|The Order of Canada medal SOURCE (Canadian Encyclopedia.ca)|
I like to think I pay attention to what goes on around me online. I'm tuned in on most social media channels, with Linked In being one of my go to's. One of the features I like the most is when one of my network contacts is in the news. I was thrilled to discover this wonderful nugget of accomplishment on my timeline that Dr. Marie Delorme was recognized as the recipient of The Order of Canada - see sidebar.
As I do most often, I re-posted this distinguished award on my feed and sent a personalized congratulations message to Dr. Delorme. She responded quickly, humbly and graciously.
Marie has been called an entrepreneur, a business leader, a Metis woman, an Indigenous person, a Ph.D. doctorate, a creative leader. Now she can add Order of Canada recipient to her impressive bio.
I asked Dr. Delorme for permission to write a blog in the form of asking a bunch of questions for her to answer. What unraveled was a glimpse of a magnificent woman who gives more of her self than most business leaders do in a lifetime.
|Dr. Marie Delorme|
Who do you want to be identified as? (i.e. Mother, wife, daughter, sister, CEO, Indigenous woman, woman, feminist, business person, Calgarian, Canadian.
I am an entrepreneur, mother, feminist, a Métis woman originally from Manitoba but a Calgarian for the past 32 years.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My brother and I grew up in a farming community. A special treat was buying comic books for 10 cents at the little store a mile down the road. My brother taught me to read them before I went into grade one. I wanted to be a DC character like Superman, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman.
Besides "everything will be okay" what would you tell your 12 year old self?
The next 10 years mark a journey that will be the hardest you will navigate in your life. Know that you have the strength and endurance to see it through and wonderful adventures are coming your way. Tough times do not last, but tough people do.
Who or what has been your greatest influence? Event or Person?
Throughout my life, many people have formed my journey. Some, like my grade 10 teacher, introduced a love of literature; my brother had the patience to teach me to drive as a teenager; my son gave me the unique experience of being a mother and now a business partner; an Indigenous woman elder in Winnipeg is in her 80s and is a role model for love, patience, and inner beauty; my best friend for the past 48 years has a wonderful family who gave me a sense of belonging and love in my teen years. And, of course, there are the people I have never met but who were role models and influencers. They are musicians, writers, actors, and poets. And the everyday people who accomplish great things; who may briefly make the news; but who contribute to society in meaningful ways. All of these people and many, many more have influenced me. I had the wonderful opportunity to come of age in the 60s and 70s -- a time that produced great social change -- The American Indian Movement, The Women’s Liberation Movement, The Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights Movement all influenced my thinking and values. And, of course, the very best music ever came out of that era!
What did your 80 y/o mentor have to say about this award?
She sent a lovely email message, that included the phrase “yabba dabba do”!!!
Do you have a Metis women role model? Woman role model?
Mae Louise Campbell from Manitoba who embodies a healing spirit and has dedicated her life to the knowledge that when women fully assume their rightful place as leaders, the world will find healing and peace.
Have you ever seen an ancestry/DNA result from your heritage?
I know both sides of my lineage. On my father’s side back to the 1600s and over a century back on my mother’s side. Ancestry.com or DNA analysis would not add to that knowledge.
What is your connection to non-Ingenious persons?
As Jane Elliott would say “there is only one race…the human race”
Before The Order of Canada, what were you most proud of?
Being the mother of an accomplished, self-actualized, strong, and compassionate man who has been my business mentor and my friend; and having the opportunity to play a small role in who he is today.
What has changed the most since you won the prestigious award?
The wonderful connections with friend and colleagues over the past week, some whom I haven’t seen for decades! It has truly been a blessing to hear from so many special people.
Did you struggle in school or were you on the honor role?
Although they were not formally educated, my parents always stressed the importance of education. Academic achievement was a given for my brother and me.
When you sought your education, went on your knowledge quest, what was most important for your to discover?
A broader understanding and perspective of the world.
What was your PhD about?
It was an interdisciplinary PhD (Anthropology, Sociology, Business) focused on intercultural leadership in the context of economic development.
Do you mentor others? In the community? Through associations via business?
Mentorship is an important part of giving back, or paying forward. The first formal mentoring role was through an Indigenous internship program in the telecommunications industry over 2 decades ago. For the past 8 years I have been engaged as a mentor in the Coady International Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program.
What is the least likely thing for people to know about you? Secret vice?
I thoroughly enjoy being with people, but regeneration is a solitary endeavor. I have been to many countries and often choose to travel alone. I like the adventure, the freedom, and the unique opportunity to meet people in circumstances and places that would not have otherwise manifested. The result is a litany of great stories and friendships around the world.
What is your solitary pursuit? Reading memoirs, bios, thrillers, social media? Hitting golf balls on the driving range? Watching TV or Movies?
Reading, riding my bicycle, catching up on some of the series that build up on my pvr.
Family, married, children, pets, community, friends? (or all of the above) .... What keeps you balanced?
Catching up with friends and loved ones across the country. I often try to fit in a visit over a bite to eat, tea, or a glass of wine when I am on the road. Almost 20 years ago my son bought me golf clubs and encouraged me to take lessons. Best move ever. Catching up with friends over a game of golf is one of the most rewarding, pleasant, and spiritual experiences. And if you really want to get to know someone, just spend 4 hours on the course with them, and you will learn everything you know just by observing how they deal with joy, disappointment, and stress!
What is your handicap in golf? Have you taken lessons or relied on learning as your go?
I can fairly consistently shoot in the low to mid 90s with the occasional game in the 80s. Of course, there is the inevitable “blow up” game where it all falls apart. It can be a humbling sport. I once read that golf is the perfect game because it can never be mastered.
Does your best game in golf mimic your best life lesson or business lesson?
My best game was played on 3 hours sleep when my flight was delayed and I was not able to make alternate arrangements with the group. I asked one of the foursome to keep my score as I was fatigued. I shot an 81 … likely because I just wanted to get home to sleep! I have only repeated that once since. But I did get a hole in one at a tournament several years ago!
I noticed you checked your Linked In profile via mobile .... is that how you stay connected online most? (Mobility or Email or Social Media in order of usage/preference)
I love technology. My iPad and iPhone are critical to organizing my business and personal life, and for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues. I only use social media for business linkages. I never work on planes. It is downtime. My iPad is loaded with books, movies, and tv shows specifically for passing time when travelling.
If you had to choose only one digital device, leaving all others behind, which one would it be?
What is your "go to" social media site?
Do you think you will write a book? If so, what will it be about?
Doesn’t everyone have a book they want to write? Perhaps one day.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I spend a lot of time on airplanes and am forever baffled by the lack of etiquette displayed by some travelers. Perhaps that is the book, as I have a list on my iPad of over four dozen instances I have observed. Some examples are hard to believe if they were not experienced first hand.
I'd love to read that book on travel etiquette -- what is the most toxic that make other passengers uncomfortable?
Any kind of personal grooming, not tidying the washroom after use, trying to fit an oversized piece of luggage into the bin thus delaying boarding, playing music or a video without using earphones. The most shocking was the guy next to me in the airline lounge who stripped down to his waist and changed clothes! Yikes…so many examples
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? ... who is your favorite musical artist?
The Rolling Stones always. And specifically, Keith Richards, the soul of the band. His memoir “Life” is a must read. He said “About myself I have no great illusions. I know what I am. I know what I’m good at and what I am not. I’m always hoping to surprise myself. But I do have a love of music and communication. That is the best I can do. And I can raise a good family too.”
What is your favorite movie?
I don’t have a favorite, but am drawn to sci-fi and dramas. I rarely watch anything twice.
What is your favorite song?
Too many to list, but a few that come to mind include: “Fields of Gold” written by Sting and performed by Eva Cassidy; Keith Richards “You Got the Silver” and “Trouble”; “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from the third act of the opera Nabucco.
With this award, what has it allowed you to do that otherwise may not have presented itself?
Ask me in a few months…it has only been a week!
Did you watch the Golden Globe Awards?
What was your personal reaction to the solidarity among so many diverse women with a common message?
The voices of the thousands of strong women and men are collectively inspiring change that is so long overdue. This is the catalyst for a social movement that must impact every workplace and channel the outrage into legal, behavioral, and organizational transformation.
How has this award impacted your business? Increased inquiries, increased orders, increased requests to connect?
Ask me in the future, it has only been a week!
Many who achieve greatness turn around and forage into public life. Would you ever consider going into public service (aka politics)?
No. Never. I have great admiration for people who run for public office. Choosing that path takes a special kind of courage. It is so important that organizations like Equal Voice are supported; they are dedicated to electing more women to every level of political office in our country.
In today's competitive environment, what do you think is the biggest challenge?
The world in 2018, politically and economically, is uncertain and precarious. However, voices that have been silenced for too long are being heard. Voices from the “Me Too” movement, the MMIW Inquiry, and human trafficking. These are the catalysts for a societal sea of change.
What is your biggest challenge you face for 2018?
Finding the time to do everything I want to do, to not waste a minute, and to consistently shoot in the 80s in golf!
Predictions for 2018?
I am not that prescient or confident that I can provide sage advice based on a prediction. Rather I believe in taking informed risks, leaving room for serendipity, and a little bit of luck. My brother often uses that saying: “funny thing about luck…the harder I work, the luckier I get”
In the next five years I would like to see … happen?
Forty years ago, we were talking about equality, love, diversity, respect, and peace. In so many ways we have moved forward; and in so many ways we have not progressed at all. The songs of protest and the songs of love of that era are as relevant today as they were then. The solutions do not lie in anger and hatred but in redefining the smallest of day-to-day actions and the largest of political and economic actions to achieve societal solutions.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Many years ago, when I was in my 20s and was promoted into my first management role, a woman who was retiring imparted some sage advice. She said “There are very few women in these positions and you will be watched closely. But remember that at the end of the day, and that day comes for all of us, no one will remember your accomplishments. They will only remember how you made them feel in your presence”. Words to live by.