Platform for Connected Leadership (PCL) focuses on clients in various industries that are serious about transformational leadership development as they need to realign their resource application in an intra- and post-pandemic changed world. Its current industries include retail, luxury goods, health and safety, government, oil and gas and alternative energies, travel and tourism, and tech. In light of company CEO, Marina van Zyl being recognised by CEO Monthly as CEO of the Year 2021 – the United Arab Emirates, we got in touch with her to learn more.
Platform for Connected Leadership aims to become a leading player in leadership development, driving learning from others, openness of mind and co-creating a richer, more sustainable world. PCL believes that everyone has a greatness in them and therefore follows a highly focused and concentrated learner-centric approach. Through inspiration and motivation, and by achieving a culture of connectedness, PCL enables leaders to supersede performance, and achieve greatness within.
Deriving a higher-level innovation, understanding and real-time learning, PCL creates an atmosphere where people are free to co-create through ideation. By optimising diversity in the room, boundaries are broken down and perspectives are shared and debated. That is what PCL does differently. It disrupts, and in the process, tries to make people not just better leaders, but better people.
Prior to becoming CEO of PCL, Marina van Zyl’s experience was primarily operational. She says, “As both the youngest founder and member of a very diverse team, I have had to learn to not just work cross-culturally, but also across generations of different thinking. I have learned that complexity is better served through diversity. The challenges that I face as the leader are not mine to face alone. I believe that my biggest opportunity so far has been to learn from my team and use these learnings to build a strong foundation for PCL.”
Marina is joined by a team that brings a unique blend of experience, each individual vital to the success of the organisation. The PCL culture is a positively competitive one as its people are best-in-class in their respective activities and fields of performance. As a partner, PCL is widely travelled, respected in the international arena, and has strong academic and industrial expertise, experience, and insight. As a team, its people support and challenge one another, learn from one another, and most of all, respect one another.
Marina spoke to us about how she goes about leading her team, “I have a pacesetter leadership style, setting high expectations for myself and those I work with. I drive digital transformation strongly and lead from the front as an action orientated person with a keen sense of a different futures world. I empower my team to succeed with my guidance, but not interference, taking responsibility and being accountable for decisions made and actions taken. My focus on digital transformation is what drives the strategy for PCL – a strategy that has us working towards an effective hybrid delivery approach, all coordinated to achieving our aim of being the ultimate connected leadership development platform of the future.”
Speaking about her own career, Marina said, “I do not view my current success as a steppingstone in a career, but rather as an embodiment of who I am and what I believe in. Apart from typical skills improvement initiatives through practice and theory, I intend to develop myself further by immersing myself even more in the culture of the region, which in itself offers such a great canvas of personal development and contribution.”
Regarding the future of PCL, Marina plans to optimise the diversity she has within her leadership team, being that of different experiential backgrounds, fields of expertise, and societal interactions. She said, “As a multi-cultural, gender-equal organisation, I plan to use our values of respecting diversity and our intent of learning from one another to keep on promoting a message of discovering your inner greatness as a leader into the region and beyond as we continue to enlarge our footprint globally.”