The Navigating Disruption Podcast
By Shakeel Bharmal
The pace of change and the uncertainty in almost all spheres of our lives today makes it difficult, if not impossible to predict the outcome of our decisions and actions. In this series, I will provide ideas, reflections and practices to help leaders, teams and organizations navigate this disruption to thrive through the uncertainty.
To leave a voice message: anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
To leave a voice message: anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
Expanding Perspectives with Farhaan Ladhani
In Obama's final speech, at the end of his term of office, he spoke about how the internet and social media has made it easier for people to dig into and validate their own views. He was cautioning that the internet makes it so easy to find what you are looking for that without an open mind, people tend to seek out information that validates their own ideology and leads to less diversity and potentially a crisis of communication. In the same speech, Obama spoke optimistically about how throughout history, humankind always finds a way to move forward beyond the challenges and limitations of the present time. As much as nefarious forces and bad actors enter the scene from time to time, human ingenuity and the desire to improve quality of life for future generations eventually overcomes. This is where my next guest and this episode fits in. Farhaan Ladhani is the CEO and Co-Founder at Digital Public Square. After years of working in private and government enterprises in Washington DC, Cairo, Afghanistan and Ottawa, he and his company are working hard to leverage the power of the internet and the field of behavioural economics to gently nudge people to expand their perspectives on the most difficult issues of our time. If he is successful, we just may start coming together from the polar ends of our ideologies to improve life for all of us.
September 30, 2021
Hero's Journey with Adrian Davis
In this episode I speak to Adrian Davis, a fellow partner at The Summit Group and the President of Whetstone. He emerged from the wilderness (as he describes it) with a decision to make a difference in his own life by enabling the transformation of the relationship between others. He makes his mark by learning and inspiring others in what some would say is the oldest profession in the world.
August 23, 2021
Disrupting Self with Jeff Knisley
There was a time when promotions came to the confident and bold individuals that always seemed to know the answer. Then something seemed to change and now there is a premium for leaders that are keenly aware that they don’t always know the answer and recognize that success only comes from drawing on the people, insights and knowledge around them. In this conversation I thought I would be talking with my guest about confident and candid leadership. But when I actually spoke with Jeff Knisley, Vice President of Business Development at startup Autozen, I experienced the unexpected. Over the years I watched as Jeff found his success in leadership by building an armour of confidence as he worked his way up to executive roles at companies like Purolator, Livingston, UPS, Autotrader, Yellow Pages, Postmedia and Rise People. He leveraged this confidence to push the people he led, to protect them, to provide clarity through complex industry disruptions, and to deliver the answers to difficult questions. Over time, and especially most recently, he has discovered that he needs to shift away from the traits that made him successful and face the uncertain future with courageous vulnerability as he navigates the disruption he has created for himself.
August 9, 2021
It’s All Connected with Dr. Hafeez Jamal
Nature, Creativity, Self-Reflection, Faith - they are all powerful levers, some would say necessary levers, for leadership in this time. In this conversation I speak with Dr. Hafeez Jamal (aka Kaeni), environmental scientist, producer, musician, poet, physician and medical leader. We explore the connection of these diverse fields and how leaders can find their own way to draw from nature, creativity, self-reflection and faith to develop their leadership. This episode is particularly special because Hafeez is also he composer and performer of theme music of The Navigating Disruption Podcast. Listen in to hear from the man behind the music. To learn even more go to Musician | Kaeni Music.
July 17, 2021
1 Billion Bottles with Saleem Ahamed
A bottle of shampoo, a can of potato chips, a candid question from a student in Scandinavia...they all have one thing in common. They were influential in the career and purpose of Saleem Ahamed, Chief Marketing Officer of the game changing Plastic Bank. Plastic Bank transforms ocean plastic into consumer goods, solving an environment problem while improving livelihoods in some of the most difficult parts of the world. Listen in to this conversation to hear this incredible story and get a deeper understanding about connecting childhood experiences into purpose driven, world changing work. To learn more about Plastic Bank go to Empowering the World to Stop Ocean Plastic - Plastic Bank.
July 12, 2021
More Time for Judgement with Amin Panjwani
As we all know, the world of work is changing. Disruptive events and technologies are accelerating change at unprecedented speed rendering many traditional ways of doing work obsolete. With basically all workforces now working in a distributed, hybrid and remote fashion, collaborative work management is enabling the future of work. In this conversation, Amin Panjwani, Managing Director of Execute Strategy and Achievan Solutions educates me (and you) on the growing field of collaborative work management. We talk about solutions like monday.com, smartsheet and wrike and how they will enable us all to have more time to engage our uniquely human talents to make better, more creative, decisions. Along the way he shares stories about the way he has managed disruptions in his career to his advantage. To learn more go to www.achievan.com
June 23, 2021
A Time to Come Home with Eric Wong
One of the best things about having a podcast is the new people that I get to meet. Eric Wong, Chief Commercial Officer of start-up Impro.AI reached out to me after listening to one of my episodes. I found his story so interesting and enriching that I invited him to a conversation so I could learn more and share it with you. He grew up in the lower mainland of BC and his talent and ambition took him first to Toronto and then to San Francisco working with the executives of some of the largest tech companies and coolest start-ups in the world. He was successful by all accounts - personally and professionally...but he was drawn back home. Join me in this conversation to hear about his adventures, the incredible lessons he learned along the way and why he chose to come back home.
May 10, 2021
Motivation Capability with Joel Silverstone
What is motivation capability? It’s a combination of self awareness, perspective, mindset and reflective practice to help individuals move from a feeling of futility and lack of influence to one of empowerment and impact. Given the amount of uncertainty in our lives today, we could all benefit from a boost here. In the Hercules Meets Buddha episode we referred to Motivation Factor as an approach which helped my guest Martha define purpose. I talked all about Motivation Factor in an episode of Joel Silverstone's podcast TFR (This Feels Right). Joel was kind enough to share the recording of the interview with me so I can share it with you here. Over the last 10 years, Joel and I have joyfully partnered on projects many times. In this conversation, I explain to him what motivation capability is and how people can take control of their motivation by understanding their needs, energy drainers and enhancers and their talents. This is something I do with my coaching clients that consistently helps them improve their performance. If you want to do a motivation factor assessment and some coaching to strengthen your motivation capability or define your purpose go to oceanbluestrategic.com/motivation or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 3, 2021
Every Conversation Counts with Riaz Meghji
I first met Riaz Meghji on stage, in front of thousands of people, when he introduced me as a speaker at fundraising event. Since that day 8 years ago, I am grateful to be able to call him a friend. Riaz has spent 17 years as a broadcaster and host of Citytv's Breakfast Television, CTV News and MTV Canada. As I became his friend, I came to realize that his on camera personality is the same as his off camera personality. 2 years ago Riaz set aside his successful career to fulfil his calling to help humans develop more meaningful connections at a time when so many forces are trying to divide. He didn't realize at the time of launching his new career, how much we would need what he had to share. Join in on this intimate conversation where in Riaz's words he "shares more personal stories than in any other interview". To learn more about Riaz or to order a copy of his book go to Riaz Meghji | Every Conversation Counts.
April 22, 2021
Hercules Meets Buddha with Professor Martha Maznevski
I first realized in 2nd year university that organizational behaviour and leadership were going to be a part of my career. But back in the 90's I didn't know what that would be. Well its taken 30 years to achieve the dream. In this conversation, I speak with the person that helped me find this path just two years ago. Dr. Martha Maznevski is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Faculty Co-Director of Executive Education at the Ivey Business School. As a leadership coach with the Ivey Academy, I am working with Martha and a team of seasoned coaches and professors that are committed to elevating the practice of leadership to help their organizations to thrive through the volatile and uncertain times ahead. We talk about how she discovered her calling and a few of the leadership ideas she is learning about and teaching. In the conversation we talk about her discovery of the "Hercules meets Buddha" leadership framework. You can learn more about that here. https://mailchi.mp/ebb8133a927d/hercules-meets-buddha
April 19, 2021
Growth in Discomfort with Christine McGuire
What do an underground nuclear bunker, a little girl named Sophia and a semi-truck and trailer have in common? You will find out in this episode. I had the privilege of watching Christine McGuire take on big professional challenges with grace and enthusiasm. She and I were colleagues for several years before she became the Executive Director of The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. In this conversation we talk about how to find personal growth, overcome challenges and lead with gentle persuasion instead of force.
April 5, 2021
Three Crayons with Egan Christensen
When we were children, Egan Christensen was my best friend. But then at 11 years old, he just disappeared. I am not embarrassed to say I was a little heartbroken at the time. There was no easy way to stay connected in the early 80’s so we lost touch. In this conversation we catch up after exactly 40 years. We reminisce of course but then we discover how much we have in common in our approach to leadership, customer relationships and business. He has had an incredible career in sales, service and strategy in global technology companies. It makes sense why those childhood memories have stuck with both of us all these years. Although we didn't realize it at the time, we shared values. This is one my best examples of how influences and experiences early in life can carry through into our leadership.
April 1, 2021
The Trust Quotient with Jon Lloyd
I have been doing much thinking about the good and danger of social media, online searches, online shopping and digital transactions. On one hand, the web has empowered our social connections, fueled small business survival and the enabled the flexibility to work from home. On the other hand, we have experienced the impact of breaches of data privacy, the spread of misinformation and the ability to mobilize some terrible forces in society. Jon Lloyd, head of campaigns at Mozilla Foundation joins me in this conversation to share his perspectives on this important topic that has been unfolding before our eyes. Mozilla Foundation is a global non-profit dedicated to putting people in control of their online experience and shaping the future of the web for public good. Mozilla's for-profit business owns the Firefox browser. Our conversation went well beyond as we dived into leadership, empathy and trust. Link to Jon’s blog referenced in the episode. http://fundraisingisawesome.com/2018/03/18/trust-equation/
March 31, 2021
NexGen Design Thinking with Lucas Chang
Embarking on a path of self disruption takes courage and deep self reflection. For Lucas Chang, Founder of Y2 Entrepreneurship Labs that reflection took him back to his time as an adolescent playing street hockey with his buddies. What he has done with that memory and his years of business education and experience is remarkable. His company designs and delivers learning experience for high school (and sometimes younger) students to immerse them in problem based learning and design thinking. Listen in to this conversation and discover how the impact he is having may spark some incredible innovations in the future while creating a generation of collaborative, creative and communicative leaders.
March 16, 2021
Chaos, Peace & Humility with David Pyle
You just never know when you are going to find people that you so closely align with. I was first introduced to David Pyle, Senior Vice President at Cox Automotive by my colleague at The Summit Group. David was on an executive panel I was moderating at the global Strategic Account Management Association's conference in 2020. His responses to my questions about leadership and customer collaboration were so insightful and reflective that I made a mental note to book some one-on-one time with him. You can listen in to that conversation here. We chat about the power of self reflection, the ability of leaders to hold opposites, the shifts in the movement industries and how leaders can navigate this time of disruption.
February 28, 2021
(Ac)counting on Mental Health with Farah Bundeali
She is not the typical persona you imagine when you think about a career accountant. Farah Bundeali is a Partner with global accounting firm KPMG. Her emphasis on leadership and care for people may come from her role as the HR lead on the KPMG audit management team, but more than likely it comes from lessons from her parents. In this conversation she shares the influence of her Dad in shaping her career ambitions, how long it took her to feel settled in her career choice and most importantly her view on how leaders can put their own and their team's mental health front and centre.
February 15, 2021
Leaders that Care with Josh Blair
My first meeting with Josh Blair was only about 3 minutes long. At the time he was Group President at Telus, responsible for a collection of cutting edge business units. That first short meeting intrigued me enough to do a bit of research about him thinking that I would find a reason to connect for a deeper conversation where I could learn more. It took a few years, but when I saw him announce his new venture, Impro.AI, on Linkedin, I knew the time had come. As the Co-Founder and CEO, he and his partners are innovating to bring the benefits of performance related executive coaching to the masses. We talk about this venture as well as the lessons he has learned about leadership from childhood through his 25 year leadership career.
February 12, 2021
The Accidental Career with Sam Sidhu
Back in the 90's, I remember coming into the lunch room to get my coffee and there was Sam flipping through The Province newspaper sports section. He had such a calm and curious demeanour so we would usually find ourselves in a conversation about something that made me think. Sam Sidhu is now Director of HR with McCarthy Tètrault, one of the largest law firms in Canada. But I learned in this conversation that he started his career in the late 80's by stumbling into a conversation. 15 years later he fell upon his true calling when he wasn't even looking. We chat about his pivots, his experience working in an industry in the midst of disruption and his perspectives on leadership.
February 2, 2021
Power of Partnership with Dominic Atkinson
He came to business school with a few years experience as a marketing research associate. Now 20 years after graduating, Dominic Atkinson and his partners have grown a small start-up, DIG Insights, into one of the most innovative and fastest growing customer insights firms in the country. They have far exceeded their early ambitions. Dominic and I were in a learning team together back in 1998 and this is the first time we are speaking since that time. In this conversation, we talk about his journey, entrepreneurship, leadership and the ingredients of a successful long term partnership. To learn more about DIG check out their website. http://www.diginsights.com/
January 28, 2021
The Other Side of Complexity with Philip Styrlund
I met Philip Styrlund at 33 when I worked at Purolator. He had been invited by our VP of Marketing, my boss at the time, to share his thoughts on transforming our go to market sales approach. Nothing is random. We stayed in touch and years later, I became a partner in Phil's company, The Summit Group, before I went on to work in the non-profit sector. I am so fortunate to work with him again now. He advises sales and marketing leaders and CEOs at some of the world's leading companies. No exaggeration. He is one of the wisest and well read people I know. It was a treat to have this conversation with him and it is my pleasure to share this episode with you.
January 22, 2021
You are Responsible with Neil Zambik
I remember that conversation in May 1993 so clearly. Shortly after graduation from university, I found myself in Neil Zambik's office in what I would realize later was a life defining conversation. Neil was the Director of People Development & Communications at Mohawk Oil (now owned by Husky Energy). In this episode I find out that he also remembers that chat very clearly. Neil re-affirmed for me how long lasting memories are when they are based in authenticity and genuine curiosity. After our time at Mohawk, I went on to graduate school and he started an HR consulting firm, People Insights, which he still runs 22 years later. Neil decodes for me some of the intentions behind the cultural change and meaningful lessons I experienced during that time in my career.
January 15, 2021
Yin & Yang with Amyn Bhimani
In this first episode of 2021, I speak to Amyn Bhimani, President of Hetek Solutions, a 65 year-old company in the industrial commercial leak detection and monitoring business. He and I formed a unique partnership in 1992 when an inspiring and formidable woman took a chance on two young kids with something to prove. We were appointed to senior roles on a very active operating board for a volunteer organization. In this conversation Amyn and I explore the lessons we learned from the mistakes we made and how they shaped our leadership in the years since. For the first time in thirty years, we talk about how our different leadership styles put our friendship to the test.
January 1, 2021
Top 5 of 2020 - A Countdown of Insights
In this brief year-end episode I reveal the top 5 downloaded episodes of 2020 and share a quick and impactful segment from each of those episodes. Thank you to all my guests in 2020 and to all my listeners. You have made this experiment so rewarding for me. Leave me a message: https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 30, 2020
Honesty and Humour with Danny Kelly
Danny Kelly interviewed me for my first job. It wasn't your typical interview and definitely not the one an optimistic and cheerful new grad was prepared for. You will hear that story in this conversation. Danny was one of those influential leaders in my career, but I didn't report to him. He earned my respect because he was a genuine and authentic teacher. We met when I was in my 20's and he was in his 40's as a Sales Manager. 30 years later, he is still working, teaching and mentoring as a leader at Powersource Canada. Listen in as we reminisce about good times and lessons learned.
December 22, 2020
Tables are Turned: (My) Journey to Purpose
After my interview with Dr. Jody Anderson in the episode Journey to Purpose, she asked if she could interview me to get the story of how I found my purpose. So in this interview the tables have been turned. Jody asks me the questions and I describe my journey from 2000 to 2020 as I have sought to define my reason for being. I'll be honest, I do feel a bit vulnerable putting this out there but how can I expect others to share openly if I am not willing to share. At the end we had a great conversation about the mechanics of finding purpose which you might helpful if you are interested in defining yours. Leave me a message: https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 14, 2020
From Empathy to Action with Riaz Raihan
Since childhood I have been deeply fascinated by the integration of two ideas. The first is how to understand the needs and expectations of others and the second is how to organize engagement with others to exceed those expectations. I embrace the fact that makes me sound like 'geek' but lets call it being an aficionado for the sake of my guest. I discovered later in life that the integration of these two ideas has a name...."Customer Experience Management" or CXM for short. This fascination with CXM has been one of the drivers of my education, volunteer and career pursuits. Which is why I am so excited to share this conversation with you. Riaz Raihan, a fellow CXM aficionado, is the President at Alida CXM. His company essentially enables organizations, big and small, to move more easily from developing deep customer empathy to executing decisions to transform customer experiences, increase their relevance to customers' changing lives and create more value. Riaz and I hit it off 17 years ago when he supported my organization in defining a customer experience transformation. I am grateful for this opportunity to catch up on a topic we are both passionate about. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 11, 2020
Never Forget Your First (Leader) with Jeff Mulock
I started my first corporate job as a sales coordinator in June 1993. I often reflect on how different my life would have been had I not had someone persuade me to reconsider, when I turned the offer down at first. The reason it was such a defining period was because of Jeff Mulock. He had just been promoted to the role of General Manager of Sales of the industrial & commercial lubricants division and I was his first hire. I didn't know the term until many years later, but he was my first example of embracing a 'growth mindset'. He intentionally put himself into positions of career challenge and succeeded by leaning into the fact that he needed to learn from others before he could make an impact. Interestingly, it was just that process of learning that made the greatest impact on others. As the team watched him learn, experiment and make mistakes with intention, he set an example of courage and vulnerability that many leaders are still trying to master 30 years later. In this conversation I get a chance to share with him some of the lessons I learned from watching him and pick his brain on his approach to leadership. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 9, 2020
Leader's Search for Clarity with Jennifer Jones
The fact that Jennifer Jones is the President of The Toronto Library Foundation makes so much sense. Almost like it was meant to be. But the truth is that her path to this incredibly important leadership role was not direct. Rather it was a result of a series of ricochets and unique life experiences. She was raised to be an independent and confident woman and that was put to the test in high school when her parents packed up to live in India while Jennifer stayed behind to begin her adult life. Her search for clarity and meaning led her all over the world and then finally to the Ivey School of Business where she and I met. Her warmth, confidence and sense of humour made an impact on me from day 1. Yet I realize now that I didn't really know her. I am thrilled to have learned more about her in this one hour conversation than I did in two years together at grad school. I know you will enjoy learning from her story in this conversation. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 8, 2020
Sparking Resilience with Victoria Porter Cramer
I almost called this episode "Joy" because that is what I feel every time I listen to it. I worked with Victoria on a brief project 8 years ago and realized pretty quickly that she was a special human being. Victoria Porter Cramer is the President of Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group, a builder and operator of 50 premium brand hotels in the US. We talk about what she has learned from battling Cancer twice, the first time as a new Mom to 8-month old twins, training for mountain bike racing competitions and running an organization in an industry so severely impacted by the pandemic. As the author of the book, Living Life Loudly: How will you face your speedbump, she shares some very practical tips on how to snap yourself into resilience. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
December 2, 2020
Gratitude, Giving and Growth with Zahir Khoja
When I was 21 and in university, I was volunteering at a community centre. There I met a 16-year old that demonstrated incredible leadership skills for someone his age. Zahir went off to university himself and over the course of the last 30 years, I have seen him a handful of times. Each time he was conquering a new professional challenge in a different part of the world. With a mix of gratitude, giving, growth and hard work he turned a summer job as a Pepsi taste patroller into his current role as a global EVP at Mastercard. Along the way, he worked for Sir Richard Branson, lived in Kabul, Singapore and Dubai, and held senior leadership roles in three different industries. I am sure you will hear the pride in my voice as the teacher becomes the student. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 26, 2020
Leading with Truth with Randy Buchamer
I was introduced to Randy Buchamer in 1993 when he came from headquarters to visit the sales office where I was working. I still remember his words of welcome to the company and his invitation to come see him once I was settled in to my new job. I had just graduated from university and was in my early 20's. Randy was the VP of Corporate Services at Mohawk Oil and I was a bottom rung sales coordinator in the lubricants division but his invitation was sincere and after a few weeks I did go to see him. In that meeting I received the words of advice that set me on a path that is paying off for me until this day. After leaving Mohawk he want on to a series of successes as an entrepreneur and transformational leader and advisor for a number of companies, many of which he is still involved with today. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 24, 2020
Humble Start to Global Leadership with Cosimo (Cos) La Porta
When I went to my boss to quit my job in 1998 I was so anxious. The job I was leaving was considered by many as the best job in the company and I didn't want to let him down. I finally got a chance to debrief with him 22 years later in this conversation. Cosimo (Cos) got his start just as I did, pumping gas at a Mohawk gas station. After we parted ways from the head office of that company in the late 90's, he went on to start a career at a fledgling company you may have heard of...Starbucks. When he left a few years ago, after 18 years, he was running their entire US retail operation as Executive Vice President. In this conversation we catch up on what we have each learned from our earlier years in the gas business and what we went on to learn including leadership lessons from Starbucks founder Howard Schultz Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 23, 2020
Made to Mentor with Anthony Ostler
My last one-on-one conversation with Anthony Ostler was in a little restaurant in London, Ontario in January 1999. We were discussing an article on corporate strategy written by the late Professor C.K. Prahalad. Anthony was leading the recruiting efforts for the firm I was interviewing for a summer internship. It felt like a make or break conversation for me so I was a little nervous. Anthony made it easier for me because he was genuine, caring and curious. I reconnected with him 21 years later and you get to hear the conversation. He is now a Senior VP and Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing at State Street a global financial company that service the investment industry. Since high school Anthony has been dedicated to being the best mentor he could be. In this conversation we get the inside track on the mind of a mentor. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 23, 2020
On the Edge of Innovation with Francis Pun
He is a man of many cultures. Francis Pun came to Vancouver from Hong Kong as a child. After getting his engineering degree from UBC he traveled from Canadian forest to forest maintaining in a very traditional and old economy industry. He completed his MBA with me at Ivey Business School in 2000 and has been on the edge of innovation ever since. Working in tech and innovation in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong for the last 20 years he has had a front row seat on disruption. As an ecosystem driver with the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park, he now has a role in the discovery of the next wave of innovation. He shares experiences and insights from his unique perspective. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 10, 2020
Journey to Purpose with Dr. Jody Anderson
Many people aren’t able to find their purpose in life. For those that are, often the journey is long and winding with many stops along the way. That was certainly the case for Dr. Jody Anderson. When she discovered the burgeoning field of Corporate Social Responsibility in the late 90’s, she thought she had found it. She invested in a graduate degree at Ivey Business School and she embarked on her dream career. And then several years later she watched a close friend come to the end of their life and everything changed. In this conversation I catch up with my classmate from the class of 2000 to find her in a very different place than where she started. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
November 1, 2020
The Merchant of Authenticity with Ruben Dua
In his teens, Ruben Dua watched his Dad watering trees and saw an opportunity. He also observed him taking the time to connect with people in every day interactions in his practice as a physician. This was the inspiration for how Ruben decided to spend his life and make his mark on the world. Ruben is the CEO and founder of Dubb.com, a frictionless video communication platform that transforms the way people create trust in business relationships. In this conversation we talk about how he sees the opportunity to more easily build trust through authentic communication and how he is leading his 21st century organization with an unconventional paradigm. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
October 29, 2020
Addicted to Impact with Tara Landes
What was a Canadian twenty-something pest control salesperson doing on a Belarussian subway with a backpack full of rubles? Listen to this interview with Tara Landes to find-out. While we both grew up in Vancouver, it took a decision to change our life direction for us to meet at our MBA program at Ivey Business School. For the past 12 years Tara has been the President of Bellrock Benchmarking, Inc., a company which she founded. In this very personal conversation we share memories and lessons learned about education, careers, mental wellness and the addictive nature of witnessing the impact of your efforts. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
October 15, 2020
The Servant Leader of Kabul with Dr. Fawad Akbari
In 1980 a child was born to a healthcare worker and a teacher in war torn Kabul, Afghanistan. That child grew up hearing stories about the "Golden Era"...what life was like before he was born. Instead of feeling resentful for not seeing those wonderful times, he decided to choose hope and equipped himself with the skills to help the people of his country get access to basic healthcare they needed. And so began his life of service. I met Dr. Fawad Akbari 7 years ago when he came to Canada under some difficult and unusual circumstances that might have broken many. Instead, he once again chose hope and continued his journey to develop his leadership capability. Today Fawad is responsible for Canadian global health programs that impact more than 3 million people in some of the most difficult parts of the world, including his home country of Afghanistan. Listen as we talk about his practice of servant leadership. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
October 13, 2020
The Collaborative Sales Leader with Dean Mills
When I first met Dean Mills in 2004 he was a strategic account sales professional at Purolator Inc. I watched as he calmly and methodically grew his customer base to become a top performer and President's Club winner. As he succeeded he not only maintained his humility, he developed his strong inclination to teach and coach his colleagues to also become successful. I watched him continue to rise in increasingly senior leadership positions. I reconnected with Dean earlier this year, after 8 years, to find him in a role as the North American Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at TForce Logistics. We talk about the old days and how he led his team and helped customers to navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
October 12, 2020
The Humbled Genius with Neeraj Monga
In late October 1998, I was walking from my apartment to business school in London Ontario. It was the first snowfall and my first extremely cold day in Ontario. I was prepared with warm clothing but one of my classmates, Neeraj Monga was not. He had just recently arrived from India. I ran into him on the way into the building. He was freezing cold in a sweatshirt as he walked to school that day. You would have never known it by his performance in class. He was on fire as usual. Neeraj was considered by many of us to be a genius. In 1991 as an undergraduate economics student in India, he had learned that management consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and BCG only hired the most brilliant minds. Setting his sights on a successful career at one of these firms led him to the Ivey Business School. Based on his performance in class, I was pretty sure nothing would stop him from achieving that goal. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
October 6, 2020
Never Say Never with Alison James
What do you get when you take a self declared introvert, combined with self confidence, an open mind and strong desire to develop others? You get one of the only female IT senior executives successfully leading one of the largest IT teams in corporate Canada. In this second episode of the "Days of Future Past" mini-series, I speak to Alison James, the SVP of Technology Operations at one of Canada's largest banks, CIBC. Alison graduated with me from the Ivey Business School 20 years ago. While I knew her, we just didn't seem to cross paths very much. That was my loss. Alison is considered one of the Top 50 Women in Fintech in Canada and Chairs the Toronto chapter of Canadian Women in Technology. What is interesting is that Alison did not ever seek a career in technology. In this conversation I learn how this unlikely candidate climbed to one of top leadership roles in the mail dominated field of technology, by keeping an open mind, being inclusive and mentoring others. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
September 29, 2020
The Values Driven CFO with Christina Cheung
In a mini-series I am calling "Days of Future Past", I am commemorating my 20th anniversary of graduating from the Ivey Business School by interviewing classmates whom I have not seen in 20 years. Most of my classmates are now in senior leadership positions across multiple sectors and I am curious about what they have learned in the past two decades that will be helpful as we navigate the next two decades. In this first episode of the mini-series, I talk to Christina Cheung, CFO of The Procon Group of Companies. She was generous, humble and authentic. Listen in to this personal conversation and pick up a few pearls of wisdom. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
September 22, 2020
The Relevance Mindset with Philip Styrlund
Now is the time for customers and suppliers to collaborate and innovate to thrive during this time of disruption. It is not just about their companies' survival, it’s about all of us. Unless businesses can understand the shifting priorities and needs of end consumers, they will not develop solutions that are relevant to our changing lives. In this episode, I share an interview from a few months ago with well-known expert in emotional intelligence, business acumen and customer relevance, Philip Styrlund, CEO of The Summit Group. He shares a pragmatic approach to help salespeople and their companies to be relevant to the needs of their customers during this uncertain time. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
September 3, 2020
The Resilient Mindset
In the days following the declaration of the pandemic, tens of thousands of small businesses had to make crucial decisions under intense pressure. The most important of all decisions was how to set their mindset. In this episode I talk to two small business owners, Aliya Bhatia and Rahim Rajan, about how they faced this crisis in the first few weeks, what their mindset was and how they are now evolving their businesses to come back stronger. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
August 26, 2020
So now what do I do?
It is a challenging time for all job seekers right now. In this episode, I share a webinar where I gave advice to newly minted university graduates to help them answer the question: "So now what do I do?!". Even if you aren't a new grad, I think you will find it helpful as you navigate the months ahead. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
August 6, 2020
Nostalgia: a powerful teacher
Leading during times of disruption requires a capacity for ongoing learning, self reflection and self awareness. In this episode I share the power of personal memories of early life experiences in developing leadership capacity. Send me a message - https://anchor.fm/shakeel-bharmal/message
August 3, 2020