2009 Henry Singer Awards – Learning from Others

I just returned from the 2009 Henry Singer Awards hosted by the School of Retailing here at the Alberta School of Business. The award recipient this year was Chip Wilson of Lululemon Athletica and his presentation was completely not what I expected. Chip Wilson was beautifully candid and held nothing back when talking about his struggles and what he’s learned from them. The title of Chip’s talk? My 20-Year MBA Program. 

Two key take-aways for your business family

1.  Set goals. Have your family set goals. And as Chip learned, help your staff focus on work by having them set goals. His process was simple – all of his staff set 2- and 5-year goals in two categories: work and personal. These were then shared with their peers and regularly updated. The result? He and his staff spend less of their work time trying to figure out their lives and more time working towards the direction they want them to go. This benefit applies to you, your next generation and everyone that works for you. 

2.  Get a coach. To paraphrase Chip, even Tiger Woods, the best golfer in the world, has a coach. Only someone on the outside can see how true your swing, or your business, really is. Your coach might be your board of advisors/directors, a mentor, a professional business coach or even a life coach. True success means allowing yourself to see yourself and your business from the outside.

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