Finweek English Edition - - SPOTLIGHT -

who care.”

That’s t he t y pe of va l ues t hat at­tracted him to medicine (he worked as a vet­eri­nar­ian be­fore switch­ing ca­reers). As soon as he s wapped his wardrelated work for board­room ac­tiv­i­ties, col­lect­ing an MBA and a di­ploma in f inan­cial man­age­ment, Fried­land was dy­ing to “syn­the­sise what the heart and head want” – that’s to para­phrase a point dis­cussed in one of his favourite lead­er­ship books, The book, packed with case stud­ies, also ex­plains why CEOs fail, says Fried­land. De­spite mis­steps and bump­ing heads with peers and politi­cians a few times, he’s ob­vi­ously taken notes.

Well, that’s the only non-Net­car­ere­lated ques­tion he an­swers. “I just don’t like talk­ing about my­self,” he says when asked more per­sonal ques­tions. Fried­land, who rose to Net­care’s hot seat af­ter a stint in the 1990s at Medi­cross, which was bought by Net­care in 2001, says he has “no ego” to stroke, hence his re­luc­tance to an­swer per­sonal ques­tions. “It re­ally isn’t my kind of thing.”

Turn­ing to peo­ple around him and sup­port staff, the man at the helm sud­denly opens up again. Fried­land sings their praises, stress­ing that their DNA, like his, is “care”. He ex­plains how the group re­wards tal­ent and grows its own tim­ber. He is an ex­am­ple. So is chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Keith Gibson, pri­mary care man­ag­ing direc­tor Char­maine Pail­man and busi­ness devel­op­ment direc­tor Tumi Nkosi, who all joined Net­care about a decade ago in low­er­ranked posts.

“There are no pas­sen­gers at Net­care,” Fried­land says of fel­low lead­ers and staff across the rungs. “We’re all hard work­ers. We’re met­ric- driven and be­lieve in team­work.”

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