“The leaders I have worked with have inspired my values and drive to develop and achieve my own success,” says Karl Grech, sharing that he has witnessed leaders managing events and crises such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2008 recession, Malta’s entry into the EU and the Euro changeover, among others. “These have all been great lessons that have impacted my business leadership story.”

Launched three years ago, Karl started a solo practice that offers coaching and bespoke leadership and emotional intelligence training, helping clients make the shift in their leadership and interpersonal skills, and enhancing how they connect, communicate and collaborate at work. “Whether a founder CEO is always the right person to lead the expansion of a company depends on several factors. We are operating in a VUCA world – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity,” he explains. “Experience in a business area or industry does not guarantee success; we are in a situation of constant, unpredictable change. This is the new norm in the business world. If an individual has developed and practices the traits of integrity, bravery, perspective and social intelligence, then they are the right person to lead. If they are stuck in their ways, micromanage, bulldoze their way through and are not ready to adapt to external factors, then they are not the right person to lead.”

While pointing to great leaders that have stayed the course – such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steven Covey and Sir Richard Branson – Karl highlights that even these big business names knew to hand over the baton when the time was right. “The natural question is not ‘if’ but ‘when’,” he says. “During a change in leadership, it is essential to trust the person or people who will take charge, while you need to clarify expectations and your role (if any) moving forward in the organisation.

“Lastly, let go – as hard as it may be – to help take the company to the next level. There is no one-size-fits-all; the leader needs support to identify the best way forward for the organisation and themselves.”

This feature was first carried in the MaltaCEOs 2023 print publication, the sister brand to MaltaCEOs.mt, both produced by Content House Group

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