Toughest Call with Chaz Thorne
On Toughest Call, leaders tell entertaining 20-minute stories about their most difficult career challenge. How did they make the 'tough call'? What would they do differently if faced with the same decision again? This podcast is a chance to reflect on your own leadership and ask yourself, "What would I have done?" Hosted by Chaz Thorne, Competitive Strategist with OnePagePlans.ca.
Doing the impossible
July 25, 2021 • 25 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with Lori Nikkel about her decision to hasten the pace of a national expansion to meet the growing demand for food during the pandemic. Lori is the CEO of Second Harvest, a charity that recovers fresh, unsold food to protect the environment and provide immediate hunger relief. How many times in your career have you been told something you wanted to attempt was “impossible”? Though this may turn out to be true, it’s also a position often taken by the overly risk-averse to stifle innovation and maintain the status quo. Lori talks about how she leaned on the power of talented and passionate collaborators both within her organization and without to dive into this massive initiative. In the minds of her and her partners, failure was simply not an option as it would mean thousands of food insecure Canadians would go hungry. If you’d like to learn more about Lori and Second Harvest, you can check out their website at secondharvest.ca. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Finding harmony between personal and professional ambitions
July 18, 2021 • 18 MIN
In this episode, we’re talking with Heather Byrne about a tough call she faced deciding to leave an organization she cared deeply for to relocate closer to her extended family. Heather is the Executive Director of Alice House, a provider of safe second-stage housing and support for women and children leaving situations of intimate partner violence. Many of us struggle with finding and maintaining a healthy balance between family and career. At times it can feel impossible to reconcile our personal and professional ambitions. Heather talks about how taking care of what made her feel whole allowed her to become an even more effective leader. If you’d like to learn more about Heather and her work at Alice House, you can check out their website, alicehouse.ca. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Breaking with tradition and forging your own path
July 11, 2021 • 15 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with Jonathan Torrens about his decision to take control of his career and work by striking out on his own and leaving behind the suffocating notion of “that’s just the way things are done around here”. For 30 years, Jonathan has been a mainstay in Canadian TV with resume credits that include Street Cents, Jonovision, Trailer Park Boys, Mr. D, This Hour has 22 Minutes, DeGrassi, Royal Canadian Air Farce, and Letterkenny. A multiple Canadian Screen Award-winner, Jonathan has vast experience both in front of and behind the camera as a host, actor, writer, director, and producer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, it can be stifling to constantly feel like a cog in a wheel. It takes courage to break away from traditional ways of getting things done in favour of an approach that works for you and the ventures you’re trying to bring to life. Jonathan talks about how he used all of the nos to fuel his determination to make creative projects that were true reflections of his original visions. If you’d like to learn more about Jonathan and his production company, Canadian Content Studios, you can check out their website, canadiancontentstudios.com. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
How you choose to do the work IS the work
July 4, 2021 • 25 MIN
In this episode, we’re talking with Jewell Mitchell about a challenge she faced when she felt the process for a large capital campaign was becoming disconnected from the organization’s vision and values. Jewell is a non-profit leader with a particular belief in and focus on supporting the potential of women and children. Individuals can have very different approaches to decision-making. And when you put these different approaches into a group process, conflict can erupt. Jewell talks what she learned from this difficult experience about the leader’s role in setting up these group processes for success and how to keep your team on track as you move forward. If you’d like to learn more about Jewell, you can check out her profile on LinkedIn. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
I should have just stuck to the plan
June 27, 2021 • 16 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with Zach Selch about a tough call that he made and regretted around the firing of a non-performing employee. Zach has been an international sales executive for over 30 years and is the author of Global Sales, the Practical Playbook on how to drive Profitable Growth. Having to let go of people is often one of the hardest things to do as a leader. Yet ensuring we have the right people in the right jobs is a defining part of a leader’s role. Zach’s story is instructive in that he allowed himself to be swayed toward a decision that he instinctually felt wasn’t the right one. And he and his team would pay dearly for that decision in the months afterward. If you’d like to learn more about Zach, you can check out his website at globalsalesmentor.com. There you can learn more about international sales through a number of resources he has available. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Making the Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
June 20, 2021 • 24 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with John Watson about a tough call he faced in the making of his movie, Robin Hood, starring Kevin Costner. John is a Hollywood producer and writer with credits including Backdraft, Blown Away, Moll Flanders, The Outer Limits, Harriet, and The Last Full Measure. John talks about a particularly tough call with a tight timeline he and his partners had to make in the early days of their movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This decision had significant ripple effects both good and bad that would be felt for decades to come. If you’d like to learn more about John and his work, check out his profile on imdb.com and take a watch of some of his movies and tv shows. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Reinvigorating a 30-year-old business model
June 13, 2021 • 20 MIN
In this episode I’m talking with Dave Reeve about a tough call he made transitioning his 28-year-old business from a service model to software. Dave is the CEO of InvestorCOM, a leading compliance technology provider to the wealth management industry. Like many other leaders I’ve talked to recently, Covid helped hasten a change that was in the works for some time. Interestingly, it wasn’t making the call that was tough but the implementation of it. What was particularly challenging was managing the difficult conversations with staff that inevitably happen when you transition out of a longstanding pillar of your organization. If you’d like to learn more about Dave and his work, check out InvestorCOM.com. If you are in wealth management, asset management or insurance, their suite of solutions will help you easily stay on top of your compliance requirements. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
To go forward or retreat while 2,000 meters above certain death
June 6, 2021 • 19 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with John Bourke about a tough call he faced when climbing a literal mountain and what he learned from it as a leader. John is the President of the Business Excellence Institute, a worldwide membership body for business excellence professionals. John talks about a difficult choice he had to make while standing on a narrow ledge above a deadly 2-kilometer drop. Though it was not a call he had to make for his business, the repercussions of that defining moment continue to inform how he approaches his professional decision-making. If you’d like to learn more about John and his work, check out his organization, The Business Excellence Institute, at businessexcellence.org and consider becoming a member. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Going into the first pandemic lockdown
May 30, 2021 • 24 MIN
In this episode, I’m talking with Dr. Robert Strang about the decision-making that resulted in Nova Scotia entering its first lockdown at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Rob is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Nova Scotia. The tough calls that our leading health officials have had to make in the face of this pandemic have been staggering. Especially, in the early days of the outbreak, these decisions needed to be made quickly and with incomplete information. Even more challenging, they needed to be implemented within structures that are classically very slow to act. And all of this is taking place in an environment where the stakes are literally life and death. If you’d like to learn more about Rob, you can check out his Wikipedia page for a brief background on his life and career. And if you’d like some assistance with your own tough calls, we’ve compiled a collection of free tools just for you. Go to toughestcall.com to check them out. If you’re not yet a subscriber to Toughest Call, please add us wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Launch Trailer
March 4, 2021 • 1 MIN
What does it take to make the 'tough calls'?