A masterclass in inspired leadership

Kevin Gaskell delivered at keynote at inVOYAGE 2019

Explorer, entrepreneur, former MD of luxury brands Porsche GB and BMW and all-round superman Kevin Gaskell presented a keynote and C-Suite masterclass on inspired leadership in business at inVOYAGE 2019 in Monaco this week (6-9 October), in partnership with Speakers Corner.

Sharing stories from his turnaround of Porsche from imminent bankruptcy to market leader, his role in the transformation of businesses in diverse markets from luxury yachts to data support, and expeditions to both the North and South Poles, Kevin gave inVOYAGERS valuable insights into how to inspire people to achieve extraordinary results.

Here’s a quick recap on Kevin’s key points from the session:

“I believe people are incredible. People are inspiring. I believe we can inspire our teams. If we can engage the passion that they feel outside of work, then we can create incredible companies. If you talk to people and ask them what they do outside of work, your job as leaders is to bring all those incredible skills to bear and bring that passion into the business,” he said.

“It’s not about how successful you are. It is about how successful you want to be. And then it’s about using a structured approach. There are three stages – commit, connect and create.

Commit – This is your starting point. Commit to making a difference. Change your thinking, change your limits. Take away the boundaries and dare to dream. And then prioritise. Which of those are not in your control, and which are in your control? We rigorously prioritise what we can control and then we do it.

Deal with the F Word – Fear. Make a decision and jump out the plane. Put a parachute on. The parachute is your plan. What is it that you are going to deliver to your customers that they will want to engage with? Don’t look for market share, look for opportunity share and look where others are not looking.

Connect – you have to reach everyone who touches your business with a plan. Start at the end and work backwards. Make people understand where you are going because then they will understand the journey. What does success look like for you? Find out and write it down.

Make your plan visible to the entire team. Let everybody see it and understand how they make a difference. A culture of honesty and trust makes the impossible possible.

Create – create magic and have fun. Your vision of success must be exciting and fun. What happens then is that people are inspired. Inspiration is very different to motivation. You can motivate with a pay rise, but by the next month it’s forgotten about. If you passionately believe in what you are setting out to create, you become inspired.

Great leaders make more leaders. Set the direction then let the team go. Stand back. It’s not about guiding by being first up. Sometimes things will go wrong, but it doesn’t matter. Reset and go again. We don’t lose – we either win or we learn. Catch people in, don’t catch them out! An inspired team will achieve the incredible.

Our job as leaders is not to be a genius. It’s about being a genius creator. Don’t think you have to know all the answers. You don’t. Focus on being a leader – on the business, not in the business. Let your team be in the business.”

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