Q&A with Mark Adams, Forty Under 40 Winner 2021; vice-president, studies and technology and global mining sector lead, SNC-Lavalin, Age 37
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
The incredible leaders I’ve had the chance to learn from in my work as a mining engineer, my time in the Canadian military and my service on nonprofit boards.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Movie theatre nachos and reality TV.
What is the best book you would recommend?
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself?
My life goal has always been leaving the world better than I found it and a defining part of that is what we do about climate change. Contributing to a more sustainable future through my work in engineering will continue to be on my mind for years to come.
What was your childhood career dream?
Treasure hunter or police officer.
Name your happiest place.
Having great food and wine with family and friends on vacation.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Deciding to take on varied industry roles as opposed to specializing. It was not the most common path, but I saw the value of diverse experience in the industry leaders I admired most.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
You don’t need to solve every problem alone. The courage to ask for help is a strength.
What is your best habit?
Seeing through the noise and thinking three steps ahead.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
My now 100-year-old Polish grandmother taught me to make perogies by hand, which I do in batches of a few hundred several times per year.
Best piece of advice ever received?
It’s not enough to do good work, you must be seen doing good work.
Biggest learning (about life of business) during the pandemic?
The importance of spending time in person with family, friends, colleagues and clients.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
Service is a value instilled in me by my parents and, over the last decade, I’ve volunteered nearly 2,000 hours on a dozen non-profit boards. The opportunity to give back amid a successful career in mining is definitely what I am most proud of.