We made it to December! In between the get-togethers, shopping, prepping, and cooking… we are in the midst of finalizing our 2020 development plans. This process involves self-reflection and focus, and it can be overwhelming pinning down where to start knowing what lies ahead in the next week/month/year. SYL’s got you!

Welcome to Saskatchewan Young Leader’s 12 Days of Thought Leadership!

We have compiled insights from leadership across the province in an effort to share passion and drive success for young leaders heading into 2020. We hope that it resonates with you, and that it supports you in your growth journey.

We wish all of you the very best this holiday season. See you in the New Year!

On the first day of Christmas, Ashley Hamilton gave to me…

“If I could speak to myself 10 years ago and offer some leadership advice, I’d tell myself to lean in. Leadership is not a job title, a pay grade, or based on decades of experience. We can all lead from our chairs. Practice servant leadership, which allows those around you to grow personally, and become more engaged with you and the organization. “

                                                                                                              Ashley Hamilton, SYL Chair


On the second day of Christmas, Naomi Seaborg gave to me…

If I could share one piece of advice to young leaders who are grinding away (including myself) it would be this:

Focus your mind on growth.  Shift your mindset from “I’ll stick to what I know” to “I can learn anything I want”.  Challenges are like a hug, obstacles are like an agility test (Pivot!), feedback is a gift, and finally, learn & find inspiration from the success of others.”

                                                                                    Naomi Seaborg, SYL Past Chair


On the third day of Christmas, Ryan Reiss gave to me…

Hard on the problem, not the person! Focus on the facts of what you know to be true & what you have actually seen when looking at a situation. Emotions often cloud judgement and sway the perception of what is actually happening. Acknowledge the emotions – but don’t let them drive decisions.”

Ryan Reiss, Vice Chair of SYL


 On the fourth day of Christmas, Eric Dillon gave to me…

Own your own development!  The best way to be accountable for your own development is to own it.  Sure, your leader and your organization are responsible to help in terms of time, money, advice and encouragement but they are not responsible for your development, you are.”

                                                                                    Eric Dillon, CEO of Conexus Credit Union


On the fifth day of Christmas, Glenn Stang gave to me…

Innovation is more of an art than a science.  It begins with having the mind of a 3-year old, wherein you continually ask questions, sometimes the same one like “why” five times to get to the root issue and ultimately the goal of a resolution.  Most innovations involve many failures and adjustments before becoming successful.  Perseverance is key to succeeding.”

                                                                                    Glenn Stang, CEO of Synergy Credit Union


On the sixth day of Christmas, Fintan Ryan gave to me…

Look after yourself and have interests outside of work.  “Volunteer-up” to get involved in new projects and look on every challenge as a learning opportunity. Be honest about being ambitious. Take blame on yourself, Share credit with others. Be challenged, be afraid and have fun doing it.”

                                                                        Fintan Ryan, CEO of Plainsview Credit Union


On the seventh day of Christmas, Matt Waynert gave to me…

Always make a conscious and concerted effort to invest in yourself through learning and education. Your knowledge forms a significant part of who you are, and investing in yourself will ensure you continue to grow not only as a leader, but as a person. An investment in yourself will always pay dividends.”

                                                                        Matt Waynert, Chair of National Young Leaders


On the eighth day of Christmas, Mark Lane gave to me…

Be yourself and stretch yourself!  Own your career – enjoy what you do or do something else.  Laugh at yourself and be kind to everyone.  We are all imperfect and we will remember how you made us feel more than anything else about you”

                                                                                            Mark Lane, CEO of Affinity Credit Union


On the ninth day of Christmas, Dan Johnson gave to me…

Today’s young leaders are amazingly equipped for these disruptive times.  They are resilient, courageous, innovative, and tech savvy.  Their high demands align with consumer expectations and they do not accept simply adapting to change, they understand the importance of embracing disruption.”

                                                                        Dan Johnson, CEO of Innovation Credit Union 


 On the tenth day of Christmas, Rob Jones gave to me…

“Don’t let your past take up too much of your present!  Capture and celebrate 2-3 magic moments each day where you deliver value and greatness to others.  Your mission…do, be, share, and create more!”

Rob Jones, CIO of Prairie Centre Credit Union


On the eleventh day of Christmas, Lisa Castle gave to me…

“My advice to young leaders is before you expect to be a leader with a title, spend time figuring out the type of leader you want to be. Once you know who you want to be, start practicing those behaviors. Then make sure you ask for feedback from those you work with to see how you can improve.  People won’t follow you if you do not act like a leader before you are paid to be one.”

                                                                                          Lisa Castle, Past SYL and NYL Alumni 


On the twelfth day of Christmas, I only had this left…

“Create your career. Find that passion and sink your teeth into it. It may or may not exist today but through inevitable change, there will be new opportunities. Identify the behaviours and education required, then work forwards. Own it.”

Tamara Sayer, SYL