Charlene Deacon has 20 years experience in the Electronic media, having risen through the ranks from radio presenter to Managing Director. She transformed a loss-making Kaya FM into a R75m per annum business and the 2nd biggest radio station in Gauteng between 2000 and 2008.

Her achievements have been acknowledged by a range of awards, including being ranked amongst The Media’s ‘Ten Most Remarkable Women in Business’ in 2004; and receiving the Talent Management award from the Black Management Forum in 2005. During her multifaceted career Charlene has amassed a wealth of strategic and policy knowledge of the South African corporate and especially media landscape and of the predominantly Black urban market, underpinned by hands-on technical and operational experience. This, coupled with her passion for empowering others, places her in an ideal position to assist companies and CEO’s from across the business spectrum who wish to ride the wave of transformation and development in South Africa.

Here are some of Charlene’s thoughts on leadership from different speeches and pieces that she has written over the years:

Return on investment – in business as much as elsewhere in life – is critically based on people-driven goals, goals that are framed by clear and certain parameters which empower others to exercise their intelligence and creativity, grow their skills and ultimately their worth.

A single leadership style can never suffice for all situations. An excellent leader has the ability to assess different individual characters and needs and apply various strategies in order to grow and care for others. Besides having the technical know-how of running a business, they must be able to assimilate information, view situations from both a macro and a micro perspective and make informed decisions. A leader needs to be simultaneously humble, caring, bold and assertive; but a leader’s most valuable skill is the ability, and the willingness, to listen.

Growing and caring for people is not a soft option; it is the hardest option. There are times when consultation is unnecessary, but most of the time it pays to enable individuals to realise their own power.

One of the biggest challenges in the workplace today is developing a sensible work ethic, one which fosters a dynamic balance between individual autonomy and company productivity, and which ensures the optimum utilisation of skills without undermining personal lives.

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