VOCL 005 – We’re Going to New Brunswick!

Twitter Show Summary: Recapping the New Brunswick Study Group’s first day on the road as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  Locations visited included the PCS mine, Sully’s Ice Cream Parlour (Bruce Northrup, Minister of Natural Resources, and Sussex Councillor Mark Wright), Brown’s Dairy Farm, the New Brunswick Legislature (Premier David Alward, […]

Written By chris

On April 22, 2013

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Show Summary: Recapping the New Brunswick Study Group’s first day on the road as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  Locations visited included the PCS mine, Sully’s Ice Cream Parlour (Bruce Northrup, Minister of Natural Resources, and Sussex Councillor Mark Wright), Brown’s Dairy Farm, the New Brunswick Legislature (Premier David Alward, MLA Pam Lynch (Legislative Secretary to Minister of Environment), MLA Troy Lifford (Minister Human Resources), MLA Brian MacDonald (Govt whip), and Nancy MacKay (COS)) and a kitchen party, too! (hosted by Nancy and Chris Mathis)


Hi there!  Welcome to the 5th episode of the Voices of Canadian Leadership podcast.

  • Show notes becoming more abbreviated (not enough time)
  • Decreased focus on show notes – greater emphasis on outline

 Summary of Opening Plenary sessions (episodes 2, 3, and 4)

  • A broad range of speakers from academia, business, and non-profit.
  • So much information to think about – setting the stage

We will now look at the main topic of the show – the New Brunswick Study Group’s first day on the road as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  Let’s go back in time!

 NB Day 4 – The Road Trip Begins

Who knew that there was a 4 in the AM?  The group made is to the lobby on time, but it appears that we were the only ones who were.  There was an apparent misunderstanding with the bus company about timings – our 4:30 start at the hotel was their 4:30 start at the depot. The bus did arrive quickly, allowing us to start packing the bus @ 4:45. The packing complete, we made our way to the Tim Hortons for breakfast. Why Tim Hortons?  Another misunderstanding, this time with the hotel, meant that our box lunches were only going to be ready at 7:15!  Some people chose coffee, others chose to avoid caffeine for the 3.75-hour commute to Sussex. We were treated to a pretty red sky; we are hoping that the old sailors’ adage of “red sky in morning – sailors take warning” doesn’t apply to bus travelers heading west.

The first of our many buses

The first of our many buses

NB – Day 4 – Our First Day in the Province

The Border Between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

The Border Between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Not only did we get to see New Brunswick, but we got to see INSIDE New Brunswick. Our first stop had us at 1900′ below the surface, touring the PCS mine. Potash is seen as one of New Brunswick’s great natural resources. We not only saw the operational aspects (from the bottom of the mineshaft it took us a 20-minute underground jeep ride to get to the cutting face), but we got to hear the company’s views on sustainability and how they work with the government and local farmers. We also received insight into their leadership development program, strongly focused on ensuring a safety-centric environment.

We then received a different perspective on natural resources. Meeting with the Hon. Bruce Northrup, Minister of Natural Resources, and Sussex Councillor Mark Wright, we got to hear municipal and provincial views on sustainability. Collectively enjoying an ice cream from Sully’s Ice Cream Parlour, we got to hear the greatest challenges that these two individuals face. Managing natural resources can be a delicate balancing act; we got to hear how they are striving to incorporate best practices from around the world.

After having checked into our accommodations at Saint Thomas University, we were then taxied to the NB Legislature to take part of a most informative tour. We were exposed to how deep bilingualism runs in New Brunswick – every MLA has the opportunity to hear speakers in the language being used, or through simultaneous translation into their language of choice.

Our final “official” duty of the meeting was with the Premier, the Hon. David Alward. He gave us insight into a wide variety of issues that he faces on a daily basis, as well as his vision for the future. It was interesting that, over the course of the discussion, he hit upon many of the key points that had been brought forth by the opening plenary speakers. He then turned the tables on us – he asked us what we perceived when we thought of New Brunswick. Although we were running late, we took the time to provide multiple viewpoints; they were favourable and tinged with a sense of anticipation for a vibrant future.

Our evening concluded with a fantastic kitchen party. Introduced to Moosehead beer and various wine, we had a chance to meet the next day’s panelists in an informal setting. Once again we were exposed to wonderful hospitality, a hallmark of our New Brunswick reception so far. All too soon the evening concluded, with the members proceeding back to Saint Thomas University for a well-deserved rest.

Responses to NB – Day 4 – Our First Day in the Province

Richard Sullivan says: June 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm Sully’s Ice Cream Parlour hosted fifteen young leaders on the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership New Brunswick Tour Group last week. They met with Natural resources Minister Bruce Northrup and Councillor Mark Wright to share ideas about sustainability and the growth of Sussex and area. Having young men and women from every part of our country reminded me of the exciting times around Expo ’67 when youth captured the imagination of all and Canada shared a joie de vivre and great anticipation for our future. I sensed the same with this group. WONDERFUL and POSITIVE!!!

Early start was the MLO’s first real shepherding test.

PCS mine in Sussex (Doug Morrison)

  • Two-minute elevator ride.
  • Got to use the coveralls – really neat to be fitted in the gear
  • Air had a real salty taste to it (perhaps due to being on 500’ of tailings – loooooong ride
  • The cutting site (or scope) would have made a neat beach if the sun could shine there.  Unfortunately, won’t happen since scope only go as shallow as 1000’
  • 1% of gross income going to charity
  • Leadership principles mentioned here included involving the workforce, posting for positions (internal advancement), 360° evaluations for leaders.  The leadership program was started four years ago
  • Although some focus was developing leaders from within, the larger portion of our time was devoted to discussing environmental concerns such as wells – a prevalent concern in industrial settings.  Leaders need to weigh all factors in coming up with their plan.

Sully’s Ice Cream Parlour (66 Broad St in Sussex)

  • A fantastic ice-cream parlour at a repurposed CN station (also hosts the 8th Hussars military museum)
  • A government perspective on natural resources.  Both have a responsibility to the local community, but the government has many additional pressures beyond the shareholder’s bottom line.
  • Can see a difference between municipal and provincial, even though they’re from the same region.
  • Just finished viewing a potash mine, but the biggest provincial natural resource concerns are regarding hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing has more information about the topic.
  • http://sussexdowntown.com/

Brown’s Dairy Farm (David and Edith Brown)

The Northumberland Dairy Farm

The Northumberland Dairy Farm

  • Don’t what happened to the blog – this tour should have been in there
  • Three generations of farmers – each generation had different focus and vision.
Three Generations of the Brown Family

Three Generations of the Brown Family

  • Youngest has a BSc, focusing on emerging trends (frozen bovine semen – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_bovine_semen) and taking embryos from “good” cows and placing them in “bad” cows (improves the stock over time.  Environmental point – since there’s a quota on max production, if you improve milking productivity you can reduce the number of cows required (diminishing the environmental impact.
  • The middle generation took his father’s 10 cows and grew the stock to 700 (not all are dairy).  Sussex originally dairy (highlighted by Councillor Wright) but shifting to potash – farms can’t pay as well as the mines.
  • The oldest generation has noticed a remarkable change over time.  The funniest line was “why pay money for artificial insemination when the bull will do it for free.”
  • Nathan Brown (did not meet) – viral video released just before we got there – http://www.myfarmlife.com/first-gear/from-sussex-and-i-know-it/. (note: original video has been taken down, but a somewhat similar one has been uploaded)

Going to Fredericton

Legislature Tour

  • Great tour of the facilities.
  • Dad is MLA – left a quick note on his desk telling him that I was very proud of him
  • Fantastic history and artwork – loved painting of Queen Charlotte
  • Live bilingual translation – pretty good (tough job)!  Language concerns not a barrier to effective leadership.

Meeting with the Premier

  • David Alward.  Observers include Pam Lynch (MLA), Troy Lifford (MLA, Sec Natural Resources), Brian MacDonald (Legislative Secretary to Premier), Nancy MacKay (COS)
  • The vision for NB (what keeps you up at night) – communities are strong when people are engaged.  Leaders at many levels.  The biggest concern is demographics – over the next decade or so there is no bed for a senior waiting to get into a home.   Make decisions for people to stay here, but bring in newcomers.  Two-party system – how to engage people that don’t believe that system works.  Working with unions to make better systems.  How do we improve education – the government can’t accomplish it alone.  Economy and demographics – emptying out of rural areas.
  • Question – government 4-year cycle versus long-term projects – communication piece is important (may increase mandate).
  • Question – natural resources sustainable – economic development balanced with community base. Learning from other provinces.
  • Question – retaining youth demographic.  Working in natural resources, but Premier’s own son works in Alberta (at least he comes home between breaks).  Forestry struggling, looking at working with NS for shipbuilding.  Innovation in R&D – how NB has trailed the rest of the country.  100% broadband coverage.  Working on an immigration strategy.
  • Question – first peoples reconnection – wanted to keep that folio personally as premier.  Working on economic development with First Peoples.  Taxation and education agreements.
  • People with disabilities – he considers NB to be the most progressive within the country.  Pay equity – focus on health care, special care, group homes.
  • Question – is bilingualism an asset?  Yes, 35% of NB has French as the primary language.  The vast majority of people support bilingualism as it provides a competitive advantage.
  • Question – what most significant challenge that you didn’t foresee?  Demographics and economy, remain connected to the population (communication), healthcare (system not sustainable – aging, diabetes), reconciling speed of demography versus speed to technology/commerce, accountability.
  • Question – what qualities do you look for as a leader?  Each MLA is a leader in their community, focus on regional, linguistic, gender, skill sets/experience (inter/intra political), leadership to date, leading from the front.
  • Members Perceptions of NB – Trying to spread wealth across the regions.  Receiving Chinese / NB high school degrees in China, coming to NB to university.
  • The breadth of knowledge required as premier.
  • Note that this meeting was early in tour – would have LOVED to ask him questions on the last day in New Brunswick…
  • http://www.gnb.ca/

Traditional Maritime Kitchen Party – Nancy and Chris Mathis

St Thomas University

Being summer, felt like we had the place to ourselves – lovely campus!

 Listener Feedback

Bill England’s question is “How can leaders benefit from implementing a local decentralized (“flat”) organizational section or department within a predominately strategic centralized (“hierarchy”) organization?”

 Resources and Articles

 “Those Who Know Him Speak Highly of Derek Jeter’s Leadership” by David Lennon at newsday.com

  • A quiet guy who makes things simple – you don’t need to be loud and come up with complex solutions.
  • Quote from Ichiro Suzuki – “He protects the other players that he plays with. There’s all sorts of stress and stuff that comes with playing. But he puts that on his shoulders and lets the other guys play.”
  • If someone on your team doesn’t appear to be performing or joining the team; think of how you can adapt your leadership style to bring the best out of your people.
  • http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/those-who-know-him-speak-glowingly-of-derek-jeter-s-leadership-1.4961273

 Learning Leadership through Song & Dance” by Santrupti Rajankar at The Times of India

  • Indus International School – Preparing students to become leaders of tomorrow should be the main aim of education today.
  • Persuasive communication (emphasis on critical thinking and reflection)
  • Students set goals – personal, academic & service.
  • Individual learning communicated through music, presentations, movies, and the written word.
  • Can you “force” someone to be a leader?  “Fake it ‘til you make it?”

(The original article has been deleted)

Federal Leadership on the Decline, report says” by Joe Davidson at The Washington Post

    • The report, prepared by the Partnership for Public Service, highlights some recommendations for leaders including:
    • “Find ways to let employees know they are valued, including getting to know them by walking the halls and listening to their concerns.”
    • “Hold themselves accountable, with improving workplace satisfaction scores incorporated into their performance plans.”
    • “Recognize and reward jobs well done, which does not necessarily require monetary incentives.”
    • 1st point – Management by walking around (seek information, don’t just get the stuff that comes into your office).  2nd point – if you don’t plan for improvement it is less likely to happen.  3rd point – praise can go a long way, especially on a tight budget.

“What is Leadership?” By Kevin Kruse at forbes.com

  • Article starts with things that leadership is not: seniority or position in hierarchy, titles, personal attributes, and charisma, or management (I like the last one – “Managers manage things, leaders lead people”
  • Cuts down several other attempts at defining leadership; looking at how he responds to Peter Drucker’s definition, I don’t think the author has a good understanding of the military.
  • He then provides his own definition as “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the effort of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”
  • Really got me thinking.  To me, his allows for negative aspects of the “dark side of the force” to kick in.  Think of schoolyard days – I had immediately thought of a gang or “bullies”, but there is the implication of physical power (AKA I’ll beat you into pulp…).  But what about the “cliques?” If their goal is to put everyone else down (not going to discussing SMART goals here), then according to his definition the person with the most influence is the “leader” of the group.
  • I tend to think of leadership in the positive sense i.e., using your “powers” for good.  Then, I got to thinking, “according to which perspective?” What is good to me may not be good to you.  So is “good” the socially acceptable norm of the majority?  But then what about the affected minority group(s)?  If something is good for one nation, what about other affected nations?
  • You could go down some significant rabbit holes – maybe we can use Kevin’s definition and then use positive or negative qualifiers when describing leaders. What do you think?
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/

If you have any suggestions for the resources and articles section, please let me know.

I’m Chris Hache, asking you to be VOCL for a better Canada.


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