, you need to be willing to rip in, have a crack and give it a go. Yes keeps you moving and no will leave you behind.
“There are a few important rules that I think will serve the next generation well – be creative, have fun, value common sense (it’s very underrated these days) and make sure you care about what you’re doing. Genuinely. A positive mindset is a powerful thing and you’re going to want to really care about what you’re doing, every day and night of your working career.”
Luke McNeal, head of workplace by Facebook, Asia Pacific and Japan
“Tomorrow’s leaders will need a resolute focus on how they can breakdown internal barriers in the workplace – geographic, departmental, linguistic, technical and more. In an increasingly connected and mobile-first world they will need technology that can connect everyone, transcend language and time zone differences, and connect front-line staff with head office. Employees want to be able to have a voice no matter where they are or at what level. As a result, millennials are already driving cultural change at companies of every size to adopt more mobile-first technology, and future leaders need to be ahead of the curb.
“We know that millennials will comprise 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025 and have grown up with easy-to-use, mobile-first technology. They’re not only bringing their devices into the workplace, they’re also bringing their expectations. Ultimately, this generation want to be able to engage and interact with content in a way that feels familiar to them – through words, yes, but also through gifs, emojis and video.
“My advice for future leaders is to look to how you can breakdown barriers in order to build a cohesive, collaborative and productive workforce.”
Lourens Swanepoel, data & AI lead, Avanade Australia
“As a father to two lively boys (who are 7 and 8 years old respectively), my days are spent hiking with the older son and having martial arts practiced on me by my youngest boy.
“Outside of the fun and adventure, I often wonder what the world would look like when they grow up, what role would technology play in the future, what is the future of work like and the list goes on. You ponder these questions because you want to be able to provide them with whatever they need now to thrive and succeed in the future and be able to make a real difference in the world.
“So, if there is one piece of advice I always tell my boys and by extension to the next generation, it is to use their passion to create real human impact.
“To be able to do something you love and make a positive impact out of it does not happen by accident. It takes intention, purpose and inspiration to motivate learning, develop skills and rally a team of people behind your mission. I am privileged to be working at a company where we do our best as a team to solve complex business problems and design solutions that will improve the lives of customers. A rewarding career built out of a personal passion should not be taken for granted and I hope the next generation will have equal opportunities to pursue what they love and put those valuable skills to good, sensible use. For now, I’ll just continue to hear my boys remind me that I’m not cool enough for them.”
Tyler Moffitt, security analyst, Webroot
“In a world where trust is rapidly degrading – in institutions, brands, and even between individuals – future generations will create change and lead successfully by re-establishing this vital aspect of society. They can only do this by protecting and using the increasing amounts of data we will produce in a responsible way. Putting security at the centre of everything they do will define how our children innovate and create new products and services which not only demonstrate progress, but re-establish the trust we’ve lost.”