For Arrigo Group CEO Kurt Cachia, at the very top of the list of qualities one needs to make a good CEO is integrity. “Being honest and having strong moral principles should always be the backbone of any person, no matter where they are in the hierarchy,” he says.
Alongside that, he adds the ability to listen and the courage to take timely action.
“It is not just the people around you that you need to listen to, but also to the trends of the direct and indirect market, as well as people’s ever-changing lifestyle, and the constant improvements in technology,” the CEO notes, affirming that being well informed allows you the ability to evaluate the probable outcome of current and future events. And, in so doing, one can be proactive in order to stay ahead of the game.
Having joined one of the island’s largest DMC and MICE companies as Financial Controller back in 2000, Kurt climbed the ranks to become General Manager and finally Chief Executive. But what led him there?
Kurt credits “the inability to accept defeat and being such a competitive person together with the desire to learn and be creative” as his driving force along his career trajectory.
The CEO admits that opposition and challenges from people and circumstances alike come with the territory, but your approach when faced with these scenarios is what makes all the difference. “Along the way you will fail and fall many times, but it is the ability to get back up quickly, dust yourself off and move on that will ultimately determine anyone’s achievements,” he maintains.
Life cannot be predicted, Kurt says, and one of the main lessons he’s learned as CEO is to always expect the unexpected. All we can do is the best we can within the limits of our capabilities, and one would do well to remember that the outcome of any event is never completely in our hands.
Drawing on the current situation with the pandemic as a case in point, he notes “no one expected COVID-19 to destroy the lifestyle and plans of so many people no matter how well prepared and planned they were. COVID-19 has been a completely humbling experience and I only hope that most people have learnt something very important from this.”
“There is no such thing as an eight-hour workday if you are an aspiring leader – you will need to be the first one in and the last one out,” the CEO shares as his top piece of advice, admitting that often, it means working till the early hours of the next day.
“Ultimately, to lead is to serve, and if you wish to be first then you need to come last. Having said all that, the best advice is to not wait to become a leader but be the person you wish to be today. Enjoy the moment as each day is a gift. It is common knowledge that life is a journey and not a destination,” he concludes.
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