The Advancing Leadership Blog

Shift 2012: Opening remarks from TEC Canada President, Catherine Osler

TEC Canada President, Catherine Osler, opened the TEC Canada Shift 2012 multi-group meeting events in Vancouver and Calgary with the following speech, outlining the role, the potential and the power of TEC in creating and supporting Canada’s business leaders.

Welcome everyone to a new year and to mark its beginning, an exceptional day of learning and networking. I am delighted to be here with you as we explore together the acceleration and complexity of global change and how it impacts each of us.

Over the past year, I have heard from members across the country about the challenges and uncertainty of the global economy we are all now a part of. I would like to take a few moments to briefly describe my vision for TEC and the commitments I am making to build the kind of community that will help you to thrive in the new normal of this complex global economy.

I am committed to creating a community where our members, Chairs, staff, and many trusted advisors achieve beyond what any of us alone could accomplish. As Keith McFarland notes in his recent book, The Breakthrough Company, we cannot go it alone however good we might be. McFarland maintains the best results occur when we surround ourselves with networks of people willing to question and debate our approach, as well as support, celebrate and share in our success.

I am committed to creating a member community with diverse and divergent points of view, yet also like-minded in our values. We are innovative thinkers, honest with ourselves and each other, open to change and growth. We have a keen desire to contribute our experience and wisdom to help others excel and to celebrate one another’s success. We understand the value of mentorship to accelerate personal and professional growth and recognize the unprecedented power of group effort. We also recognize that we all – Chairs, members, and trusted advisors – share the responsibility for the composition, tenor and continued innovation of our groups.

I am committed to creating a community who champion the best thinking. My objective for TEC is to become an applied thought leader – applied because we want to close the gap between theory and practice – thought leader because we want to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities of the new global economy. Being an applied thought leader is not about professing the “right answers.” It is about our ability to recognize trends, to be part of vibrant discussions at the forefront of business thought, to be conduits of new thinking. Today’s event illustrates the practice of applied thought leadership.

I am committed to building a community where members act for one another as catalysts to spark new thinking and new potential for investment – where innovative ventures take shape and ground breaking products and services germinate: A community that works with other organizations that support collaboration to foster innovation, perceiving and solving problems in new and different ways. Our relationship with KPMG has already proven how we are strengthened by these partnerships, and I am pleased and delighted our KPMG colleagues are here with us today.

I am committed to building a community of confident leaders who look regionally, nationally, and internationally for new opportunities. Over the next 36 months, I will be focusing efforts and resources on leveraging our network across Canada and around the globe with Vistage and our international partners, in places such as the UK, Brazil, Australia and China. I invite you to join us for the international member conference in January 2013. [note: Details are available at]

I am committed to building a community who understand the wise exercise of leadership in all spheres of life is a contribution to human advancement.

To establish a community built on these objectives is to make TEC a safe harbour where our members can confidently chart their visions when the economy is favourable, and take wise refuge when it is not. We are to be the organization to successfully navigate the new normal of the global economy in all its complexity, uncertainty and opportunity.

I thank you for the courage to become a TEC member and your decision to fully realize your potential – and in doing so, help others realize theirs. I wish to celebrate and congratulate you for your commitment to transformational leadership and your perseverance to build enterprises, even during the most challenging economic conditions. In the months and years ahead, I invite you to continue your journey with me as we realize our visions to collectively become more than we could ever achieve alone.

Today, we are coming together as individual leaders to create and explore the power of our own community.

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