Lessons in leadership

The 2014 Top 50 CEOs share the wisdom of their experience, in their own words

Who or what has had the most significant impact on your growth as a business leader?

Doug DoucetDoug Doucet, rcs Construction Inc.
Pete Luckett (of Pete’s Frootique) is one of my best mentors. His Sunnyside store was our first project as a contractor and what I learned from working with him during that period was priceless. Pete claimed that it didn’t matter if you sell fruit or construction services, that it’s all the same thing. He always preached that if you make a positive experience every time, clients will always come back for more. We have since completed numerous projects for him over the past 17 years, so I guess the philosophy works.

Mike HacheyMike Hachey, Egg Studios
My father, who was also an entrepreneur, overcame much adversity in his life and taught me the valuable lesson of perseverance. After a car accident left one of his arms paralyzed, and him hospitalized for months, he pushed through it all and never let his disability affect him. As a contractor and sole-provider, he worked through every business challenge to find new opportunities. Always innovative and creative, he pushed his kids to think big and never let anything stand in our way – and showed us how by example.

Suzanne Larochelle BachurSuzanne Larochelle-Bachur,Premiere Executive Suites/Atlantic Ltd.
In 2012 I was introduced to The Women President’s Organization and very quickly became a member. With no disrespect intended, or regrets, without prejudice, I will share that while having been primarily influenced by men during my career development, I find this group of extremely astute business women very refreshing and more in tune to my perspective as a woman in a leadership role.

During the selection process for the Top 50 CEO awards, each nominee is required to answer a series of questions about their personal leadership style and actions. These questions are designed to reveal key motivators, seminal moments and management philosophies. The responses are raw, revealing and an invaluable education in what makes exceptional leaders tick. Here, we share their awardwinning (sometimes painfully earned) lessons in leadership. Lessons in top 50 ceo editorial package

Dave GrebencDavid Grebenc, Innovatia Inc.
Aside from my parents (who instilled in me the importance of a sense of humour, integrity and hard work), my experience and mentorship while working for NBTel/Aliant has had the strongest influence on my career. Leaders like Jack Travis and Gerry Pond put me in jobs that, to be honest, I’m not sure if I thought I was ready for. They took chances with me, but they were always there to help me learn from mistakes, not penalize me for them. Don’t get me wrong – they were always firm with their feedback, but I guess that toughened me up too!

Troy NorthrupTroy Northrup, East Point Inc./ Shred Guard Inc.
My father taught me to recognize the hidden value in what others often saw as only an undervalued asset. He started our family business with very few resources and a belief that if you looked for opportunities and worked hard and long enough, then success would follow. He was, and still is, the classic entrepreneur, taking manageable risks, investing in what he believes in and continuing to reinvest for the long term. He has taught me many very valuable business and life lessons over the years, lessons that I will hold forever.

Jon StanfieldJon Stanfield Stanfield’s Ltd.
My father’s work ethic, fairness, commitment, loyalty to people and place and his integrity continue to influence me every day. I also have my YPO forum whose members have vast experience and knowledge. I don’t have an immediate listening or discussion outlet in Truro so my forum-mates help ground me and force me into different types of decision-making processes.

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