My name is Chris Haché and I live in Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia – for those of you who are not familiar with the area it’s roughly on the northern edge of the Halifax Regional Municipality, approximately 20 kilometres from the centre of downtown Halifax. I’m married to Margaret (my wife of over 18 years), I have one daughter (Charlotte), and I’ve spent almost 23 years in the military. More details will likely come out in future episodes, but for now I would like to switch focus to the topic at hand.
I’ve always been interested in leadership. It is a facet of humanity that surrounds us from birth.
I’ve always been interested in leadership. It is a facet of humanity that surrounds us from birth. As we grow up, we are exposed to various examples (some good; others not as much). When placed in situations requiring leadership, for some of us it seems to be a natural fit, yet for some of us it can seem rather forced and awkward. In everyday life, the “boss” is not necessarily the person that people turn to for guidance – why is that? In times of extremely high stress, some people in leadership positions seem to take flight and run for cover; others stay and fight. Others not in leadership positions can be seen “coming out of the shadows” if you will, with a vision on how to solve the problem.
Exactly what are the most desirable qualities of leaders in Canada? How do we identify these qualities, and, more importantly, how do we nurture these qualities in individuals and transfer these qualities to a broader population base? More on this later.
Why a Podcast?
Why a podcast? Well, I’ve been listening to podcasts for over 5 years. With apologies to people working at the CBC and other radio stations across this great country, I actually prefer it to radio. It’s a fantastic medium to have an audio show on a specific topic of interest.
Podcasts tend to create communities around them, with people from around the world discussion the topics that have been covered.
I’ve noticed that podcasts also tend to create communities around them, with people from around the world discussion the topics that have been covered. I personally listen to podcasts during my commute, during easy running sessions, and even while doing chores around the house. I listen to several different genres of podcasts, including but not limited to project management, fitness, wines, etc. In my searches, however, I have not come across podcasts pertaining to leadership in Canada. Again, more on this later.
I was selected to be a participant for the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Details of my experiences during this conference will be revealed in future podcasts; for those of you who need some immediate detailed information can go to www.leadershipcanada.ca. During the first three days, my conference mates and I were fortunate to hear, in plenary sessions, some world class speakers discussing leadership from many different perspectives.
For the next eight days, we were broken down into study groups of just over a dozen people. I was assigned to the New Brunswick study group. Although I had lived in New Brunswick for approximately a decade during my youth, I had the chance to gain a whole new appreciation for this remarkable province. Not only did the study group have up-close and personal access to key leaders from numerous sectors, the groups had the chance to discuss what they had seen in between engagements. Since groups are purpose-built to be diverse across backgrounds and experiences, individuals received immediate feedback on how our backgrounds shape our perspectives. With little time between speakers and long days spent discussing “heavy” issues, the environment was ripe for intense debates between group members.
The tour culminated with the preparation and delivery of the summary of our findings. The audience were the members of the conference (who themselves had undergone similar experiences in other parts of the country), and His Excellency the Governor General. Although at times stressful and mentally exhausting, I would not have had it any other way. Ever since then, one of the questions in the back of my mind has been, “How do I ‘pay it forward'”
My vision for this podcast is “To improve the quality and quantity of leaders across Canada, creating a better future for all Canadians.”
Based on the factors that I’ve presented to you, I’ve decided to create the “Voices of Canadian Leadership” podcast. I think that it’s a fusion of discussing a topic of interest with some interesting people, using a forum available to a wider audience at a time and place of their choosing. My vision for this podcast is “To improve the quality and quantity of leaders across Canada, creating a better future for all Canadians.” Coincidentally, I believe that this is also linked to the 2012 conference theme of “Leadership and Sustainable Communities”
My outline for the first few episodes will be to highlight my study group’s experiences (as detailed in the blog), followed by my personal recollection of the events. I will be aiming for podcast lengths of approximately 20-30 minutes, although I make no guarantees. I will also be incorporating initial feedback into content, structure, and technical issues.
Hmmm – technical issues. I am quite at home in the use of computers – I’ve been using them ever since my Commodore Vic-20 (I know I’m really dating myself there). For those of you under 30, your cheapest point-and-shoot camera has more processing power and memory… What I am not familiar with is the recording of audio. For this podcast, I am using a VoIP headset, but I think I will need something better in the near future. Based on my research, I know I need a better microphone, but then I need cables, pre-amps, mixers, cables – what am I getting myself into! I’m also using Garage Band on the iMac – I am learning about intros / outros, bumpers, stingers, overlays, recording levels, and on and on and on. As I am recording this, I have a headset on so that I can hear myself and self monitor for “popping ‘P’s, whistling “S’s”, and the dreaded OVER MODULATION. I will really try to not do that again.
Getting back to the outline, in future shows my intent is to interview mid- and senior-level leaders from across Canada. I want to get their perspectives on leadership and how to improve it across Canada. These leaders will come from diverse backgrounds such as Academia, Business, Community / Voluntary groups, Cultural organizations, Government, Labour, Military, and Politics. It is anticipated that these interviews will be presented in English – I can also incorporate some interviews in French if there is sufficient demand. I am already generating a list of potential interviewees based on my network – if you know someone that would be a good fit for this show, please have them contact me.
Hmmm – this is a bit awkward. This part of the show is focused on listener feedback. Since it’s the first episode, there isn’t any! I am looking forward to hearing your feedback about episodes, your thoughts on leadership, and any suggestions that you may have for improving the show. At the start, I will focus on the main social media forums of Facebook and Twitter. I can also be reached by more old-fashioned email – details are at the end of the show. If you the listener would like to submit your thoughts verbally, that would also be appreciated. You can email me your mp3 file; if there is sufficient demand I can also set up a voicemail number. Regardless of how you contact me, you input will help the show grow and I look forward to hearing from you.
Resources and Articles
Today’s resource is a website – www.leadershipcanada.ca – the home of the GGCLC. As of the episode airing date, it contains:
- What the GGCLC is all about, its mandate and its members
- Info about the recent 2012 conference, including pictures and study group blogs; and
- Resources for leaders
- On the front page you will find an announcement of the 2015 conference (you can join the mailing list for future announcements). Online applications open on 3 March 2014, so make sure that you mark your calendar if this is something that you would be interested in – I know that the conference had a significant impact on me.
If you have any suggestions for the resources and articles section, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org