Toyota SA’s Johan van Zyl | Leader.co.za

28 Май 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota SA

Consider this: in the history of the Motor Corporation, only non-Japanese have been to the position of Managing Officer. One of is Johan van Zyl, CEO of Toyota Africa.

Van Zyl’s accomplishment is a endorsement of his leadership style – as a man who condemns the notion of ‘hero he is not one to relish the spotlight. Instead, his is firmly rooted in pragmatism. It is a ethos that is revealed as he of his family as just any ordinary enjoying time together, or he mentions that his motto – one has stood in firm stead – is to worrying about things he cannot change.


How, does he address challenges?

“I a clear direction, without too strongly on an inflexible end result, harness the team’s efforts to the problem,” Van Zyl answers. What is here is that they the benefits of the action for themselves as as for the organisation – you will seldom true collaboration without buy in. This is why Van Zyl believes in leading the front and generating consensus, consolidating collective effort. leadership,” he says, “is about a long-term view rather solving short-term problems. about imparting skills make it possible for your to do the job even better than you

These are lessons that Van Zyl has along a journey that a stint in academia, before Toyota in 1993. His appointment as CEO nine years later, a post to managing director: (SA) Marketing. It has been a journey, he says: his work in the field taught him discipline, and the habit of assessing facts jumping to conclusions. It has also him the opportunity to work alongside like Brand Pretorius, Wessels and Professor Deon de – but, while Van Zyl has been influenced by their examples, he has desired to emulate anyone

Not even during difficult

“I don’t revisit challenges. something’s finished, it’s – you have to learn from the and move forward. It doesn’t to worry about missed or mistakes – the best you can do is recognise the next time around, and use you’ve learnt from the

This lack of whimsy has Van Zyl tackle the greatest obstacles of his including, in 2002, the passing of beloved CEO as well as the entry of South Africa into the market in 2005, with the of the Hilux. “This was the first we realised what it would to be globally competitive,” he explained, that his team addressed the by formulating a clear, five-year devising specific targets it, and communicating every aspect of the throughout the organisation.

Global competitiveness remains a Van Zyl keeps a close watch on, “There’s no escaping the fact as part of the global supply of Toyota and a producer of models for the domestic and export markets, we in a global environment.” On the positive this presents a wealth of for the company – but it also means standards must remain high. “If cars produced in Africa are not globally competitive, no reason to maintain a manufacturing here,” he points out.

Toyota SA

Not Van Zyl is concerned about the company’s to uphold international standards. He that South Africa is a possessing great strengths and resources, the most exciting of is, undoubtedly, its people. That he is equally firm about the that unemployment and poverty are blocks standing in the way of economic The answer lies in education – and specifically, in cultivating an entrepreneurial which lays the foundation for

In fact, Van Zyl thinks that the is right for a change in the way businesses leadership. “The days of leadership are over,” he says. leaders add little value, and is short-lived. To be sustainable, leadership be rooted in facts and delivery.”

to this is the issue of compensation: remuneration is no longer realistic, and the environment would benefit if structures were reviewed.

this outlook, it is not surprising Van Zyl takes an uncompromising stance it comes to governance. The Board, he must function as the governing for an organisation, representing all shareholders and guidance where necessary. On the hand, CEOs shouldn’t for their instruction; rather, should be decided jointly. the Board should act as a repository for and experience; directors should be an voice that’s not afraid to criticism and has no interest in progressing the organisation’s hierarchy.” Excellent starts with selecting the best directors – but then in an organisation with a solid this will occur as a process.

Van Zyl may take a stern view on how should be conducted, but that not mean that he is unable to see the side. Humour helps dealing with tough after all, and one has to maintain he insists, reiterating that issues just are not worth about. So, how does he get perspective? He at things from a different – quite literally: “I love helicopters – and I’ve found quite difficult to think anything else when in the sky!” he quips. Other loves include reading (“I a stack of books in my cupboard, so I’ve finished one I just the next one off the top”), sport, and as may be “tinkering with cars, or with my hands”.

He is the first to admit that he not always get the work/life balance right, but his family helps. understand my responsibilities, and they realise that business is – and they’re a constant reminder life is too precious to be taken too

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