Back to School

I was recently invited by my alma mater, the University of Calgary Business School, to be a part of a group of panelists to discuss the topic of leadership with their MBA students. I have to admit I’m a bit of a nerd and quite liked school (especially now that the nasty bits are fading in memory….exams, papers, boring but necessary classes), so I jumped at the opportunity.

Shortly before the event, I received details including the names of the other panelists. It was then that my nerves kicked in. I would be rubbing elbows with Calgary’s “corporate superstars” such as Clive Beddoe, Co-Founder and Chairman of Westjet, Nancy Knowlton, CEO and Co-Founder of SMART Technologies, and Jim Dinning, the new Chancellor of the University of Calgary. And then there was me.

The other panelists have too many accolades and accomplishments to mention. I found myself amongst this group of inventors, entrepreneurs, politicians and brainiacs, in front of a bright group of students, hoping like hell that I answered my question correctly!

I got to go first which I thought was probably a good thing. The students wouldn’t yet have any lofty expectations set by the others, and if I missed the mark, perhaps they’d forget about it by the time we got to Panelist #6. I could only hope and pray.

Well… I did it! I survived, answered the question of whether leaders are born or “built” (it’s a combo, if you want to know my answer), and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I learned a lot, and best of all….got to go back to school!

Yours in the pursuit of higher learning and other good stuff,

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  • Magda

    Lori, you are an amazing leader and great inspiration for many!! I am really lucky that I can work with you and learn from you. Many thanks for being such a great role model for many managers and entrepreneurs!!

    • Lori

      Thank you Magda.

  • Jim

    Hi all. I had the pleasure of facilitating this panel, and let me be clear – Lori is a superstar and fit right in with this panels of peers. Many students told me that they appreciated Lori’s words of wisdom, and her honest but engaging description of the ups and downs of leadership. Come back anytime – we loved having you!!!

    • Lori

      Thank you Jim and Patti for your kinds words.

  • Patti Barr

    Lori you are one of the smartest women I know,I learn from you on a daily basis!!!Those students were so lucky to have you there!!!Keep up the amazing work!!

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