The first session of our Leadership over Lunch “LOL” series was with health care activist, sport enthusiast and alumnus Simon Ibell, ’96. He spoke to the school earlier in the day and shared his inspirational story about his life with MPS II.
The lunch session in the lecture theatre had a more specific focus, as Simon shared with us his thoughts on how he has been successful as a leader – spreading his message about Canada’s drug policy for rare diseases (or more precisely the lack of a policy) and the disease that he lives with.
- Convincing others: Being able to explain information and compellingly persuade others, including large organizations, is what Simon has been able to do very successfully. This will be an essential skill for our students as leaders in the 21st Century. As the Heath brothers discuss in their latest book Switch, Simon appeals to individuals on a logical and an emotional level when he is speaking to groups or individuals.
- Collaboration: Working, networking and developing strong relationships with others has been key for Simon. He is a very likable individual but also has taken the time to form strong and positive relationships. These relationships have led him to have a strong network of people to work with to move towards a collective goal.
- Public Speaking: Simon demonstrated his effective public speaking skills. He has an amazing story, a compelling message and an ambitious goal. Being able to communicate this in the dynamic and interesting way that he does, moving in and out of anecdotes, keeps his audience engaged. By reading his audience and sharing stories about his time at SMUS, we were all able to connect, relate and ultimately join his team.
Students were able to see, hear, and relate to the importance of these skills. Passions and interests may change over the years but these essential skills will always be important for each of us to challenge ourselves to develop and hone our ability to be leaders. Simon was an excellent inspiration and inaugural speaker for our LOL series.