Engaged leaders with a clear sense of their role and how it shapes company culture are best equipped to guide their organisations through transformative times.

It’s no secret that leadership can have a make-or-break impact on an organisation’s success. Ensuring that the impact is positive requires more investigation and ideally the help of experience-based insights.

In fact, good leadership is itself a form of expertise. While distinct from technical specialisations or other skills required to carry out discrete functions within an organisation, it can, like them, be taught and, with practice, mastered. But first, it’s important to understand the dynamics of leadership. A good leader doesn’t sit in the stands or watch from the shore. Instead, they understand their role perhaps as the team trainer or ship’s captain—not the one scoring goals or navigating the course, but the person actively coordinating the players or crew in order to get the job done.

Of course, it’s impossible to coordinate effectively from a distance or without all the relevant information. This means leaders depend on good communication and knowledge sharing throughout their organisation. And though they may not realise it instinctively, they are the ones responsible for keeping the flow of information moving. Their sustained presence is certainly essential here as well as how they themselves communicate: Questions or commands? Praise or blame? Feedback or open inquiry?

Craig Sproul, DEKRA

Having spent 16 years at sea in both Merchant and Royal Fleets, followed by a 15-year corporate career in various senior leadership positions centred around people and progress, has ensured that developing organisations and teams is in Craig’s DNA. His experience encompasses change management, organisational culture, building strategies and ensuring sustainable growth across all aspects of business.

Safety has always been at the forefront of his career, Craig’s success in driving safety initiatives is where his passion lays and why he now strives to change organisations one by one and lead them to achieve a zero-harm goal, turning organisations safety viewpoint into a state of mind rather than just a process.