“We at Lee Valley are so bought in to this TEC model that we have multiple TEC members and have launched the TEC Inside program, where we host our Lee Valley TEC meetings monthly.”
JASON IN 100 WORDS
Jason Tasse, COO of Lee Valley, joined Lee Valley Tools at the age of 22 and has been with the family company ever since. “After 21 years, I still wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. The time has gone by so fast and that in itself is rewarding.” Jason’s genuine thirst for information and knowledge helped him work his way up through the company’s operations side, from picking orders in the warehouse to supervisor, manager, director, VP and now COO. He was also exposed to a perfect mix of a fast growing local company and incredible leadership and with Lee Valley’s support he went to Georgia Tech’s Logistics Institute and worked through Queen’s Executive MBA program.
Now at 19 stores and about 1000 employees, Lee Valley Tools is one of Canada’s best retail success stories. Started in 1978, the company is now seeing many of the senior management team taking a well-deserved retirement and Jason Tasse is now working with the second generation of the family and supporting the generational handoff. “One of my two largest responsibilities, other than the implied organizational health, is hiring and selecting the right leaders for the next 20 or 30 years and ensuring that the culture that makes Lee Valley so special remains intact and continues, and at the same time evolves.”
Jason originally joined TEC from a purely business perspective, he wanted to be a better leader, but what has changed for him personally is the appreciation for the relationships and the community, and a deeper introspective thinking as a leader. There was a shift in balance from that academic leadership to a personal leadership. “We see TEC Canada as a partner in helping us reach Lee Valley’s potential in the market place and help introduce it to far more Canadian households, through TEC’s one-to-one coaching, the TEC programs in the city, networking with peers and through TEC Inside,” said Jason.
“It’s easy to focus on the tangibles such as the business efficiency tools (i.e. issues processing, strategy guides or communication models) but the real growth is on the cultural side, specifically developing leaders. The TEC program takes the complex in leadership and provides simple, understandable tools for dialogue and interaction. Beyond a person’s capability, the majority of organizational roadblocks can be distilled into two simple words “people or process.” TEC helps leaders focus on how to manage themselves, their people and process with perspective. We at Lee Valley are so bought in to this TEC model that we have multiple TEC members and have launched the TEC Inside program, where we host our Lee Valley TEC meetings monthly.”