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Five Keys to Success for Leaders, According to Erick Thohir

Erick Thohir, the minister of BUMN in the Joko Widodo Era, is getting a lot of attention nowadays. Erick has many initiatives to instill discipline in his staff. Erick became a minister due to his achievements. One of his newest achievements was coordinating the Asian Games 2018. Erick successfully ran the Asian Games as its Head of Committee. Erick was considered successful as the Chair of the Asian Games Committee after he delivered the grand event smoothly.

BINUS BUSINESS SCHOOL students received a guest lecture directly from Erick at the CEO Speaks event on Leadership at BINUS BUSINESS SCHOOL. He spoke about the following points:

The Importance of Leadership

Born from a business family, Erick started his career the same way. He was a shareholder of the famous European football club, Inter Milan. This experience gave him strong leadership skills until he led several big companies; one of them was Mahaka Group.

As a leader, Erick thinks a lot about his business sustainability and his staff. One of the real leadership skills Erick has is when he set a good example for his staff. For Erick, the team is the most important thing to run a business, so his leadership style is all about discipline.

Erick explains knowledge and clear vision are two things that someone needs to have to reach their dreams. Learning by doing is also the core principle from Erick that made him extremely successful.

Good Integrity and Communication

As the owner of Mahaka Group with so many subsidiaries, Erick cares about integrity. Integrity is needed to achieve. His company built a basketball hall in the North Jakarta area. High-level integrity was also an important factor to deliver the Asian Games event to Indonesia.

Aside from that, having good communication is also one of the key components of success. Good communication between a leader and staff is important, to increase teamwork. A good leader is those who do not only give direction but also listen to their staff.

When working on the Asian Games, Erick communicated with people about the meaning of the sports event, especially to people who did not understand the difference between the SEA Games and the Asian Games.

Never Run from a Problem

One of the most important things leaders do is to never run from the problem. Running away from a problem means you just delay something that you must solve. Running from a problem doesn’t mean someone will be free from that problem, but that problem will actually become a bigger problem to solve.

Erick said in the Asian Games, there were a lot of problems every day. One of them is because of the lack of preparation days. Erick tried to solve the problem one by one, for example, budgeting problems. His solution was to communicate better with the government and sponsors so that he finally delivered the Asian Games successfully.

Empowering and Being Inspirational

A good leader is one that is able to empower others. In this case, a leader must trust his staff’s ability. Trust will make the staff give their best. To achieve that, a leader must become an inspiration for those around them. With a good attitude and discipline, a leader shows a good example of how to be a good person for his staff.

Brave Enough to Make Decisions

To make decisions, it is important to believe you can achieve your objective. There are some things that you need to take care of in decision-making, such as data and numbers. A personal ‘gut’ is also needed to create a strategy before making decisions.

Decisions must be realistic. Erick said, when he run ANTV, a TV station under the Mahaka Group, he had to understand the target market so that their programs were suitable for their audiences. ANTV was very successful, with strong interests from stay-at-home moms.

Being a leader is not easy, but it is also not hard if we try to apply a good leadership style. Integrity, clear vision, and being inspirational, are imperative for leaders.


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