Born: Quebec City, Quebec
Education: B.S. in biochemistry and MBA, University of Ottawa
First job: I worked in a medical laboratory in my last years of high school, separating serum from red blood cells. My father worked in the same lab as a radiologist; he knew they needed help. You don’t need a license to do it, and it’s not as complex as it sounds. You take a test tube of blood, spin it in a pipette and suck it back out. Really, it’s not rocket science.
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
The truth will set you free. Not that anyone is necessarily trying to lie or be deceitful, but you need to be open about the challenges your business faces and the obstacles your business has. You need to be open with stakeholders, your board, peers and employees. If you do that, it really fosters an environment of communication. If you downplay negatives or withhold information, it only leads to problems.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
You need to have adaptability. You can’t be so narrow- and single-minded that you can’t adjust to your environment. What we’ve gone through at ModSpace over the last 18 months is a perfect example of that. You need to have the flexibility to adapt.