The Lessons I’ve Learned as a Leader


By Selena Woo, Vice President, Advisory Services – Associates & Operations

“Why do you want to be a leader?”

This is a question I often get asked.

Early in my career journey, there was a lack of female representation and cultural diversity in leaders.  I want to change this narrative and be a role model for women, and help increase their confidence to seek executive roles in their own careers.  Having more role models in this space will support the way to a more equitable, forward-thinking society.  The next generation needs to experience a world without barriers and limits to what they can achieve simply due to gender and ethnicity.

When I think about leadership, I consider it a life skill and one that plays an important role in all facets of my life, one that enables me to live out my core values.  There will always be moments in life where you need to uplift others, and I find fulfillment knowing that I am making a real difference to others, both personally and professionally.

As a leader and mother, the legacy I want to leave is to have deliberate intent to positively impact others to achieve success and help carve a path forward for our future generation. It is important to me to contribute to the greater good and be a part of something bigger than me and my day-to-day. As Simon Sinek states – “The responsibility of leadership is to create more leaders.”

I do not think of myself as a great leader but as a human leader, and while being a leader can be challenging, when you lead with heart, you create a community of trust, compassion, and gratitude.

Lessons Learned

  1. Invest in your people with your time and effort. Provide them with “stretch” opportunities. Your effort is a reflection of your interest in them.
  2. Do not let the status quo of “people need to leave to grow their careers” become the theme of your team. Instead, find the potential in people and inspire them through your commitment to develop them and advocate for them to achieve their career aspirations.  They need to know you are in their corner, fighting and rooting for them. Be their champion.
  3. Create a safe environment where people can achieve and experience both career and community.
  4. Lead by example with purpose and positive intent. Embrace empathy, be authentic and walk the talk.  The most impactful behaviours we want others to emulate are through observation.
  5. Integrate your personal values and beliefs with your leadership; it combines the heart and mindset. Lean on your moral compass.
  6. As you rise in your career, lift others up along the way. Success becomes less about individual ambition and more about working together to build something great.

This material contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only. Nicola Wealth is registered as a Portfolio Manager, Exempt Market Dealer and Investment Fund Manager with the required securities commissions.