Luxury Bali Villas

Introduction to Bali

Bali is one of Indonesia’s 17,508 island’s. It is located in the western end of the Lesser Sunda Islands lying in between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Bali’s provincial capital is known as Denpasar and it is located towards the south of the island.

In 2010, the population was recorded as 3,891,000 people. The island is home to Indonesia’s Hindu minority. In the 2000 census, 92.29% of Bali’s population were Balinese Hindus while the rest were Muslims. Bali is also Indonesia’s largest tourist destination and is known for its various art forms which include traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworks and music.

With its varied landscapes of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches to its rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides, Bali always has something to offer for various types of tourists. Its picturesque sceneries together with its deep spiritual and unique culture stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth.

With its world class surfing and diving, historical and archeological attractions and a wide variety of accommodations, Bali is easily one of the most popular island destinations in the world. Bali has consistently won various tourism awards. This is echoed in the quote below:-

“The main asset of Bali tourism is the culture of Bali itself. Because of this, let us all work together to protect and preserve that which draws tourists to Bali.”

Minister of Culture and Tourism – I Gede Ardhika
A procession for a religious ceremony
A procession for a religious ceremony | Source
Regions in Bali

Bali has six regions which are:-

South Bali – This region consists of the Kuta, Bukit Peninsula, Canggu, Denpasar, Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak and Tanah Lot. This region is the most visited part of the island due to the fact that Denpasar International Airport is located in the region as well as Kuta Beach and Seminyak which are main tourist destinations.

Central Bali – This region consists of Ubud, Bedugul and Tabanan. This region is also known as the cultural hub of Bali. The central mountain range is also located in this region. The highest mountain in this region is Mount Batukaru.

West Bali – This region consists of Negara, Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach, Pemuteran and the West Bali National Park. It is in this location which have ferry trips to Java. For the eco-tourist, the West Bali National Park is located in this region as well.

North Bali – This region consists or Lovina and Singaraja. This region has quiet black beaches. The old capital city of Singaraja or “Lion King” is also located in this region. Singaraja was formerly the Dutch colonial administrative centre for Bali and the Lesser Sunda Islands until 1953. Gedong Kirtya which is located south of the town centre of Singaraja is the only library of lontar manuscripts which are ancient and sacred texts written on the leaves of the rontal palm. This the only library of such kind in the world.

East Bali – This region consists of Amed, Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Mount Agung, Padang Bai & Tirta Gangga. This region is a laid back coastal village flanked by an active volcano as well as the mighty Mount Agung.

Southeastern Islands – This region consists of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. This region is popular for its diving activities.
Mount Agung dominates the landscape of East Bali
Mount Agung dominates the landscape of East Bali | Source
Popular Cities in Bali

Some of the popular cities in Bali are:-

Denpasar – This city is the administratice centre as well as the transport hub for the island.
Candidasa – This is a quiet coastal town which is the gateway to the east coast.
Kuta – This is a surfer’s city and it the most heavily developed area in Bali. There are a lot of shopping centres to cater for the large number of tourist arrivals to this city. This is also the centre of Bali’s nightlife and party culture.
Jimbaran – This is a seaside resort which has nice sheltered beaches as well as seafood restaurants. Jimbaran is located to the south of Kuta.
Legian – This city is located between Kuta and Seminyak. It is also the name of Kuta’s main street.
Lovina – This city is where there are beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs.
Sanur – This area has seaside resorts and beaches which are popular with older families.
Seminyak – This is the quieter city which has more upscale beach resorts and villas just north to Legian. It also has a fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs.
Ubud – This is the centre of art and dance in the foothills. This area has several museums, the monkey forest and lots of arts and craft shops for the tourist.

Receiving Daily Guidance From Your Angels and How to Use Your Angel Cards

Angel Cards and Guidance

I am a strong believer in Angels and the afterlife and for some time now I have used Angel Cards as my way of gaining inspiration for the day. Angel cards are a great way to start communicating with your angels and all cards contain positive words that help you focus on a particular aspect of your life. Each day your angel will give you the perfect answer to your questions. Your angels will love you no matter what, they see you for the true person you are and will only ever send positive thoughts and messages your way and my guide will help you to understand how to use angel cards and receive guidance.

Angel cards are very easy to use and all you need to do is relax yourself by sitting in a quiet room maybe with some meditation music on, do what makes you feel comfortable.

Spend a moment thinking about your day ahead while holding your cards, you can shuffle them or just feel them.

When you feel ready pick a card which feels right to you. Then keep your card with you all day.

You can pick a card whenever you feel like it but I like to suggest one in the morning and one at night but you can also pick one at the beginning of a new venture or job, at the beginning of a new year you can pick 12, one for each month but remember to take a note of each card on your calendar and you can also pick a card for a friend in need.

Use them whenever you feel you need to.

Angel cards are easily purchased but for the creative souls out there why not create your own angel cards, all you need is some card and some pens, you can put angel stickers on them, draw on them or do whatever makes them personal to you, you will also need some inspirational words to put on them so here are a few to get you going;

Acceptance, Happiness, Love, Patience, Humour, Beauty, Friendship, Peace, Wisdom, Hope, Confidence, Assertiveness, Generosity, Creativity, Faith, Forgiveness

In your time of need or when you really need help angels are there by your side waiting for you to ask for help and guidance. The inspiration they gave to me when I was dealing with a very difficult situation with work was life changing and I haven’t looked back since.

The fascination about angels are amongst all of us and whether you truly believe in them or you are totally against it you have to ask yourself why are there so many coincidences around us in our everyday life. Ask your angel to show you a sign that they exist, be patient and look out for the signs because I can assure you that you will get a sign whether its a white feather or hearing the word “angel” in a song straight after you have asked for it, they will want to prove to you that they do exist. Give it a go and see what happens.

Exploring 5-Star Luxury Resorts in Scottsdale, Arizona

Relax in luxury throughout your Scottsdale stay by taking refuge in a top 5-star luxury resort. Each of these resorts have impressive amenities, with unique features, to make your vacation memorable.
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn | Source
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

The Camelback Inn sits below Mummy Mountain on 125 acres of tranquil desert gardens. Its incredible mountain views are unseen from any other local lodging establishment. If relaxation is your destination, this authentic southwest style resort features an award winning spa, ambient championship golf course and two of the best restaurants in Scottsdale.


The Camelback Golf Club is an original 36 hole championship golf course located three miles from the resort. It features a 36,000 square foot, pueblo style clubhouse, complete with lounge, practice area and private locker rooms. Guests at the resort receive complimentary access to the practice area, and discounted fees.


Relax in luxury and let the pampering begin inside the award winning spa at Camelback Inn. Enjoy their “farm to treatment table” package, or choose from one of the many massage options to relax and rejuvenate. This is a full service spa with every service available.

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Welcome to a Scottsdale resort that’s vibrant and serene, and bold and enchanting. This haven of luxury, amenities and service is close to the most popular attractions.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North | Source
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is nestled into the foothills of the mountains at Pinnacle Peak. This is a family friendly, recreation rich resort that will fill your day with activities, and satisfy your vacation getaway.
Some of the features of the Four Seasons Resort include:

Health club
Tennis courts
Exclusive childrens swimming pool
Spa tub
Outdoor swimming pools
Full service health spa
Children’s Club daycare center

The rooms also feature 5-star amenities including:

Private balcony
Mini bar
Premium down comforter bedding
Separate bathtub and shower
Designer toiletries

The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is the all around perfect place to stay for an unforgettable family getaway in Scottsdale.

Four Seasons Resort
This luxury hotel is nestled in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak amid towering cacti, and enriched through thoughtful design and outstanding talent.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess | Source
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has an elegant atmosphere with beautiful landscaping. This resort features five deluxe, heated swimming pools, a splash recreation area, fitness center basketball courts and an impressive 44,000 square foot Willow Stream spa. It also has several on site dining options including the award winning BOURBON STEAK by Michael Mina.

Scottsdale Resort: Luxury Hotel
Enjoy four award winning restaurants, state of the art meeting facilities, a world class golf course and luxurious spa treatments.

Montelucia Resort & Spa
Montelucia Resort & Spa | Source
Montelucia Resort & Spa

The Moroccan inspired, award winning Montelucia resort sits luxuriously in the foothills of Camelback Mountain. This resort is focused on catering amenities including sunshine yoga, invigorating spas and a personal golf concierge. This impressive resort delivers a relaxing getaway infused with personal attention, without breaking the bank.

Luxury Scottsdale Resort | Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
The Montelucia boasts luxury accommodations, and world-class services. This Scottsdale resort offers an award winning spa, fine dining and shopping.

Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas
Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas | Source
Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas

The Hilton Scottsdale is a 5-star resort next to Camelback Mountain. Some of the amenities include private massages, a large courtyard pool and sauna and steam room. The property also boasts two highly esteemed on-site dining establishments including Hilton’s own BlueFire Grille. For breakfast to dinner, and everything in between, this mid-range restaurant serves high quality food to impress. Showcased in the resort is Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, featuring the best aged prime beef and fresh seafood, served by top notch, gracious waitstaff.

Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas
This resort is located on 20-acres of beautiful desert landscape. Grab a poolside drink, or venture out into all of the action in Scottsdale.

The Best Resorts in the Phoenix Area

All of these 5-star resorts in Scottsdale have the best amenities the area has to offer. These resorts feature the most luxurious, comfortable and spacious accommodations, in relaxing environments. Be a pampered guest next time you are in Scottsdale with a 5-star resort getaway, and leave all of your worries behind

Holiday Villa Design By Popo Danes

Popo Danes is as multidimensional and international as his architectural design work. But his roots remain firmly planted in his native Balinese culture and community. For the island’s contemporary arts circles, he is known as a generous patron, who, through his Danes Art Veranda, has continuously provided ample space and strong support for the development of Bali’s young, progressive and avant-garde artists.

He maintains these roots by reinvesting in education and supporting young talent for the benefit of the island and its future generations. As a Balinese architect, his professional commitment to a project is only about 40percent of what the job actually entails. The balance is blending the project and its owners into the surroundings, the community, the spiritual aspects of the space it occupies and even down to details of security and service.

One of his villa design located in Jimbaran is The Long House. The Long House is stunningly located on the hill of Jimbaran with beautiful view to Indian ocean and Bali volcanoes.

This luxurious retreat is beautifully designed to become the estuary of west meets east. Fully equipped with all facilities from best quality and well maintained by good staff, The Long House is one of the best choice for Bali best holiday.The Longhouse is perfectly situated to enjoy all the facets of Bali.

On a land of 1,800 m2, This Bali villa dramatically located on the ascending area of Goa Gong, Jimbaran. The building is horizontally extensive with superb 180 view to the ocean and the volcanoes. As one of Popo Danes design, the six bedrooms luxury villa is a seamless combination of modern architecture and Balinese touch.

Each of the bedrooms is perfectly decorated with the latest design and furnishing according to the style of six of the most typical island of Indonesia including Bali, Lombok, Java. The villa enjoys luxurious facilities including spa area, gym, Jacuzzi, and entertainment room as well as an elevator provided for guest comfort.

There are others design creations by Popo Danes around Indonesia and some other countries like Malaysia, India, Phuket, Dubai even Hawaii. One Property in Bali, Natura Resort has been frequent award winner, like in 2002 winner of Indonesia Architecture Citation for Commercial Design; 2003 Indonesian Construction Award; 2004 ASEAN Energy Award Efficient Building, Tropical Building Category.

Beaulieu, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Or Villefranche: The Golden Triangle Of The French Riviera?

When looking for a rental villa on the Cote D’Azur it is hard to know where to start looking. There are so many fantastic little villages and the choice of villa is rather large. So I selected 3 villages which my friends had said were very good. These were Beaulieu, St Jean Cap Ferrat, and Villefranche.

Beaulieu-sur-mer, St Jean Cap Ferrat and Villefranche are very close to each other, and are to the eastern side of Nice and to the west of Monaco, with good links to the international airport and the train station where the high speed train comes from Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. These French towns and villages are in the Alps Maritimes department and have a large selection of the elite villas to let on the French Riviera.

Beaulieu-sur-mer has been very popular destination for the rich and famous, and there is a certain kudos of renting a villa in Beaulieu. Beaulieu is a wealthy resort owing mainly to its port where luxury yachts park up during the summer months. With ocean views from your villa, and proximity to Beaulieu’s little cafes and restaurants which you can find on the little marina, the town it is a great place for a family holiday on the Cote D’Azur. Beaulieu has a great climate, because the mountains behind Beaulieu protecting the town from the Mistrale winds which affect most of the Cote D’Azur. As a result villa rental during the winter months has become increasingly popular. Villas in Beaulieu have stunning Mediterranean gardens with stately palm trees, the acacia trees with their yellow mimosa flowers along with spiky yuccas, and phormiums alongside the Cypress and olive trees. Beaulieu has history, and was home to the Romans, however there in no ‘old town’ as such. Holiday makers come bursting into the main square backed by the hills behind the town spotted with luxury villas. There is a nice sandy beach near the town centre.

Only 2km down from Beaulieu, St Jean Cap Ferrat is the luxury promontory which stretches out into the Mediterranean sea in between Bealieu and Villefranche. Now if Beaulieu is well to do, St Jean Cap Ferrat is a honey pot for the planet’s millionaires. Villas in St Jean Cap Ferrat are beautiful stately homes with pools shrouded in trees and lush colourful plants, overlooking the sparkling water of the Med, and the prestigious yachts which moor up outside Beaulieu. There a private beaches spotted along St Paul Cap Ferrat and the magnificent Cote D’azur climate makes it a super holiday spot summer or winter. Walking along the peninsula with views over the boats below is a daily routine when renting a villa in St Jean Cap Ferrat, and there is some of the most delightful French cuisine served at the group of restaurants at the marina. If you have come to sunbathe, then the three protected beaches of Paloma, Passable, and Pei Pen are perfect day trip. A people watching place St Jean Cap Ferrat is a place to melange with the rich and famous.

Villefranche has a spectacular setting on the eastern side of the prestigious golden triangle. Renting a villa in Villefranche is more than worthwhile, and the village or small town is the perfect place to come on vacation. The lovely little restaurants in courtyards or out on the cobbled streets make for relaxing evenings out when you venture from your Villefranche villa. There is a superb public sandy beach at Villefranche which is ideal for total relaxation snorkelling and swimming. Beaches in Nice have pebbles, so it is nice to have sand in between your toes. You are very close to Nice so get the advantages of being close to the airport and train station, and shopping, but being by the sea away from all the hustle and bustle.

I suppose depending on what sort of person you are will depend where you rent your luxury villa on the Cote D’Azur. Be exclusive on the promontory of St Jean Cap Ferrat, by the sea in Beaulieu-sur-mer, or in the quirky little streets in Villfranche for a family holiday. Either way you will get the best from villa rental on the Cote D’Azur.

Casa Ignaz : Luxury 4 Bedroom Spanish Villa In The Heart Of The Costa Blanca.

‘Casa Ignaz’ is a luxury 4 bedroom villa situated in the beautiful Mediterranean costal town of Jávea which lies deep in the heart of the popular Costa Blanca region. ‘Casa Ignaz’ is an outstanding classic Spanish villa, fully furnished, air-conditioned bedrooms with private swimming pool, build in barbeque area, and roof top sun terrace.

Situated behind a wide bay and sheltered between two rocky headlands, Javea is a popular small seaside resort and market town. Protected from harsh winter winds it enjoys a unique micro-climate that the World Health Organisation named as one of the healthiest in the world. There are more recorded hours of sunshine per year in Javea than in any other place in Spain, making it a popular destination for Northern Europeans during the cold winter months.

Javea is situated approximately 90km from Alicante and 105km from Valencia and is connected by the A7 motorway (junctions 62 to 63), the N-332 via Gata de Gorgos and then the A-142 to Javea.
Javea (Xabia) lies on the northern Costa Blanca of Spain, halfway between the cities of Valencia and Alicante. Bounded by the sea to one side, and the impressive backdrop of the Montgo mountain to the other, the area around Javea is scattered with many orange and almond groves. With it’s crystal clear seas and Blue Flag sandy beaches, the World Health Organisation has found Javea to be climatically and environmentally one of the healthiest places on Earth to live.

There are three distinct areas to Javea. The old mediaeval hilltop town with it’s narrow streets, picturesque buildings and the lively market every Thursday. The port area, with it’s Marina and traditional fishing fleet, is home to a scattering of fine restaurants and pavement cafes and the Arenal beach front on a long flat promenade with cafes, shops, restaurants and boutiques to suit every taste. With its sandy beach and calm waters, the Arenal appeals to both young and old.

With it’s mild year-round temperatures, varying landscapes, from sandy coastlines to rugged mountain areas, and extensive tourist facilities, Javea has still managed to preserve all the charm of an ancient fishing village, and is truly the jewel in the crown of Spain’s coastal communities.

• Stylish 4 bedroom Villa with private swimming pool (4 x 8 m, with children’s paddling pool)
• Roof top sun terrace with spectacular views.
• Suitable for up to 10 people
• Well kept garden with good variety of palms, cacti and mediterranean plants.
• Sun-terrace with swimming-pool.
• Built in Barbecue.
• Beautiful ‘Naya’ (Covered seated patio.)
• Located on a quiet hill top amongst similar luxury villas, occupied by their owners.
• Fully furnished villa, air conditioning in living-room.
Fully equiped large kitchen with additional small kitchen upstairs
• Approx 170m2:
• Down-stairs:
2 bed-rooms (1 with double-beds AC, 1 with 2 single-beds NO AC)
1 bath-room.
1 large living-room. AC
1 dining-room with american style-kitchen.
• Up-stairs:
2 bed-rooms (both with double-beds and both en-suite). Both AC.
1small kitchen.
• washing-machine
• gas-stove
• oven
• microwave
• dish-washer
• refrigerator with freezer
• sun-beds
• barbecue
• parking area (secure)
driveway parking also
• Children and senior citizen friendly environment.
• Dog-keeping not permitted.
• Childs cot and high chair available upon request.
• Nearest shops and restaurants within 5 minutes walking distance.
• Swimming pool cleaned twice weekly.

Discover Your Ultimate Travel Destination in Your Private Luxury Villa

Why splash money on a hotel suite when you can experience a king size holiday staying in your own private luxury villa?

Whether you want a private romantic escape with your spouse or perhaps you like to share a grand space with your family or a pleasure of a grand destination with the most epic commodities for an exhilarating party for all your family and friends.

Luxury villa rentals are your answer for all your dream vacations. No matter where you live in the world, you can experience the best life has to offer thanks to portfolio of international luxury villa rentals provided widely by travel operators.

Most tour operators provide truly breathtaking villas and luxury chalets for rent in some of the most sought after spots in the globe – the ideal solution for any travel enthusiast.

Below are just two of the fabulous luxury villas out of a portfolio of many that offer the latest hi-tech facilities, serene surroundings, glorious sun terraces, BBQ areas and delightfully shady gardens. Read on to select the one most suitable for your own discerning taste…

Greensleeves in Barbados

A one of a kind tropical escape located on 11 acres of West Coast luxury in Barbados – Greensleeves is designed by the renowned Caribbean architect Ian Morrison. Along with soothing waterfalls, this villa brings and element of the Far East to the beachfront beauty of Barbados.

Accommodation consists of 8 bedroom suites, with a free form swimming pool measuring 100 ft at its widest point, with a sit-up sunken pool bar and sun deck. Greensleeves is situated on a point amid two bays, with expansive beach frontage and access to two beaches. An eight and a half acre landscaped park situated across the road from the main house features a beautiful lily pond and floodlit tennis court. In short, the Greensleeves is a dream villa for those looking for a blend of luxury and serenity.

Sky Villa in Anguilla

The Embodiment of its name – Sky Villa pays homage to the element that serves as a metaphor for life’s infinite possibilities. The interior hues of aquamarine and royal blue complete with yellow accents set a delicate tone throughout the 5,500 square ft of sweeping space.

The villa has four master suites, three of which have private terraces overlooking the ocean and the villa’s infinity pool. The design is influenced by Greek architecture, and features serene geometric shapes, immaculate white exteriors and understated elegance. The Sky Villa is a must for those who like fine architecture and want to live large.

Opting for luxury villas rather than hotels will provide you with a relaxing haven away from the hustle and bustle of a large resort, allowing you to relax with your loved ones in style and privacy. So what are you waiting for? Seize the chance to have a luxury villa experience for yourself and enjoy the best of both worlds.

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What are the Rules for Staying in Luxury Villas

Luxury villas can be leased to stay in if you can afford the price charged by the owner. However, staying in luxury villas require observance of certain crucial rules that you may not be aware of:

1.There are owners of luxury villas who will allow you to bring along the family pet during your stay. Others may not, because the family pet (particularly sizeable ones such as large-breed dogs and cats) may require high maintenance. Also, the family pet could damage the furniture and other parts of the luxury villas by chewing or urinating and defecating on them, so the owners of luxury villas may be wary of letting your family pet into their luxury villas. If your family pet is contained in a comfortable container, such as a sturdy portable cage, then maybe you can get the owner to relent in your case.

2.You and your party might be required to have inoculations against certain communicable diseases like malaria before you can get to stay in luxury villas in your host country. This is usually mandated by law and administered by the government of your host country. Actually, this benefits both you and the owners of luxury villas because you and your party will be able to avoid getting very sick from communicable diseases, and the owners of any luxury villas you are eyeing can be assured you will not spread any communicable diseases to future tenants (or to the owners as well.)

3.Find out if servants and/or laundry and housekeeping services are included in the rent of the luxury villas you are planning to choose from. If there are many people in your party, the luxury villas may become expensive and time-consuming to maintain. So these services become necessities in such a case. If they are not included in the rent, you can ask your agent to help you find appropriate and trustworthy providers of such services in the host country.

4.One thing that you should look for in luxury villas is provision for security of your valuables. Ask the owner or your agent if any of the luxury villas have even a small safe where you can safely stash valuables like jewelry, designer watches, and cash. If not, maybe you should ask about local banks who have safety deposit boxes that you can rent temporarily.

5.Speaking of security, luxury villas should come with security guards to watch over the grounds of the luxury villas during your stay. Ask your agent if their pay will come from you, or if the service is already integrated into your rent. Despite the presence of armed security, you should still practice caution during your stay. One danger in foreign countries is terrorist activity – for example, Spain has many luxury villas but is also home to the Basque terrorists who are seeking independence from Spain. Know the dangers inherent in the country you will be visiting.

6.Can you rent a vehicle as well so that your stay at luxury villas will be more convenient?

Luxury villas represent the high end of a luxury vacation. This list will serve as a guide to make your stay easier and more comfortable.

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GIBS climbs 13 places in UK Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking

The UK Financial Times has again placed University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in pole position. The only African business school in the paper’s annual Executive MBA Ranking, GIBS has moved to 74th position for the modular and part-time executive MBA, a climb of 13 places.
Professor Nicola Kleyn
Professor Nicola Kleyn
The ranking, which is among the most competitive and prestigious in the world evaluates the top executive MBA programmes globally, is based on three broad categories of career progress, school diversity and idea generation. The largest part of the ranking is based on a survey of alumni who graduated three years ago.

The business school is in the top five for the number of women represented on its board and is ranked 14th for its percentage of female students. This is testament to GIBS’ continued efforts to break down gender disparity.

“Our mission at GIBS is to be a leading business school in South Africa and increasingly on the African continent. We are pleased by the recognition of the UK Financial Times for our Executive MBA as it strengthens our resolve to produce business leaders who are not only inclusive and global in their thinking and attitudes, but whose roots remain firmly in our continent,” says Professor Nicola Kleyn, dean of GIBS.

GIBS forum on leadership and strategy – lessons from the military with US General George W. Casey

General George W. Casey, who served as Chief of Staff of the US Army efforts in Iraq, told a recent Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) forum that the current unpredictable global political and economic climate requires leaders of vision, courage and character.
“We need leaders with vision, who are able to point the way ahead, see around corners and anticipate things that others don’t and have the courage to take decisions for the future,” Casey said.

Leadership in a VUCA world

Casey addressed the gathering on strategy and leadership in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) global system. The term was coined by the US Army War College in the late 1980s to describe a post-Soviet Union world.

He said volatility and complexity is now common to both business and the military.

Drawing on leadership lessons learnt during his time in Iraq, he explained that while VUCA circumstances impede a leader’s ability to understand, communicate and act decisively, how leaders react to these situations differs vastly.

While some leaders make the assumption that as circumstances will change, any attempt at planning is futile. Others are so overwhelmed by the volatility, complexity and uncertainty they face that they are unable to act at all. A third, and much smaller group, are able to impose their will on the environment by “building a deep understanding of their situation and crafting a strategy for success.”

Casey called this the VUCA Paradox: In order to be successful, leaders have to accept that their environment is going to be volatile, complex and ambiguous, but not allow external factors to determine their ultimate success.

He identified three potential scenarios for increased global volatility:

A significant cyber-attack on a country’s financial system, which he said was “only a matter of time.”
Another global economic crisis: “We are now so connected and haven’t resolved many of the issues from the previous financial crisis”; and
A major terrorist attack with a chemical, biological or radiological weapon of mass destruction.

Casey, who undertook a major reform of the US Army during his tenure, said the United States and Europe are currently in an era of persistent conflict with groups who have global capability to inflict strategic damage on states. “There is no better innovation driver than war as people are focused,” he said.

Traits of effective leaders

Effective leaders are those who are able to develop a comprehensive understanding of their external operating environment, devise a clear vision and strategy for success, and then develop the organisation to execute it. Taking the time to build consensus and commitment within the organisation is as important as devising an effective strategy.

“The essence of winning people over is the commitment to a common goal and to executing a strategy,” he explained.

The distinctive behavior of leaders is what makes companies successful and outperform their industry peers: “We have to be able to trust leaders to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. It is the glue that holds the entire organisation together,” he said.

Building an environment where everyone feels that they are an integral part of the team means group commitment to a common goal and setting aside personal ambitions on order to commit to excellence.

“While leaders have to be courageous enough to make decisions on their own, support from the organisation is crucial to success,” Casey said.

Successful leaders are those who take care of themselves – intellectually, physically and emotionally: “As a leader the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You have to be emotionally, intellectually and physically fit in order to be effective,” Casey explained.

He said leaders must make time on a daily basis to read, exercise, sleep and think in order to get fresh ideas and insights.

Lessons for business from the military

Casey said while the military is not nearly as efficient as business when it comes to cost controls, business lacks a true understanding of strategy and vision, and the ability to decide exactly what needs to be accomplished.

Business should improve its efforts to invest in people’s professional development in order to gain their loyalty, Casey said. “People want feedback and they want to be inspired, which is not unreasonable.”