Intelligent Leaders—Value Added

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Intelligent Leaders—Value Added

There is a concept “value added” that seems to have slipped away from the work setting. I remember way back when I had my exterior paint business while I was at university. I would give a written estimate of the job to the potential client and then do the very best job I could as if the house were mine. “Quality work in a timely fashion.” Some customers would deliberately try to cheat me by bringing out the storm windows from the basement after the deal was made. I would do them anyway. When I saw something extra that was not in the written estimate, I would do it anyway because it needed to be done. That was called “value added” and most often, not always, the extra work was noticed and appreciated. Many times, I got a tip. More than anything, I had a happy customer who would tell everybody on the street. The cool strategy here is that I would get more customers on the same street even before I was finished the house that I was working on. The number one marketing strategy is “word of mouth.” Potential customers could see and hear that I produced quality work on schedule. This is value added. The customer was happy and I felt good about my work.

Today, we have unions that will not allow workers to do anything extra unless they get compensated. As a result unions are losing their foothold on industry. What is wrong with having a little pride in your work and being able to go home at night knowing that you produce “quality work?” Researchers have already proven that increased wages do not produce better work from employees. People in general want to feel good about what they do and know that their efforts make a difference. Pride is often thought of as an ugly word; however, it is great quality that leads to stronger self-esteem and a better place in the world at large.

Job InterviewWith all the talk about Millennials, much of it is an overgeneralization. However, there seems to be a different set of expectations of many coming into the work setting. When asked what they expect in remuneration, it is often out of line with the present work setting. There also seems to be an expectation to come in at a much higher positional level without “paying your dues” as the old expression goes. What ever happened to working hard to prove you are worth a raise? shoe shineIt is important for people to know that what they do makes a difference. We all want to have that feeling of “self-worth” at all levels. There is a tendency to see one job as being more important than another, even though it is not true. I was talking to a shoe shine person at a convention in Las Vegas—I wanted to look good for my meeting. I asked him, “Do you like your job?” He said back to me with a smile, “Sir, I give the best shoe shines in the city.” And it was the best! His attitude was amazing and he spoke so positively about the world at large. He had a sense of added value, doing a job “par excellence,” and pride in his work. Where do you find that today?

It is my belief that we need to ask better questions in the interview before hiring. And, one question that stands out in my mind that should be asked before the end of the interview: “So, I have read and heard about your profile, your strengths and areas to improve, now, ‘what added value do you bring to this work setting that will make you stand out from the other candidates?’” Follow up with clarifying questions. It is important to see what kind of an attitude that this potential employee would bring to the work setting. Is this person willing to do what it takes to achieve excellence? What will this person do that is over and above the basic requirements of the job? How committed is this person to providing excellent product and service? Just being average is not acceptable. “Added Value” is an expectation along with the job description.intelligent-leaders

For more information about Leadership Strategies order this book: “Intelligent Leaders—Let Me Know When You Find One.” This book is now a Canadian Best Seller and is loaded with humour and stories about leadership. It is an interesting and fun read with powerful suggestions on how to improve leadership skills.




Intelligent Leadership In Education

01.bannerWow! Could this really happen?

Book CoverIn my book, “Intelligent Leaders—Let Me Know When You Find One,” I use humour to talk about the lack of quality leadership particularly in Canadian politics. Using humour, it is much easier to focus on the qualities that make for exceptional leadership. My grandmother taught me to never criticize anything unless you have a suggestion for improvement. Well here is one suggestion.

Photo.Helmut TinnesEvery once in a while I come across someone who understands leadership in education and what it means to step out and away from the crowd in order to do the right things. I just interviewed the principal of Groh Public School in Kitchener, Helmut Tinnes, and found a leader among leaders. He has taken the concept of “Project Based Learning” and introduced it to his new school. It is the only school in Canada and possibly the world whereby the entire school is organized around this philosophy. It puts students first and the teachers become the facilitators for learning. “Who would’ve thunk this could happen?”

Read about this amazing approach to teaching and learning in the following article as three separate pages.  Sorry about the inconvenience as this program didn’t allow me to load it as a single document.

Leadership In Education.Project Based Learning

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For more information contact:





Intelligent Leaders Juggle All The Time

Bryan Dyson, former CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke about the differences between glass and rubber balls in a “juggling” metaphor about life. He said:

images“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them—work, family, health, friends and spirit—and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls—family health, friends and spirit—are all made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

Many years ago, I had a professional juggler teach me how to juggle and he was able to accomplish this task very quickly. It had little to do with my dexterity and everything to do with his training skills. First of all, we began with scarves because they take longer to descend. He then demonstrated the goal—focal point where you let go of the first scarf—slightly left of centre and then the second slightly right of centre. He articulated that a clear goal in business is essential to success. He said you have to know what it is that you wish to accomplish and place it there. He had me practice the circular motion of my hands in a relaxed and consistent pattern, then he let me try the scarves. He had me focus on the “toss” and not on the “catch.” He said, “if the throw is done correctly toward a specific target, then the catch will simply fall into your hand.” Oftentimes, in business, we get so focussed on the bottom line (money in the pocket) rather than seeing a good product going out the door. Focus on the product to the client and the money will follow.

Eyes on the goalEventually, we graduated to balls over a bed so that I didn’t have to waste time chasing them after each failure. He re-stated over and over again how “failure leads to success.” Then we rehearsed frequently, consistently and with a relaxed posture. “As the pattern emerges,” he said, “then you are ready to try variations.” This metaphor is so related to business and business change as well as the larger picture of your whole self and the family as Bryan Dyson pointed out.

images-5In our work patterns, we need to set priorities. “Put first things first.” However, we also need to juggle and balance all aspects of life. The importance of family, health, friends and faith are essential.

To sustain balance, integrity and quality products at work, we must first sustain a balance in quality life and purpose in our home. These values need to be focussed and consistent in all aspects of our lives.

images-2Anyone can learn to juggle. Break down the seemingly complex patterns into simple tasks. Juggling is a system of tosses and catches. If the toss is clearly placed to a specific target, then the catch is simple without looking down. When these tasks are accomplished, it appears graceful, fluid and automatic. As in life, if we set carefully thought out patterns, with clear goals, everything becomes more automatic with balance and integrity. Pattern your behaviours “once right the first time.”



There will be all kinds of distractions, pressures and demands made of you that will take you off track. However, once you have established the right patterns because they are ‘right,’ it will be much easier to re-group and get back on track. Note too that Dyson emphasizes family, friends, health and spirit that are more fragile.

Rick Warren, in his book “Purpose Driven Life,” drives home the point that we need to keep our eyes on the goal and have all decisions and distractions revolve around the goal. As in juggling, see the target and focus on the target and the balls will naturally fall into your hands below.

Stephen Covey states that we need to “Begin With The End In Mind.” If we can see our goals clearly, then we have a significantly better chance of achieving them.

Set patterns that protect these goals—family, health, friends and spirit—you can always find another job.


WT.ArmsCrossed copy 2Wayne Townsend

Suicide and Depression—Mentor Programs Help!

Prepare Our Youth.Mentoring

Suicide and Depression—Mentor Programs Help!

I have been working as a counsellor, as a teacher, as a consultant, and as a Mentor Leadership Training expert for many years. As I read so much about our indigenous people of the north, the suicides and depression of the culture and the loss of human potential, I feel a sense of helplessness with them as well. I have also noticed in the media that our downtown cores are developing into unsafe cultures—radicalized and angry—at the hopeless surroundings and the divided attitudes about how to respond from a humanizing perspective.

I know from my experiences with youth that we can build a new culture, a new way of thinking, all the while supporting youth within these sad places and change them into futures of hope. Youth will always turn to youth for support before they will ask an adult. This is a fact! So why not train youth to be both ‘effective and affective’ mentors?

It is really quite simple. The principles of mentoring—people helping people—is all about learning ‘how to listen,’ how to communicate with each other in safe ways, feeling empowered to be able to do something that is worthwhile and humane. All of these principles can and should be taught within these cultures.

In 2012, the year with the latest figures available, 3926 Canadians died by suicide. It is paramount that we as a community must take action that is different than what we have been doing. We already know that ‘Peer Mentor’ programs work. They operate quite well in the field with youth helping youth. All we have to do is simply train youth in the principles of mentoring and then watch these young people lead.

‘Mentor’ and ‘Leadership’ Programs— impact the climate and culture of schools and their communities (Karcher, 2005). Students are capable of outstanding leadership when given the opportunities and constructs to be successful (Randolph & Johnson, 2007). The evidence is clear that those schools and communities that embrace student leadership and mentor programs have more positive events, activities, student involvement, reduced drop-out rates (Carr, deRosenroll, & Saunders, 1993) and reduced discipline issues (Dubois, Portillo, & Rhodes, 2011).

See attached:  “Youth Mentoring Youth—Best Program Ever.”

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See attached:  “Integrating Mentoring With Curriculum.”

Townsend Talk.Mentor Leadership In Schools

Mentor programs are also impactful at increasing emotional intelligence. Over the years, I have worked with numerous executives using Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i 2.0) assessments and found that using the training skills from mentoring helps the client improve significantly in their emotional intelligence (Townsend, 2014).

If the ‘powers at be’ could be influenced to take a proactive approach to helping in these areas, I would encourage them to consider “Peer Mentor Programs” that we already know work and are cost effective. Fundamentally, they are based on principles of empowerment so that the people involved are actually helping themselves—one of the few ways to get commitment and long lasting impact. Change will happen regardless; however, it would be much better if it happened within the community by empowering its members through self-motivation.

Thinking ahead intelligently,

Wayne Townsend,  CEO, Intelligent Leaders,     and


About the Author

Wayne Townsend, BA. BPE. BEd, EQ-i. ACTP. CTDP. and emeritus member of the Peer Resources Network (, is a retired educator and school counsellor and the founder of:, a business that for more than 20 years has been involved in researching, publishing, and training in the field of human behaviour; and of:, providing leadership support for leaders and aspiring leaders through his blog site at:

He is the author of several training manuals, and books on spirituality in a contemporary age. His latest book, Intelligent Leaders: Let Me Know When You Find One!, was given a top recommendation for its combination of humour, anecdotes and leadership principles. It is now a Canadian Best Seller.

Empower Others

Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment

Business fraud consists of dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies in order to provide an advantageous financial outcome. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners annual report, nearly half of all small businesses experience fraud at some point in their business lifecycle. It will cost these organizations an average of $114,000 per occurrence. Worse, such fraud is usually committed by a “loyal” employee.

How is it that big money people can commit the crime and not face punishment. Of course, I know the answer to this question. However, I would like to draw attention to this issue and the government of the day. Let’s empower the Judicial System to do what it is designed to do.

EthicsWhere is integrity in business practices? I used to believe that “a man’s word is his bond.” I still believe that “real” men have integrity and that people who are fraudulent should face appropriate justice. Unfortunately, this is not what is happening in business or government.

Sears—A payment of $7.6 million in bonuses to 43 executives when 2,900 employees are laid off with no severance. While it may be a pivotal move for the company given its financial woes and ongoing restructuring, it definitely is not a shining example of good corporate values and compassion.

Food Fraud— In the June 2017 issue of Canadian Grocer, it was reported that: “the highly publicized U.K. horsemeat scandal in 2013, food fraud has continued to make headlines: criminal gangs in Italy are exporting fake extra-virgin olive oil; less expensive honey is being sold as Manuka honey; and ground coffee is being tested by researchers in Brazil for fillers like corn, soybeans and starch syrup.”

According to Food Fraud News, “Almost one in five seafood products coming from Brazil are mislabelled.” It is difficult at best to trust anything coming from Asian countries and especially China which has little to know checks on any products, let alone foods. Some estimates suggest food fraud represents a nearly $70-billion problem worldwide.

integrityPharmaceuticals—In a Revolution For Choice, states that there is evidence that the Pharmaceutical Companies have been funding and “faking” science for years. They would provide the funds for research and limit the research results to prove what is financially good for their products. They have been faking the science for years. “Over 50% of their research has been altered and are producing inaccurate results.

The diabetic results for metformin and their alternatives have exaggerated the benefits and played down the negative side effects of diarrhea and the corollary damage to the liver and kidneys. The funding of research on cancer is focussed only on what chemicals can be used for pharmaceutical profit and not on what alternatives may be cures for cancer.

The pharmaceutical giant behind the blockbuster pain pill that triggered Canada’s deadly opioid crisis has agreed to pay $20-million to settle a long-standing class-action lawsuit. No jail time.

The proposed national settlement caps a legal battle that began a decade ago between Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and lawyers representing as many as 2,000 Canadians who got hooked on the drug after their doctors prescribed it. The country’s opioid epidemic traces its roots to the introduction of the prescription painkiller 21 years ago. From 2000 to 2015, more than 6,300 died in Ontario alone from overdoses related to opioids.

Proverbs.IntegritySenators—It is a fact that Hillary Clinton as a Senator was placed as the Chairperson of the committee to oversea the integrity of the Pharmaceutical Industry, all the while, her greatest funding for her campaign ($ 4.1 million in 2016) was coming from the Pharmaceutical Companies. Big business and government are clearly involved in large scale fraud with no charges pending. Mike Duffy, our Canadian Senator, even though his spending was way in excess of Senators from our north and west (whose expenses should have been higher), was released from the thirteen charges of fraud against him.

Banks—John Varley, the former boss of Barclays, will stand trial alongside three former colleagues and they are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the fundraising in June 2008 and for providing illegal loans. They are the first senior bankers to face criminal charges in relation to events dating back to the banking crisis almost a decade ago, when Barclays raised £11.8bn in emergency funds from a number of big investors, including Qatar (a highly suspect nation in the promotion and funding of radicalization).

Corporations—Online [] you will find ten of the worst accounting scandals in history that were caught embezzling millions of dollars. And, you can read about the five biggest corporate scandals at []. These are only the ones that have been revealed.

wisdom.integrityPoliticians—We all are aware of the Canadian Senate expenses scandal. There are 85 members in the Canadian Senate. Of that number, two are at trial, another is awaiting trial, nine have had their expenses flagged to the attention of the RCMP, one is suspended while her expenses are studied and one has been kicked out of caucus over allegations of personal misconduct.

Wikipedia lists thirteen American politicians at the federal level who have been convicted of crimes and two Canadian politicians this year alone. And, nothing more needs to be said about “the fake news” from Fox News and the American Media and from “The Donald’s Tweets.”

Who do you trust? Where is integrity?—What I have noticed about the above scenarios is that the “little” guys get jail time and yet the “big” guys do not. Oftentimes, the big guys get a slap on the wrist, they might be forced to leave a company with a sizeable payout and politicians hardly ever get a penalty at all. Few to none receive jail time.

It is profound that people with money and the power get away with much more because they have the resources and influence. What we really need is a government with integrity and a judicial system with the “chutzpah” to do what is right.

Defn. of Integrity

In an idealistic world, it would be awesome to see leadership with integrity. We need to penalize those people who conduct fraud as a part of the daily business regardless of their position and capital. The penalties need to be high enough to cause pain. Otherwise, we will continue down this slippery slope and all trust goes out the window.

For me personally, I am most cognizant about how I would like to be remembered by my children. I am a firm believer in the statement: “Say what you mean; mean what you say; and, do what you say you are going to do.” A person should be accountable for everything that he/she says and does. There should be “natural and logical consequences” for those who act without integrity. The purpose of our judicial system is to hold people accountable to do what is right for the common good. And, I expect that judicial system to meet out justice fairly without prejudice or political bias.

We, as a collective society, need to get back to that sense of integrity so that our children can be proud of who we are as people and as a nation.

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Choose Your Line And Commit


Intelligent Leaders—Choose Your Line And Commit

Leaders need to know who they are, what they want to accomplish and how they will get there. Then simply make it happen!

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My daughter, Cara (Townsend) Albertyn, and her husband Chris Albertyn have been kayaking and white water rafting for years. Needless to say, they are very experienced at reading the water (choosing your line) and have developed the skills to manage their way through treacherous waters. I have been fortunate to have them take me through some of the safer runs. It was just enough experience to realize their knowledge of the water, their understanding of limits, their skill sets, and the thrill and challenges of the experience.

Kayaking is a great metaphor for business leaders. Leaders, at every level, experience the same parameters in business and need to simply make it happen. Once you commit to your line, it is difficult at best and sometimes impossible to turn back.

imagesKayakers, at the beginning of each run, wisely pause to see the pathway that they will take as they manoeuvre through the next water falls. There is a hard way and a harder way. The more experience you have, the clearer your vision becomes. The better your skills and techniques at managing the challenges in front of you, the better your abilities to adapt to each change that you might not have predicted. The greater the challenges, the greater the thrill and sense of accomplishment when you achieve it. And, you know there are more challenges in front of you. That is the excitement of kayaking. This metaphor applies directly to leadership.

white water.02Sean McNally, a noted kayaker, wrote an article called “Picking A Line.” He wrote that, “A line is a path you envision ahead of you that runs the safest route through any number of obstacles, including rapids, fallen trees, rocks, etc. When you’re picking a line through rapids, it helps to break things down into individual moves, all of which need to be within your abilities to make. Then, you need to look at how well these moves piece together as a sequence. Your success in running rapids relies greatly on your ability to look ahead and take actions that set you up for future moves.”

white water.03Ken Whiting, a World Champion kayaker, wrote: “When picking a line through a rapid, it’s important that you break things down into individual moves, all of which you are confident that you can make. You then need to look at how well these moves fall together as a sequence. It must be understood that your success in running rapids relies greatly on your ability to look ahead and take actions that set you up for the future moves that are required. If you focus solely on getting through one feature at a time without real consideration for the next move, then you’ll find yourself running rapids in a defensive, reactionary mode. This is a scary way to run rapids, as you are never really in charge of your situation, and things can quickly snowball out of your control.”

With experience, we can all pick lines through rapids, but understanding our own personal lines and limits is an ongoing exercise. You need to consider the reason(s) you’re there in the first place. You also need to be comfortable with the consequences of your decisions. Are you aware of and accepting the costs associated with missing a move and swimming through a rapid? How will your decisions impact the other paddlers in your group?

white water.04The bottom line is that picking a good line is something that you can learn to do very reliably, but making a good decision about whether or not to run a rapid is something entirely different. When picking a line, just remember to pick one that you are comfortable with, and not necessarily one that others think is easiest. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and this will affect how you perceive a rapid. Of course, this doesn’t mean that advice from more experienced paddlers should be disregarded. A smart person will learn from his or her own mistakes, but the smarter person learns from the mistakes of others. When deciding whether or not to run a rapid, you need to weigh a number of factors. Experience will help you make the right decisions, but even the most experienced paddlers need to continually ask themselves why they are there in the first place.

What do you want to accomplish? Weigh the feasibility of success. What skills are required to make this happen? What time lines are required for this project to be financially viable? Who do you involve and at what cost? Materials management…and the list goes on.

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As a leader, aspiring or experienced, just as the kayaker, you bring all this visioning together at just the right moment and then execute.

Finding The Best Mentors

Mentor.Bill Clinton

Intelligent Leaders — Finding The Best Mentors

Mentor Saying

Informal Mentoring

When I was ‘on-the-road’ as a professional musician at the age of 18. I found it difficult to continue with formal percussion lessons with the best drummers because I was travelling too much to sustain a teacher. So, wherever I was located for the next gig, I would set up two sets of drums and invite drummers to play with me. (They were easy to find at each city’s music stores.) It is interesting that each drummer who played with me, learned many of my patterns (percussion vocabulary); yet, I learned many new techniques from each of them. Each mentor interaction provided me with more information about drums and percussion. This is “informal mentoring” at its best and it cost me nothing but my rehearsal time—smart investment. It helped me to stay on top of a very competitive market. The more versatile I became as a drummer and percussionist, the more work came my way. “Intelligent Leaders need breadth and depth.”

Finding Mentors

Although I was not aware of it at the time, I was continuously looking for role models. My father passed away when I was twelve and I kept looking for good people doing good things. I found many role models—some good and some struggling with life. I was quite deliberate in looking for behavioural responses that made sense—what to do and what not to do. All of this time, I was gradually developing the character of “me.” Informal mentoring can be powerful as long as you are open to it.

After university and three honours degrees, I entered professional life from a business perspective and learned about “formal mentoring.” I have been involved in Formal Mentor Training since 1985. However, I have been the recipient of informal mentoring my whole life. I continued to seek out people who were doing things that impressed me and I would ask them if I could speak with them about their work. Mentor questions came out quite naturally because I was interested in people and their work.

Mentor Training

In 1989, I was introduced to one of the best Student Retention Programs in the Province of Ontario by Tom Connolly with the Waterloo Board of Education. I was completely hooked. There was no turning back. Tom continues to be an informal mentor to me and he introduced me to Dr. Rey Carr, Peer Resources in Victoria, Coach CarrB.C. who developed the strongest “International Mentor Programs.” I trained in all of Dr. Carr’s programs: Peer Mentor Training, Mentor Training (Levels 1-3), Coach Training and Executive Coach Training. Then I followed with Cy Charney’s Mentor Management Training, and ICF (International Coach Federation) training. Each of these connections added “breadth and depth” to mentor/coach training skills.

150mentorsWith all of this training and experience over a lifetime of mentor and coach training, I still believe that Dr. Carr’s Mentor Training is the strongest program internationally []. The foundational principles of his training programs are well researched, sound in practice and transferable to any setting. In addition, I have been using Carr’s closure procedure for years in many counselling and social settings. These mentor principles provide a process for strong, empowering and facilitative processes that move groups and individuals forward.

For Canada Day, Dr. Carr published a free ebook about Canadian Mentors and match-ups that reflect his lifetime of work on mentoring in Canada. He is an incredible mentor and role model.

Finding The Best Mentors

What I have learned about mentoring and coaching is that mentors/coaches are simply a phone call or email away. It is about getting to yes. You simply have to ask the question: “Would you be willing to meet with me for an hour so that I can learn about…?”

It is that simple at setting up an informal mentor. If you do this often enough, your learnings will happen. From those meetings, you might ask one of those informal mentors to be a more formal mentor. If by chance they say ‘no’ or they don’t have time right now, then your next question is: “Do you know of someone who may be able to help me with this area of learning?”

It is all about getting to yes and your personal professional development.

Wayne Townsend, CEO Intelligent Leaders