Real Leaders

I Have the Best Job in the World as an Impact Leader

Desirée Bombenon is the CEO of SureCall.

What does being an impact leader mean to you? 

Being an impact leader means making a transformational difference in the areas of social, environmental, and governance, that you are passionate about changing for the better. Impact can be done and felt in many ways. Leading impact means that you are looking beyond the work you are creating to the outcomes that are produced and seeing a measurable difference in the overall effect it has. It’s taking the words in your vision and mission statements, and making them actionable, accountable, and meaningful, while bringing your team along with you.

What was your biggest leadership barrier and how did you over come it?

I cannot qualify the biggest barrier because there were just constant barriers, none bigger than the other. There were barriers of race, gender, age, education, and stakeholder blinders. Upton Sinclair once said: “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” Being an impact leader has many barriers, and being a female POC impact leader has additional challenges. These were overcome by continuing to bump relentlessly against traditional norms and then proving that stakeholder capitalism doesn’t mean giving up profits for purpose. You can do well by doing good, and it’s in the numbers. Once you can demonstrate that doing good is good for business, the buy-in happens, at every level.

What does collaborative leadership look like? 

It looks really great! Collaborative leadership means every perspective has insight, that no one viewpoint is the only way forward. It’s understanding that all the people in the room have the right intentions. It’s moving forward with an idea even if it’s not yours, it’s challenging tradition and expecting the entire team to contribute; its avoiding group think. Collaborative leadership is inclusive, not just the top executives, but all stakeholders — creating cross functional integrated thought leadership.

Desirée Bombenon has over 30 years of business operational experience and strategic leadership. Awarded RBC’s Women’s Entrepreneur for 2020, Ernst & Young 2019 Entrepreneur of the year for the Prairies in Communication Technology, she is a bold innovator, futurist, and purpose-driven leader. 

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