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Sir Frank Lowy: The Evolution of Dignified Leadership, its Practice in Favourable Conditions and Under Pressure

Published 11 Mar 2024
Reference 6877
Industry Real Estate Retail
Region Global
Length 20 page(s)
Summary

This case looks at how Sir Frank Lowy built Westfield, one of the world’s largest retail international property empires, with a dignified leadership style admired by many and shaped by his personal and professional experiences. Starting with his early life in war-torn Europe as a Jewish refugee and the opening of his first delicatessen in Australia, the case describes his huge successes as well as his failures, including an unsuccessful foray into the media business. Ultimately, the Westfield empire was sold in 2018 for US$25 billion and he moved to Israel to start a new life. The case highlights how dignified leadership evolves over time, requiring self-mastery, resourcefulness and humanity. It was complemented his legendary determination, daring and discipline.

Teaching objectives

The case includes three dilemmas for students to address – not as Sir Frank but how they would react to each dilemma that he faced: 1. The complexities of a handshake. 2. Managing a respected person in a difficult situation. 3. Maintaining dignity in failure.

Keywords
  • Leadership
  • dignity
  • retail
  • Westfield Group
  • family business
  • football
  • television
  • financial engineering
  • entrepreneurship
  • Q12024