BIV is proud to recognize Ryan D’Souza, president of Jim Pattison Lease, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.
Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at biv.com in the days ahead.
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
My parents. They worked tirelessly to achieve their dreams, building their own business from the ground up, then giving it up so they could give their kids all the opportunities that Canada has to offer. I’ve also been fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout my career.
What drives you?
I’m a problem solver by nature. Even when I was a kid, I would constantly be taking things apart and figuring out how to put them back together (not always successfully!). In everything I do, I ask myself what’s important and what are the best next steps to move forward.
A favourite book you would recommend?
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?
It’s all about expanding my roots, spending time and energy with the people that are closest to me and helping to pay it forward. To help support and mentor the next generation of business leaders.
What was your childhood career dream?
I always dreamed of being involved in car racing. It’s been a long time since I started on the shop floor, but I still love to get my hands dirty and am very fortunate to be able to mix my passion for cars with work as I’ve grown throughout my career.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Making the decision – within 24 hours – to leave my then-current role and move across the country for a new company. Twelve years later, I’ve learned the hardest decisions are often the ones that work out best.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Take calculated risks, don’t be afraid of failure and align yourself with good mentors who share your values.
What is your best habit?
Connecting with my team. Early in my career, I made it a point each morning to make time to say hello and catch up with my colleagues. It’s a simple gesture that helps me keep in touch with what’s going on with the team and the business.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I have a Guinness World Record hanging in my office. Actually, it’s more a certificate of participation for the most bottles played in a musical performance.
Best piece of advice ever received?
Lead with empathy and vulnerability. A leader’s job is to understand both the needs of the business and the team. That means putting yourself in other people’s shoes and being able to consider other perspectives.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
The importance of relationships.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
It’s an honour to have the opportunity to lead a founding company within the Jim Pattison Group, Canada’s largest privately held company. , I feel exceptionally fortunate to help expand Jim Pattison Lease’s legacy nationally and internationally.