Travel's Leaders Need to Include Staff in Driving Change      

leadership starts at the top

  • 16-May-17


Nelson Mandela with his Presidential Aide -- Zelda la Grange

SYDNEY, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Zelda la Grange, Nelson Mandela's long serving Presidential Aide said an authentically inclusive leadership style is paramount for driving change. In an interview ahead of her keynote address at the 2017 Travel Industry Exhibition and Conference, Ms la Grange said solutions need to draw on a wide variety of experiences from people across the organisation.

"Change is only accepted if it is marketed and sold as a way of enriching people personally rather than views being enforced for a better society," she said. "People should be convinced that the change will benefit them on the long run -- and it usually truly does."

That inclusiveness extends to how leaders conduct themselves when trying to inspire change. "Once we conduct ourselves in an exemplary way, others will be inspired by the change that has happened within us. "One should not try and force people to change. People should be convinced to change for their own benefit, but be allowed to follow their own journey or else important lessons could be missed in the process."

Richard Sauerman, The Brand Guy at Brandcraft said digital disruption meant leaders of travel companies were dealing with disruptions coming at the industry at speed. "If you're asleep at the wheel you are sure to miss out, and get left behind," he said. "Data is creating new economic business platforms that are transforming industries, and the way things are being done. Like how Airbnb has transformed the hotel industry, like how Uber has transformed the taxi industry, and how TripAdvisor is transforming the travel industry. Rusted on attitudes and ways of doing business are a guarantee of brand and marketing death.

"Leadership starts at the top -- and is driven by the CEO and the whole Executive Team who need to have a clear Vision and Mission and 'reason why' they're doing what they're doing. They need a business strategy and plan that is understood by the whole business, at every level. Leaders need to inspire individual engagement and commitment to the business strategy across the whole business, at every level.

"It's about encouraging an atmosphere of excitement and innovation and creativity through their actions not just their rhetoric. A feeling of 'we're creating the world we want to succeed in.'"

Ms la Grange said it all comes down to conducting business with discipline, respect and integrity. "No company or industry can survive without these. When people feel respected, when they feel valued… that is how one inspires loyalty," she said.Ms la Grange's opening keynote will set the stage for day one of the conference, which focusses on Agents of Change. Other speakers include: Richard Sauerman, The Brand Guy at Brandcraft with Making Change Work for Us; Melissa Browne, Business Leader of Accounting & Taxation Advantage and The Money Barre with Original Thinking for Creative Leadership; John O'Neil, Managing Director and Strategy Lead at Komosion with How Much Does Your Customer Matter to Your Business?; and Dr Jessica Gallagher, Paralympian with Trust -- Mindset -- Courage.

 The 2017 Travel Industry Exhibition and Conference will be held from 20-21 July at the Crystal Palace in Sydney's Luna Park, and 25-26 July at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre.

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