“We have to get confidence back… if we can get that confidence back, I think the sentiment will change and you’ll have people investing in gold equities again.”
I had the opportunity to sit down on a call with Stephen Letwin this week, President, CEO, and Director of IAMGOLD Corporation, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies. It was an enlightening interview, as Stephen shared a few leadership philosophies which have elevated him to the position of CEO of a multi-billion dollar global company.
Additional items discussed were challenges in the public mining industry resulting in growing CEO dismissals, operational changes and improvements at IAMGOLD, and strategy to reward shareholders for capital commitments.
Here are a few highlights from the interview (audio link available at bottom of page):
In regards to how public mining companies can attract stronger investment interest, Stephen said, “I think what we have to do as an industry, is we have to focus on not surprising the investors in a negative way. Nobody likes to wake up in the morning and find out a mine has been shut down and lose 10-15% of their investment value in the next hour. I think if anything, we really have to work hard on delivering what we say we’re going to deliver, and making sure that we’re not surprising people.” He further commented that, “We have to get confidence back Tekoa, and if we can get that confidence back, I think the sentiment will change and you’ll have people investing back into the gold equities again.”
In terms of how to reward shareholders in the current resource climate, Stephen said, “I’m a big believer that you can pay dividends, and increase dividends at the same time that you grow the company, and so I think we have to reinforce our commitment to give back to our shareholders and pay them for patience–and dividends are a good way to do that.”
With respect to employee empowerment and leadership, Stephen remarked, “I grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario, and my father was very good at empowerment. It all stems from understanding that when young people are going to take responsibility for things, mistakes are going to be made, but unless you give them the opportunity to make those mistakes—and again, we’re not talking about betting the farm kind of stakes, we’re talking about mistakes that are going to be made by anybody who learns how to do something. Unless you give people that opportunity, they’re never going to learn, and they’ve never going to grow.
This was an outstanding 12 minute interview which should be added to the libraries of future team builders & leaders, as well as market students and investors.
To listen to the interview, click the following MP3 link and/or save to to your desktop:
Interview is also available on YouTube
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PS – On September 27-28, 2012 in Toronto, Cambridge House is hosting the Toronto Resource Investment Conference at the Sheraton Hotel.
According to industry experts like Rick Rule, Doug Casey and Brent Cook, there are no better ways to find ideas and grow your network than at these conferences.
Please visit CambridgeHouse.com.