I had the most delightful conversation with Dick Vollet over lunch in March. A man with an interesting career (London Drugs, VANOC, and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation), uncompromising values, and sense of humour, Dick is an inspiring leader.
Growing up, Dick wanted to be a professional skier. His career took a different path, but Dick often draws on his experiences in sport to find parallels in his approach to leadership.
Dick was more attracted to individual rather than team sports because individual sports demand accountability – a value that has translated well to his role as a CEO. He believes that participating in sports can teach us a lot about leadership – about how to lead and how to follow.
Leader: Dick Vollet
Organization: CEO, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation
Tenure: 1 ½ years
Leadership or life motto: Never forget where you came from
Upcoming challenges: Future of healthcare in BC
DB: How would you describe your leadership philosophy?
DV: Leadership is to serve
DB: What is the biggest risk you ever took?
DV: Leaving London Drugs after a 20 year career
DB: Who is your favourite leader from a movie?
DV: Gene Hackman in “Hoosiers”
DB: If you could change one thing about the not-for-profit sector, what would it be?
DV: Cap executive salaries; standardize operating cost percentage to revenue; force collaboration
DB: What trait do you most admire in yourself?
DV: I do what I say I am going to!
DB: What makes you happy?
DV: Helping other people get what they want
DB: What still surprises you?
DV: Materialism and greed, when people have so much
DB: What are people most likely to misunderstand about you?
DV: Complete transparency – you really get what you see
DB: What are you reading right now?
DV: “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” by Jon Krakauer’
DB: How do you nurture your sense of wellbeing?
DV: Through God, spiritualty, trust in Jesus and weekly Mass
Denise Baker was the Executive Director of Vantage Point and is passionate about change management and growth, cultivating collaborative environments and developing leadership in others. She has held leadership positions in many industries, including Director of Worldwide Education at Business Objects and Assistant Dean at the Sauder School of Business. Denise has an Honours English Degree and a Master of Library and Information Science from UBC.
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