The Advancing Leadership Blog

#FoundersFriday with Mitchell Lesbirel

Mitchell Lesbirel
Co-founder – Axle Plastic Inc.

Manufacturing and Distribution

Favourite app:

What do you believe is the most important leadership trait? 
The ability to have people like and respect you. If people you work with do not like you, it is very hard to accomplish the big things in life.

Biggest takeaway from your peer group meetings to date: 
Being vulnerable allows you to grow as a person and makes you much more approachable.

What’s the legacy you want to leave? 
I want to change the world for the better in an environmental sense. I believe the environment is the ultimate currency and if we do not find a way to fix the current damage we have done and work toward a sustainable future, nothing else will matter – Think Elon Musk and what he is doing with Tesla and Solar City.

Who is your top influencer? Why? 
Richard Branson. I first read his autobiography a few years ago and have been hooked on his philosophy and outlook on life since then. I relate very much to his desire to start different businesses in different sectors combined with his dare devil lifestyle. Whenever I travel, I always try and find edgy activities to try such as Bungee Jumping in Costa Rica, Sky Diving in South Africa or scuba diving with sharks in Honduras.

What personality trait(s) have helped the success of your start-up?
The two factors that have contributed the most to the success of the start-up I am currently working on is hard work – Think 18 hour days setting up a manufacturing line in a plastic factory. The second would be the ability to roll with the punches and not get stressed when things go wrong. In start-ups, things tend to go wrong a lot when you first start.

What personality trait(s) of yours have hindered your start-up?
I sometimes work too much and do not use delegation effectively to maximize my own efforts.

Follow the @TECCanada #FoundersFriday series for an inside look at the TEC @Next_Founders group and their experiences in championing innovation, organizational collaboration and leadership excellence.

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