Straight Talk on Leadership

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Canada needs a good “kick in the ass” and this book is designed to do just that. It offers practical suggestions and a broadly based plan to help business leaders come to grips with the fact the leaders we need for the future must be transformational and equipped with a much different set of competencies as well as a thirst for competition on the world stage, where the Canadian “brand” is strong but underleveraged.

Business leaders and politicians have notoriously short and convenient memories. Each time we hit a predictable cyclical economic downturn, we endlessly debate the reasons, are quick to point the finger of blame and then conveniently use the excuse of external market forces as a means to justify our short-sighted overreaction. This recurring pattern of behaviour does no more than reveal the inherent weaknesses in our leadership acumen, and yet we allow the pattern to continue rather than learn, adjust and compensate accordingly.

As Canadians, we need to find the courage and conviction to transform our economy, through the restructuring of our historical business models and the rapid development of a new generation of leaders equipped to compete with a modern set of leadership competencies. These competencies of the future, and the mindset of global competitiveness will allow us to remain relevant in the long term, rather than sheltered behind the short-sighted naiveté and complacency which have lured us into believing we are doing better than we really are.

Purchase on Indigo.ca.
Purchase on Amazon.ca.

Book Endorsements

“It is clearly time for Canadian business leaders to confront our national leadership dilemma. Williamson lays out a compelling agenda for leaders to act on to prepare us for a successful tomorrow”
Warren Bell
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System)

“Williamson’s approach is effective and real-world: confront truths; wear them; and move forward fast to accountable action. This book is an invaluable recipe as to the how, and why it’s critical to Canada’s economic future.”
Rupert Duchesne
Group Chief Executive
Aimia Inc. (Formerly Group Aeroplan Inc.)

“This book is for leaders who aspire to make a difference by transforming their organizations for global competitiveness.  It is for those who approach leadership as a privilege to be re-earned each and every day, rather than a reward for past successes. Doug covers the landscape of issues facing leaders today in a compelling, insightful manner, and always with the frankness for which he is respected in the business community.”
Eric Siegel
President & Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
Export Development Canada

“The turbulent fast changing times we live in pose great leadership challenges. There are no easy leadership recipes. Doug Williamson’s unvarnished straight talk puts the environment in global perspective and provides leaders with a competency framework suited to the times we live in.  A must read…”
Naseem Somani
President & Chief Executive Officer
Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories

“Succeeding in global markets requires an aggressive and competitive style, and Doug has created a “must read” blueprint for success. Open communications and high transparency are the hallmarks of the best run companies. In Straight Talk, Doug Williamson makes a no-nonsense, patriotic plea for pragmatic leadership in the boardroom and a wonderful road map for high performance results on the international stage.”
Robert Corteau
Chief Executive Officer
Altus Group Limited

“Doug Williamson’s book recognizes the unique position occupied by Canada and its business leaders in a changing global economy. He reinforces the need for Canadian business leaders to take advantage of that perspective by demonstrating a new type of leadership better suited to building not only highly profitable but also sustainable business organizations in this changing world. Rightfully, he sounds a warning in the event we do not heed the call to action.”
Mark Young
Managing Partner
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

“If you are currently a leader in Canada, or aspire to be a successful one someday, this is a must read book.  From the title of the Introduction – “Moving Backward at the Speed of Light” – Doug’s book has forced me to stop, think and plan action to change.”
Johanne R. Bélanger
AVW-TELAV Audio Visual Solutions

“Doug Williamson understands the fabric of Canada. Strategy has been his forte’ and his book brings this to life. He sees the need for new leadership in business so that Canada itself can become is a truly global leader. This is lofty, but necessary thinking. I would hope that not only business leaders, but that many of our political “leaders” would read and follow Doug’s teachings. He has hit the nail on the head!”
John Martin
Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Maxxam Analytics Inc.

“This book takes us out of our comfort zone. Doug challenges us to not accept the established norms and lets us know the consequences if we do. A mandatory read for all those who realize that businesses and institutions lacking in visionary leadership won’t reach their potential and often will actually fail”.
Judson Whiteside
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Miller Thomson LLP

“Motivating employees is the key to successful growth, both in Canada and elsewhere. The challenge for managers of international growth, is the tailoring of management and incentive tools to reflect the cultural differences of employees in different countries. Doug’s years of experience in assisting managers to identify and resolve these business issues are now available for all to read.”
Nick Orlando
President & Chief Executive Officer
Martinrea International Inc.

“The World is now, more than ever, a changing landscape. Straight Talk on Leadership is an excellent and thoughtful read that extends the knowledge base of leadership and provides valuable insights. It clearly defines the challenges facing the modern business leader. This book rises like Everest, above all other leadership books.”
Mary Ellen Carlyle
Senior Vice President & General Manager
Dome Productions

“It is refreshing to find a uniquely Canadian perspective on leadership, the business challenges we face and the opportunities afforded us. This is what Doug delivers best … straight talk… without pulling any punches.”
David Harris
President & Chief Executive Officer
Kinectrics Inc.

“This book is a must read for all current and future Canadian leaders. As a country, Doug’s call for greater leadership and transformational leadership is timely and well warranted.”
Douglas Harrison
President & Chief Executive Officer
VersaCold Logistics Services