Kenora’s Young Professionals Network is hosting LEADERCAST once again this year!

This one-day Leadership seminar has been developing leaders in our community for 6 years already, and each year gets better and better!

Early Bird Tickets are on sale for $80 each until Wednesday April 9. After that, Tickets are $100 each and include your ticket, snacks, lunch, entry into draws and giveaways!

This is a great professional development opportunity for any organization, and a truly motivating experience for new and experienced leaders!

Join us at the Keewatin Arena from 8am – 4pm to take part in this exciting seminar!

[ Lunch will be catered by Brenda and her team from 901 Westside! YUM! ]

 Tickets can be purchased online here, or by contacting ypnkenora@gmail.com to pay by cash or cheque or credit card. 

Thanks to Q104/KenoraOnline for supporting YPN events with great media coverage! Click here for the Kenora Leadercast post!


Leadership – No title required, just action

Special guest-post by Nathan Lawrence, President of Thunder Bay’s SHIFT Network

More often than not, our society spends way too much of its time developing managers to fill the roles within the standard hierarchical organizational structure.  The everyday understanding of a leader is that they lead…regardless of how successful they might be at it.  You’re in charge of supervising people, so you must be a leader.  But perhaps this is the backwards and upside down way of looking at how organizations should define individuals as leaders.  Most of today’s leaders are in fact managers.  If all we do is focus on the development of fitting a defined management role, we are completely missing out on the opportunity that comes with engaging and developing a leadership mentality within our organizations.  Don’t get me wrong, a significant number of those individuals may have already broken the manager mold and develop into outstanding leaders that do more than just manage.    purposefulaction

Realizing that leadership is less about the job title or position and that it is all about action(s) is step one.  Most of us, whether we realize it or not, are leaders in some capacity in our daily lives.  You could be a parent, a coach of a sports team, or simply have done something today that changed the way someone else thinks about the world.  It doesn’t take a big action to be a leader, and that’s exactly the point….it simply takes action in a purposeful and ethical way to stand out as a leader.  Action with purpose…a trait of any true leader.  Someone that is not afraid to lead by example is someone that gets in there alongside their team to achieve their common goal(s), whatever they may be. They roll up their sleeves and they make a difference.

One of my favorite quotes (author unknown) “The only real measure of your value is the tangible contributions you make on a daily basis. No matter what you’ve done or accomplished in the past, you’re never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty and do the grunt work.  No job is ever to menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring” 

Since coming across this quote a few years ago, it has become a guide for defining what a leader really is to me.  They are someone that does not take for granted their successes from yesterday. They measure themselves by the daily impact they have on those around them. And they are not afraid to get in there and do any of the work when the circumstances warrant.

recognizeThe thing is, that most people don’t take the time to recognize or encourage those signs of leadership.  Running a successful organization does not automatically place you at the top of the “world’s most successful leaders” list. There are countless examples of successful leaders in the world that do not run organizations, multinational corporations or countries.  For individuals that strive to be great leaders, the most important thing to do is to remember that leadership is not about getting the corner office, the parking space, the cozy desk job.  Leadership is about purposeful action…because it is the actions that get the job done. It’s the actions that prove to your team that you are on their side and that you are there to make a difference in a meaningful way.

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Lead like a woman?

Woman-leaderSometimes things like gender roles get to me. In case anyone who reads this doesn’t know me, I’m a woman. I am self-sufficient, educated, assertive and involved in my community. I perform my own car maintenance, have my own tools and know how to use them. I also have a (what some may call excessive) shoe collection.

This morning, a friend sent me a link to a leadership conference in New York City, called ‘Emerging Women’;  an event with the tagline “Changing the world through Feminine leadership and entrepreneurship.” 

So I Googled the word ‘feminine’, not because I don’t know its meaning, but because I wanted to see what anyone would see if they did this.


Physical representation of feminitity is one thing, I put effort into my appearance, and like the ‘frilly, girly things’ some days. What I don’t agree with, is presenting leadership as a feminine vs. masculine thing. So naturally my first thought upon perusing the Emerging Women link was…        ‘I don’t want to lead like a woman, I want to lead like a leader…’

I will say, that I 100% support gender equality both in the workforce and out, and it’s amazing the strides that women have made to overcome oppression. Where I struggle with ‘feminism’ is when it gets turned around on men. Granted, there are still people in this world who place women ‘lower on the totem pole’ but for this conference – where women from the US and Canada are coming together to talk about ‘feminine leadership’ – is the suggestion that women need to do so differently than men?

Last spring, I participated in a production of The Vagina Monologues. It was a powerful, educational experience. There is undoubtedly work to be done to end violence against women, among other things;  I understand that there are so many different circumstances that women come from, and experiences that have impacted their views on men – I have some of those experiences myself –  but I think beyond the commonly, and less commonly known issues, there is just so much unnecessary focus on women versus men in so many forums.

How about embracing the unique attributes that each gender holds, and coming together to promote leadership as leadership?

Upon further perusal of the event webpage, I learned that this seminar and its speakers have a lot of valuable things to say and lessons to share. What I can’t get over, is the idea that if a group of men got together to do something similar, the feminists of the world would very likely take issue like PETA at Fashion Week. Equality is a two-way street. Let’s not add a double standard to everything.


er…. no thanks.

Rebranding and marketing this event to everyone with the inclusion of these strong female speakers and others (men, women, children… whoever!) would speak so loudly to the evolution of women in society without the need to decorate everything with ‘feminine’ touches.

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“After all, who would follow a leader who wasn’t well-rounded?”
-Andy Stanley

Read more here: http://network.leadercast.com/content/#!/you-are-doing-too-much/

Andy Stanley has been a favourite speaker of mine at Leadercast events. As someone who constantly takes on too much, this message really spoke to me when he talked about it a couple of years ago. It’s something I think about every now and then, when I get in over my head.
As a young leader in my community, I’m still working on figuring out where I should focus my efforts in each of the things I’m involved with. It’s definitely a struggle, as I want to learn so much more than time allows for, and fear that if I don’t do it all, nothing will get done. This was reiterated to me during a webinar with John C. Maxwell, who said almost exactly that. “If you do it all, when you’re gone… nothing gets done.” 

Because of this, and a recent discussion with SHIFT’s Nathan Lawrence (watch for his guest post soon!) I have decided to start implementing some structure into one of the organizations I’m heavily involved with. Around our meeting table, there is so much potential but not a whole lot of motivation. I’m excited to get the team amped up to do big things for the organization, as well as challenging them to create opportunity for personal growth by identifying their strengths.

So go forth, read Andy Stanley’s message and see how much time and energy you get out of these changes!

“After all, who…

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Fast Company – Emotional Intelligence of a Boss….

Fast Company – Emotional Intelligence of a Boss….

“Research has shown us that more than 90% of top leadership performers have a high amount of emotional intelligence.”

Fast Company is one of my favorite ‘go-to’ magazines for…. well, for a lot of things. They have great articles (both online and in their monthly publication) that range from entrepreneurship, leadership (see their Leadership Now section), technology, world issues, innovation, design, life hacks and more. 

Definitely worth a solid perusal if you’ve got a minute. 

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If you’re going to lead others….

If you're going to lead others....

…make sure you are taking your life in the right direction.

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Leadercast 2014 – Kenora


Think about the word Leadership. What are some words you associate with it?
Depending on your point of view, they could be things like strong, capable, smart, motivation or false, pompous, power etc. As someone who really believes in the impact a great leader can have, and also developing leaders within my community, I wonder sometimes what stops people from wanting to improve their leadership skills.

Being a leader isn’t about entitlement or position… and I think that’s where part of the disconnect is. 

Consider, if you’re up on the news in Kenora of the 6 or so house/business fires we’ve had in the last 2 months. From those fires has come a tremendous outpouring of support for the individuals and families impacted by the these tragic events. So… for all of the fundraiser dinners and donations of clothing, food and money to these people… who takes credit? Somewhere among the thousands of people giving help and hope to these people, are leaders. The people who say ‘this is a terrible situation for this person/family. I’m going to get the ball rolling to do something about it.’ And they do. This leader is not necessarily the head of a company, or household. Maybe they’re a stay-at-home mom. He or she has seen the need for something and taken it upon themselves to make it happen.

What does leadership mean to you? Do you recognize it when you see it?

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I know this post comes a little late… but can we just talk for a minute about the man who has inspired so many, forgiven so many, and whose legacy will continue to be a source of guidance for leaders for generations to come, if not longer.

As soon as I got off an airplane, I read about Nelson Mandela’s passing. I took a minute to realize the significance of his impact on not just his country, but the whole world. Here was a man who stood up for his people, and who forgave his oppressors. I’m willing to suggest that for a person on almost any type of journey in their life, Mandela could speak to it.

You can look up all kinds of information about his life and his journey and all of the relationships he’s built in his 95 years. I’m not about to write something most already know. I just want to express how universally this man has moved people.

What. A. Leader.

Rest peacefully, Madiba.

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Seth Godin on Management vs. Leadership (click this link!)

Seth Godin on Management vs. Leadership

In case you didn’t know…. Seth Godin is amazing. You’ll see many references to his stuff here. If you don’t know who he is, I seriously recommend checking him out.

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What your title doesn’t (always) make you….

This past weekend, I attended a leadership seminar for an organization I belong to. The first session was a group discussion about the differences between a leader and a manager. I’m sure you can guess some of the words that were tossed around, but here are some examples: Continue reading

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