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Shaun Bonétt on leadership and actioning your values

As a judge at The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards, Shaun Bonétt, the CEO and Managing Director of Precision Group, believes that being a leader is about not just speaking your values – but actioning them.

Leadership takes many forms, but Precision Group CEO and Managing Director Shaun Bonétt believes the most effective method is servitude as opposed to commanding others.

“It’s about behaviour,” he says. “Standout leaders ask, ‘how can I help?’ They see their role as a ‘chief helper’ in the organisation.”

A member of The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards judging panel for 2022, the property billionaire and Executive Chair of eGift card sensation Prezzee says recognising extraordinary leadership raises the bar across the board, no matter the style.

“Standout leaders understand that their brand and currency are derived from how they’re perceived by the people around them,” he says. “Appreciation and recognition are powerful motivators, and lead to an increase in performance, productivity, morale, employee retention and overall satisfaction.”

Bonétt is a champion of advocacy and philanthropy, never afraid to let his actions do the talking. “Standout leaders do more than speak about their values,” he says. “They demonstrate them in their actions. They stand out among their peers.”

And through his own benevolent work, Bonétt does just that. He holds key roles in several major organisations including Co-Founder of Heartfelt Foundation, Deputy Chair of Life Education Australia, Non-Executive Director and Patron of the Prince’s Trust and President’s Council Member of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

“I’m a firm believer in the idea that treating others as you would be treated yourself can allow you to find solutions from all perspectives,” he says. “When I deal with other people, I do my best by them. It’s this approach that’s contributed to creating trust in Precision Group and the Prezzee brand, and there’s nothing more valuable than knowing that someone will do what they promise.”

This side of his business profile, combined with his thoughtful and open-minded approach to leadership, make Bonétt an ideal judge for this year’s Awards.

“I take the time to intrinsically understand what’s required to inspire and motivate people to create high functioning teams,” he says. “I’m open to unorthodox ideas and reward innovation.”

“Entering as prestigious an awards program as the Executive of the Year Awards positions personal and business brands as industry leaders in the eyes of customers, prospects and other stakeholders. It helps you stand out from the competition.”

The Executive of the Year Awards are brimming with both. In recognising extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated outstanding achievement for their organisations and contributions to others, the event is a hotbed of inspiration and motivation – even for judges.

“Being a judge gives me exposure to fresh ideas and networking opportunities,” Bonétt says. “We process so much content on a daily basis that we rarely evaluate or critique it properly. The judging process really sharpens up your ability to critique something and to truly consume it.”

It’s the kind of methodical approach Bonétt says the best leaders put into practice day-to-day. “They believe that remarkable performance doesn’t happen overnight; rather it’s the result of many small successes over time,” he says. “They set expectations but also accept imperfect results as a basis for coaching and improvement. Acceptance, not expectation; little things, not a silver bullet.”

Although both Precision Group and Prezzee have enjoyed success on a grand scale, Bonétt says their true competitive advantage is its people and culture. “We have a unique ability to build enduring relationships by being professional, living company values, collaborating well and being solutions focused.”

“I take the time to intrinsically understand what’s required to inspire and motivate people to create high functioning teams. I’m open to unorthodox ideas and reward innovation.”

By associating with national business accolades such as the Executive of the Year Awards, Bonétt believes a company can showcase that advantage and elevate its standing within the industry.

And while victory on the night will raise winners’ profiles even further, Bonétt says there’s more to it than that. “Winning is not in how many successes you have, it’s in never giving up, in staying loyal to your values and by adding meaning to your relationships,” he says.

“Leadership is about passion, not logic. The emotional energy to achieve dominates a leader’s intellectual conclusion of what a solution looks like.”

Taking home an Executive of the Year Award will also act as a boost to the teams working hard to support their leaders every day, he adds. “Success is enabled by a people-centric approach to employee engagement. Thriving, high-performance cultures empower individuals to take joint ownership of prosperity and development which ultimately leads to sustained business success.”

As for what his own takeaway from the judging experience will be, Bonétt says he’s keen to learn a few new things.

“It feels good to be involved with something that rewards great work, raises the standard and acts as a beacon and a road map for future work,” he says.

“You can learn a lot in a very short period and create some genuine goodwill by helping to improve the business environment. Karma and serendipity are alive and well.”

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