Goals of this B.C. business game plan set leadership example

In our city, right under our noses for several years now, has been an exceptional example of how to build and sustain a business.

We can all learn from its principles.

This example has taught us to stay grounded with integrity from the outset, to maintain an even-handed disposition without exaggerative highs and lows and to not complain even when it’s apparent you’re being taken advantage of by competitors.

As an exemplar of fair-mindedness, it has revealed how to withstand difficulties in the early years as you are finding your way and growing in a hostile climate where opponents want a piece of you at every turn.

It has valued the concept of self-improvement as a daily mission to learn lessons from mistakes and has served to inform us on the value of accountability along the way to those served.

As much as anything, it has provided a blueprint on learning and repeating best practices to find a comfort zone that delivers peak performance and does not overreach or pretend to be what it is not. In so doing, it has recognized limits and capacities and thus cultivated realistic ambitions.

Like everything, it has seen good times and bad times, and as part of its evolution, it has demonstrated the sensibility of providing slight financial sacrifices on occasion to stay put locally and in familiar environs when the wider world might be calling. In short, it has manifested loyalty and sent signals to others to do the same.

Naturally, an ingredient in this success has been its capacity to inspire others in its midst and elsewhere, mentor and motivate them, and nurture in the hopes they qualify as successors. There have been more failures than successes in this respect, but not for lack of trying.

That selflessness has been part of its leadership culture, and where others might have seen such assistance as a zero-sum game – what I give, I lose to you – its competitive qualities haven’t been undermined and might even have been helped in the guidance of others.

Most importantly, it has understood intrinsically – without being pushed to do so – when it has been time to renew. It hasn’t feared failure as much as it has feared complacency.

While it has demonstrated a clear and consistent standard of service, an uncanny reliability and durability, it hasn’t been afraid of experimentation or of adaptation – indeed, it has built resilience in that way.

This enterprise has also anticipated the fine line between professional dominance and personal domineering and built humility in the mix of its qualities to never assume its perfection and to strive promptly for correction of mistakes.

At a critical stage, this enterprise has also come to recognize the importance of succession planning.

Possibly its intelligence as a wise-elder influence in this matter has been due to witnessing so many others cling to their perches far too long, diminish their standing, and not finish strongly in the best public interest. Its approach has been to leave at basically the right time.

In the year ahead it is evident that its transition to younger leadership will not come without its hitches – for one, succession doesn’t always mean duplication of qualities – and that what happens when leadership steps aside is not always replaced. Still, the transition will offer the option for a fresh identity and an opportunity to rebrand for a new generation of consumers.  Every entity has to face this inflection point, and at least in this case there is little doubt the best-case scenario is available.

Whatever the case, the legacy has been unmistakably profound in adding to the pride of the community, what it wishes to be known for, and what it wishes to attract in larger numbers.

As it wages what many believe will be its last campaign, it’s been quite the undertaking, quite the lesson for all of us, quite the analogous example for business, and when they retire to deserved accolades and indefinite respect, we will quite correctly miss Daniel and Henrik. 

Kirk LaPointe is Editor-in-Chief of Business in Vancouver Media Group and Vice-President of Glacier Media.