Congratulations, Peter Buchanan, on 35 years as a TEC Chair!
Believing in people’s ability to make a difference, one of Peter’s greatest passions is working with individuals who are sincerely committed to becoming better leaders and taking their businesses to higher levels of performance.
Peter has chaired hundreds of TEC group meetings, spent over 20,000 hours in one-to-one coaching sessions, and is a hugely impactful TEC Chair today, helping business leaders thrive through relationship building, a supportive environment, and accountability.
The Don Cope award winner and two-time Robert Nourse winner, Peter has also won multiple TEC Master Chair Awards and Chair Excellence Award.
In addition to his commitment to being a TEC Chair for 35 years, Peter also sits on the Leadership Team at TEC as the National Director of Chair Development, playing an integral role in setting new Chairs up for success.
With a passion for scuba diving and a father to five grown children and 4 grandchildren, Peter resides in Lake Simcoe with his wife, Margaret.
We sat down with Peter to glean insight, enjoy some memories, and understand the impact TEC has had on him.
Q&A With Peter Buchanan
You’ve impacted business leaders in a myriad of ways. What impact has TEC had on you?
Almost 35 years ago, over a 6 month period, I noticed a real shift in one of my consulting company clients. He was becoming a more effective manager and leader the only change I knew he had made over the past few months was joining something called a “TEC Group”.
Dr. Lynn Tanner had mentioned to his group that he wanted to grow TEC beyond Alberta, and this client of mine referred me to help. Soon, I found myself sitting in a boardroom in downtown Toronto meeting Dr. Tanner. He asked me to start this first TEC group in eastern Canada. So, I did.
Now, 35 years later, the work I do as a TEC Chair is still deeply connected to my sense of personal purpose. I derive joy from working with and helping business leaders and TEC continues to feed that joy.
The TEC Chairs I work with are all purposeful people. They do this work not just for compensation, but to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
Peter Buchanan making a speech at a TEC Canada event.
What tip would you give to Canadian business leaders?
Never stop working on your emotional intelligence and relationship-building skills. For me, leadership is the ability to influence other people toward the attainment of your goal, and that influence is hugely based on the quality of the relationship you have with that individual.
Finesse your strategic planning skills. Many CEOs are great at building a business, but become unsure of how to make the next step and they sometimes get lost dealing with the challenges of scaling their business. TEC member companies who have access to peer groups and coaches tend to grow at a faster rate than those who don’t.
With TEC, the proof is in the pudding. Members tend to stay a long time because they receive significant value. I have heard members say that being part of our TEC group has saved not only their business but their life too.
Peter Buchanan (eighth FROM THE left) WITH A GROUP OF CANADIAN TEC CHAIRS IN THE EARLY 90'S AT THEIR ANNUAL GATHERING.
Can you tell us about a memorable time or retreat you’ve had with TEC?
About 25 years ago, I brought two new group members to our annual retreat meeting and facilitated an exercise with the group that I had learned from Dr. Frederic Hudson, which had to do with his model of how we go through life transitions.
I created a large circle of duct tape on the floor with four quadrants, each representing a distinct phase of life as a business leader. I asked everyone to stand where they felt as though they currently were in their journey. Everyone scattered throughout the circle, and we took the time to talk with everyone about what it felt like to be in each of those places—what they were going through and where they felt they were going.
My two new members said it was the most powerful way they could imagine meeting a new group of people, and they both remained members for about 15 years.
Dr. Lynn Tanner, Founder and Executive Chairman of TEC Canada (Left) and Peter Buchanan (Right).
What has kept you in the role as TEC Chair for 35 years?
The learning community. From speakers, Chairs, and members supporting other members, the learning opportunities are endless.
In addition, the community of Chairs we have developed is amazing and they abide by a real ethic to take time for one another. If you have a problem, challenge, or opportunity, fellow Chairs will always respond to a request for help. Connecting with other Chairs is an incredible way to grow.
What impact have you had on your members?
“As a founder of a 30+ year old firm we’ve enjoyed consistent growth, been through a number of recessions, a few acquisitions, established multiple offices, but felt we hit the limit of our abilities. Through Peter and TEC we found more was possible. I was impressed by Peter’s welcoming kindness, organization, collaboration, and rigor to keep me focused. I’ve been able to communicate better with my partner and senior management to resolve issues and gain consensus. He is a discerning voice, a sounding board to vet ideas to achieve the firm’s primary objectives.
I’m forever grateful for Peter’s guidance, mentorship, leadership, kindness, and humour. I am thankful to him for leading me down a path of self-realization that no problem is insurmountable.”
“As a long-standing mentor of more than a decade, Peter continues to create an impact at the highest level. Whether facilitating a solution to the many difficult family business challenges or offering motivational support in my personal relationships, Peter has helped me achieve much success. He has brought attentiveness, genuineness, and a great sense of humour to an outstanding level of professionalism and care to me and my business. I look forward to many more years of learning and laughing with Peter!”
“Peter has been extremely instrumental in growing my weaknesses into strengths. After a conversation with Peter, I would leave and have multiple actions items for me personally and for the business. He makes you think on the business instead of in your business. After being in TEC with Peter our business has tripled in size, processes, and professionalism. He is a true patriot of leadership!”
“Pete’s unwavering support and belief in me have been pivotal in my journey as a woman in the construction industry. Through his guidance, I have not only gained valuable skills in managing the business but especially have developed a newfound confidence in my abilities. Pete’s approach, characterized by kindness and gentle strength, has created a safe and empowering environment to allow me to find my voice. I am eternally grateful for his mentorship, which has transformed my life in ways I never thought possible. Congratulations Pete on your 35th year as TEC Chair.”
“Pete exemplifies the values that the TEC community lives by – caring, trust, challenge, growth. He’s my trusted advisor. He listens, challenges me, and holds me to account. As CEO of a small business, that’s just what I need. The results speak for themselves. We’ve doubled in size and exceeded our corporate objectives thanks to Pete.”