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Ian Cockerill, CEO of Gold Fields, named SA's 2007 Leading Manager

Ian Cockerill, CEO of Gold Fields Ltd, was named South Africa's 2007 Leading Manager by international research-based publisher CRF South Africa, at an intimate leadership excellence awards dinner held at Moyo Zoo Lake on 29 November 2007.
The Leadership Excellence in a Government Agency award went to Lumkile Mondi, CEO of the Industrial Development Corporation.

The award for South Africa's Leading Executive Management Team, in recognition of Team Leadership Excellence, was awarded to Jiri Kulik, Kerry Miller, Nitisw Kapoor of Reckitt Benckiser.


The leadership dinner brought together 50 companies, and an intimate network of 130 key executive managers and CEOs who had a unique opportunity to hear from Heyneke Meyer as the keynote speaker on leadership, while relaxing at a corporate event with the opportunity to meet one another and interact on a personal level.

Emceed by Bongani Bingwa, it was the culminating event supporting the research-based publication: ‘South Africa's Leading Managers... and the people who got them there' (available from CRF South Africa).

The publication is based on factual research into management best practice and leadership style in South Africa called the Leadership Benchmark™.

It profiles the top percentile of leaders (CEOs, MDs and Executive Management Teams) that elected to participate in the project as revealed by the Leadership Benchmark™ and each CEO, MD and Executive Management Team (and their company's) are awarded with the Leadership Excellence accreditation-stamp.

This seals their standards of excellence in the market via a third-party endorsement based on robust research, imperative for communications with key stakeholders.

The Leadership Benchmark™


The Leadership Benchmark™ is a new addition to the research surveys conducted by CRF both locally and internationally such as the HR Benchmark™ which underpins BEST Employers™ South Africa.

The Leadership Benchmark covers 26 industry sectors from Business Support Services, Engineering and Construction, Defense, Health Care, Mining, Retail, to Toursim, Government Agencies, Telecommunications, and Utilities.

The demographic of all managers and management teams suveyed is 88% male, 12% female, 45% black which refers to Indian, Coloured, African and Asian, and 55% white.


The research focuses on key areas of leadership where management metrics can act both quantitatively and qualitatively as leadership performance indicators. This includes metrics into the financial performance of both JSE-listed and unlisted companies, human resources, management strategy, the competitive environment or market, innovation and flexibility and corporate social responsibility.

The Top 10 Leading Managers in South Africa


For the purposes of identifying and ranking SA's Top 10 leaders we consulted a team of analysts, journalists and academics to vet and make recommendations based on their own market knowledge, transcriptions of interviews conducted by the CRF with participants and the research outcomes. (List available on request)

The Top 10 Leading Managers in South Africa are:
Number 1: Ian Cockerill – Gold Fields Ltd
Number 2: Stephen Ross - Edcon
Number 3: Andre Meyer - Medscheme
Number 4: Adrian Gore - Discovery
Number 5: Stewart van Graan - Dell Computer
Number 6: Michael Solomon - Wesizwe Platinum
Number 7: Mike Flax - Madison Property Fund Managers Holdings
Number 8: Pfungwa Serima - Microsoft
Number 9: Paula Sartini - Espial
Number 10: Johan Fagan - sanofi-aventis south africa (pty) ltd


In the Top 10 itself:
  • - 40% of the companies with leaders profiled are JSE-listed while 60% are private enterprises, and 90% have both national and international operations
  • - The barriers to entry in the industry sectors in which they are located are high i.e. high investment, technological knowledge, sector experience and qualified staff are all requirements
  • - Annual turnovers ranges span R50-million to more than R20-billion, with net profit percentages spanning 10 to more than 25%
  • - The average growth outlook for the companies is above average, with 50% growing at a pace better than expected, while the other 50% is growing in line with projections
  • - Over the past two years, the collective increase in profitability of the Top 10 rests at 210%
  • - 40% are pursuing an aggressive acquisitions policy, with 70% considering merging or acquiring a competitor as part of an expansion programme
  • - On average, the top 10 hold 30% market share in the most important markets in which they operate
CRF also focused on the somewhat intangible concept of leadership. Studies suggest those with the qualities of leadership:
  • - Guide others as a role model
  • - Have significant technical skills for the job
  • - Are entrepreneurial in nature
  • - Have a clear sense of purpose
  • - Are results-oriented
  • - Are optimistic (few pessimists become leaders)
  • - Have the ability to encourage and nurture those that report to them
  • - Are self-aware and,
  • - When it comes to selecting projects and people, they have the ability to choose winners recognising that skill can be taught while attitude is innate.
(Source: Wikipedia)

To quote Terrence Deal & Alan Kennedy from the 1999 book titled ‘The New Corporate Cultures': “Strong company cultures arise because of the leadership displayed by senior managers at some point in their past. Such leadership has little to do with charisma. It has a lot to do with serving as a visible, living example of core values that become central to the culture.”

CRF found this to be true, and the results speak for themselves, that visible leaders are true agents of change – they lead from the front, they are open-minded, open-hearted open-willed and have the ability to inspire others to WANT to create value for the organisation and its future sustainability.

And the average leadership style of a Top 10 leader supports this: Using the Myrrs-Briggs/Yung Leadership Style Typology we asked SA's business leaders to indicate how relevant 8 different styles were to their particular leadership style.
  • - Our answer: A Top 10 leading manager comprises a healthy and balanced mix of all the different styles, with the traits of the innovator, explorer and conductor weighted more heavily.
  • -The Explorer tries things that are new, prototypes, introduces change, looks for unexpected outcomes, creates new opportunities, experiments
  • -The Innovator develops long term vision, produces radical ideas, foresees the future, anticipates what is outside current knowledge
  • -The Conductor organises, makes plans, sets measurable goals, coordinates work of different people, manages resources
And it's this leadership inspires... particularly as all indications point to the fact that customers, staff, suppliers, shareholders are looking to organisational leadership when making career, purchasing and investing decisions.

SA's Leading Managers are fully aware of this.
  • - Specifically, our leading managers share the sentiment that shareholders, employees, suppliers and clients are most affected by the success of the company and are the critical contributors to the development of the annual business strategy. What's more, these leaders value traditional market research, benchmarking activities such as the Leadership Benchmark and tracking the competitive environment through the media, in efforts to understand and connect with key stakeholders.


It should come as no surprise then that organisational success is rooted in not only the quality of leadership, but in the visibility or strategic communication of that leadership success to key stakeholders.
  • - The research is indicative of this, with the Top 10 CEOs reporting that communication of the corporate culture as either important or VERY important to the business strategy.
  • - 60% of the Top 10 CEOs list hosting interactive discussion forums and frequent question and answer sessions as VERY important.
  • - And just on all the Top 10 CEOs list themselves as responsible for managing the relationships with key stakeholders.


The Top 10 report card, in addition, tells what should be a familiar story: What did the companies lead by the Top 10 achieve for their clients?
  • - 65% of the time a lower work load was achieved
  • - 70% of the time solutions to business problems were found
  • - 80% of the time support in developing a competitive advantage was achieved
  • - Nearly 100% of the time support or enhancement to the image of the client was achieved
  • - 80% of the time greater confidence in the client by their own stakeholders was achieved
  • - 60% of the time assistance to clients developing in other markets or countries was achieved


Leadership has long since moved away from the remnants of the industrial revolution, which saw leaders behind closed doors far removed from business frontline interface, and leaders such as those identified in South Africa's Leading Managers, are spearheading the leap into 21st Century way of doing business.


  • - 73 degrees, one matric and numerous diplomas and fellowships
  • - 7 Honours degrees, a bachelor of accounting, of medicine and surgery, of public administration, of business science
  • - 13 Bcomm degrees with different specialisations such as economics, marketing, accounting, human resources management
  • - 7 Bachelor of Arts degrees with different specialisations in business, computer science, administration, international business & marketing, english lit, political science, economics, law, neuroscience & psycology
  • - 8 Bachelor of science degrees with different specialisations in civil engineering, computer science, engineering, geology, maths and chemistry, mechanics and business science
  • - 7 Chartered Accounts, 8 MBA's, 6 MA's with specialisations in international policy, law and management, industrial relationshins and economics and philosophy, and 3 PhD's
Over 50% of the leaders profiled share a love for cars, motorcycles and planes or helicopters such as exotic cars, porches, harley davidson, jetski's, catamarans, convertables, BMW R1 200 RT's...

And when asked about your favourite retirement destination nearly 40% quipped "What is 'this' retirement of which you speak" - although Cape Town, Hermanus, Knysna, Paris, New York, St Lucia, and the Magaliesburg feature as the place to go and relax!

It's interesting to note that among some of the first jobs of the leading managers profiled were humble, with some a far cry from where the leaders are today - some started by selling christmas balloons, others selling apples at a bus terminus or encyclopedias. Others were journalists, financial reporters, trainee accountants, bottle store owners, neuroscientists, library assistants, nurses, onsetters, post office tellers, systems engineers, or store clerks (the list goes on).


SPECIAL AWARDS
For the first time in the four year history of the project, two special awards were given out by two high achieving companies.

1. HIGH ACHIEVER AWARD: For achievement and contribution to the empowerment of South Africans within the local economy in 2007.

The first went to a leader who is described as charismatic with the ability to steer his organisation through his strong desire to achieve success in an ethical and responsible manner. He is inspiring, and unwavering in his determination to strive for success built upon his own moral convictions.

The company of which he is the MD (along with Lazarus Zim) was established in 2001 to drive broad-based empowerment by making opportunities accessible to the masses through innovative value investments. It was agreed that there would be no free ride and nobody, not even the founding directors, would get free shares or pay a reduced premium for shares and that all funds would be exclusively used for transactions.

He and the founding directors did not draw a salary for five years and capitalised the business themselves. Initial shares were sold at 50c, and have grown in value by over 700% - from R6-million worth of funds, to over R1-billion, positively impacting the lives of more than 30 000 beneficiaries whom are impoverished.

The High Achiever award for achievement and contribution to the empowerment of South Africans within the local economy in 2007 went to Ragavan Moonsamy, MD of Unipalm Investment Holdings.

2. PUBLISHER'S CHOICE AWARD: In recognition of long-standing achievement in business leadership and management excellence, based upon consistently good management through the inculcation of high ethical principles throughout the organisation.

This award went to a leadership team with more than just a reputation for ethical business practice and leadership. Those who have worked with them describe the experience as an incredible privilege and them, as exceptional leaders.

Their company was established in 1914 and developed an impeccable reputation by focusing on building relationships, keeping its promises and offering specialised service.

Their success is not least in part due their significant investment in research and development, in mentoring their employees. Indeed the CEO himself maintains the group's greatest achievement is its people - a world class team of 480 staff.

The company is committed to BEE including a significant contribution to enterprise development through its business academy established in association with the Stellenbosch business school. The group donates its expertise as well as finances to a variety of CSI initiatives.

Says Specialised projects head, “A 93-year history in business can only be acquired through time, patience, wise decision-making, integrity and owning the customers' trust.”

The first-ever CRF Publisher's Choice award in recognition of long-standing achievement in business leadership and management excellence, based upon consistently good management through the inculcation of high ethical principles throughout the organisation, went to Colia Louis (Chairman) and Dr Alan Louis (CEO) of Louis Group.

About Ian Cockerill: CEO of Gold Fields Ltd
He's described as a team player who builds consensus before decisions are made and has been instrumental in rebuilding the technical expertise and morale of the company. He is particularly passionate about ensuring the people are developed to their full potential.

He believes the team is much more than merely the sum of the parts and he is an eternal optimist - you can never judge the severity of a crisis from his appearance - in fact, when the crisis is at its deepest, SA's leading manager is at his best.

He has surrounded himself with a competent group of self-starters who understand the brand and vision of the company. As a leader, he is highly respected, with the uncanny ability to identify key issues vital to the company's success and is exceptionally good at communicating his vision to his staff.

His style typifies that of contingency leadership encompassed in a tight-loose approach - setting out expectations and allowing people to get on with delivering organisational excellence. He focuses his time on both the internal culture of his staff and the investor relations.

Under his leadership, the company has a become a ‘first of many' in performance excellence, commitment to empowerment, and commitment to sustainable development reporting. He has been responsible for driving the reinvigoration and relaunch of the company's leadership academy and is firmly committed to corporate governance and the King Code.

His achievements in the face of adversity speak for themselves.

South Africa's Leading Manager of the Year Ian Cockerill was awarded in recognition of the continued commitment to the delivery of a profitable business enterprise and shareholder value, and outstanding achievement in operational, human resource, organisational growth and environmental management best practice in 2007.


CRF wishes to congratulate the following leaders and their companies on their outstanding management performance for 2007:


ABSA Private Bank: Zarina Bassawww.absa.co.za
AdvanceNet: Phil Hemsleywww.advancenet.co.za
Alexander Forbes Ltd: Peter Moyowww.alexanderforbes.co.za
BankSETA: Max Makhubalowww.bankseta.org.za
Barnard Jacobs Mellet Holdings: Andile Mazwaiwww.bjmh.com
Berco Express: Bernie Cox, JB Joubert, Stuart Maxwell, Andy van der Veldewww.berco.com
Beyond Outsourcing Global Holdings: Suzanne Ravenallwww.beyondoutsourcing.co.za
Cadiz Holdings Ld: Ram Barkaiwww.cadiz.co.za
Cell C: Jeffrey Hedbergwww.cellc.co.za
Dell Computer (Pty) Ltd: Stewart van Graan (5)www.dell.co.za
Discovery Holdings: Adrian Gore (4)www.discovery.co.za
Drake & Scull Facilities Management SA (Pty) Ltd: Bonang Mohale, Wynand Louw, William Gould, Aubrey McElnea, Joe Mahlare, Portia Modisaesiwww.drake-scull.co.za
Edcon (Pty) Ltd: Stephen Ross (2)www.edcon.co.za
Espial: Paula Sartini (9)www.espial.co.za
ETDP SETA: Sesi Nombulelo Nxesiwww.etdpseta.org.za
Gold Fields Ltd: Ian Cockerill (1)www.goldfields.co.za
Grinaker-LTA: Neil Cloetewww.grinaker-lta.co.za
Industrial Development Corporation of SA Ltd: Lumkile Mondiwww.idc.co.za
Isett SETA: Oupa Mopakiwww.isett.org.za
Kathea Communications: Gregory Darkewww.kathea.co.za
Louis Group: Colia Louis and Alan Louiswww.louisgroup.co.za
Madison Property Fund Managers Holdings Ltd (7)www.madisonproperty.co.za
Makana Technologies & Solutions: Arthur Davidswww.makana-ts.co.za
Medihelp: Anton Rijnenwww.medihelp.co.za
Medscheme Ltd: Andre Meyer (3)www.medscheme.co.za
Microsoft South Africa: Pfungwa Serima (8)www.microsoft.com/southafrica
Nashua Ltd: Chris Scoblewww.nashua.co.za
National Homebuilders Registration Council: Phetola Makgathewww.nhbrc.org.za
Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd: Mzwandile Noel Guliwewww.norvartis.co.za
Otis (Pty) Ltd: Howard Davey, Humphrey Makoe, Carrol Hunt, Terence Baker, Jean Biddulph, Filipe Vinagre, Randall Amra, Warwick Soulsby, Nompumelelo Nkabindewww.otis.co.za
Purple Capital Ltd: Mark Barneswww.purplecapital.co.za
Qualsa – Metropolitan Health Group: Ngubekhaya (Khaya) Gobincawww.mhg.co.za
Reckitt Benckiser: Jiri Kulik, Kerry Miller, Nitish Kapoorwww.reckittbenckiser.co.za
Rectron (Pty) Ltd: Mark H. Luwww.rectron.co.za
Saab Grintek (Pty) Ltd: Makhuperatja (Makhup) Nyamawww.grintektelecom.com
Sanlam Investment Management: Armien Tyerwww.sanlam.co.za
sanofi-aventis south africa (pty) ltd (10)www.sanofi-aventis.com
Siemens Southern Africa: Siegmar Proebstlwww.siemens.co.za
South African Civil Aviation Authority: Zakes Myezawww.caa.org.za
South African Tourism: Moeketsi Mosolawww.satour.co.za
Toyota South Africa: Dr Johan van Zylwww.toyota.co.za
Umgeni Water: Mzimkulu Msiwawww.umgeni.co.za
Unipalm Investment Holdings: Ragi Moonsamywww.unipalm.co.za
Uranium One Inc: Neal Fronemanwww.uranium1.com
Wesizwe Platinum Ltd: Michael Solomon (6)www.wesizwe.co.za
Wits Business School: Professor Mthuli Ncubewww.wbshost.co.za


Top Employers Institute's press office

Top Employers Institute
The Top Employers Institute globally certifies excellence in the conditions that employers create for their people. Optimal employee conditions ensure that people develop themselves personally and professionally. This in turn enables companies to grow and to develop, always.
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