“There are days when I feel as if I’m the only person in the change room.”

 

Paul O’Flaherty is a leader worth listening to

We’ve got a great chat coming up in the next issue. It’s with Paul O’Flaherty, chief executive of ArcelorMittal South Africa, the largest steel producer on the continent. Our very own Dr Liz Mellon met O’Flaherty – and learned of the gigantic challenges he is facing in what is an extremely difficult sector.

Put simply, steel is struggling because the world produces more steel than it needs – capacity is too high and, thus, margins too low. But it’s a major employer worldwide, so governments are understandably reluctant to allow it to wind back to a more sustainable level.

O’Flaherty struck me with three things: first, the clear and honest nature of his analysis, second, his absolute determination to turn AMSA around in the face of adversity and inertia and, third, his eloquence.

Many leaders will recognize the feeling of being isolated when trying to push through a business transformation, yet few would be as succinct as O’Flaherty in describing that emotion. “There are days when I feel as if I’m the only person in the change room,” he tells Dialogue.

Watch out for our December issue of the journal for the full interview.

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