Ann Marie MacDougall
IF you have a global organization, or work in one, chances are you’re feeling pressure to balance the demands from your market and employees that simultaneously span a multitude of cultures and generations in a way that is in line with executing company goals.
LeaderBoom Inc. – a global leadership development firm, headquartered in Toronto, has taken the initiative to recognize that a new era of global competition is forcing organizations to consider new models and styles of leadership that effectively navigate diverse employee populations through
accelerated change and multi-layer goal execution.
From their outreach with more than 50 global leaders, they have learned that building a successful 21st Century enterprise, no matter the growth phase or location, requires leaders to be willing to recognize good ideas and to empower their teams by providing the trust, resources and freedom within a framework required to be successful. If this does not happen, as stated by
LeaderBoom Inc. Founder and President Ann Marie MacDougall, their employees, and particularly the younger demographics, will consider companies with more flexible and open work cultures. Smart companies are creating workplace options that encourage collaboration and the execution of clear, innovative and strategic choices.
Who is Ann Marie MacDougall?
LeaderBoom founder Ann Marie MacDougall has more than 20 years of proven leadership in the Canadian Banking industry, where she successfully led high performing teams that were multi-generational and multicultural in multi channel environments. Her leadership assignments often involved wide scale change, problem resolution strategies, innovation and introducing new
courses of action.
Aligned with her passion for business and continuous learning, she has studied at ten universities, and has travelled to twenty countries – expanding her knowledge on a range of leadership, cultural and demographic perspectives. Ann Marie, who holds an MBA from the Rotman School of
Business in Toronto, and an Executive Global MBA from St. Gallen University in Switzerland, also volunteers as a board member on the Swedish-Canadian Chamber of Commerce (SCCC).
To ensure her new company stays current on global leadership trends, Ann Marie has established a network of leading thinkers and business practitioners to form LeaderBoom’s Global Advisory Council – with representation from five countries around the world. In addition, she has formed alliances with individuals such as best-selling author, and Millennial Generation expert, Dan Schawbel (NYC), and Corporate Sponsors, such as
The Matcom Group, located in Vaughan and chaired by a woman executive.
My Business Magazine asked Ann Marie MacDougall about LeaderBoom’s mentoring sessions, how they’re building programs customized to fit the unique needs of their clients, and about their ground-breaking seminars such as empowerment for women leaders.
MBM: What was your inspiration for creating a global leadership development firm?
Ann Marie: I’ve always been inspired by continuous learning and specifically in the areas of leadership, innovation, change, global trends, and cultural diversity. After having completed my international business program, and studying in six countries, I recognized that the world is much more diverse and complex than I originally imagined. Notwithstanding, I also saw patterns or common challenges facing global leaders that I wanted to learn more about and offer solutions to address.
MBM: What are some of the common issues facing global leaders?
Ann Marie: The most common issue facing leaders, no matter the
geography, is their ability to attract and retain skilled talent who
can effectively lead diverse teams through accelerated change
and multi-goal execution. With five generations in the workplace,
and an aging demographic in most developed countries, sharing
leadership know-how is more critical than ever.
MBM: What do you feel is causing this global leadership challenge?
Ann Marie: There are many factors influencing today’s skill and talent gaps although the major ones include increasing size in the global population (developing nations), restructuring of the global economy, five generations in the workforce, accelerated workplace transformation (i.e. flatter structures, open work environments) and the speed of technological change. Change is happening at every level of society and it’s tough for organizations and higher institutions to keep on top of that, particularly when it comes to finding the right talent to lead them into the future. More and more we’re seeing businesses designing experiential learning programs to up skill high
potential employees and to prepare their workforce to take on greater levels of accountability.
MBM: Can you relate to this from your personal leadership experience?
Ann Marie: Yes, absolutely. Throughout my professional career I’ve had the privilege of guiding many high performing teams through deep transformational change that involved highly complex goals and required collaboration amongst individuals in a range of functions, geographies, cultures and demographics. I feel that what’s different today, versus when I
started my career (when the internet did not exist), is the speed at which change is being introduced and the ease of access to information through new technology. The world is becoming a global community very quickly.
MBM: What have been some of your most inspiring moments in leadership?
My most inspiring moments in leadership have been working with teams who have the courage to believe in themselves, to challenge the status quo, who collaborate effectively and who lever their unique skills and capabilities to create solutions against systemic business problems that
would otherwise take years to solve. I’m inspired by teams who work from courage, innovation, inspiration, collaboration and creativity.
MBM: What are a few of your suggestions for building high performing teams?
Ann Marie: In my view, building a high performing team starts with building a work environment where open communication is encouraged, where team members are clear on the goal they’re expected to achieve, where creativity and innovation is rewarded, where milestones are recognized and where individuals feel inspired to lever their unique skills to
collaborate and achieve goal success. It’s important to focus a team but it’s equally important that they feel inspired to have fun during the process.
MBM: How do your leadership programs address 21st Century organizational needs?
Ann Marie: We collaborate with organizations, individuals and teams, “on the ground” to create an integrated forward momentum strategy and experiential learning process where immediate needs are assessed, barriers to performance are addressed, innovative solutions are discussed, and action plans are designed to help them achieve their performance potential.
MBM: Your programs refer to leadership self-awareness as the building block for creating a strong workplace culture. What do you mean by that?
Ann Marie: The more leadership responsibility individuals have the more challenges they’re required to face. Successful global leaders must develop a strong foundation of self-awareness to understand the emotional, cultural and person drivers of both themselves and their team. There are five generations currently in the workforce and to navigate that level of diversity, leaders need to be clear on who they are (as a leader), their motivations
for being in the role (leadership purpose) and where they’re going (goal).
MBM: What can a leader expect from a mentoring or coaching session?
Ann Marie: We provide both individual and group coaching based on the Co-Active Coach (CTI) methodology where we focus to unlock performance potential by helping our clients release personal barriers to goal alignment, such as overcoming fears of change, conflict, self-doubt or by improving
communication and helping them to identify and express their unique skills and capabilities.
MBM: Tell me about your empowerment for women leaders program. What was your inspiration for that?
Ann Marie: From speaking with a range of high potential women leaders across the globe, they’re told us they require more fulfillment in the area of mentoring and specifically on how to build confidence, become more assertive, overcome self-doubt, and how to lead high performing teams. Essentially, how to feel more empowered and gain support to actualize their
MBM: What differentiates you from your competitors?
Ann Marie: What differentiates us from our competitors is our decades of ‘on the ground successful leadership experience, combined with international business education from highly recognized institutions, and our ability to stay current on global leadership trends from the multiple alliances we have formed. By example, our affiliate Dan Schawbel, provides us with a perpetual stream of current research on both leadership and workplace trends through his site www.workplacetrends.com
MBM: How would you describe your successes?
Our success will always be measured through the fulfillment of helping organizations, individuals and teams identify their unique skills and capabilities, unlock barriers to success and feel inspired and re-energized to want to collaborate with each other to actualize their performance potential.
The bottom line is the world is facing a new era of competition that’s forcing businesses to consider new styles of leadership that inspire diverse employee populations (demographic, geographic and functional) to collaborate on a goal that creates sustainable success. Given the current day
levels of complexity, it’s unlikely to sustain a 21st Century healthy workplace using 20th Century styles of management.
In today’s highly networked and partnership oriented team environments, we feel building a culture of self-aware leaders and interpreneurial thinking is a viable solution to unlocking leadership potential but it requires organizations
to be willing to recognize good ideas and to empower their teams by providing the trust, resources and freedom within a framework required to be successful.
Dave Gordon has penned more than a thousand articles, and more than five hundred editorials, on every topic imaginable. He writes regularly on domestic and international politics, current events, culture, relationship issues, and much more.
He has spent time in the newsrooms of the Toronto Sun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, National Post and eye Weekly.
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