I’ve always embraced the spirit of leadership by never forgetting the great leaders I’ve had the honor to work with. They were inspiring, courageous, thoughtful, knowledgeable, helpful, challenging, motivating, good listeners, and risk takers. These are all attributes I admire and strive for every day with my team members and peers.

In my early twenties, I had the career-shaping opportunity to work in several countries in Europe, including Russia, Hungary, and Sweden. I learned quickly that to be successful in those countries I needed to learn about the people, their cultures, and their values. By doing so, I was able to adjust my leadership style to best connect with our team. The same is true today in Canada, as I believe my ability to lead comes from growing trust and respect in my many relationships.

I have received advice along the way from a variety of sources that has been essential to my leadership success. My parents taught me to follow my intuition and use common sense when making decisions. One of my greatest mentors taught me the importance of attention to detail. Perhaps most importantly, one of my best bosses taught me not to take things too seriously and to remember to have fun.

In order to be successful, I believe each person needs to start by being true and honest with themselves. Leaders need to seek feedback and be unafraid of what the answers might be. Because I do this frequently, I know my strengths and I know my opportunities. I know who I can approach for guidance and I know how to build the relationships required to achieve success. Finally, I know that I cannot be successful without having great people around me, which makes nurturing a high-performing team one of the most important responsibilities in my role.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?

I believe it is crucial to align my team and franchisees around our common goals. I do so by seeking out information and feedback, listening for understanding, and challenging the team to be their best. I also feel strongly that gathering facts and data are essential to ensure a strong understanding of industry trends and business opportunities.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?

I’ve been fortunate to have several role models in my life. One in particular motivated me to try new roles within McDonald’s, including outside of Canada, and take risks in my career. His leadership style is one that I have embraced and fully respect.