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10 leadership tips with Pascale Audette

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BDC Capital invited Pascale Audette, CEO of Carebook Technologies Inc., to share her experiences about leadership at a BDC Women in Technology boot camp, hosted at Startupfest in Montreal.

The more than 200 women who attended the bootcamp learned from Pascale’s failures and successes leading different teams at different organizations.

She has served in various roles, including Vice President of Global Operations at Disney Online Studios, leading her own company, and now as a CEO.

Here are some of Pascale’s leadership tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to follow your gut

When you start building teams and companies, you need to believe wholeheartedly in your business model, product, and people. There may not be a lot of industry information or historical metrics, but if you’ve got the vision, passion, and good instincts, you’ll have a greater chance of success.

2. Think about where the business is going, not only where you are going

Your efforts should always consider that you are part of a team. Often in business, it’s easy to lean towards accomplishing your own business goals, but if you have partners, always consider them and the larger vision.

3. Lead with intent and create a team culture that resonates with your values

Know yourself, hold tight to your values, believe your vision, and be true to them all. At the end of the day, build a company that resembles you—your employees will follow both the values and the vision.

4. When hiring, always think long-term

An employee can wear many hats when your company is just starting up, but they may be suited to take a leadership role like your VP, Product, in the long run. When hiring, try to foresee how people will be able to grow, change, and adapt.

5. Don’t wait to launch a prototype

Many start-ups love to take a long time to develop and want to make things perfect. Launch the product as soon as you can, get feedback, and adjust as needed.

6. Don’t make all the decisions

Strive to build an organizational culture where everyone feels comfortable expressing opinions, sharing ideas, solving challenges, and making decisions. Embrace the idea that you’ve hired great people—and listen to what they have to say.

7. Mentorship is important

Just reach out and ask! People like to talk about what they are doing, and it’s great to give your people a chance to have mentors and also to be mentors.

8. Utilize “service-leadership

Put yourself at the service of your employees, and always serve the vision of your company.

9. To empower people, you need to know what they want

Empower and engage with your people. Take a genuine interest in them and their lives, get to know them, but don’t become their best friends. Sometimes, come performance review time, there may be a conflict of interest.

10. Don’t rethink your entire business plan after a single failure

When you fail, allow yourself to move forward. Challenge yourself, but not to a degree that you are always rethinking and analyzing what you are doing. Instead, look for solutions and implement them.

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