Leadership Interview

On Monday, February 15th, I met with Larissa LaPierre who is the president of the Tri-City Hockey Association.I interviewed her on what it was like to be in such a position of leadership in the community. Larissa herself never played hockey but it is an interest of her daughters so she decided that she needed to contribute in some way. Below is the interview I had with her. It has been slightly altered for length and clarification:

So to start off, how’d you get into the association?
Well my daughter plays hockey, and she had played for about two years before I got into being the position of secretary. And I really just got into it to help out and I didn’t play hockey growing up so it was just a way to learn a little more about what hockey’s all about and how the association worked. A big factor was she loves hockey so I could see her doing this for a long time so I thought this was a good place to get involved. That was probably three years ago now [since when I first became secretary].

Did you volunteer, like do little things at tournaments before you got into the association more?
Yea just helped out with her team and things that were going on just, being a manager and helping out with those type of things.

What sort of made you decide it’d be a good idea to step up?
That’s just kind of my personality I usually like to just get involved and take on some responsibility and you know just have a vested interest in what’s going on. A lot of it was just to, like I said, learn about hockey and how things work. I’m not an ice skater and my husband didn’t play hockey so we weren’t going to be helping out on the ice so I thought this was a good way to help out with. I work in IT so I’ve got an office kind of skills background so I thought that would be a good place for our family could contribute. That was the main reasons.

How long have you been the president of the association?
This is the first year. I was the secretary for two years.

Did anyone sort of ask you if you wanted to step up or was it like of we need somebody and you were like “oh I’ll help”
The fellow who was our president resigned kind of close to the beginning of the year so there was probably about six of us that were eligible to step up and I guess the other five people voted for me. I mean, I was in a good position to be able to just kind of step in. I had worked closely with the last fellow and in hindsight I didn’t know how much work it was going to be but I had a rough idea of where things needed to go so the member of our current executive were certainly on board.

What benefits do you have that you feel personally from being able to work at that or volunteer at that level?
I have learned a lot about how the association gets run and I think I appreciate a little bit better. Its’ amazing how many volunteers there is that goes into hockey. Our association doesn’t pay anybody who does an executive position and even if you take it up the ranks we’re governed by a body called Pacific Coast they’re almost all volunteer and even when you get to BC Hockey there’s still a ton of volunteers. I don’t know that people appreciate all the work that the volunteers do but I certainly do, it’s pretty amazing and our association wouldn’t exist without volunteers. I’ve got a way better appreciation for the thing that go on and have learned to be a bit more patient on some things that come up as issues. The other thing as far as leadership goes I think it’s just highlighted that if I want something changed then I can. I have the power to change it or I have the power to at least do something about it. It’s easy to complain about thing if you don’t like the way it’s going but it’s a lot of meaning to have the opportunity to actually make some changes which is great.

What do you find are sort of the challenges in the position?
Um, Volunteers. There’s this kind of this drawing that volunteers are a tough group of people to lead because their coming from all different walks of life and they didn’t necessarily apply of this job maybe they don’t have all the qualifications. You know there’s a wide variety of people so it’s a bit challenging to manage. Some people have a lot of time to give others have a little bit of time to give so you just have to be really patient and certainly the more the merrier.

It must be sort of hard as well because some of the volunteers might be a little challenging to work with in a way.
Yea some people certainly, most people I will say are there for the greater good but some are there because they have a certain idea that they want. But for the most part every ones there for the right reasons the other thing is we just never have enough volunteers for sure so it’s really one of those areas where you can’t really replace it with money, we need people and their hours and their time to really make things run. So yea there’s always a lack of volunteers for sure.

I didn’t even realize that it was such a volunteer run thing above the small associations as well.
Yea me neither. I didn’t either until this year and I mean there’s a lot of volunteers that they don’t even have kids that play hockey anymore they’re just giving back and at a higher level and that pretty amazing.
Yea that must be nice having parents that come back every year even when their kids aren’t.
It is. One of the things I’m hoping to do while doing this job is to get some of our alumni girls back so we got girls that are twenty and twenty one now that used to play for Tri-Cities and a lot of them are either refereeing or maybe looking to get into coaching so we don’t have a ton of that going on but I‘d really like to see that because all, like the little girls love all the older girls.

What other volunteering do you do?
I volunteer at the PAC across, at the school so similar situation, lots of stuff going on over there that requires, I mean it’s a lot centred around fundraising like any sort of social thing that goes on at the school is run by the Parent Advisory Committee. Then through work our department has a daycare in the Downtown Eastside that we volunteer through. So my work actually has a foundation, so rather than donating to United Way or something like that, we actually donate there and then my company matches all the money that the employees donate. From there you can actually apply to get money from the foundation to give to the places you volunteer for in the community. With this daycare it helps children who have addicted moms, so we go every quarter and volunteer and the foundation gives us like $500 to give to them. My work’s put a lot of focus over the last couple years on just getting out in the community and volunteering so we’ve been doing that which is pretty neat because most of the other volunteering I do revolve around the kids which is slightly self-serving so it’s really nice to do something that just has nothing to do with any self-interests I have, it’s just going to volunteer and helping out.

Did you do any leadership classes when you were in high school or any outside of school?
I do not recall there being anything in school. Honestly I’ve done a tremendous amount in the past year. My boss at work has taken this leadership training and it kind of has changed her life. She’s been with my place about eighteen months and she’s bringing this whole new focus around leadership and that everybody could potentially be leader. I’ve worked at my work for nineteen years and before leadership was always the thing that the guy does at the top and nobody else does anything. So she’s kind of bringing this whole everyone can be a leader thing and it is a little bit life changing actually. Then most recently I went to this week long course in Seattle that was extremely intense but just completely focused on leadership, not so much to do with your work but with life and how leadership is you doing and getting what you want, whatever you want you be a leader and go get it, kind of thing.

So that’s sort of something that influenced you just over the past year to step up more?
Yea I will say that I kind of tend to complain a little bit about hockey because there’s always a lack of volunteers like I say and you know there’s always a lot of work to do. However after kind of thinking a little more about it and going to this course, I’m thinking about it in different terms now and have a completely different outlook on it now. We tend to have, over the years we tend to promote people that just have been there a really long time so “oh you know your job really well so we’ll just promote you and now you’ve got people to manage” Where she’s buying into is you kind of have leadership qualities or maybe you don’t. I can see around now, we’ve got a lot of managers that are really not great at people management they’re really good at their job and they know it inside out but as far as managing people which is really what we want managers and leaders to do, they’re not that great at it, to be fair we haven’t provided any training around it so we’re talking about it any ways.

That’s good, especially as a manager you should be able to work with people.
Yea exactly and I mean her leadership is a lot about self-awareness so like “What are you doing to solve this problem?” Don’t blame everybody else and don’t point the finger at everybody else, what are you doing? And the all the way down the line like “How can I make my people think about what they’re doing and empower them to solve problems” rather we’ve been having the thinking where the one guy at the top tells everybody what to do and everybody’s busy doing stuff. Where she’s really onboard with “We’ve got 40 people in IT we should have 40 people potentially making ideas and decisions” You know what I’m going to send you this video. It’s a speech a commander of some submarine had. Let’s say he’s in the US army or something and he just talks about how there was a bunch of people who worked on the submarine and he made all the choices and all the decisions and there was 200 people who worked on the submarine and they just did whatever he said. And I guess he decided “hmm this isn’t really working like this doesn’t make any sense there’s 200 of them how could I possibly know more than them”. And so it just kind of goes along on how he changed his kind of leadership style, it’s pretty neat.

That’s all the questions I have, do you have anything else you would like to add?
I think that one of the things I’m going to try to do in the coming years is to figure out is how to attract more volunteers [for hockey] and more people to step up so that’s a bit of a work in progress. At work also because when you work somewhere for a long time you tend to get into a routine just come to work every day and do your job and go home. So yea those are the things that I’m trying to do is to you get people to get engaged and get excited about what they’re doing.

Yea you got to find some sort of motivation in the people
Well yea and that’s exactly what it is that everybody ticks a little bit differently so what is it that makes Bob tick and let’s make that happen for him.

I was very happy that I could meet with Larissa, and found it quite interesting how what her boss at work is supporting ideas we had learned last year in leadership with John Maxwell’s 360 Degree Leader. I watched the video that Larissa sent me and found it extremely interesting, I definitely recommend watching it here

Leader in the Community: Cori Caulfield

Leader in the comunity

Cori Caulfield

For this leadership project I got the opportunity to interview Cori Caulfield. Cori Caulfield teaches and is the principal at Caulfield school of dance. She is trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary/modern, tap, acting, and musical theatre. Before the interview, I read up a bit more on her background. She has inspired and trained many dancers from the community which have even gone onto  So You Think You Can Dance, The San Francisco ballet company, and many more. I think that she is a fantastic and effective community leader because she has a passion for what she does and inspires many people to find a creative outlet to express themselves with along improving self confidence. Since i have been dancing at Caulfield School of Dance since I was 3, I have always looked up to Cori Caulfield as a role model. I find that not only does she inspire me as a dancer, but as I got older I began to see how well she kept everything running smoothly because of her leadership skills. She inspires people everyday, and I’m no exception. She has taught and shown many values that encourage me to work harder and be a better person. I think that she makes such a good leader in my eyes because she connects with the people who follow her, shows passion in what she does, and always seems to have a clear idea how she wants things to work out.

I reordered I few questions from my interview.

What qualities do you consider a good leader to have or that you aim to have?
“I think, not saying that I exude all of these, not that I think I have all of these qualities, but I do think that consistency is a good thing to shoot for when your being a leader. I also think that fairness is really important as well, along with being supportive and respectful and creating that type of environment. But most of all I would say passion. It is really important to love what you do”

Would you say that these qualities need to differ slightly depending on the audience?
“Yes definitely, Ive changed as I’ve grown older and also if I’m working with people who are younger , my leadership style would have to be different from people that are older, for sure.

What qualities do you look for when someone else is in the leadership position?  “I think vision, somebody who has an idea or plan, and knows where they are going and what they need to do to execute it, and how they want things to be. Also that it would inspire the people around them.

What are some difficulties or struggles that come up more often specifically for someone in your position of leadership?
I think that if you feel like the people that you are trying to lead are not succeeding , then is very hard to not take it personally.

What would you say is the hardest thing you face on a daily basis?
I’m going to say that I think it just takes up so much of your energy and your time. I know that sounds really selfish but it really takes a lot out of you, so I think it’s important to love what you are doing and have a passion for it.

Even though she though she said she didn’t display most of these I would say that for the most part she does. Especially when it comes to having passion for what you’re doing. You can see from all the time and care she puts into everything she does. I noticed as a general theme I got from my interview, as mentioned a few times above was that if you really care or have a passion for the thing you are taking the leadership role of, it makes it easier and gives you the motivation to deal with difficult problems and be the constant leader that everyone looks up to all the time.

Along with Interviewing Cori Caulfield, I also had a more casual interview with Vanessa Lanz. Vanessa Lanz teaches ballet, pointe, character, and pas de duex and takes on a similar leadership position as Cori Caulfield. Because I already had one interview, I did this short one more as an extra to see if someone who was still a leader but was not as high up had the same or similar opinions. Below is a short summery of my interview with her.

“Qualities good qualities to have in a leader: confidence, out spoken, kindness, empathy, sympathy, compassion.”

“Yes they change with age groups. Kids and younger adults look for confidence and out spoken people, whereas  I think that older people look for the compassion and empathy.”

“I look for someone that is willing to learn as a leader and are able to change and know when they are wrong and admit it without giving excuses.”

“The hardest thing about being a leader is being able to admit you are wrong and still keep others believing you are confident.”

Comparing these two interviews, it helped to know their leadership style, since I noticed that a lot of the traits they listed as good traits, to be ones that they try to display. I think this is because the people who they looked up to as leaders shaped that individuals idea of what it takes to be a leader. To answer my question above, after this interview i can see that there are some changes in leadership depending on the authority level, and that it shapes the leadership style slightly, but as i mentioned above I that it mostly has to do with the leadership styles that they had and their experiences that shape them into the leader they are today.

What qualities do you think a leader should have?

Works Cited

“Cori Caulfield – Dance Classes, Singing Lessons in Port Moody, Coquitlam, Tri-Cites Area.” Caulfield School of Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016″

“Vanessa Lanz – Dance Classes, Singing Lessons in Port Moody, Coquitlam, Tri-Cites Area.” Caulfield School of Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016″

 

 

 

Trish Mandewo: Believing in Possibility is a Golden Rule

**Check out my prompt at the bottom! Perhaps you might even inspire yourself…** When approaching this assignment, I felt like before I had even decided on who I wanted to interview, I knew what I wanted the final result to convey. So when my mom told me about her friend, Trish, I immediately knew she was someone who would inspire me.
Trish Mandewo
Independent business owner, speaker, and mentor, Trish Mandewo is the exceptional leader I had the opportunity to get to know over these few weeks. She is Zimbabwe-born, and after moving to the U.S. and then Canada, is the president of the Vancouver Tumblebus, a children’s gym-on-wheels that promotes fitness and play for kids through fun activities and classes, her main business in Vancouver. Before getting involved with business, she acquired an extensive medical education in Medical Microbiology and Embryology, and was an Embryology Clinical Laboratory Scientist. She now has used that education and integrated it into business as well, as she is a business development consultant at Ondine Biomedical Inc. She studied Microbiology and Embryology at Oklahoma Baptist University, her first degree in BSC Microbiology (Pre-Med), and her second degree in BSC Clinical Laboratory Science from UCO. Trish used to be a workshop facilitator at the Family Services of Greater Vancouver, as well as a referee for the Tennis BC Tournament and a previous director at the Ladies Tennis Interclub League. She is currently the President of the Coquitlam Tennis Club, a Speaker at Autism Speaks Vancouver, and an Ambassador at the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce. She has launched three independent businesses in Canada and the U.S, the Tumblebus being one of them. Trish occasionally blogs as well, about business and lifestyle. I stumbled upon this rather interesting blog she wrote on time management on the Dynamic Women in Action page, a group she is a part of. If you’d like to read it, you can check it out here.   Trish, specializing in such a wide variety of fields, has many awards to her name, some of which being the 2013 ICPIC Global Innovation Award of Excellence, the 2012 Canadian Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases John Conly Innovation Award, the 2014 Best Concept Award for Small Business BC, the 2014 Business Champion Award of Excellence by the Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development Committee, and the Tri Cities Champions for Young Children Award of Excellence. Throughout the interview process, I knew there was a theme to my questions that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but by the end of our 15 minute session, I knew exactly how to frame everything I learned: Dreams can always be achieved in life, but with planning, determination, and confidence in yourself.” I was initially both surprised and impressed with the variety of different ways Trish is involved in the community. She is passionate about so many things that range from speaking about various causes, to playing tennis, to running her businesses, to mentoring youth – it honestly took me by storm how much effort she is able to put into everything, while being spending time with her family on top of all of this! I myself find that I have a bit of trouble here and there managing all the things I want to do, while still having time for myself. When questioning her about it, she gave me one of the most logical and reasonable answers I’ve heard to that nagging question in my brain, a common theme I find in all she says.
“For me, I schedule doing the things I’m passionate about like I schedule everything else. You just have to. And luckily, I get to do what I love while meeting people that also are my clients,” she says, “Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m working or not ‘cause everything’s all interconnected.”
Right off the bat, it’s clear to me that something she values most is passion, and being able to pursue what you’re passionate about in your life. She talks of how passion is an essential part of everyday life, and that when you have passion and focus, you can achieve anything you want to.  
T: “I grew up very very poor, in fact my sister and my dad and I, we were homeless for a while while I was growing up [in Zimbabwe]. I didn’t even know I was homeless. Only afterwards I realized that I was homeless after hearing a story on the radio and I’m going, ‘That was me! I was homeless!’ But, I never saw it that way because my mind was always focused on the end goal. I was going to be who I wanted to be, I was going to do what I wanted to do. From a very early age, I set my goals, that I wanted to help people, that I wanted to do something that I will be happy about, and that nobody would ever tell me that I couldn’t do something.” A: “You just powered through everything.” T: “Exactly, exactly, and because I had that goal from an early age, that’s the way I am now. If I look at my life story, I go ‘Wow, every time I want something, I get it.’ But that didn’t just start yesterday, that started very early in my life.”
  While talking, I in fact found that I really relate to Trish, and she immediately registered in my mind as someone who I’d idol and look up to. With every word she spoke, it didn’t feel like she was answering simply to answer my questions, but I felt she was really talking to me, really giving me advice, guiding me on what to do with all the thoughts I had and opportunities I am offered. Throughout her life, she seems to find inspiration and drive from the simplest things. She went on to talk about how when she was homeless in Africa, she was seven years old when she found she could solve an electricity problem in her village by buying and reselling candles, creating a makeshift business without knowing at such a young age. Even her inspiration for the Tumblebus came from something as simple as the joy of her child.
“Growing up in my country we were very academic oriented, so my parents didn’t want me playing soccer or doing any activity that they thought would take away from the academics. They wanted me to be a doctor, just like I wanted to be a doctor. So with my daughter, I’m doing something different, ‘cause I realized that life for a child should be complete. They need physical activity in their life, and they also need their academics. So my daughter actually was doing the Tumblebus when we were living in the U.S. She absolutely loved it, and everytime the Tumblebus was coming, she would wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning when she was three years old and dress up, ready for the Tumblebus.”
The Vancouver Tumblebus
Trish is extremely idealistic and opportunistic, which is extremely admirable in her case. It practically explains how she’s been able to influence and better the lives of so many throughout the Tri-Cities and beyond. Her words are simple, yet they hold so much power, and she is able to make something out of everything that’s thrown at her. A lot of the experiences she faces can be transferred into daily endeavours as well.
“When you have a business that is not known at all and is a very new concept like Tumblebus, the biggest challenge is having to market it to really let people know what it is. It’s hard enough, when you’re starting a new business, to get the word out, let alone when you have a new concept. Also, just being new in the country and trying to get financing when you don’t have a history can be a little tough. But I’m pretty good at finding my ways,” she laughs, “and getting through. But it was a big challenge.”
When talking about her business, I related this directly to trying to break out of my comfort zone. It sounded a whole lot similar, having to introduce yourself to something you’re not used to can be hard, and from the way she explained this to me, it seemed that’s exactly what she was getting at; the greatest success comes only with hard work and risks. If one’s not willing to take a chance and do something they’re not necessarily comfortable with, how will one ever grow? How will a dream ever progress? How will you ever fulfill anything?   Our conversation developed after this, and I feel like this is what really stuck with me:
T: “People can have this long list of things that they want to do. Some of them call them ‘bucket lists,’ some of them call them ‘dreams.’ If you put something on paper and you never act on it, it’ll never happen. I always encourage people to have an action plan, and then to have a completion date. This is what you want to do, this is what you’re passionate about, but what are you doing about it, and when are you going to get it done? It’s also very important and critical to have the steps, ‘cause that’ll help you get to that goal. Otherwise it’s just on a piece of paper; it’s just a dream.” A: “Yeah, I find a lot of people, especially young people, they have all these things they want to do, but they don’t feel like they have that potential to actually do them, so they don’t do anything about it.” T: “Exactly, and I think a lot of times, young people are influenced by the people around them. Say for example, if you come up with an idea and you wanted to do it, before you do it you’re going to think, ‘What are my friends going to say? What are my parents going to say?’ Y’know, we are so influenced by the world around us that we never think of something for us.”
And then, she said this:

“And I think if I were to tell young people one thing, it’ll be listen to your heart, and do what your heart desires. Don’t listen to the people around you, especially the naysayers.”

And that left my mind to dwindle on the possibilities of that statement, the light it shines and the drive is gave me. The thought that dreams really can come true excites me, and hearing that from someone who has worked so hard for everything she’s done in her life is truly inspiring. It showed me that you must pick up opportunities whenever they show themselves to you, and there’s no sense in focusing on what’s going wrong that’s not allowing you to achieve something; you must focus on what you want to do and how, and you have to believe that you can do it, because you can! If you give yourself a plan, and believe in your plan, working with your strengths, stepping out of your bubble, you can achieve anything your heart desires, you can chase after every goal, after every aspiration and succeed. It’s your life, and your decisions, and you can do whatever you want with it, so why not make the most out of it and make it count for something? So I challenge you: What is a goal or dream you want to achieve in the next week, the next month, or the next year? And what is one step you can take right now to move towards achieving that goal? Comment below, and I’d be more than thrilled to discuss it with you!

No Showers, No Electricity, No Nothin’

For my leadership interview I chose to interview Michelle Hartt. If you google her, you wont find much but trust me, she is incredible!

Michelle Hartt works as the Women’s Ministry Leader at Coquitlam Alliance Church at the top of the hill by Charles Best Secondary. She is a wonderful woman, she cares about people and her job and that is what made her perfect fr her other job as a team leader at the Petros Network.

The Petros Network is a Christian-run global organization with the goal of empowering people in impoverished countries as well as sharing their beliefs and spreading hope. Here is Petros Networks’ missions statement:

Petros Network Mission Statements

Michelle Hartt is a team leader within this organization and makes yearly trips to Ethiopia. She checks up on the pastors that are being trained, the widows and their businesses and the orphans they sponsor. It’s a very big job, but she’s so happy to do it. During my interview I didn’t record everything she said so I will do my best with the notes I have.


 

Q. What were some of the challenges you encountered while you were helping people there, [in Ethiopia] and what did you do?

A. In Ethiopia there is no running water, which is a struggle in it’s own, as well as no electricity, that made Michelle’s job that much harder. Her job was to record interviews with the pastors they sponsored, but to do that she had to use a computer. Make that 14 computers. As each battery died she used the next one, as there was no way to charge them. They’d break and it would be super frustrating, but at the end of it all it turned out alright.

And there’s that other issue, with water. She was given a small bucket of water to share between two people each day, which could be used for bathing or flushing their toilet. And because they had a tiny building for their house and poop kinda stinks, they decided t use it to flush their toilets. It was horrible working conditions but she felt the outcome was so worth it.

Q. What were some of the moments that inspired you to keep doing what you were doing?

A. Part of Petros’ goal is to empower widows. In the village Michelle visited she met with the 12 widows that Petros had sponsored for a year so far. She got to see the women, nearly starving and unable to care for their children only a year ago standing strong and healthy. Part of the deal of these sponsorships were that these women bought and sold between each other and it created a sustainable mini-economy between these twelve widows and their village. Some examples of businesses is one woman who delivers food to hotels, another who owns a few cattle and sells the milk, and a woman who makes and sells clothing.

These women are given about the equivalent to $1000 to get started, medical care as well as food and water. As their businesses grow and they start to get an income they begin to start paying off the loan, so they become completely independent. Michelle says “It was so inspiring and so beautiful to see these women completely transformed, and the fact that I was a part of that gave me confidence that I was making a difference.”

Q. What were the highlights and lowlights of your trip?

A. “There were so many great things but I’d have to say, the best part was hearing the testimonies of the pastors.” If you don’t know what a testimony is, it’s the story about the person’s relationship with God. These pastors talked about the persecution they go through so they can continue to share what they believe. They are killed, alienated and looked down on by so many, but they are still committed. They told Michelle about the miracles they witnessed and how they are so proud to be doing what they are doing even though it can be so dangerous. “That,” she said “was the highlight of my trip.”

As for the lowlights it is they poverty she witnessed every day, children laying on the side of the road with their mothers, skinny and sickly. It wasn’t uncommon to see a dead person, of any gender or age, lying on the street. The reason she was there was to help people, and that’s what she was doing, but she couldn’t help everyone, and that killed her.

Q. What advice would you give to someone wanting to do what you did?

A. In Michelle’s words: “Do it!” She talked about how worth it it was to go and help people less fortunate than us and how humbling it was. She said it is so important for everyone to understand the drastic proportions regarding the quality of life we have here and the that they do there.

“Though it’s so worth it,” she says “it takes a lot of physical, mental and emotional preparation.” Seeing the kinds f things she saw was not and will never be easy. You also have to pay to go there on your own so you need to overcome a lot of challenges before you even get there. But it’s still so worth it!

Q. Who were people (who you met, [in Ethiopia] or who came with you) that made an impact on you personally?

A. When I asked Michelle this question she had an answer for me right away. His name is Tesfaye and he was one of the pastors she interviewed. “He is fearless” says Michelle. He travels to far away villages to help people start churches, but it’s a very dangerous job. The places he travels to are very hostile and he could be killed just for speaking about what he believes.

He’s been doing this for twenty years, and so much has happened to him. He has lost three of his children to disease, but he still believes he is doing the right thing. He believes that this is his calling, he told Michelle “If one day God doesn’t protect me, I get to go home.” and she found that incredibly inspiring.

Michelle and Tesfaye
Michelle Hartt

Q. How do you think you were different when you came home?

A. “Appreciative” “Of what?” I asked “Everything”

Michelle saw a lot on her trip, she experienced incredible poverty and horrible quality of life, when she came home she said she felt so appreciative of everything. Clean and accessible water, safety, functioning and secure government and order. As well as all that she said her perspective on life and God has changed. There, where they have nothing, the people have such strong faith, and they make the most out of what they have.

Q. As the team leader what did you have to do?

A. “Too much!” As the team leader Michelle had to coordinate the whole trip, as well as being involved with everything going on when they were in Ethiopia. She had to interview all of the pastors within a short time frame, which she said was very stressful at times. That took up a lot of time anyway, which made her time with visiting the orphans Northside Church (my church) sponsors. She got to talk to and take pictures of these 28 children within an hour; that’s about 2 minutes each. Everything had to happen during the daylight because they couldn’t travel at night, because of terrorists.

Even with all the stress, danger and hard work Michelle endured she is still glad she went and she hopes for more opportunities.


As you could probably tell by her answers, Michelle had, and still has, a good attitude about everything. She took everything that came at her so well, and so gracefully. I think that that is an important quality for a leader to have: to be calm when faced with a challenge. She is also very enthusiastic and passionate about this cause. Nothing would get done for any cause if there aren’t people like Michelle who feel so strongly about an issue that they actually do something.

I believe Michelle to be an exceptional leader because she is so selfless. She gave up water, food, electricity and safety to help people. Her actions really inspire me to to help people, even if it means giving up my convenience. If I were to volunteer my time to help people who need it, even only a few hours, I could make a difference in people’s lives. And when I’m older and can afford to make a trip like the one Michelle did, that’s what I’ll be doing: making a difference.

 

Leader Interview Synthesis

 

This post is for my Leadership 11 project “Leader in my Community.” For the project I was required to choose a leader in my community and eventually set up a face to face interview. I choose my Scout Leader Mark Wilson. It took a while to coordinate our schedules, and that is why my post is late.  Before I interviewed him, we were supposed to do online research, but I already knew him somewhat (for example. he is a VP of engineering), so I did not do that part. I did the interview with Hamilton Shrimpton from the grade nines (blog not found. Where do the grade nines keep their blogs, anyway?).

I had chosen to interview Mark because he is such a great leader not only within the scouting community, but also in the local area as well, helping with community events and church gatherings, as well as encouraging others to do the same. He embodies many aspects of leadership that I hope to gain and/or develop. I also had a lot of past experience with him, and knew him to qualify quite easily to the “leader” model.

Once we were both available, I sat down for an interview with him on the second of January from about 3:00 to 3:30. we asked him many questions we did not know, such as “what are the qualifications it takes to be a scouts leader,” “what he thought a leader needed,” and “how should we  encourage future leaders.” the last question spawned a long talk about how we can benefit and create more leaders. This led into what Mark thought was the most important part of leadership: letting others lead. a great leader knows when to let the people below them have a say with deciding and running things. This is not so much as (also important) delegation, as encouraging the next generation to embrace leadership.

In conclusion, I think the interview went very well, and I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader,  and gave me some views as to what I would wish to do in the future in terms of leadership roles.

See you next time,

Christopher

Interview – Laura Dupont

Who is she?


Laura Dupont is a Port Coquitlam city councillor, she is part of Port Coquitlam’s Community Safety Committee, Healthy Communities Committee, Fraser Valley Regional Library Board, Interlink Library Board and Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee. I’ve known Laura for many years as I’ve been going to school with her son Sam for 8 years. Last year when Laura ran to become a city councillor my mom was her campaign manager and I helped with flyer distribution. Doing so I gained experience and knowledge of what a successful political campaign is like. In a small way, I can say that I helped get her elected. Laura also volunteered at the Port Coquitlam fish hatchery for many years and volunteered at SHARE, a community counselling office. Laura is an active environmentalist and considers the Port Coquitlam watershed precious. She is one of the happiest people I know and a great leader and role model in Port Coquitlam.

The Experience


 Everything flowed quite smoothly as I knew Laura in advance. I started off by asking if she would be available for an interview either by phone or in-person, this was in the form of an email. We agreed on a time which I would call her yet last minute she had to cancel as one of her council meetings ran late. This happened multiple times but finally she said that she had an open hour where she could pop by my house. The interview took place on my couch and wasn’t as formal as I’m sure some of the other students interviews were. Laura is quite a relaxed person which in turn helped me to be more calm and composed during the interview. Over this process I got a taste on how busy a councilor’s schedule can be. I find it quite incredible that Laura manages to juggle all of this while also volunteering and taking care of her family. I also became better at writing questions for interviews which will come in handy for eminent 2016.

The Interview


 *I recorded Laura and then typed this out in the exact words that she said so the grammar may not be perfect, just know it was intended*

A: So I know you’re a city councillor, tell me about what that involves.

L: Well there is lots of city events that you are somewhat obligated to attend if you want to keep in touch with groups in the community. There is, also, all kinds of events and fundraisers in the community happenings in the city. There is also lots of committee work, for example, the city committees, the community safety committee, the healthy community’s committee, the Fraser valley regional library board, provincial library interlink board, the metro climate action committee, all of which I am a part of. They had quite a steep learning curve but now that I’ve got the hang of things I’m quite enjoying my time on these committee’s. Oh, I believe I’m on the arts connect committee but to date nothing much has been happening with that one, pretty low maintenance. I attend meetings for all my different positions. A big part of my job is reading as before almost all of my meetings I read many articles so I can stay up to date. Also, if you’re curious about something (which Laura often is, she extends herself far beyond the basic requirements of her various committee’s) you’ve got to go and research that as well.

A: What specific courses or opportunities in your past have helped you get to the point you’re at now?

L: Well, going to Douglas [College] and taking political science classes helped me and got me intrigued with politics and different levels of government and got me definitely engaged in local government. Then I stumbled on this awesome woman, *laughs* which was your mother, who convinced me to run and the rest is history.

A: Is there any advice you have for high school students (like myself) who might want to work in politics like you or in general?

L: I’m a strong believer in volunteering and I think its important to volunteer in the community because, for one, it’s a great way to build a network. I think if you’re ever seriously considering running for some level of government you can’t ever have a big enough network. The more people in your community you know the better you’ll do. Also, keep a record of your network so if you ever need to contact, say… the fire chief you can. This group of people, list of names, if you ever do consider running for a level of government is extremely beneficial. It’s always good to know and be on good relations with lots of people.

A: What is a moment where you felt proud of your actions as a leader?

L: Well, recently we’ve done some great stuff on council which has made me feel fulfilled with my job. We worked together on council to convince the rest of council that we should pass some really good and progressive bylaws such as getting Uber in the community. I think its important to have transportation options, especially in a community which is so underserved by transit. Also, national pharmacare which would save a lot of people a lot of money and make our community healthier and safer. A living wage is also important and we passed a resolution to look at establishing one in our community. These are things that will even out the inequality in our community.

A: You talked about Uber and transit, what else do you value in a community?

L: We have such a great community for so many reasons but really it comes down to the people in our wonderful little city that make it awesome. I look at the street I live on and what a welcoming little environment that is, we all know each other and I’m really lucky because I have 3 or 4 neighbors that I can run across the street and borrow something I’m short on. We all look out for each other and support each other and I think Poco’s great because the entire city feels that way.

A: What has been a tough moment for you in reaching where you are now?

L: I remember when I was running for council I had a few women who questioned my ability to work on council and take care of my family abilities. I thought that was interesting that those questions would come from women. I guess it is a fair question to ask and sometimes it is a challenge to juggle the whole family/work thing. I guess I was surprised from that. Also since I’ve been on council there’s been a few things I would’ve liked to bring forward. It’s not as easy as you’d think it’d be you have to find support. For example, I’d like to get a heritage tree program going which would protect old and important trees in Port Coquitlam, trying to get the rest of council to support me is hard and a lot of people don’t value trees the same way as I do.

A: What skills, in your opinion do you think a leader should possess?

L: I think its really important to stick to your values and principles and stay true to yourself. Standing tall in the face of “haters” is always hard but really important and it must be done. If its what you believe in you have to stand firm.

A: Having helped out with your campaign I got a small taste of what it was like but what was the experience like for you and what do you think you got out of it?

L: It was AWESOME!! It was crazy fun and insanely busy but it was a really rewarding experience because I got to know my community better than I ever thought I would, we literally door knocked on every single family house in Port Coquitlam. I got to know the city geographically and I got to know more about people.

A: Is there anything else you’d like to tell me or any advice to give?

L: Well Andreas, I think its important to listen to your mom and dad *laughs* and be a good kid, do all the chores and walk the dog because it takes a family to run a house. You don’t know how hard it is. *laughs* I think back to when I was your age and my mom and dad would bug me to help out, I grew up on a farm and I had to help out in the barn and stuff. I hated it but it really is the stuff that builds a solid work ethic. It certainly helped me. As corny as it sounds, and you know me well enough to know that I’m harassing you a little here, its important to pitch in and make stuff happen.

Poco Heritage Trees


Poco Heritage Trees (as mentioned above) is a movement that Laura is trying to start, she believes that one of the great treasures of this community are the trees. She thinks that too many beautiful, old trees are being carelessly cut down and should be kept. She has a facebook page for this that I will link here. I know she would greatly appreciate checking out her page as it would greatly help her movement. Thanks!

Pictures


Laura and Adrienne
This is Laura (middle left) and my mom, Adrienne, (far left) in the midst of Laura’s campaign.
Laura and Sam
This is Laura with her son Sam.
Laura Biking
This is Laura enjoying the beautiful scenery and nature that she fights so hard to protect.

Links


Facebook: Laura is quite active on Facebook, posting valuable and insightful links and posts.

Website: This was Laura’s website during her campaign, it doesn’t get much use anymore but it has some valuable information about her on it. Also all of the pictures on this post come from there.

Port Coquitlam City Council Website: This contains some good information on the role of the city council.

A Leader In My Community: Deputy Chief Dave Jansen

For my leadership interview I decided to interview Deputy Chief Jansen.

DC Jansen has been dedicated to the New Westminster Police Department for about 25 years and has accomplished so much. He’s so inspiring as he went from someone hired in 1990 without any post secondary education, to Deputy Chief Constable. Amazing. He’s been in so many positions, received so many awards and is still, one of the most humble and cool people I’ve had the honor to talk to.

I put all the amazing things I learnt from and about Deputy Chief Jansen into a PowerPoint. I put a lot of effort into it, so if you want to check it out, click here, here, or here.

Again, I just want to thank Deputy Chief Jansen for allowing me to interview him. I really dug deeper into what a leader, and how anyone can do a job but not everyone can be a leader. I came to so many crazy realizations, it was incredible. Thank you so much!

Bonita Zarrillo

For my leadership interview I decided to ask Bonita Zarrillo some questions.  Bonita Zarrillo is on the Coquitlam city council, she is the chair Parcel Tax Review Panel, the chair of the Universal Access-Ability Advisory , chair of the Economic Development Advisory Committee ,vice Chair of the City/School Board Liaison Committee and a member of the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Relations Committee.

     For the interview, I wanted to get a sense of what kind of leader she was, and what values she holds as a leader in our community.  Most of the questions I asked her were on leadership styles and education.  I think we both have a rather similar leadership style, we both agree that a leader shouldn’t be the loudest person in the room, but someone quieter who is able to listen more effectively.  We also both believe that it’s extremely important to have strong integrity and stick to your morals.   

     I thought it would be interesting to ask about how she thinks education effects the way a person leads.  She said that education gives you a wider view, when you are in a classroom with a variety of people and personalities, you learn how to accommodate for everyone and how to interact with a large group.  When I explained to her the Talons program and learner autonomy, she said that the earlier you learn these types of skills the better.  She also mentioned that to her, these experiences are very important in creating a good leader.

     Before we said goodbye she left me with a final quote.  She said that a career in politics may seem out or reach, but that’s not true!  I found this very encouraging as a young person possibly interested in a career in politics.  

     This was just a small portion of my interview, if you’re interested and want to see more, click here to see a word web I made of the whole interview.

Also, here are some links to websites with more information on Bonita Zarrillo.  If you’re interested, I found that Bonita was an EXTREMELY inspirational person, and I really enjoyed reading up on her values and what she stands for.

http://bonitazarrillo.ca/

http://www.coquitlam.ca/city-hall

 

How to: Be a Better Leader

To a certain extent, we are all leaders in some way. Whether it be knowingly or unknowingly, intentional or not, big or small. We are all leaders to at least someone in some way. So when we were presented with this project, really, we could have interviewed anyone. We could have interviewed our mom, our elderly neighbor, or Uncle Larry, because no matter who you talk to, they are guaranteed to be a leader for someone in their community. But what I think we were all looking for, were those exceptional leaders. Those who go above and beyond the general criteria for being a good community leader. People who are leaders, but perhaps in bigger ways than you and I. Those people whose impact is imminent and respected. And ultimately learning from these great leaders makes you, who might be a slightly less-great leader, to be better. Even if you feel you’re doing pretty good at being a leader, there is still always room to improve.

In this post, my goal is to show you how to become a better leader. And even the first paragraph had some tips.

Another thing about our leaders in the community, is that sometimes they don’t want to be acknowledged. Often, our leaders are not looking for a reward or for special recognition. They just do it because it feels right to them, and because it makes them feel good about themselves. Or as many of us define it as, humility. Some, even self-recognized leaders, wish not to be acknowledged for whatever reasons. And just like everything else, this needs to be respected and understood. That not all leaders want to have all the fame and glory and everything that goes with it. In fact, many of the leaders I talk to in everyday circumstance wish to not have the recognition.

To be a good leader, there are several simple things you can do. First you have to have a vision. A brighter and better vision for the future to achieve the goals you set for: A) yourself, and B) your group, or C) your community. You need also have good communication skills. Talking between members of B or C, resolving conflicts and getting things going. You need to be a good speaker with a big voice (because sometimes the loudest voice in the room is the one that’s heard. But as a leader, you make sure even the quietest voices are as loud as the ones that are screaming their opinions) and confidence in your stride. Your sentences make sense and even if you’re wrong, the way you said it makes it sound like you could be right. However, if you are wrong, admit it. You are going to make mistakes, and all we can do is learn from them. People by definition, aren’t perfect so when we make wrongs, learn from them so you can make more rights. As well, people trust you if you are honest.

But at the same time, you also have to be a really good listener. Like your mothers might have said, “God gave you one mouth to speak with, and two ears to listen with”. Basically saying “STOP TALKING TIMMY AND LISTEN TO ME”. Or in our case, listen more, talk less. This listening skill will also help you become a better leader over time because when you are listening, you are hearing what people have to say and therefore getting multiple different views on a certain subject. As well, if you are listening to other leaders, you are learning from them and can take their wisdom and apply it to you and your situations. Just like the old saying, “Bad artists borrow. Great artists steal.” Another thing about listening, better leaders are proven to be good listeners. Because again, sometimes the loudest voice in the room, isn’t the one that should be heard (looking at you Donald Trump). See this article, showing the importance of listening.

To the left is a “bible” on leadership. It is a great resource on becoming a better leader. Reading books, watching films or videos, and especially being in the presence of, or watching other great leaders are some of the best ways to help yourself be better in this.  Even some things we wouldn’t necessarily expect, such as commercials, can give us tips on becoming a better leader.

Even though this commercial is about being a better athlete, many of the qualities needed for this are also similar or the same to the qualities in a leader. It’s also inspirational in the way that we can all be the next (in this case) Steven Stamkos, the next Nelson Mandela, the next [insert great leader’s name here].

So this is great and all, but how will I know if I’ve been a leader? Well there are a bunch of ways. One of the most obvious would be people straight-up telling you. When you are doing something well and people look up to you in the field of what you are doing, they will usually tell you how great you are at such-and-such. The same applies for being a leader. Another way you will know, is by seeing your affect on others. Especially if that affect is long-lasting. When you see your ideas and your work being respected by your peers and even people you don’t know, you will also see your leadership skills having influenced others in a good way.

Seeing this is very encouraging to anyone. Knowing that what you do makes a difference and seeing it in action would make anyone feel good. This leads to inspiration which repeats this whole great cycle again.

And where? Where can I be a leader? The answer to this question is simple. Everywhere! You can be a leader everywhere you go, even by simply just doing things that everyone should follow.

Now, to just sum it up, how can you be a better leader?

Start by talking to leaders. Learn from them. And learn also from books and any other resource you can find.  Watch the leaders you admire and respect. See what they do and try to follow in their footsteps. And remember, you are not perfect. You are going to make mistakes. That is for sure. So learn from them. If you fall, find out why and decrease the chances of that happening again. Next time, you’ll tie your shoes. Learn as you go. You also have to learn a bit by osmosis. Finally, you can always get better. But that doesn’t mean you are bad.

 

Related Posts

  • 30
      The imminence of eminent has died down. The frantic last-minute scrambling of NOTN and sleepless nights in wait of NOTN have at last come to a rest and my month-long study of Bill Evans has concluded, school-wise at least. I learned more than what I set out to do. My original…
    Tags: people, great, good, learn

The Epitome of A Leader – Community Leader Interview Project

Remo Faedo Port Moody Fire Chief, Photo Credit Lisa King

For my leadership community leader interview I wanted to find someone who I was personally inspired by and look up to, or admire what they do. I considered a couple of options but after some thought I decided to pursue the Fire Chief of my home city, Port Moody. I did some research and identified that the current acting chief is Remo Faedo. I found the non-emergency phone number to contact the number one fire hall. After some phone tag and a few calls with the secretary at the main station I was able to set up a time to meet with Remo Faedo. It was an honour to be able to sit down and talk with him about some of the special and important things he and his team do in the community. I chose Remo because I really appreciate the work that fire fighters do in the community and at the top of it all is the chief. The chief of this organization needs to be an undeniably strong and fearless leader in dealing with all the different extensions of problems and events that fire fighters deal with daily. Overall, I felt that these were some of the most important qualities of a good leader and so I thought this would be a very valuable interview. I tried to focus on some of those things that I felt made him a good leader in the interview and really identify what the qualities are that make fire fighters such amazing people and leaders in general. As I talked to him, I understood more about some of these qualities.

Remo Faedo told me, when asked about any awards he has received over the years, that he has received awards from the city as well as both the provincial and federal governments. “The BC award is a service award,” which recognizes Faedo for 20 years of service, “and the exemplary award comes from the federal government.” The federal award, he told me, recognizes him for 25 years of exemplary service. “The city is typical years of service awards.” He also told me. Clearly from these measures I could see that Faedo has put in his fair share of work to get to where he is now and has dedicated a very significant amount of effort to his duty. He has also been involved in the work for a very long time.

Remo earlier explained to me how he first started out “wanting to do something for my community.” He began as a volunteer fire fighter in October of ’89 and “had the skill set and aptitude to become a volunteer fire fighter,” and “felt that that would be much more exciting than any other volunteer work the city could offer”. He then “became a career fire fighter in July of ’93, from which point he moved up to deputy chief in November of 2007 and he  made the final step to Fire Chief in July of 2009. In terms of training, experience was all he needed, and so as you can tell by his awards, he has worked hard to gain that. He did however take various courses, both fire related and some business related, as well in order to develop the knowledge side of things for his job. He has also been involved in some education programs over the years related to the fire service. All of this “put me in a position where I was able to apply for the fire chief job and be successful.” Nonetheless, he pointed out, the most important part was the on-job experience, “You can’t overlook experience.” he told me.

The most rewarding parts of the job, awards in the form of recognition you might say, are not those of the above mentioned sort he continued. “The ones that really impact you are the ones where you get cards or you get people that drop by that thank you for saving their life.” “Those are the most rewarding awards that you could get…that’s what drives us really more than anything else.” This is where I believe the work that Faedo, among his fellow fire fighters, has done and do is truly amazing. In terms of accomplishments and achievements you really cannot go farther than saving a person’s life, and that is what he and his co-workers strive to do every day.

He described to me a call the crew recently responded to at an apartment building on Clarke Road. I had heard of this fire as it had been on many news sources and was a big fire for Port Moody. Faedo said “It was an exceptional save by our crew, and I was very proud of our fire fighters and the work they accomplished.” Thinking about it, it is quite remarkable to hear the inside, which most people don’t usually hear, and really see how much work and effort goes into that fire we saw on the news. A fire where no one was killed and it appeared to be a situation that had been handled under control, but not for the  exceptional work of those fire fighters, it might have been a different news story.

But not only is the work Faedo and his team do post-emergency, no, Remo was very sure to include that it is a total strive to maintain a safe community for everyone. This includes preventative action to help stop injuries and fires before they happen, as he told me, “Anything predictable is preventable.”

Something else that I asked the Fire Chief about was the new fire hall that was finished just this year in Port Moody after what appeared as many years of need of repair and replacement. He was happy to tell me how “I was involved in the entire process, so for me it was really quite rewarding to have this built during my ten year’s fire chief.” After it had been “about a ten year process from when we identified the need to when we moved in.” He continued to say how “the building turned out wonderfully” and because of its “high profile location in the community” “we spend a little bit of time and effort and money to make it look nice.” This was also clearly something that was a big accomplishment for not only Remo Faedo but also the whole fire staff at the fire hall and is something that they take pride in now. I personally was impressed by the building from the inside, as I have been of the outside since it was built. It certainly makes me proud of our fire fighters when I see it and I think it is something that is very important to making them proud of what they do as it is such a key part of their life and work.

There are many things that point to exceptional qualities about Fire Chief Remo Faedo, from his many years of service and dedication to helping others, to his embodiment of the whole organization. I think to describe him as a leader, for me, first of all, his job is putting himself in danger in  order to save the lives of people who he most likely does not know. I think that that alone is an act of true leadership where he is not only putting others before himself but also going beyond what is asked of any regular person. It’s not expected that you will run into a burning building filled with smoke, not knowing what to expect when you get inside, and yet, that is exactly what fire fighters do. And all of those fire fighters, are led by the chief.

A chief who showed commitment and support of his team when he fought for a space that would put them in better health and comfort so they can focus on what they do. A chief who has dedicated much of his life to giving back to ordinary people. A chief, who like any other, has learned to overcome challenges and problem solve. Though he told me that he has not had any major obstacles throughout his career he said “the most difficult part of the job is dealing with people…everybody sees things differently and yet at the same time you have to work together.” He said this was probably his biggest challenge, “working with others in order to move forward as a department.” He mentioned the importance of how in this situation even if everyone didn’t get everything they wanted, everyone got something that they were happy with.” These are key pieces to any successful organization, and recognizing the value of these situations and outcomes is the sign of a good leader.

One of the most amazing things from the interview however, was when I asked the Fire Chief about what drives him to help people who he doesn’t know to this extent on a daily basis, and to commit so much of himself to doing so. I guess it wasn’t so much of a well thought out question in asking what drives you, but it was inspirational to hear him talk about how it is really something they specifically look for when hiring, and a trait that you need to excel in the job. That trait is, the drive and will to help others, and they look for a history of that in a person when hiring. It was in a sense moving just to feel that support as an average kid in the community that there are all of these amazing people who spend their lives, and would ultimately risk their lives to save yours. I know that’s something that I probably already knew factually, but I do find it quite empowering to see that organization first-hand, what these people can do with their own two hands.

I think these traits fairly speak for themselves as to why not only Remo Faedo but also all fire fighters are very effective community leaders. They are ones who will step up in times of trouble when everyone else is running away. They cooperate as a team to solve life-threatening problems on the fly. And they ultimately risk it all putting others’ lives before their own. I believe Remo is an effective community leader because he sets the example for all of these fire fighters and leads the way. He is the one inspiring them day-to-day and leading by example in the effort he has put towards the job.

For these qualities I find the fire chief very inspiring and it certainly makes me want to do my part in the community, even just with little things, of giving back, seeing all that he does to help others.

Oh, did I mention that not only does the fire hall put out the usual fire fighting duties, but also many charitable fundraisers where virtually every penny of what is raised goes directly to charities including the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, the BC Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, and the Crossroads Hospice Society. The fire chief informed me of how “we raise upwards to $50,000 a year that we give to charity”. These events, such as the annual pancake breakfast, are put on by fire fighters in their spare time and also serve as community development functions where the community can come together in one place and share a good time. He said these events are “pretty special” because of how everyone comes together for a good cause and the positive affect they bring. He explained how “I was heavily involved in that when I was a fire fighter and I found that to be really rewarding.”

Overall, I think we can agree that Mr. Faedo does enough good in the community to cover about a thousand people, or more! I think these events are also a host ground for people to not only see what fire fighters do, but also become a part of something good giving back. These events are a direct act of inspiration for many people in the community, seeing what these men and women do for us, and wanting do to something for them but also for others.

Lastly, as the fire chief and I were discussing at a different point in the interview, “People appreciate the fire department most after they’ve needed their service”.  This was how I most directly came to appreciate what they do, seeing them respond and help someone who they have never met before, and this is how many people are also most thankful and inspired of what they do.

I will take many things away from this interview with the Port Moody Fire Chief, especially including a greater appreciation for the effort that these men and women put in to help us, average people, any people. I will also take away how giving back and helping others is such an empowering feeling, and how its important that everyone does their part to help themselves and others be safe everyday. Even small things can help, the important part is that you care. It was certainly very moving to see that entire organization as something that is real and not just a station of superheroes, and it really put it into perspective to see how much work is behind every call they respond to with such ease.

As a fun way to see how you feel about community leadership I have put together an online survey that I would love if you could complete! It’s just a few questions about what you think makes a good leader in an organization. Check it out in the link below:

Community Leader Survey!

Thank you very much for reading this post about a phenomenal local leader, and I hope you have a new understanding of the work that your local fire fighters do and how some of the things that they do make them such good leaders! If I may say so myself, I think that will save strangers at the risk of your own life, is the epitome of a good leader.