What I’ve Learnt: Adam Serfontein

February 2, 2017

Whatever your ability and qualifications, without integrity and credibility, you have nothing. My father told me that many years ago. He also advised that if you can’t deal with the consequences of something, don’t do it. Both these pieces of advice have been very valuable to me.

Work hard and negotiate even harder. Remember all parties to a negotiation must gain something. If they don’t there is no opportunity for a repeat performance.

Learn from your experiences, but don’t waste time attempting to turn back the clock.

Stimulate spirited debate and challenges among the stakeholders. This way you will achieve a true consensus of objectives and develop a robust strategy.

Establish and maintain the commitment of the team. And learn to keep going when others are losing their heads.

Different things motivate different people. One person’s extra holiday is another’s training course, recognition or bonus. Know your team, respect their currency, reward them appropriately, and don’t forget to celebrate their achievements.

Remember that the principal roles of the management team are to thoroughly analyse all situations, anticipate all problems prior to their occurrence, have answers, and move swiftly to solve these problems when called upon. These responsibilities can easily be forgotten when you’re up against it.

When starting a business, make sure you have sufficient funding to survive for at least a year. Also, maintain effective and regular contact with the stakeholders, believe in yourself and adapt, very quickly, to what the world throws at you. Look after your business and it will look after you.

As your business grows, keep close to the good advisors, and don’t entertain the bad ones. And make sure the business remains adequately capitalised as growing a business can eat up the cash if you’re not careful.

Never stop learning. When you think you are the smartest person in the meeting, worry and keep quiet.

Avoid loud and vexatious people, they are bad for the spirit. 

Work hard and be nice to people. It’s a winner.

The Hanro Group 
0191 2611777

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