A Company is Only as Good as its Leadership

There is a shortage of good leadership in modern society – I mean what has happened to the leadership that built this country?  The leadership that people like Oliver Tambo, Albertina Sisulu and Nelson Mandela brought to South Africa.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said “a leader is a dealer in hope.”  In the six months that I have spent as an intern at FleishmanHillard, I have learned quite a lot of about the industry but never did it cross my mind that I would find hope or reassurance that there is still good leadership out there.

When Bob Hillard and Al Fleishman started FleishmanHillard, their common purpose was to shape the business model, values and culture of the industry. A purpose they have successfully achieved when you consider the humble beginnings and compare this to where the company is today.

How is it that this company has managed to flourish over almost 70 years?

Interning here has both answered this question for me and opened my eyes as to what leadership means.

Adapt; FleishmanHillard`s ability to adapt through its integrated approach which is designed  to help organisations navigate through complex issues via research and analytics, finding powerful insights and strategies that lead to transformative, business-building or behavior-changing ideas. These ideas are conceived from the outset to be activated across multiple platforms in order to reach the right stakeholders, in the right place, at the right time.

Embrace; successful PR agencies must embrace change. Social media – once frowned upon by businesses in SA is now regarded vital to the success of a business. Something FH has grasped and encourages its clients to grab with both hands.

Identify; good leaders identify strong players and FH has done the same in partnering with strong clients, like Visa, Liberty, and Microsoft, and employing strong people to manage them.

Much like my African heroes, my idea of a leader in business is someone who thinks ahead of the curb, challenges the way society thinks and gets the best results. Seeing this work in real life has been a real eye opener for me as someone just starting his journey in public relations and I couldn’t have chosen a better starting point.


Written by Arnold Tshimanga