View from the C-Suite with Christine Magee, Sleep Country Canada

Posted December 8, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

Founder & President, Sleep Country CanadaWell, hot off the press after an action-packed hour-plus with Sleep Country Canada President and spokesperson, Christine Magee, I thought I’d share some of my favourite ideas from our roundtable discussion.

Recognize the power of “we”… be inclusive; involve your team members in as much decision-making as possible. Create a culture of collaboration and team.

Leadership is about taking risks…   When Christine and her partners launched SCC, most of her banking friends didn’t understand why she was walking away from her “promising career”. Know the risks, but believe in yourself and don’t explain your decision to the doubters, just go do it.

When it comes to being a media spokesperson… be clear about your message and have a vision for how you want to be perceived. Prepare in advance for your interviews, and know your key points.  However, recognized that you can be quoted out of context… that comes with the territory.

Know when to let go… You can’t be great at everything, including all aspects of leadership.  Look for people who are great at what you’re not so great at and let them step up to the plate.

Authenticity in leadership is absolutely essential… avoid having a “work face” and a “home face”.  Sure you need to have a game face from time to time, but individuals will follow you because they believe in who you are… not who you’re pretending to be.

As leaders, our view of our company/division/team could sound more aspirational than the day-to-day reality… things will never be perfect, but it’s important to clearly articulate what you want your company culture, vision, and values to be and work hard every day to move closer to your ideal.

Recognition programs matter, but it’s the daily dialog that counts… how you build commitment starts with how you stay connected to the core of your organization.  Get out… walk around… ask questions and listen.

Context is critical… explaining the “why” behind decisions is crucial to helping organizations manage change.  Helping people understand the mechanics of your business, also helps them understand the rationale behind your decisions.  Be as transparent as you can be.

There was so much more. Christine Magee and her partner Gordon Lownds and Steve Gunn and have built an incredibly impressive business, but what impressed me the most was Christine’s down-to-earth approach and candor about the ups and downs of leading a successful business.


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