On Friday (22nd February) Jim Boult, CEO of Christchurch International Airport Ltd, spoke to new students at Lincoln University as they embark on their Bachelor of Commerce programme.
Mr Boult’s talk is the first of a series of inspirational speakers for the year and he was invited by Dr Anthony Brien, Senior Lecturer in Business Management.
“Each year the Faculty of Commerce at Lincoln University brings in a number of senior business CEO’s to talk to the students. It is an invaluable part of the teaching programme as it gives the students exposure to the happenings, successes and challenges in the commercial world and a first-hand account of real issues. We finished the series last year with Rob Fyfe from Air New Zealand and we were very pleased to be able to secure Jim Boult to start the 2013 speaker series” says Dr Brien.
“Jim is a senior and highly respected New Zealand CEO and has headed up CIAL for the past six years. He also has various board appointments and other business interests as well as involvement in community organisations. As such he was able to give the students an insight into the busy but balanced life of a business leader in New Zealand, as well as the activities of the airport”.
In his address, Mr Boult gave students an outline of the CIAL business model and the part the airport plays in the wider commercial environment, and some thoughts on leadership in the business community and the lessons he has personally learnt along the way.
In sharing his personal experiences, Jim was able to relate to the students and to illustrate how they can follow their chosen pathway into business and that anything is possible. “It’s important, I believe, never to underestimate where life might take you. My son, who’s about your age, recently said to me in one of his more thoughtful moments “You know Dad, you haven’t done too bad for the son of a tailor from Invercargill”. The point he was making, I think, is that your future will be what you make it. The outcome of your life is entirely in your hands. We live in a country that truly does have equal opportunity for anyone who wants to make a go of life. So your future and what that may bring you, is entirely up to you”.
As Mr Boult touched on leadership and the qualities of a leader, he used one of Lincoln University’s famous alumni to illustrate his point: “(Richie McCaw) is real. He can talk to anyone. He’s patient and polite to the many fans who stop him anytime and anywhere. ….his leadership is grounded in his core belief in himself and his team, to, as he puts it, “do the job.” Richie has the ability to do what’s needed when it’s needed, without thought of personal cost.
“Richie is much more than a sportsman - he is a leader who demonstrates by example; who allows millions of others to invest in his dream; and who fronts up to critically analyse the results. And what stunning results he notched up”.
Mr Boult was very open in sharing his own failures as well as his successes, saying “You need a few failures on the way to success. The point to learn from failures is not to repeat them”.
By outlining the lessons he has learnt during his career, he was able to portray the inevitable downs as well as the ups of life in business while still inspiring the group of first year students about their chosen course of study and the ‘adventure’ that their life could be as a result.