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Interviews
Faculty Focus: Maarten Ackerman

This week we focus on Maarten Ackerman, Chief Economist and Advisory Partner at Citadel Investment Services, and new faculty member at USB-ED. Maarten has his finger firmly on the pulse of economic developments, both domestically and globally. We asked him the following questions:

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What is the toughest leadership challenge businesses face today?

"I think the toughest leadership challenge is to do the right thing in a performance-driven environment – something called "Conscious Capitalism". Leadership should be holistic and not just about the next earnings report. Business leaders should lead their own businesses and also the markets they operate in. They should lead the ethics around their industries. It is not just about making a profit but leaving a future and a legacy."

What attracted you to USB-ED to become one of our hand-picked faculty members?

"Warren Buffett said that you should always work with smarter people than yourself because that is how you learn. I am honoured to have such an opportunity to work with USB-ED – a world class and renowned institution."

Do you have a mantra or slogan that you live by?

"Keep it simple, one day at a time."

It is only with time, age and experience that we realise we are creating our own stress, issues and worries by complicating most things. Life is actually very simple, especially if you live it in every moment. Don't get stuck in the past or over-plan the future. Be here now."

What career advice would you give yourself looking back to when you started out?

"Learn as much as you can over a diverse spectrum. You can't buy, teach or learn experience – you need to experience it. Make sure that you bank the experience and not just the highest possible payslip."

What are you reading at the moment?

"Making Africa Work: A Handbook, by Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst, Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickie Davis."

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