Are You TEC Chair Material?
When TEC Canada first contacted me in Spring 2012, I was leading a successful marketing consulting practice in Ottawa. While I enjoyed my work and had no thoughts of changing careers, a conversation with a TEC member really piqued my interest. He told me that TEC had changed his life. It had changed him as a leader, as a father, as a husband, and as a person. I reflected that no-one ever talked about my consulting in those terms, however good it was, and that TEC would give me an opportunity to have a more impactful career.
As I grew more committed to the notion of becoming a TEC Chair, I realized that my initial thought of blending the work with my consulting practice wouldn’t be the right model for me. This had to be something I committed to – wholeheartedly. So, I closed my marketing practice and took on the role of a TEC Chair full-time.
During my time as a TEC Chair, I have worked with Canadian business leaders who have faced bankruptcy, who struggle with difficult people on their teams, who suffer from imposter syndrome, who have had to downsize, who have had to navigate personal challenges, and who have mourned the loss of loved ones. I have also shared the joy with leaders who have grown their organizations and their revenue streams, who have acquired companies, who have sold companies, and who have become phenomenal leaders. Every day is a new conversation and a new challenge.
The true power of TEC is in the high-performance peer group. Imagine meeting with 15 other leaders every month – from non-competing industries – and having a sounding board for all thoughts and ideas? TEC is not a paint-by-numbers approach to leadership; and there is no one way to run a company. That’s one of the things I like about being a TEC Chair – it’s not prescriptive. Every member is unique, and every conversation is different, but the personal and professional impact on the lives of the group members remains constant.
To be successful as a TEC Chair, you need four things:
- First, you need to be driven. You have to have the appetite to recruit members and grow your group of business leaders. If you wait for people to knock on your door, you’ll be very lonely.
- Second, you need to be an empathetic and active listener. If you know what to do, and you like to tell people how to do it, then consulting might be a better fit.
- Third, you need to be a life-long learner, just like a TEC member. If you’re someone that enjoys discovering new ways of thinking, becoming a TEC Chair is an excellent fit. For example, a few years ago, I became certified as an accredited coach through CTI in order to raise my game and provide additional value to my members in our monthly private coaching sessions.
- Finally, you need to confidently wear the mantle of “a leader of leaders”. You are not just facilitating meetings – you are helping Canadian business leaders grow their personal and professional aspirations. As a TEC Chair, your immersive participation and leadership are critical to the group’s success.
Today, I can honestly say becoming a TEC Chair is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my career. I am constantly inspired by the opportunity to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and business owners shape their lives and organizations.