MERC Partners, Ireland’s leading executive search company, recently held the latest in its series of Leadership Breakfast Seminars in The Four Seasons Hotel, bringing together over one hundred business professionals with an interest in leadership for a morning of networking.
Ruth Curran, Managing Partner with MERC Partners, opened proceedings and introduced the guest speaker for the event, Joe Schmidt, following Ireland’s outstanding Six Nations win. The theme of the business breakfast focused on leadership – a topic that is universally appealing. The world is now more complex, global, latticed, networked and competitive. This then, begs some pertinent questions: What are the implications for leadership? What qualities will leaders need to succeed in this more demanding world? And more importantly, what qualities should future leaders begin to develop now, before they are handed the keys?
A small handful of must-have qualities rise to the surface: judgment, adaptability, integrity, passion, courage and resilience. Leaders that possess these core attributes, or underlying drivers of success, have a remarkably higher probability of performing well, regardless of what context they are thrown into. Interestingly, these same qualities matter outside of the corporate world in politics, the military, entertainment and sport, the attributes of great leaders are universal. In that sense, there’s a nice lesson there for all of us aspiring to be better leaders.
MERC Partners has been focussed for four decades on helping organisations select and appoint strong leadership teams. Leaders and managers who can elicit the maximum from their teams- the people they have at their disposal.
We were thrilled to welcome Ireland Rugby Team’s Head Coach, Joe Schmidt to speak on the topic “Selecting, developing and delivering in a competitive world” – a theme that is as applicable in business as it is in sport. Joe offered his afterthoughts on Ireland’s success as the 2014 Six Nations Champions, as well as looking ahead to his longer term ambitions for the Irish Rugby team, emphasising the timeless Leadership lesson from Aristotle: ‘We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit’.
Joe Schmidt is a man of great integrity; innovation, adaptability and agility are key aspects in his leadership approach. He recruits the best and selects the best team to ensure a winning formula for each match. A true leader, he has a forensic approach and each player is precisely aware of what is expected of them and in turn they know they are trusted to make decisions on the pitch. He leads from the front, takes responsibility for the outcome and is not afraid to make controversial selection decisions. With a leadership style that is characterised by intelligence, ambition and a winning mentality, Joe Schimdt’s presentation was warmly received by the audience.
About our speaker:
A former school teacher and schools coach, Joe worked in several coaching roles in New Zealand including New Zealand Schools, Bay of Plenty and at Auckland as assistant coach. He was Backs Coach at Clermont Auvergne from 2007 to 2010 when the club captured the coveted Bouclier de Brennus Top 14 title. Joe took over as Leinster head coach for the 2010/11 season and guided the province to their second Heineken Cup title in his first season. Leinster won back to back European titles in 2012 and Joe signed off his tenure with Leinster by guiding them to a treble in 2013 capturing the Amlin Challenge Cup, Rabo Direct Pro12 and British & Irish Cup titles. Joe was no stranger to Ireland when he came to Leinster, having played and coached at Mullingar RFC during a teaching sabbatical in the early 1990s. Joe is a patron for Epilepsy Ireland and is currently fronting the organisation’s ‘Be Seizure Aware’ campaign.