Stephen Carlisle channeled his inner boy scout when addressing a packed house at the annual Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium on Thursday.
President and managing director of GM Canada, Carlisle was among six business leaders who spoke on various aspects of being a successful leader.
“There’s no substitute for hard work and more than anything, you need to be prepared,” he said during his presentation. “Preparation comes from that hard work, reputation and knowing your industry and what you’re doing.”
Carlisle began his career with GM as an industrial engineering co-op student in 1982 and said his curiosity drove him to explore all facets of the automotive industry.
“The more curious you are as a person, the more you are open to learning, and the more you’ll open yourself up to opportunities,” he said.
“My curiosity took me from the factory floor to wanting to see where the parts came from in the supply chain, to seeing how the parts were engineered with product development.
“From there, I wanted to learn how our business worked around the world and that took me to Thailand.”
GM president and managing director Stephen Carlisle answers questions from the audience during the Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium on Thursday, November 16. The questions were asked through the Attendify mobile app and presented to Carlisle by fourth-year business student Tommaso Iacobelli.
Carlisle holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo and his Master of Business Administration from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Following the presentation, Carlisle met with a small group of students for a personal discussion about leadership.
The Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium aims to connect students and business leaders who can “share the insights and intricacies of being a leader in today’s fast-paced world.”
University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman opened the symposium by encouraging students to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
“Try to take today’s experience and weave it into the fabric of your own aspirations, whatever those might be,” Dr. Wildeman said.
Along with Carlisle, those in attendance learned from Maureen Jensen, chair and chief executive officer of Ontario Securities Commission; Dana Sinclair, a registered psychologist who serves as a consultant for businesses and professional sport franchises; Trevor Georgie, president and general manager of the Saint John Sea Dogs; and Richard Peddie, former president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
For more information about the Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium, visit www.gols.ca.