Many of you probably know Arlene Dickinson as one of the venture capitalists from the hit business reality show Dragons' Den on CBC. She's also CEO of Venture Communications and author of two bestselling leadership books. But what many of us don't know are the unique stories and experiences that lie behind everything she has become and all that she has achieved.
The Clear Path team, along with 650 other local HR professionals, had the amazing opportunity to hear Arlene Dickinson at the annual Executive Night put on by the Grand Valley Chapter of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). Her keynote address, paired with networking and a delicious three-course meal, made the 2014 Executive Night an incredible success and a night to remember.
"Leadership is about sharing your experiences"
Throughout her address, Arlene drove home the idea that "leadership is all about sharing your experiences" - the things that make you who you are. Starting with her humble beginnings and her move to Canada as a young child, Arlene took us on a journey through her life - being incredibly vulnerable and transparent about the ups and downs that ultimately shaped who she is today.
She described a time she was invited to Afghanistan to meet the Canadian troops stationed there. While in Afghanistan, she accompanied a General as he went to the front lines to address the soldiers at several different military bases. She called that speech "the best leadership speech she had ever heard" and, after hearing it spoken over 5 times, she was able to pull some invaluable points from it.
The general three points:
1. You are an Indispensable Part of the Team
As the soldiers approached the time when they could go home and be reunited with their families, it became increasingly difficult to stay focused. The General reminded them how important staying focused was - "If you don't stay focused, not only your life is at risk, but the life of your team and everyone around you. If one person can fail, everyone else can fail." Each member of the team is connected, important, appreciated, and needed.
2. What You're Doing is Important and Has Purpose
He then reminded them of why they get up every day. When you're part of a team, or at work, you often spend more time with those you're working with than you're own family. Because of this, you need to feel purpose - feel appreciated. By understanding why you are doing what you are doing, by knowing that you are counted on, you can have the drive needed to focus and get the job done.
3. You are Appreciated
The General also reminded the soldiers that they are appreciated. "Canadians know that the job you are doing is super important and that what you are doing is protecting the most important thing individuals have - freedom." (Source: The Telegram)
It's about vulnerability
And while the General delivered this speech - he did so with vulnerability. He admitted that he doesn't have all the answers or know what is going to happen next. But he also said that when he did know, he would tell them. He would be vulnerable, transparent, and reachable. And it's the personal manner by which he told the speech that made it so impactful for not only all the soldiers listening, but for Arlene Dickson who was observing.
So much so that she has adopted this method of humble leadership. A leadership that is about "sharing your experiences" - showing people the things that make you who you are. And this was clearly evident in the way she approached her time at the Executive Night - transparent, vulnerable, and unafraid to share about the events and life experiences that brought her to where she is today. All in all, an inspiring night.
Clear Path at Executive Night
Here are some of our personal photos from the 2014 Executive Night. Anna Aceto-Guerin, President of Clear Path Employer Services, had the opportunity to meet Arlene Dickinson afterwards.
Did you attend the 2014 HRPA Executive Night? What were some of the points that really hit home for you?
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AODA legislation (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) aims to make the province of Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. Since the AODA became law in 2005, Ontario has established accessibility standards for customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and the design of public spaces.
There are currently two separate reviews of Ontario's accessibility laws underway:
1. Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Dean Moran of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law has been appointed to conduct this second independent review of Ontario's accessibility legislation. Her review seeks to examine Ontario's progress towards achieving the goals for accessibility set out in the AODA and its standards. Throughout this review, Moran will meet with representatives of the many stakeholder groups affected by the AODA, including individuals with disabilities and representatives from the obligated sectors under the legislation (Source: AODA Review).
Public consultations will be held between March 18 and April 22, 2014 both in person and online. Individual comments or written submissions are also being accepted until June 1, 2014. Click here for more information.
2. Review of the Accessible Customer Service Standard
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires the review of each accessibility standard five years after it becomes law. This is done in order to determine whether the standard is working as intended and to allow for adjustments to be made.
The first accessibility standard to be made into regulation under the AODA was the Customer Service Standard. Upon review, the Standards Development Committee developed initial proposed changes and is now seeking public input prior to finalizing its recommendations to the government. That's where you come in.
The following components of the Customer Service Standard are involved in these proposed amendments:
Please see the Ministry website for a full breakdown of these proposed amendments:
Public feedback on the proposed revised Customer Service Standard will be accepted from March 3 to April 16, 2014 and can be provided online at ontario.ca/AccessON.
Need help with compliance? Integrated Standards DIY Package
Clear Path Employer Services has recently introduced an AODA Integrated Standards Do-It-Yourself Package. The DIY package contains all the tools needed to become compliant - all wrapped into one simple-to-use package. Here's a look at some of the items in the package:
Check out our webpage to learn more about the Integrated Standards DIY package or to place an order: www.clearpathemployer.com/aoda-diy-package
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