Who has been your most influential leader?
Leadership amazes me, how one person can have such lasting impact on another person, whether it be forever or just until their next leader. A leader can be someone that had academic, athletic, personal, professional, or spiritual meaning for someone – intentionally or unintentionally.
Brian Scudamore, Founder of O2E. I was a Recruiter at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? And I never reported directly to him, but a lot of what know about business and leadership stems from working for his company. Gordon McFarlane, Professor and Head of Business Studies at Langara, was a very influential academic leader, he was actually who introduced me to recruitment and challenged me to look into it because of my skill set.
What is your greatest achievement?
Taking risks. When I look back at what I have achieved, it all stems from taking some sort of risk. Overall, my biggest achievement has been founding The Leadership Agency.
What is your definition of a great leader?
Someone who looks at what can be done and not at what isn’t being done. A leader is someone who can build something (not ikea furniture), and who can see potential in someone.
What is the first thing you ever led?
I have always led in some way, from school projects to professionally. The first real leadership role was when I built a recruitment team, and then that team then built a team, and then those teams built teams and before we knew it, we had created something great.
Do you think leaders are born or made?
I believe they are born. It’s who you are. Leadership skills can be developed, but leaders are to their core, leaders in some way.
I genuinely love recruitment. It fascinates me. Yes, it’s absolutely about helping companies lead buy helping them make great hires, but it’s what you get to learn about other businesses and industries that is the most fascinating. When recruitment is done right, you don’t just learn about a company’s recruitment challenge or need, you learn about the business, the competitive landscape, the revenue model, the employment brand, etc. I love having a genuine impact on something.
So many people ask me why I am the service business and why not technology or something more disruptive? I am not opposed to anything, but the reality is, behind every great disruption or solution is great service – they go hand in hand! I love providing a high quality service and experience. Some of my favourite businesses and brands are service disruptors: 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Uber, Just-Eat, etc.
What was your first job?
I had a pinecone business. Sold bags of pinecones for $50/bag (I was 10). Ponderosa Pinecones were in high demand back then.
What is your cool factor?
I have interviewed over 10,000 people.