VOCL 013 – Leadership at Home and In the Community

Twitter   Show Summary: The NB Study Group’s 8th day on the road as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  The day was spent in Moncton, NB.  We learned about Armour Transportation Systems.  For a community focus, we visited the Rotary Club and the Community Peace Centre. Intro Hi there!  Welcome to the Voices of […]

Written By chris

On June 24, 2013

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Show Summary: The NB Study Group’s 8th day on the road as part of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.  The day was spent in Moncton, NB.  We learned about Armour Transportation Systems.  For a community focus, we visited the Rotary Club and the Community Peace Centre.


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

  • New nation – “Anonymous Proxy” – welcome
  • Please spread the word – tell family, friends, colleagues that you are listening to the Voices of Canadian Leadership podcast.  Let’s get more people involved in discussing leadership in Canada.

Summary of GGCLC so far:

  • A broad range of speakers from academia, labour, business, and non-profit.
  • Already started touring NB, speaking with non-profit, labour, businesses and political figures (including the Premier and Lt Gov.)

We will now look at the main topic of the show – the New Brunswick Study Group’s 8th day on the road as part of the 2012 GGCLC.

Let’s go back in time!

 NB – 11 June 2012 – Our Penultimate Day in New Brunswick  

The morning started off at Cafe Kodiak with strong coffee and ham & egg sandwiches. Although we had no guest speakers for breakfast, it was a great chance to start more in-depth discussions on the format of the presentation. Things are falling into place, but there are so many places that we can take the presentation… 

Our first stop was Armour Transportation Systems. Hosted by Rawlston and Alisha Armour, we were given the back-story of ATS. Founded in 1955 with two trucks, there are now 3,800 pieces of equipment and 25 facilities spread over 5 provinces. They reviewed the firm’s guiding principles – people (integrity and respect), safety, service (innovation & quality), sustainability, family. We also got to understand the scope of services that ATS provides, and how they come up with interesting solutions to meet customer needs. 

Armour prides itself on its safe drivers. Within the company, accident-free, are 421 drivers with 1million miles, 111 with two million miles, 16 with three million miles, and even one person with four million miles. Considering that it takes an overage of 8-9 years to get 1 million miles, that is impressive indeed.

Armour Transportation Systems

Armour Transportation Systems

Moving on to the Delta Moncton, we had a chance to “pre-meet” Claudette Bradshaw (former Federal Cabinet Minister for Labour). As Site Coordinator for the At Home / Chez Soi program, she is responsible for creating a safe and nurturing environment for people with mental health issues. The program seeks to find apartments for its program members, and provides them with a wide variety of necessary support programs at their home, reducing any social stigmas. The program also seeks to find gainful employment for the members. It is remarkable that Moncton was selected as one of the five pilot cities – many people believed that Halifax would have been selected as the eastern city. This meeting was a great chance to get information about the program, but to also get leadership information from a former federal cabinet minister. 

We moved a few rooms over to have lunch with members of the Moncton Rotary Club. We gave the Rotary Club a five-minute presentation on who we were and what we were trying to achieve. With so many small tables, it was easy to have discussions on topics of interest – we primarily seem to be focussing on (in no particular order) bilingualism, education, diversity/multiculturalism, resources and employment. The guest speaker was Claudette Bradshaw – she gave the crowd a similar (yet no less passionate) presentation on her program. 

Rotary International 4-Way Test

Rotary International 4-Way Test

Our luncheon concluded, we proceeded to the Community Peace Centre. Having just opened earlier today, the building (and the occupants) looked fresh and vibrant. This project has been eight years in the making. We were informed that the concept was originally a vision of Seigfried Janzen, who looked at Corrections with an emphasis on restorative justice instead of simple punishment. By creating a collaborative environment, the community would serve as a role model and as a foundation for future success. 

We were then afforded a few hours of free time. We took the opportunity to walk around Moncton (instead of simply through it), meet with the local folks, and discuss what we had observed over the past week. It was not all work, however; some people managed to sneak in some shopping. 

Our final event of the day was a drive to Shediac for the last supper in New Brunswick. This was an informal supper with our very valued members of the NB organizing committee – Robert Moreau (Chair / President), Catherine Dallaire, and Larry Batt. Knowing that there were many other people involved in generating this interesting program, we would like to take this opportunity to thank them as well. This supper also proved a previous point about our group creating a lobster shortage in New Brunswick – not everyone was able to order their new favourite food. 

We are now back at U of M for our final sleep – tomorrow is the start of the final phase of our journey.

Cafe Kodiak

can’t find a link!

Armour Transportation Systems

So Much Soda

So Much Soda

  • Rawlston Armour & Alicia Armour
    • Look after courier division and warehouse division, Rawlston VP of IT.
    • Family members – how does this structure maintain sustainability in the third generation? (multiple succession planning articles in Atlantic Canada media)
    • Over 1700 employees, 11th largest carrier in Canada.
    • 2011 Atlantic Progress ranks CTS the 15th top company in Atlantic Canada.
    • 2011 Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies Platinum Status Award.
    • Competitive advantages – diverse service offering, innovation (culture and technology – finding a way to meet all of a customer’s requirements), people.
    • Challenge is billing system based on less-than-truckload (LTL), difficult to accurately bill for innovative solutions.
    • 30% of freight coming in from partners – stay out of each other’s playgrounds.  CN is the biggest partner in Atlantic Canada.
    • Midland owned by Irving, Day & Ross owned by McCain – companies we’ve seen before.
    • When CAD is in the mid-80s to low-90s, the optimum point for trading.
    • Driver average age is 47.    Not many truckers want to be owner/operators – Armour owns 98% of trucks.  Can tailor locations for the drivers with the language of choice.
    • Drivers are non-unionized.
    • Recruit and encourage Aboriginal drivers, but there is no specific program in place.
    • Treat people fairly, reward them for the work that they do and how they do it. The introduction of the IT to monitor driver’s speeds is done with respect and is communicated along the lines of environmental sustainability, with incentive bonuses.
John Vicq and 'Big Oil'

John Vicq and ‘Big Oil’

Rotary Club Luncheon

  • Claudette Bradshaw (Moncton Site Coordinator for the At Home / Chez Soi Programme)

Housing Connections (At Home / Chez Soi).

  • Mental Health Issues – Housing and Homelessness
    • Cost of crime $46B in 1996, $99b now, $56b on mental health.
    • An estimated 25 to 50 percent of homeless people live with a mental health disorder.
    • One of the problems it that research is academic – not enough practical.
    • A very complicated process due to getting the right researchers and people around the table.
    • If you can surround people with housing and supporting system, what would the results be (5-year mandate)
    • Selection criteria were looked at, including which mental health programs will be introduced (control group and trial group of 100 each – 200 people total).  7 ethics committees that had to be followed.
    • Works with private sector landlords, not Federal.  42 landlords were found – thought only 6-7 would participate.
    • This program allows people to make their choice regarding if an apartment is acceptable – solution was not imposed.
    • Landlords are asking for training in mental illness, even after the end of the project.
    • No Home Economists programs in NB – this is the career that has the skill sets necessary to solve the problem.  Project delayed by 6 months since no insurance could be procured for people to work.
    • We are not using employment equity as it should be used, especially as per mental health.  Don’t treat people like a welfare check.  Take employee equity very seriously.  As Canadians, we used to be a population of people who never forgot to look after our community.
    • Even though there is a large Francophone population, they (Moncton) aren’t involved in Quebec-based studies.

During the lunch itself, Rikia and Liz did a great job of presenting our experience to the crowd.

Claudette Bradshaw

Claudette Bradshaw

Community Peace Centre

  • A building that hosts numerous non-profit and community-oriented groups under one roof.
  • Every 2nd Wednesday had 3-5 hour meetings.
  • Leadership – never take “no” for an answer, regardless of changes in Government.
  • Bring a whole broad base of people together to listen to a vision and discuss how it could be implemented.  Collaboration takes longer but end result is better.
  • Don’t micromanage – people will start to own the project.
  • Two models in Canada, but wasn’t quite a good match (environmental sustainment) so they went to Vermont to find a better model.
  • Have to start working on the next generation to teach children how to deal with each other peacefully.  Concept applies to business as well.
  • Discussing concepts such as a livable wage, not minimum wage.
  • Every person community is important.
  • Created a great plan that would have cost $13.8m (wood, earth, stone).  At the same time the Central United Church wanted to find ways to meaningfully use the space outside of Sundays.
  • Restorative justice is a great approach for healing – gave Zigfreid Janzen’s experience during the Holocaust in Poland.  http://www.restorativejustice.org/articlesdb/articles/3637/
  • Defacing – go in front of neighbourhood assembly (NA).  They can choose to be fined for the crime, or they can be part of the solution alongside the NA.
Community Peace Centre

Community Peace Centre

“Free” Afternoon

  •  Blueberry Ale at the Pumphouse Restaurant patio (as recommended by Robert) – https://www.pumphousebrewery.ca/
  • Gouled asking people about New Brunswick in the street
  • I did get a nice French cuff shirt and new cuff links at the Bay – Gouled has a great eye for fashion.
  • Strategizing on how to present over a week’s work of information in 20 minutes
  • Starting to transition in Bruce Tuckman’s group development model – from “Forming” to “Storming” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckman%27s_stages_of_group_development .  It’s natural, yet highly unpleasant (especially with a high-profile deadline approaching).
Pumphouse Restaurant Patio

Pumphouse Restaurant Patio

Captain Dan’s Restaurant

  • Original link has been deleted.

Listener Feedback

  • Leadership article “Restoring Faith in Leadership” featured in VOCL 011 (why some business school students lack trust in the leadership of large corporations).  Darryl Whaley via FB writes that he’s sure that this article applies to organizations besides corporations.  I absolutely agree – It doesn’t matter where you are, you can’t lead effectively if you haven’t earned the trust of your people.

Resources and articles

  • focussing on leadership “tip” lists

Top 10 Leadership Qualities of a Project Manager by Timothy R. Barry at Projecttimes.com

Article based on ESI International (PM training) – listed in order:

  1. Inspires a shared vision
  2. A good communicator
  3. Integrity
  4. Enthusiasm
  5. Empathy
  6. Competence
  7. Ability to delegate tasks
  8. Cool under pressure
  9. Team-building skills
  10. Problem solving skills


8 Tips For Leading Those Who Don’t Want to Follow by Mike Myatt at Forbes

  1.  Be consistent in your messages and your behaviours (builds trust).
  2. Consider whether a difference is important enough as to need resolving.
  3. Respect everyone – know the difference between disagreement and disrespect.
  4. Define (don’t assume) what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
  5. Confront problems quickly – nip them in the bud.
  6. Understand the “What’s In It For Me” factor – can you get to a win-win?
  7. View conflict as an opportunity for growth.
  8. Disagreements are okay, but everyone should be focused on the common objective.


Five leadership lessons from Christy Clark’s surprise victory by Brent Jang at the Globe & Mail

  •  Lesson 1: Deliver a consistent message about the future
  • Lesson 2: Don’t shy away from being realistic
  • Lesson 3: Be realistic about the short term
  • Lesson 4: But don’t shy away from long-term ambition
  • Lesson 5: Go retail

I can accept all lessons except for #2. Aside from the part where the title doesn’t match the content, I fundamentally disagree that a negative approach in campaigning is a “lesson” for others to emulate.  The author may think that this tactic was effective in this election, and he may even be right, but it is NOT leadership.

(Original article has been deleted)

VOCL Closing Thoughts

  • What does long-term success look like (Armour accident-free drivers)?
  • Do you understand all of the variables involved (landlords seeing the value of mental health training)?
  • Can you find win-win situations (Community Peace Centre using church space on days other than Sunday)?
  • May be a delay in next week’s episode (Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo protocol office).

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


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