Life goes on – adjust, says CFO Walter Leonhardt


Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa CFO shares the lessons he’s taking into 2021.

As we bid farewell to 2020 and its various challenges, we are faced with new and unknown obstacles. Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa CFO Walter Leonhardt’s top takeaway from 2020 is that “Life goes on”. He has learnt that, as it does, you need to adjust, rearrange yourself and move forward. “Negativity and whingeing puts you back, but positivity wins,” he says.

Asked what lessons from 2020 he will take with him into 2021, Walter says that relationships and trust beats routines. “I can get by without some routines. When sound relationships and trust are intact, just about any storm can be weathered.”

He encourages people to spend more time building relationships and trust instead of executing routines. “Practically, this means having more conversations with the people around you.”

Walter looks forward to spending more time with his family in 2021 and building on 2020’s advances. “I hope to get to the end of 2021 and believe that ‘this was actually a good year’,” he says, which was the same way he ended 2020.

As a last word of advice, Walter says that “we shouldn’t need a global pandemic to make positive, lasting changes in how we run our own lives”.

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