A recent interview with Leading Company “Apple picking days: Flight Centre’s Graham Turner on his path to leadership” Source: Leading Company

m_m_graham-turner-flight-centre“The people around me all believed, and we were in the right place at the right time, and we were all really focused on us growing and becoming a large operation. We were pretty ambitious.”

While some people are content running a small business, Turner always had bigger plans. Flight Centre is now in 11 countries and is led by a team of 12 key people.

“I can’t run it all from here… Now I’m really just there as a bit of a figure head.”
Before being a leader, Turner says you have to “really think about it”.

“A lot of people aspire to leadership without thinking about it much. Some people have the genes to want to lead and have the ability to lead a business, but generally the majority of people weren’t meant to lead.

“You can learn to become better at your strengths and lessen your weaknesses, but that’s really a learning experience over a long period of time. If leadership is stressful for you, then it’s probably not something you should be doing.”

Click here to view the article.

Peter Wataman – 5 minutes with Skroo…

WatamanMy series of Q&As with Flight Centre’s Senior Leaders continues…

How long have you been with Flight Centre?
Nine years

What is your current role?
Chief Information Officer

Could you tell me about your Flight Centre journey? How did you come to work for the company and how did you progress through the ranks?
I was appointed as Flight Centre’s IT Leader in 2004. At that time, technology was very much buried as a back-end business. It was a difficult role because the perception of technology within the company was that it was a necessary evil. Existing systems didn’t work the way they needed to, and it was clear there was no inspiration. We needed to transform IT into a key enabler for the business, and change the negative perceptions.

Flight Centre RSA awarded the Best Medium Sized Company to Work For and The Best Company to work for in the Tourism sector.

TrophyJanine Salame, Managing Director Flight Centre South Africa writes ”Wow. We are truly humbled and proud of our entire family in Flight Centre South Africa. It was announced today at the Deloittes Awards Ceremony that we are officially the Best Medium Sized Company to Work for in South Africa as well as The Best Company to work for in the Tourism sector.”

Janine attributes this award to: “For the past 2 years we have been really driving the following mantra:

“Our Customers love what we do and Our People do what they love”

We continue to keep our ear on the ground and as a Swot team we are dedicated to develop, deploy and discipline the right strategies that will growth the business and grow our people.
We stick to the basic fundamentals of the Flight Centre business model and we committed to keep it consistent month on month: Buzz nights, Staff conference’s, Planning days and our 101′s and communication platforms.

Our open door policy suites us well and our staff can address any Swot member at any time.
We are confident that we have the right incentives and recognition platforms to drive the right behaviour within all our Brands.

We are also focused on the Right people in the right roles within the entire organisation. And our new recruits are recruited on the bases of culture fit, sales potential and natural progression of growth.

Our recruiters clearly understand the brands they recruit for and have a great understanding of the Flight Centre culture and drivers within the organisation.

We have a Swot team who are fully dedicated to the development of our people and we run different leadership sessions, of which each executive is involved in sharing and developing the talent within the organisation.”

Update from a recent trip to the Republic of South Africa

RSA store

New Hyde Park Shopping Centre Store

Chris Galanty from the UK, CFO Andrew Flannery and I visited RSA Head Office, Hyde Park shop and the Sandton Shopping Centre in South Africa last week. We were hosted by the Flight Centre Limited Managing Director, Janine Salame. My general impression is one of good feelings, good morale and a generally high level of competency. A very experienced senior team, well lead and getting good results in Rand.

One major and quite pleasing difference from my last visit is that our People are now 26% African compared with maybe 1% some years ago and this % is rising fast. The major secret seems to be an African recruiter who can recruit successfully not only for sales and business success but also for cultural alignment with our company.


News: Flight Centre Name Change

Following a change in its board of directors, Flight Centre has announced plans to change its Flight-Centrename.

Flight Centre will become Flight Centre Travel Group in order to highlight diversity and growth in corporate travel and niche leisure travel sectors, the company said in a statement to the ASX.

Flight Centre Limited is the parent company to over 30 different brands.

Read more at: http://australia.etbnews.com/157961/flight-centre-name-change/

Five minutes with Skroo – Michael Murphy

My series of Q&As with Flight Centre’s Executive Taskforce continues…

Michael Murphy, Emerging Business Leader

Michael Murphy
How long have you been with Flight Centre?

17 years

Tell me about your Flight Centre journey.

I started at the Chermside Flight Centre store in Brisbane in 1996 and then went to Vancouver, Canada for 6 years with the company. My beautiful wife made me apply for the job because I was at home too much during a mid-career hiatus. I was spending too much time watching rugby, sleeping in and partying. She works at Royal Brisbane Hospital and was treating a Flight Centre Team Leader who had broken her leg in Greece. They got chatting about FCL and what a great company it was. The Team leader said I should apply, as FCL look for people with no experience or talent……so I applied and for some reason they hired me. Read More >>

Five minutes with Skroo….

Read on to get the low-down from my Executive Taskforce about what makes Flight Centre tick…cbowman

Colin Bowman, Executive General Manager of Global Marketing

How long have you been with Flight Centre?

I’m just about to celebrate 9 years with the company.

What was your professional background before coming on board with Flight Centre?

I’ve had a variety of marketing roles with some of Australia’s most iconic brands, including Kraft, Décor and Ansett. I also worked as a management consultant for many years with Andersen Consulting, PwC and BDO. I’ve been lucky enough to work in many industries including pharmaceuticals, retail, manufacturing and publishing.


Even GFC clouds have a silver lining…

gfcMention the GFC and what springs to mind? Friends and family losing their jobs, government austerity and household belt-tightening? You wouldn’t be alone there. But for one Flight Centre Executive, he looks back on the GFC and sees it as an invaluable learning experience, one that has had a huge impact on his career.

Andrew Flannery has been a Flight Centre employee for 10 years. He was just two months into the role of acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) when the GFC hit. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end.

Here’s what he had to say about his experience weathering the GFC storm:

“It was definitely a baptism of fire and I made plenty of mistakes. But I believe I had five years of learning packed into one. I’m a much better CFO for having gone through it.


Flight Centre Takes Off With New Brisbane Hyperstore

FLIGHT Centre is expanding its retail network, with the company’s largest Australian store set to open in the heart of Brisbane.


The company, which has just revealed record profit and sales results for 2012/13,

has announced plans to bolster its normal shop growth by opening a flagship location in the city’s Queen Street Mall this September.

The flagship 114 Queen Street store, known internally as a hyperstore, has been secured on a five-year lease and will be the second of its kind in Australia.

Flight Centre’s first Australian hyperstore opened in Perth’s Hay Street Mall last year.

Flight Centre Australia executive general manager Tom Walley said the new Queen Street hyperstore would eventually house up to 70 sales consultants spread across a total footprint of 580 square metres, making it 10-12 times the size of a standalone Flight Centre retail store.


Family, Village, Tribe – The Evolution of Flight Centre – Updated.

On the 1st of July we released an updated version of the Flight Centre story. For more information please visit: http://www.familyvillagetribe.com/

Book Summary:Book Cover

How Stone Age strategies turned a single store into a billion-dollar global corporation.

From its origins as a London-based double-decker tour outfit in 1973, Flight Centre Limited (FCL) has morphed from a single retail store into a multi-billion dollar publicly-listed global company. It revolutionised the Australian travel industry, only to have to then face conflicts such as the Gulf War, September 11, SARS, and the War On Terror – all of which wreaked havoc in travel and tourism worldwide.