The Advancing Leadership Blog

Speed of Change: Q&A with New Chair Darrell Goertzen

Darrell Goertzen recently joined TEC Canada as the Chair for TEC 250 in Victoria, BC, and kindly took some time out to talk to us about his new role and what he hopes to bring to the TEC experience for his members.

Why did you become a Chair?

I became a chair because of what I experienced while running a business. I know how tough it is to get good advice and perspective when you’re the one making the final decision. Who can give you clear and objective points to consider? Who’s going to make you take a second look? How can you stay current in the world of business while running a business? TEC is a great way to get what you need when you’re in charge, the system and approach is time and results tested.

I also really like problem solving. Being a TEC chair gives me an opportunity to be involved with a group of executives in diverse industries who can help each other solve business problems. There are a lot of really interesting businesses out there and many inspiring leaders who have built companies, I’m looking forward to working with some of them and doing what I can to help those businesses flourish.

What piece of your experience/expertise do you think will be relevant to your Groups/will help your members grow?

The breadth of experience I’ve had in cities across Canada and the US will be very helpful. I’ve had the good fortune of seeing the strategic and operational sides of many many companies, large and small, and in the end we all have the same kinds of problems that we wrestle with as leaders. Being able to recognize an issue quickly because you’ve seen it before is very helpful. I’ve also been able to gain a lot of experience in turning strategy into action, and figuring out how to measure and get results quickly. When you combine those experiences with my training and passion for teaching I think that makes for a great fit for working with a group like this.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Canadian business today?

Speed of change. Global markets, global competition means business leaders can’t just focus on local markets, local competitors, you need to look further. Most businesses today are not prepared for the scope and scale of competition that they’re going to face. I believe that we need to find ways use the experience and perspective of others in order to be effective developing great companies.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing business leaders as individuals?

Speed of everything, change happens faster and faster, rumours fly further, information is in everyone’s face, but most of it is irrelevant and distracting from what needs focus. How can leaders stay focused and execute strategy when people are reacting to the latest news and worries? Figuring out how to cut through to what’s really important and to keep an entire company on track and focused, that’s a big challenge. I think it’s really helpful for executives to have a place they can go to sort their thoughts on what is most important and to have help getting rid of the rest of the distractions.

How do you keep work-life balance? How do you spend your ‘life’ time?

I spend most of my personal time outside, running, hiking with my wife and my dog, taking grandkids to the beach, or finding a new golf course out in the woods. We love exploring new places and having a good laugh. I think when you feel you’re fortunate and happy to be where you are, you can live in the moment and enjoy life. I had to learn about balance, I used to be obsessed only with getting to the destination, but I’ve learned to enjoy the journey as well, that helps keep me in a good place of balance in my life.

If you would like to know more about Darrell, you can read his biography, or contact TEC.

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