Episode #1: Susan Thompson

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Why It Matters

Getting people, let alone leaders and cities across various sectors to work together for the common good instead of their own individual self interests is a difficult. Anyone who has ever done a group project in school, or work can testify to the challenges. On the surface level, why would any given person or jurisdiction want to give up some of their autonomy by working collaboratively?  

Our problems are bigger than single entity can solve alone. Collaboration is essential, and frankly inevitable to growth whether in teams, business, government.

Our problems are bigger than single entity can solve alone. Collaboration is essential, and frankly inevitable to growth whether in teams, business, government. – Colleen Sklar Click To Tweet

On Today’s Podcast

I brought on the amazing Susan A. Thompson, a leader in business, politics and philanthropy. Amongst other incredible accomplishments, Susan was not only the 40th Mayor of the City of Winnipeg, but she was the first (and so far only) woman to be elected mayor! She led Winnipeg through the 1997 Flood of the Century, and in 1998, Susan founded and was the inspiration behind the Mayors and Reeves of the Capital Region, now known as the Winnipeg METRO Region.  Her biography is seriously amazing.  

Mayor Thompson shares the wisdom of her unique and unvarnished view of her time as one of the most consequential mayors in our history.  She shares why it is so important to make collaboration a priority in order to streamline efforts, and ultimately secure our future. 

Susan Thompson challenges us to get over ourselves and to cast our eye on the future for our children, our municipalities and our province.  She offers an interesting practical calculation for us to think in terms of a 25 year plan.  

Our current reality was set in motion 25 years ago. Our current reliance on 5 year plans is woefully shortsighted gives us no chance to be successful. 

You’ll feel invigorated and inspired by her words. Take a listen and see for yourself! 

Here’s a breakdown of what happened in my talk with Susan Thompson:


          • (2:55)  In 1992 the regions across Manitoba were not working together, but there was a real urgency to do so. People were leaving the city and businesses were not setting up shop in our region. Not a great time.
          • (6:12) Susan talk’s about where we are now in relation to 1992. How have the problems leaders face changed since she was Mayor?
          • (12:00) This is a straightforward and pointed discussion is a call to leadership. Susan highlights the need for long-term planning, a 25-year plan and the necessary action to lead us into the future.

This conversation with Susan Thompson was so motivational and interesting! I want you to feel the energy in her words. Click here to listen now!

Highlighted Quotes:

"The backyard fights have not changed. Grow up. Get your thinking past you. It's not about you. It's about the future, so instead of this procial thinking, and competition, and blaming, get past it." – Former Mayor Susan A. Thompson Click To Tweet "The extreme weather events are going to cost our communities a lot of money… and we have to get ready. And we also know that building resilience isn't done one community at a time it's done through a coalition and a collaborative… Click To Tweet "We're a small little pea in a great big pod…The pod isn't very important unless all the peas are terrific, right? You have to get your your plan, your processes, land use… I mean come on! That's very straightforward!" – Former… Click To Tweet "We're blessed with clean air. we are blessed with our precious water supply, but we're really not giving it its due rewards." – Former Mayor Susan A. Thompson Click To Tweet "A good plan, and I will repeat this, A good plan takes 25 years to come to fruition. So that's what people need to – Go to the end picture. What is it going to look like 25 years from now?" – Former Mayor Susan A. Thompson Click To Tweet

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