Managing: The Tough Stuff… any bombs under your car lately?

Posted April 5, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

Managing today is far more complex than it ever used to be and, last week, our members had the chance to tackle some of their toughest questions with a seasoned panel of leadership pro’s.  Our PowerRoundtable panelists Hugo Sorensen (CEO, Hy-Drive), Cheryl Gray (SVP, Bentall LLP) and Stacey Allerton Firth (VP HR, Ford Canada) shared more than a few stories about how they have personally navigated the “dark underbelly” of leadership and lived to lead another day. 

The conversation was lively and the lessons were broad, with perhaps the jaw dropping one coming from Hugo who shared a tense union moment when a bomb was actually placed under his car… and you think you’re having a bad day!  Here are just a few of the top tips from our panel on managing yourself, your teams and your boss.


  • Be clear on your values and ethics… don’t compromise these to please.  You may adjust standards, but your core values need to be uncompromising.
  • Trust your instincts… listen to your intuition and don’t second guess yourself.
  • Be true to your own style… you can choose to be the leader you want to be!

With teams…

  • When you’ve screwed up… apologize.  But don’t carry forward the guilt.  If the other person can’t let go and move on, it’s their issue.  Not yours.
  • Treat people respectfully, at all times… if you find yourself leading a downsizing, think of what is best for each individual.  The affects of these changes reach beyond them into their family and community so choose your strategy wisely.
  • Pick your hills to die on… and then stick to them.  Don’t compromise when you have made a crucial decision.  Don’t create short-term satisfaction to the detriment of the longer term strategy or position.
  • Deal with challenging behaviour quickly and early on… provide a safe environment to give constructive feedback.  Hone your communication skills – eg: “There’s something I know you would want to be aware of…”

Managing up…

  • Seek floodlight leaders not spotlight leaders… work with people that put their focus on the efforts of the team, not themselves.
  • Know when to walk away… respect has to be earned, but if you’re not being respected by your boss, move on.  You’ll be in an untenable position and your talents can be better put to use somewhere else.

Our next session runs May 5th on the topic: Leadership Lessons They Didn’t Teach in School.  Hope you’ll join us!

 Happy leading!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No Comments

  1. Gabriella O'Rourke says:

    Great session! This summary really captures the essence, but theres really no substitute for being there and hearing from these leaders first hand. Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

  2. LeaderTalker says:

    So true. Hard to boil down decades of wisdom into bullet points! Looking forward to what Paul Ronan, Jacoline Loewen and Murray Kane have to say next month!