• 2020-03-31

How Business Moves Forward in Trying Times

Three weeks into this new reality and I have recognized a fundamental truth:

There is no limit to the power of human imagination.

Deep down, we have always known that we are capable of infinitely more than we believe. Now we are seeing visible evidence of many stories that reveal exactly how we are stronger and more resourceful than we know. How we can quickly pivot, adapt and endure much more than we ever thought possible. 

Sitting here in London, ON, we are feeling no small measure of respect and admiration for the many small to medium-sized business owners and leaders who have an 800-pound gorilla on their shoulders right now. We’re talking about folks who are carrying an incredible emotional beast of burden; feeling both morally and financially responsible for the well-being of their employees and by extension, their families. 

For some, there will be difficult decisions in the days ahead that no one wants to make. Decisions about layoffs that might have to be made in order to save a company for people to be able to come back to once this situation is behind us.  For other leaders, this uncertain climate also provides an opportunity to bring people even closer together. To rally the troops and make sure that we’re more connected than ever to the customers and communities we serve. 

That’s why we have been sharing daily, Monday-to-Friday conversations so we can hear the real-life struggles business leaders are facing and the measures they are taking - to help everyone facing new questions none of us had to answer before.  Inspired by a gathering of business leaders in Charlotte, NC, these ZOOM conversations are being shared to help support Business Leaders in these unpredictable times.

We hope that as a Business Leader, you find the answers and inspiration from these conversations for your business and work family.  You can watch more conversations in the days ahead on and for as long as this situation lasts on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIN.  In many respects, these are their stories but they are also ours. 

p.s…. If you know someone who might be inspired by these chats, don't hesitate to click the "share" button as well as share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for other leaders we should be speaking with at this time. 

Conversations with Business Leaders

Darrin Mitchell: CEO Trout River Industries - PEI

“ARE YOU A WARTIME CEO?” : That’s the question from a business leader situated on the front lines in Canada’s smallest province. Darrin  believes the #1 job of any entrepreneur is to be very resourceful.  As he puts it, “We’re pivoting and looking at opportunities that would not be available normally to us when times were ‘good. We don’t have the luxury to hide.

Marc “Mutt” Langlois & Jeff Killin: Owners of ICP, Toronto

“ARE YOU READY. WILLING & ABLE?”: That’s the spirit at ICP (International Custom Products) in Toronto, ON.  Marc and Jeff reveal how their company has been able to pivot and be fully equipped and prepared to produce much-needed medical gowns and masks.

Mayor Fraser Tolmie:  Moose Jaw SK

“WE MUST RALLY TOGETHER” : That’s the battle cry from the mayor of Canada’s Most Notorious City, which in many respects serves as a microcosm for small town Canada.

Jeff Hoff: Gears Plus Autopro, Prince George BC

"STICKING TOGETHER": Being a business owner can be a lonely existence at the best of times. And that loneliness becomes compounded at an exceptional level in the course of these exceptional circumstances we're all experiencing right now.  Now more than ever, business owners all over North America need to experience a sense of community and know they are not alone. In the face of economic unpredictability and tough decisions that need to be made in these uncertain times, it's essential that small business leaders stick together and learn from each other on this journey that offers no road map.

Julia Oulton: TEC Canada Chair, Vancouver, BC

"THREE THINGS LEADERS MUST DO": Julia is coach and mentor for over 20 business owners and leaders who need to be aware of three key aspects of their operation as they take a good hard look at what is certain to be a very different future.

Scott Ritchey: VP Plumbers Supply Co,. Louisville KY

"TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE": "An optimistic realist, Scott’s motto is, ‘today we are going to take care of people and today we are going to serve people’.  Scott explores the theme of what’s ESSENTIAL for any business leader to focus on in the midst of all this upheaval.

Tim Beach: CEO Charlesglen Toyota, Calgary AB

"SUPPORTING OUR WORK FAMILIES": Tim shares how he feels about what "work families" need to be doing to stick together and ride this out.

Craig Harder: CEO Raptor Mining, Edmonton, AB

"MINDSET": Craig Harder is responsible for more 400 employees and their families with operations all over the globe.  Craig does a deeper dive on the theme of MINDSET and why mental conditioning is crucial for small business owners to get through these uncertain times. He also happens to be the creator of G.S.D.

Paul Martin: TEC Canada Chair, SK

"DECISION MAKING IN TRYING TIMES": We enjoyed an insightful conversation with veteran TEC Canada chair and Saskatchewan business leader Paul Martin as we explore the theme of DECISIVENESS. Paul shares his thoughts from Regina, SK where he is responsible for coaching upwards of 50 CEO's and senior execs responsible for thousands of employees.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny."  CS Lewis

Photo Cred:  Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash