Martin Heffron comes across as the type of person who is more comfortable in achieving success, rather than talking about it. He has been working in the superannuation and financial planning industries since 1988 and with his wife Meg, has now built a successful national business focused on self-managed super funds.
He has a clear vision and is driven to share that vision with his staff and team through his three key concepts of clarity, climate and competence.
Martin is a coach, a delegator and says he is a right-brain thinker and leader.
For a snapshot of our audio interview with Martin Heffron, please view the above video.
TO READ THE EDITED INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE SEE BELOW.
- As a business owner, what are your priorities when it comes to leadership from members of your team?
I think the important thing is that the members of the leadership team believe in the vision of the organisation, they understand why the organisation exists and what it is trying to do for all its stakeholders.
I want the leaders to embody the values. I want them to do their work from a values perspective rather than a task perspective.
I see my job as being the person who sets the scene for that. My role is to formulate the vision and provide the environment and the context within which the leadership team can do their stuff.
- What leadership style do you use?
I’m a coach, I’m a delegator, I’m a right-brain leader – I’m more of a conceptual and emotional person, rather than a logical left-brain person.
I believe in providing the environment for the staff within this organisation to achieve their potential and be capable of doing as much as they want to do in delivering their own potential.
I listen, I’m pretty open to other ideas and I’m not directive.
- Throughout your career have you witnessed any leadership traits that struck you as particularly effective (or ineffective)?
Nelson Mandela is the ideal leader.
What he did was the most amazing change management exercise in the history of mankind. He is one of my idols, for me he was about listening, openness, forgiveness, sacrifice and calm.
There’s a good quote from a Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, whereby he said “the people only know that they exist ‚Ä¶ but of the best when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people all remark, ”We have done it ourselves.” That’s a good way of summing up what I’ve trying to do here.
- How do you define the difference between a Manager and a Leader?
In the perfect world, if leadership were done correctly, you wouldn’t need any management.
I talk about something called the three C’s ‚Äì clarity, climate and competence. My role is to provide that – where are we going, what do we need in order to get there, and the competence to use those resources
Management is filling in the gaps.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
Now I don’t know him extremely well, but Alex Abrahams from Pacific Smiles.
What I do admire about him is that he’s taken a regional organisation onto the national stage, in an unusual and interesting way.
Dentistry doesn’t lend itself intuitively to that kind of franchise operation, so it’s an interesting idea and he’s obviously done it very successfully.
So he’s been able to leader that organisation and find people to help him self-actualize his idea.
Obviously in a financially successfully way, but also in a way that provides great service to customers and create an environment in which all his staff seem to enjoy working.