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“He would bark instructions and never ask your opinion. Everything was short and sharp and he would get angry if you did not agree immediately. After a while, I started to get very nervous. Even when he walked by, I felt under pressure.” Nelson Piquet, when asked about Flavio’s leadership style. Piquet was the driver responsible for the infamous crash gate scandal, when he deliberately caused an accident (after being ordered to do so by his boss at the time, Mr. Flavio) to benefit his teammate, who in turn went on to win the grand prix of Singapore in 2008. As a result, Flavio Briatore was handed a lifetime ban from Formula 1, which was later reduced to 5-years extending till Dec 31st 2012. Flavio however continues to remain involved in the sport and manages some of the sports leading drivers today, despite being barred from active participation.
“Winning is Everything”
There has been much negative criticism on Flavio’s “strong man” style of leadership. However it is this very unique blend of leadership and management skills that has credited Flavio with as many achievements in Formula 1 as he has, the biggest being two back to back championship wins as team principal for Renault in 2005 and 2006. His achievements have proved that he is a brilliant manager and a skilled businessman. How then can a man that possesses such strong personality traits be involved in such a major scandal?
It is important to understand the ethical and moral responsibilities all leaders should possess. “Real leaders concentrate on doing the right thing, not on doing things right.” What Flavio planned and executed was morally and ethically wrong, for the simple fact that people’s lives were put at risk, for starters. Can we thus deduce by the above stated definition that Flavio remains a bad leader? If yes, then why is there still a growing demand by Formula 1’s top teams and drivers to acquire his services? There are no doubts that come 2013; Flavio will be...
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