In brief: Graham Turner

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Flight Centre Limited (FCL) founder and managing director, Graham Turner, shares his insights on growing a successful business.

The key ingredient contributing to the success of the company is…

"A simple and effective retail business model that is replicable, simple with a lean structure and the right people to make it successful."

My advice to others striving for success in business is…

"To learn quickly from your mistakes. Don't make the same mistake more than three or four times. Don't take excuses for poor performance and results, be persistent and get the right people in the right jobs."

Vital advice given to me was from…

"My early partners and senior leaders. My FCL partner Geoff Harris always emphasised that we need to look after our people and motivate them."

Looking back I remember...

"Our early business partnerships were generally great fun – most of the time – as we were partners and friends. We learned from each other to be egalitarian and enjoy what we did with our people. There was no ‘them’ versus ‘us’ ever."

My motivation comes from… 

"The challenge of having a successful and growing and diversifying geography and types of business."

In the future we will be…

"Using our business model to get into similar retail and service fields will be exciting and successful if we are true to our model and our people." 

The greatest challenges are…

"Handling our diversity and size in a marketplace that is changing rapidly."

To me being a leader means…

"Choosing the right people to run the businesses and the disciplines within the business. Working with them effectively, having fun with them, challenging them and trying to help them grow into more effective and successful business people."

The leaders I admire are…

"Michael Chaney, Nelson Mandela, Gerry Harvey and Warren Buffett."

Growing a business isn’t tough if… 

"That’s what you and your key people want to do. I could not run or be seriously involved in a business if it was not growing in several different ways."

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