The 2018 Food Lover’s Market Young Leaders Conference (YLC) took place on 6 & 7 November in the Western Cape and it proved to be the most impactful event of the year. It was held to stimulate the development and potential of young leaders in the organisation by acting as a catalyst for their development from young leaders to effective, impactful and values-led senior leaders.
Food Lover’s Market is filled with exceptional senior leaders – leaders with very strong entrepreneurial experience who have spent many years building the business and developing teams – however, we need to train our future leaders now so that we have a talent pipeline in place to lead the business going forward.
Participants of the YLC sp
ent two days providing insights and recommendations of their own in terms of the future direction of the business, with a focus on the existing five-year strategy. They worked through the current challenges and opportunities facing the organisation and developed practical solutions and work streams to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate risks. This was preceded by five weeks of intensive group work where participants worked through a variety of topics from competitor analysis to leadership.
As ambassadors of our values and brand, they learned to equip themselves to work with leaders and lead others through change; and having formed a peer-led learning community, they will forge links across a variety of business units for the greater good of the group. One of the many highlights was hearing from the senior leadership during a discussion with Brian and his team recounting 25 years of entrepreneurship, hard work and needless to say, fun!
According to Tania Vazirgiantzikis, Financial Reporting Manager, who attended the YLC, “I learned that despite the organisation trading in a tough economic environment, we have a great brand and a solid base. We have a very knowledgeable and experienced senior leadership team and a very enthusiastic team of young leaders who are ready to take on the future of retail trading. There are many opportunities that can take the business forward, we just have to focus our energies on the correct strategies”.
She says that working in groups and being able to work with different leaders within the business has helped her to experience different types of leadership styles and how it affects the outcomes of end goals. “This experience has given me direction in terms of the type of leader I would like to be. I really enjoyed the opportunity to network with all the different divisions and departments within the organisation and build relationships with everyone that was part of the programme,” Tania adds.