The Boss of the Year 2012 is Kobus Lindeque, Area Director for Monsanto Africa announced at a gala lunch held at Montecasino Ballroom on 16 October, National Bosses Day.
Described by employees and his nominator corporate communication manager Magda du Toit, as a natural leader, all who have worked with him say that their relationship with him has been inspiring, a growth experience and deeply meaningful.
Magda says: "Kobus leads the Monsanto Africa business and all its employees by example. His laughter, humble nature and respect for everyone and everything around him, gains him loyalty and commitment from anyone that he provides leadership to."
Kobus started his career at the Centre of Biotechnology at the Agricultural Research Council at Roodeplaat in 1982 as Researcher. In 1992, he joined the Colibre Laboratories and Fuchsia farm an later in that same year moved to the Carnia Seed Company as an agronomist.
He later became the Marketing Manager, Africa for Carnia. In 1999, Monsanto bought Carnia and Kobus became the Product Development Manager Africa for Monsanto and was appointed Area Director, Sub Saharan Africa for Monsanto in 2001. In 2009, he became Area Lead Monsanto Africa.
Kobus was elected as Chairman of Sansor in 2004 and acted in that capacity for four years. In 2005, he received the prestigious award: Agriculturist of the Year from the Agricultural Writers SA for his contribution towards the agricultural sector. In 2006, he was elected President of Crop Life SA.
Du Toit says Kobus provides excellent direction to the company and inspires goals for the employees, but he does not only lead people:
"He leads development, careers and individual lives. Most of all, he does not see his position as a right to influence others but as a privilege.
"He believes in putting long-term strategies forward and engaging the company in setting these strategies. Most of all, his passion for the company, agricultural in general and people have the greatest impact on employees."
Even though he has a full programme, Kobus is always prepared to set time aside for conversations with employees: "He will make time to discuss difficulties or even family issues. All his actions speak of integrity and truthfulness and combining this with his people and business knowledge, it is easy to see why people value his opinion."
Kobus himself days: "Basically I think that one of the most important characteristics of a leader is to influence people. First of all you need to inspire people; you need to engage them; you need to help others achieve their goals and then you need to empower people to achieve whatever goal or whatever storm you need to face together.... to give the people that empowerment so that they face the storm with you."
He believes team work is the route to success: "I've really noticed that the moment you get teams working together that is an extremely powerful tool and it creates such a positive energy within a company when teams achieve successes and they are so ready for the next challenge. So for me what is very important is developing your people to work in teams in big companies."
But Kobus' greatest asset must be his genuine humility and desire to learn from others: "Working for a large company like this, especially when you start knowing your people, you can very quickly tap into people and say right, we've got an issue here - I need your expertise and your help. Sometimes I say to people not to try to be a hero when there are a thousand other heroes around you - use them all."
Apart from the honour of being rated amongst the best bosses in South Africa, the recipient of the award and his/her nominator, as well as all the finalists and their nominators will receive prizes from an A-list of sponsors, including the Patron - MTN SA Foundation, Aramis Designer Fragrances, Air Mauritius, Arthur Kaplan Jewellers, The Blue Train, Die Kunshuis Clanwilliam, Europcar, Sheaffer and World Leisure Holidays.