Behind the scenes of the Young Business Leaders list
So what really impressed the judges?
The common thread of the young business leaders evaluated is clearly success – all are certainly high achievers in their various fields and this did not escape notice by any means.
But the panel looked deeper and some themes emerged. It was these qualities that seemed to evoke admiration and a sense of connection that lifted the profiles beyond the page:
Going to work – whether for themselves or as part of a larger organisation – is certainly not a chore for the 20 chosen. I got the same impression from the judges, who see an event like this as an extension of their leadership roles within their own organisations.
No question that our 20 chosen demonstrated a clear set of guiding principles. In many cases, that includes giving back – within their major employment roles working for not-for-profit organisations or outside of their day jobs.
All 20 seem future oriented and take an international perspective, thinking ahead as they forge ahead, with a strong emphasis on social responsibility. People “doing the right things and not because it looks good”.
While risk-taking is a part of life and a part of business, the gambles here are very calculated. There’s a strong view of building businesses that are sustainable, using their education and applying sound business practices to new ideas.
Whether the panel fully identified with this I’m not sure, but the confidence of these young leaders was evident: Confidence to start new things, to pursue good ideas, to work without geographic constraints. This is often apparent in their natural belief in collaboration and supporting other entrepreneurs. Yet many are treading their own path, not competing directly but finding a way to add value and build success in their own ways.
I took away some great leadership insights from those successful enough themselves to be invited as our panellists. And while they spoke of this younger generation as a new breed and in some ways a world apart, there were plenty of similar attributes on show by the judges.
So the discussion ended and the photo shoot completed, the panel went back to their days, hopefully just a little inspired by the discussion and the young business leaders of 2014.
- Sharelle Simmons -