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Meet Dr Charl Coetzer

How is a leadership role different in start-ups vs well-established companies?

In well-established companies, leadership seems to be more focused and organised. The leadership role in such organisations is often focused on setting a new compelling vision, mission, and strategy, suited for the current and future predicted context and embedding that vision and strategy in the organisation. Leaders thereafter serve employees by means of aligning employee talent to the higher purpose organisational vision; by creating an effective organisational climate and culture to engage employees, and empower them with the skills and competencies to achieve this vision. Much of this work is done through policies, systems, procedures, interventions, and communication platforms.

In a start-up, smaller organisations, leadership seems to be more hands-on, more interactive with employees. In such organisations, leaders can influence employees directly as they have personal contact with employees on a day-to-day basis. Leadership is focused on building effective relationships with employees, coaching employees, removing obstacles for employees, and serving employees with support and guidance to achieve the higher purpose vision of the organisation.

Any tips or advice for those looking to study the Leadership course?

Leadership development is not a short-lived event, but rather a lifetime journey. The USB-ED Leadership course provides practical principles and practices to become an effective leader but requires continuous application thereof to change behaviour. It is important to make leadership development a lifestyle.

What is the highlight of your career?

The two major highlights in my career were: (1) being invited to provide psychological fitness assessments to the Springbok Rugby team and Coaching staff in 2010 and (2) presenting a new leadership framework at an international leadership conference in Iceland in 2017, and as a result, publishing a book chapter explaining this framework in an international leadership book.

What books are you currently reading?

The two books I am currently reading are:
Servant leadership in action: How you can achieve great relationships and results, by Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell (editors).
PostCapitalism: A guide to our future, by Paul Mason.

And finally, what is the one thing you can tell us about yourself that we won’t find on your resume?

I consider my life purpose to be the following: change the world to the betterment of all – one leader, one organisation at a time.

_ _ _

Dr Charl Coetzer is a registered industrial psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), a Master HR professional in Organisational Development with the South African Board of People Practices (SABPP), and a certified Neuroleadership coach. He has more than 14 years’ experience in organisational development, human resources management, talent management, coaching, and leadership development.

He is currently the Managing Director of a research and development company named Wisdomy (Pty) Ltd and a part-time lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch Business School for Executive Development. Charl is currently working towards a PhD in leadership.

Charl presented several papers at national and international conferences and published articles in various scientific and non-scientific journals and online platforms. Charl also published a chapter in an international leadership book.

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