Thoughts From Big Players

Thoughts From Big Players

Thoughts From Big Players On The World Stage Impact Us In Our Own Backyards


I (Bruce) held a meeting with Steven Harper this month. He told me Canada is in good shape relative to global economy, but our productivity is low compared to other G7 countries. He asked me what we could do about this.

Well … me and the 700 other members of the local Chamber of Commerce attending his talk. It did make me think about the definition of productivity and metrics used in business to measure this. How do we know we are being productive?

A couple of tips we’ve learned over the years is to make sure you are focusing on the right work; to prioritize and ensure we are working on the things that matter most. This may not be the most urgent thing (somebody standing at your office door, or always immediately checking your email when you hear the ‘bing’ of a new email notification). It might also be that some things that are not very important we will never get to People, you recognize this line of thinking. One of the habits is all about prioritizing your work each and every day. Ultimately you want to make sure as much of your work time as possible is spent on things that are Important, but not Urgent.

When you do this you are in control of your time and are working on the things that matter most to you and your clients. Often the best business ideas we come across are from books we’ve read and listening to leaders speak.


Kevin French and Nathan Lichti of Vertex also attend a simulcast event this past month featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Malcolm Gladwell, Former US First Lady Laura Bush, among others.

Here are some great quotes they took away from the event:


  • “The value of a life is always measured by how much of it was given away.” – Andy Stanley, leadership communicator and best-selling author. Think about all of the knowledge and experience you have accumulated in your life and career; think about the mentors you benefitted from; then think about what you can do to selflessly empower the next generation of leaders around you.
  • “Leaders listen to all and lead all, not just factions. Leaders are accountable to all. Leaders lead by example.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate and human rights activist. If anyone has not listened to this man speak, it is well worth it even just to experience his outlook on life and sense of humour (and contagious laugh!).
  • People are more likely to follow legitimate authority. Legitimate authority needs to have respect, fairness, consistency and trustworthiness.” – Malcolm Gladwell, award-winning journalist and best-selling author. It doesn’t just matter that you are right, it matters how you execute your leadership.
  • “Groups can form a circle of safety that allows them to perform better than the sum of the individuals.” – Simon Sinek, leadership expert and best-selling author. As a leader, you need to set the tone or the environment to allow the people around you to learn, perform and grow beyond themselves.
  • “I’m petrified of leaders who just care about cutting costs and don’t know how to celebrate achievements” – Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP AG, a world leading provider of business software. As a leader, you need to develop an audacious bold dream for your organization, and then celebrate milestones along the way.

We’ve found you can learn a lot by listening in on leaders who have accomplished and are still accomplishing a great deal in life. We recommend you make a point of surrounding yourself with smart people and take the time to consider the big picture.

Until next time…Excellence is Your Choice!