When Lionel van der Walt departed IATA CNS a couple of
years ago, our industry lost a great leader, although we got lucky
again right away, when Mike White stepped up to take the presidency. Mike
has carried forward admirably, assembling and hosting a huge Annual Partnership
Conference about to take off in Miami on May 5.
A very cool way to get it on Latino in Miami
and celebrate Cinco de Mayo, while networking with some old friends and
making new ones, we say. www.cnsc.net
But this is about Lionel who, after jumping
from CNS, assumed command of RCI, Inc., recently rebranded as the International
Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC), an international
nonprofit association of professionals who specialize in roofing, waterproofing,
and exterior wall specification and design.
Keeps Pulling Me Back
But guess what? Air cargo has also pulled
In addition to his duties at IIBEC, Mr.
van der Walt also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at fast
PayCargo CEO Eduardo Del Riego cited van
der Walt’s “passionate leadership and one-of-a-kind international
business acumen,” as factors in the decision to want Lionel on the
All About Relationships
But some things that Lionel had to say about
relationships caught our attention.
As we continue to gather at various points
around the world, Lionel van der Walt shares some words worth considering.
Air Cargo Is About People
“People are the most important resource
we have in a world of constant and fast-paced change.
“Helping them to grow, learn and be
successful means a lot to me, and in my experience, is an approach that
always leads to outstanding results.
“My philosophy is to encourage team
members and colleagues to be bold and always challenge the status quo.
“This naturally leads to taking calculated
risks, and failures at times.
“However, my experience has also been
that many short-term failures have led to long-term successes.
“So I support innovation and making
mistakes, as long as we make informed decisions, learn from those experiences,
and most importantly, not repeat the mistakes.
“One of the defining moments in my
career was when I completed my officer’s training in the South African
“Many of the principles I apply, both
at work and in my day-to-day life, were developed there.
“This included an affinity for character
traits such as integrity, team-work, loyalty, respect, self-discipline
and a strong results focus.
“But my background also includes some
intolerance though, as I do not abide deceit, selfish, self-centered behavior,
gossip and other similarly destructive behavior.
“At the start of my career, I considered
myself to be an operations manager. However, over time I realized that
my passion and strengths are strategy and general management.
Growth Ever Evolving
“I never thought of myself as a sales
person, but soon came to realize that almost every action in my day-to-day
activity is a sell, be it the sale of a product or service, or the selling
of my thoughts and ideas.”