Success Stories

Leadership takes courage, says exec

Kumul Hotels Group executive John Cholai said the high-level training offered through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct had given him the “guts” to demand greater accountability from his team.

Mr Cholai, a Kumul Hotels board member and strong supporter of women executives, said he saw his role in a completely new light since attending a recent company directors’ course.

“I was going through the financials yesterday, I also had my board papers (from) a meeting last month beside me to compare and look at the numbers,” he said. “It all started to make a lot more sense.”

JohCholai Kumul, Hotels Group

“You must be able to see these things and you must have the guts to question, probe, and find out.” John Cholai
Kumul Hotels Group

Mr Cholai said in the past, directors had taken a more casual approach to examining the company’s affairs and failed to ask important questions.

“Sometimes we think, ‘I’ll wait until the board meeting and then will deal with this’. “No, no it’s the company’s life. It’s working. It’s every day. If you don’t deal with it now it will fester and it might become worse before the next board meeting in three months. You must be able to see if there is no governance issue, if there is a conflict of interest,” he said.

Mr Cholai, a 30-year veteran of the public sector, said PNG was at a turning point and everyone had to play their part in the nation’s next phase of its development.

“It starts with every one of us,” he said. “It requires a bit of courage. It requires you to be forthright. It requires you to make a stand. But that’s what leadership is about.”