Our values are not found in the positions or roles we play, but in the quality of the interaction we bring to everything we do.
Robert Chisholm's strong belief in fairness, social justice and public service informs his life choices. He worked with the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ottawa and Atlantic Canada, where he was Atlantic Regional Director. He served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, the Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, the Leader of the Official Opposition and as Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. He has served on the Boards of Directors of numerous organizations including Dalhousie University and the United Way of Halifax.
Today, Robert works with organizations and individuals who look to turn their visions into realities and their opportunities into results. He uses his experience, skills and values to provide strategic support for leaders and their teams during times of change, challenge and crisis.
As a principal at Simon Chisholm Consulting, Robert assists his clients by offering a confidential and respectful environment for solving problems. He understands that by building and maintaining respectful and authentic relationships, individuals and organizations will have a greater opportunity to achieve their goals.
Robert has a Master's Degree in Sociology, a course on Leadership in the 21st Century from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, certification in Negotiations and Dispute Resolution and is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC) with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC).
In his spare time Robert loves to golf, run, play hockey and read.
Passionate about social justice, Paula Simon worked at a senior level in the field for over 25 years with both the Federal and Provincial governments in three different Provinces. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie, as well as four negotiation and mediation certificates from the Harvard Negotiations Project.
Paula is an intuitive and passionate believer in relationships and human potential. Undeniably spirited, she brings a genuine interest to every encounter. Paula believes you and your organization can achieve their highest potential through authentic behavior and conscious decision-making.Paula understands the importance of giving back to her community. She's been a volunteer board member of of Phoenix Youth Programs, the IWK Health Centre, Big Brother Big Sisters and President of the NS NDP. Paula currently serves on the Board of Governors at Dalhousie University.
Paula has recently published a book entitled, "The Gift of Loss" which shares her journey with Robert though the loss of their son to a life of hope, joy and gratitude. For more information click The Gift of Loss.
In her spare time Paula loves to paints and write.
Fundamental to the success of your organization is the alignment of personal with organizational values/purpose.
We will work with you to:
Confidential conversations focused on supporting your desire for change. If you are willing to explore why and how you do your work, are committed to replacing habits that cause you problems, with habits that better reflect your purpose and meet your professional and personal goals, we can help you achieve success.
In my life and work with leaders I see how fear of failure, criticism, ridicule or disappointment, prevents people from moving forward and living their best lives professionally and personally. I've referred people to this very famous excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt's speech which talks of our responsibility as citizens to make use of what we have, whether it is wealth, wisdom, or ability. And to meet our needs and those of our family and to contribute to our community and country. I understood what he was saying is that it is our obligation, not to be idle but to be industrious, without worrying about our success.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
For me it's even more than this, it's about taking risk, pushing boundaries and striving for better. Putting our ego aside and either not worrying about the 'failure' or recognizing that some of the best learning comes from 'failure'.
We are on this earth for a short time. We have an obligation to live our best lives and be willing to embrace all aspects of our human experience, pain, pleasure, joy, love, sadness in order to be the best we can be.
Being a leader is challenging and exciting at any time, during these periods of rapid change, even more so.
Whether you're in politics, business, the trade union movement, public or not for profit sector you have to be on your toes at all times. Strategic plans increasingly cover shorter periods, feedback comes regularly and rapidly through social media platforms. The public, stakeholders and clients are increasingly accustomed to sharing what they think or feel.
Leadership can be lonely and stressful whether at the top of an organization, as the lead of your department, division, volunteer group or team. You need good trusting relationships that help you do the best job you can and help you and your organization reach goals.
I've had some experience with these challenges. I've felt the hopelessness and frustration of trying to meet difficult targets and the euphoria of achieving them. I've inspired people to action, celebrated great victories and suffered real disappointments. I've failed, made mistakes, suffered public embarrassment, been vulnerable and lived to fight another day.
I've led with confidence, strength of purpose and determination. I've successfully mentored staff and shared in their successes, I've also had to discipline and discharge employees who have been unable to make the cut. I know how lonely it can be and I know how gratifying and rewarding it can be.
I've worked hard for the grey hair I have today. Life can be tough and wonderful and I'm grateful and cherish it all.
So I've come to this point in my career where I'm thinking about how to continue my service in a way that feeds my purpose and helps people fulfill their potential to build a better world. I am a working to learn new skills and strengthen others, combine them with my experience and become a leadership coach.
I want to work with leaders who are out to make a difference, who have the courage to take risks and make changes, and who have the energy to push the envelope.
I want to associate with leaders who know it's important to pay attention to the world around them, to love and respect their family and themselves, to value their colleagues and staff but who may need a little support from time to time.
I’m a good listener, I care and I'm pumped to help you be your best self. What do you say, give me a shout and let's get going!
I'll be sharing my thoughts on leadership, management and social justice through articles like this in the coming weeks and hope you'll follow along.
Lead and/or support principled negotiations. We believe negotiations can lead to successful outcomes when conducted ethically, with respect and fairness and a commitment to sustainable relationships . We can lead or provide support for negotiations internal and external to your organization.
Resolve conflicts and build relations inside and outside the organization. Conflicts arise and can be satisfactorily resolved with respectful communication and the identification of shared interests. Resolving disputes fairly and respectfully recognizes the value of relationships to those involved and the organization.
We believe that authentic relationships are the cornerstone of great work. We help individuals and organizations identify their key questions and inspired solutions. We will engage with you in processes that encourage truth telling and acknowledges that wisdom comes from within. In this way we will help you tell your story, and bring life to your organization’s values.
We believe that things happen ‘for you’, not ‘to you’. Whatever is happening in your personal and professional life, presents an opportunity for learning and growth. So rather than being a victim you become a ‘leader in your life’.
Some of the guiding principles we bring to every engagement: