College Pro sat down with one of College Pro Painters most successful entrepreneurs Leighton Healey to find out what has made him flourish into a great entrepreneur.
Current Position: Business Manager Alberta
Location: Alberta, Canada
When did you start working for College Pro and in what role?
I started with College Pro in 2006 as a Franchisee, recommended by my brother’s friend Ryan who was a Franchisee at the time.
What were your prior job experiences?
Prior to College Pro, my previous Job experiences included working as a mentor for young men struggling with drug and sexual addictions, as a consultant with several Campus groups (building sponsorship networks, by-laws, board governance, effective meetings), tree planting in the nether-reaches of Northern AB and BC, working as a farm Laborer, camp counselor, construction worker, musician and running the gas station behind my house in Saskatchewan.
What is the most important lesson you have learned with College Pro?
I have learned to dedicate myself to life-long learning, and that investing in people is always your best investment.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
The constant growth and challenge. The autonomy. The task and responsibility of impacting the future of leadership. The variety — wearing multiple hats throughout the day, so to speak.
What is a typical job day like for you?
It varies. I am up early reading and exercising, then in coaching meetings, doing administrative work, dealing with conflict or legal items, brainstorming for conference calls with entrepreneurs, submitting scripts for radio ads, helping an entrepreneur build a plan to keep his business going while in Nigeria for a month, interviewing two potential candidates, responding to 40–60 emails per day, confirming the 11 upcoming Trade Shows, drafting a monthly newsletter, drafting the outline of a weekend Training session in 4 weeks, working with a partnership business with serious financial problems, and finishing building an 8-month operations trend, planning four events with our sister company to spark close ties before our five-day house boating trip with 70 People.
Honestly, that was today.
What skills are most necessary to succeed in your position?
The most important skills are passion, tenacity, the desire to see something grow, resourcefulness, adaptability, high fundamental, high capacity, openness, fast learning, creativity, vision, a deep desire to make a difference, good ol’ fashioned work ethic, and just being an Entrepreneur at heart.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my desire to do my very best with the life, body and skills that God has entrusted me with. I am inspired by those I lead, and to be the type of leader that I would want to follow. I am inspired by great leaders that have come before me — I read extensively, from literature about generals and rebels to corporate greats. I prefer to seek wisdom from their examples.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to work for College Pro?
Ask yourself, am I willing to strive to be remarkable? Am I truly interested in fundamentally changing? Am I interested in having the ceiling torn off what I have previously considered to be hard work? Do my values and passions align with this organization? Do I believe in what they are trying to accomplish? Am I looking for a job or a cause — if the latter, perhaps College Pro. My advice would be to take the plunge, life is short and the most common deathbed regret is not taking enough risks. Entrepreneurs take calculated risks, not aimless gambles. College Pro has a rich history of holding people up to the flame of their weaknesses and walking with them hand in hand as they refine their skills and their character. Then I would call a dozen College Pro people and get a feel for the culture because it is unique, and the backbone of what we do.
What is your best story related to College Pro? For example, what is your funniest College Pro memory, greatest achievement on the job?
I have taken an incredible wealth of stories from College Pro; a plethora of hilarious stories and some of my most memorable success stories — of those I lead and those of my own. Some of the funniest memories that come to mind include a heroic and surprisingly life rescue, an explosion and a House boating memory.
My first year in College Pro wisdom was not among my attributes. We thought it would be fun to try surfing on top of a production van while travelling down a gravel road, me and two other franchisees. As we careened up and down and through the winding back roads, we all nearly fell to our deaths when our driver, who will remain un-named, stopped all of a sudden. Once we collected ourselves we realized the reason we stopped was because the car ahead of us carrying our fearless leader, the General Manager at the time, had nearly slid off an embankment and was teetering like in a movie over the edge of a cliff with several Franchisees inside! (This might get censored!). As good resourceful entrepreneurs we sprung into action and within the matter of an hour we had constructed a small bridge from the rocks and logs in the area under the freely hanging portion of the car, levelling out and rolling it back to safety.
The greatest successes I have had have been in leading and coaching entrepreneurs. Too many to name but I would say that the most rewarding are when you see problems and challenges thought to be impossible to resolve, resolved and success achieved. It is so rewarding to sit back and see the people you lead raise their hands in victory.
In your opinion, why is College Pro a great place to work?
College Pro is a great place to work because of its people, its purpose and its commitment to constant development. It truly is a unique world to be part of. We are not without our flaws, but we have something very good at College Pro, something of which I am proud to be a part.