Sharing your vision, empowering your team and never giving up - just some of the advice from business personalities on how to be a great leader.

The topic of leadership was under the spotlight at this morning's PwC Herald Talks, with keynote speaker Daniel Flynn from Thankyou Group opening the morning.

The company has made its name by donating 100 per cent of the profits from its retail sales to fund charitable projects in disadvantaged countries.

Eight and a half years on, with 55 staff and products in several industries, Thankyou Group still operates by its core beliefs - a lot of which is the belief that it can achieve its goals according to Flynn.


"We're fighting as a team to keep the naivety - the belief in the impossible and the 'what if'," Flynn said.

"Vision is one of the most important, powerful tools that leaders have - impossibility is only someone's opinion - not a fact."

For PwC chief executive Mark Averill, setting the right tone and direction for the business was critical to being a good leader, something he said started with articulating a clear vision.

"A good leader always has an eye firmly on the changing business landscape - they continually seek to catch the wave of change first," Averill said.

"This is critical - it's what keeps a business fit for the future."

Averill said good leadership was also about communicating expectations clearly and giving people space to get on with things, as well as celebrating and rewarding their success.

Empowering your team to be able to grow and develop was also important he said.

For agribusiness leader and company director Traci Houpapa, working to identify a common goal and then achieving it as a team was her definition of leadership.


Recognising diversity was also an important part of being a leader.

"Diversity is a real strength, so for me seeing the emerging Maori leadership coming through, and I'm talking about Maori millennials really, is so exciting because they are focused on what the vision is and what we're trying to achieve," Houpapa said.

"They want to know how what we do and what they do will affect communities, which I think is hugely exciting [as a leader]."

Nirvana Health co-founder Ranjna Patel said this was an important aspect of leadership, adding that in respecting diversity within your team was essential.

"In order to be successful, if you are not mindful of individual needs and values, you won't succeed - you're heading down a blind alley," Patel said.

"That's been our growth because we understand the client and their cultural lenses and needs."


Houpapa said her one piece of advice for leaders, and something she had stuck by, was to never give up and surround yourself with good people that support you.

The next PwC Herald Talks on Innovation will be held on May 10.