Larry Bass is CEO of production company ShinAwiL which he established in 1999. Larry has executive produced the Irish versions of the multi award winning series’ The Apprentice which won 2 Irish Film and Television Awards, Dragons’ Den, MasterChef Ireland and most recently the hugely successful Dancing with The Stars. Other recent productions include Home of the Year and What are you Eating? The ShinAwiL development team is currently in development on original series’ for the Irish, UK and USA market, both scripted and non-scripted. Previous credits include Popstars, You’re A Star, Charity You’re A Star, Test The Teachers, Charity Lords of the Ring, Fame The Musical, The Voice of Ireland, Meet the McDonagh’s, Tested on Humans and The Obesity Clinic.
In 2000, Larry was elected to the national executive of Screen Producers Ireland (SPI), serving as deputy chairman from January 2003 to February 2004, and as Chairman from February 2004 to February 2005. He was re-elected to the board in 2015. He also was the Irish member of CEPI from 2003 to 2006. Larry is an advisory board member of FÁS Screen Training Ireland and Entertainment Masterclass. He has also sat on a jury for the International Emmys, Rose d’Or, BANFF and Real Screen Television Awards. Larry has guest lectured at DIT Dublin, IADT Dublin, Carlow IT, CIT, MipTV and MIPCOM, SPAA Australia and Entertainment Masterclass. Larry served on the Board of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from 2010 to 2015 and is also on the board of The Irish Film Board. In his spare time, Larry is chair of Airtricity league one club Cabinteely FC.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
Leadership is something that is in some people but not all. So everyone will need to understand if they have it and how to use it. So you need to learn how to be a better leader to effect better results. This includes knowing and learning about yourself. Natural born leaders will start learning these things themselves early in life as you find yourself in leadership roles early in life. Leadership is all about people management and this is where a good leader can get to become a great leader. So doing courses on how to read people and getting to know their personality type and how best to deal with that type of person and who they will work best with will supplement your leadership abilities.
When you are filling a leadership role in your organisation what qualities do you look for from candidates?
Number one quality is loyalty, followed closely by trust. If you have a loyal, trustworthy team you can scale any issue together. Another important skill is the ability to problem solve and make decisions.
If you had to leave your organisation for 1 year what would you ask of your team and what advice would you give them?
Look after our reputation and brand, cherish what you have built with me. Now try and build it better, but never let down our key clients. Try new things, you’re in charge, make your mark.
What are you doing today to make sure your organisation will be relevant in 10 years time?
Always looking outside what we do today and look to be ready to pivot into an ever-changing media landscape, that’s why this last year we opened a new digital branded content company with INM, Offscript. In our business it is change or die.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
As a sports nut, I always look to good successful sports managers, try and learn from them and always understand that they also need luck with skills, but the trick is when Lady Luck opens the door, recognise it and use it. So Joe Schmidt and Pep Guardiola are current leaders I admire. In business and in my business, television, both Mark Burnett and John de Mol have changed the game and left their mark, I’m still trying.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
There are so many, to single one out is unfair, I’m a huge believer in asking for help, you will be surprised how much you will get. People like giving back and helping where they can. The ultimate answer is Mr Google, there is always an answer.