If you didn’t care about what people thought of you…

If you didn’t care about what people thought of you…

Last week, I presented at the Elevating Results conference. The audience was a good mix of private and public sector leaders and students.

The conference closed with a presenters’ panel discussion. Questions had been submitted in advance along with ones taken from the floor.

It was exciting to be part of this group. All of my fellow presenters were highly-accomplished experts in their fields:

  • Ryan Walter, NHL hockey star; author of Hungry and  Fueling Your Best Game; President at Abbotsford Heat Hockey Ltd.
  • Lauren Friese, President and Founder at Talent Egg; awarded Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women by WXN, and many other business awards
  • Jocelyn Bérard, Author of Accelerating Leadership Development; VP Leadership and Business Solutions – International at Global Knowledge
  • Jason Atkins, CEO at 360incentives, winner second in the 2013 ‘Best Workplaces in Canada’ awards
  • Jamie Allison, President and Founder at Epitome and conference MC
Ryan Walter

Someone from the audience asked about our leadership philosophies. Ryan finished his answer by mentioning that “He didn’t care if someone liked him or what he did.” He wished them well anyway.” He said it with such confidence and conviction. 

The comment struck me and after the panel I asked Ryan when he came to this conclusion. He said that through his years in hockey and the constant feedback you get during them, he realized that to be great you have to focus on what you have to do and not worry about what people think of you. 

As I was driving home, I asked myself, “If you didn’t care about what people thought of you would you do anything differently?” Part of a change manager’s role is to call it when you see individuals or teams doing things that risk the success of their transitions, regardless of how unpopular or cross-cultural it is. It’s your job, responsibility and duty. But would I do it differently?

My question really was, “Are you not doing things because you want to be liked?” I couldn’t think of anything I would have done differently but I thought long and hard. Perhaps the lesson is that you need to keep testing yourself to make sure you are doing what you need to do. That sounds like a good leadership philosophy.



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