Five Leadership Lessons From The Slopes

As the President of TELUS Health, I have a lot of opportunities to talk to people about the great work we’re doing.  But I get less time to talk about myself and my passion for healthcare.

At TELUS Health, we believe technology can truly transform health outcomes for doctors, health practitioners and, of course, patients. We also believe that a company like ours has a responsibility to step up and work with healthcare professionals, focus on prevention and ultimately improve health outcomes for all.

photo 1-FiveLessons blogOne of the first things that people quickly learn about me is that I love being physically active and that I have a special passion for downhill skiing.  I’ve always pursued my passions vigorously and, while earning my engineering degree in Montreal, I actually took two winter semesters off to ski and to teach skiing to pay the bills. When I was part of the University Montreal Alpine Ski Team, I skied and raced mostly in Quebec, New Hampshire and Vermont but also spent a couple of weeks in Banff.  During one summer I worked at a ski racing camp in Austria. I love the freedom of skiing and the fact that it is a highly synergistic activity – you’re having fun, getting some fresh air, spending time with friends and family and exercising.

Here are five lessons from the slopes that I recently shared with the TELUS Health team as we move forward with our mission of turning information into better health outcomes with a focus on Customers First:

  1. If you want to get something done, the best way to begin is simply to begin. Each hill presents its own challenges. Mogul skiing is all about having a plan, thinking two-to-three moguls ahead as you get going, and adapting on your way down.  Learn our customers’ goals and challenges, plot a course and adapt as we work together.
  1. If you’re going to fail, do it fast. Learn from mistakes. Those who have raced know that if you miss a gate during a practice run, you analyze what you did wrong and then run the course again.  We are forging new ground with our customers and can share what we learn with each other. 
  1. Sharpen the saw. Continue to learn and train.  Make it a priority to be in the best shape mentally and physically that you can be. Exercise is a great way for me to replenish my physical resources and spend time with my family.   
  1. Sweat the details. Every move matters, be it with respect to strategy, execution, talent management, the development of human capital or knowing what customers need to be successful. 
  1. Have fun. Pursuing and achieving goals is hard work and can be intense. Enjoy the process and enjoy your personal activities! 

photo 2-FiveLessons blogFor Canada’s healthcare industry to truly improve, it must harness the power of the very same technologies that have revolutionized every other major industry – from banking, airlines and insurance, to automotive and beyond.

TELUS Health is having tremendous impact on the way healthcare is delivered and I am proud of the work our team is doing – learning from each other and from our customers.  Our solutions reach all health professionals from doctors to pharmacists to hospital staff to extended healthcare providers to payers. Our solutions not only allow these healthcare practitioners to connect and collaborate with each other but also with patients, allowing them to take charge of their health.

We all have personal reasons for doing what we do and that make the challenging days in our jobs worth the effort.  Mine are tied to my family living with chronic diseases and life threatening illnesses.  At TELUS Health, I have the privilege of leading a team that shares a desire to build a better healthcare future for Canadians of all ages.