Hollard Insurance: Nic Kohler

Hollard Insurance: Nic Kohler

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You took up your position in 2008. What were your goals and how much progress have you made?
My first goal was to ensure that our people, partners and customers remained confident in our ability to deliver based on a strong legacy and track record. From there, our aim was to become a globally relevant insurance business. To achieve this we need to build on our traditional strengths – partnership and innovation.

What sets your organisation apart?
I’m committed to ensuring that Hollard becomes a catalyst for positive and enduring change, and we’re making good progress with our focus on orphans and vulnerable children through the Hollard Foundation. Over 25% of Hollardites are volunteers on our community projects. Of course, none of this is possible without the very best people so I aim to ensure we continue to be placed among the top 10 Best Companies to Work For, as we have done for the past six years.

What are you most proud of having achieved?
Helping to build an organisation that is commercially successful and socially relevant – to quote Dr Martin Luther King, an organisation that has “a tough mind and a tender heart”.

What do you think is the mark of a good leader?
Someone who creates the space for others to be successful and fulfilled, and leaves an enduring legacy greater than themselves.

What is the key to getting the most out of people in business?
Providing them with a compelling vision, and then giving them the space to express themselves. That’s what empowers people. It is also important to understand and respond to the unique way in which each individual is motivated.

What is the most humbling experience you’ve had in your career?
Standing in for the receptionist for a morning and feeling overwhelmed when confronted by an aggressive client. Never forget the reality of the coalface!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Take what you do seriously, but not yourself.

What gets you up every morning?
Knowing that I make a difference.

Juliet Pitman
Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.