Are leadership roles too demanding?

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As competition mounts in the global marketplace leaders are being expected to do
more with less. Elmarie Pretorius gives advice on how to manage the daily stresses
and pressures of running a business.


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As competition mounts in the global marketplace leaders are being expected to
do more with less. Elmarie Pretorius gives advice on how to manage the daily
stresses and pressures of running a business.
International speaker, trainer and author Elmarie Pretorius, started her career as
Public Relations Officer for Toyota Marketing and held various marketing positions as
a first step on the corporate ladder.
At the age of 34 Pretorius was appointed MD of Primedia Publishing, a position
she held for 3 years, before accepting the challenge of CEO of Cinemark. She turned
Primedia Publishing around in the first year and won Primedia’s Most Improved
Company of the year.
For many the role of a leader can seem intimidating but according to Pretorius ,
"a leadership role brings great opportunities for personal growth, learning and
fulfillment and gives a leader the chance to be a strategic change agent and to
leave a lasting legacy.'

However to obtain the full benefit of this leadership experience, you need to have a
humble attitude, she says.
"A willingness to learn from others and the recognition of the wisdom of
employees is key.'
Pretorius warns that arrogance and selfishness are the biggest stumbling blocks
to great leadership.
"Shakespeare said all of his main characters failed due to "hubris' or self-pride
and I believe that a leader that remains humble and understands that they are part
of a bigger team and that they need others to achieve their vision is key. "

After her promotion to CEO of Cinemark, Elmarie’s highly skilled leadership and ability
to change and motivate her team resulted in the company also being awarded "Most
Improved Company' after the first year.

Drawing on her years of experience Pretorius say leaders must have good
communication and people skills and "a clear vision that you can translate
passionately into reality for your team.'
"A leader also needs to learn what key information they need to check the health
of their business without getting bogged down in the detail.'

But it is important to remember that as a leader you can't do it all. A big part of
dynamic leadership is learning to delegate and trust others.
"Surround yourself with people who are experts in their field and allow them
within your clearly defined vision and strategy to add value and wisdom.'

Being a leader can be incredibly challenging, tiresome and stressful at times but
according to Pretorius that is all part of the game.
"My view is if you get the corner office and the good parking then you have to
assume the responsibility that goes with it.'

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