"I have a huge amount of respect for entrepreneurs," declares Isabelle Perreault, Vice President & Practice Lead, Digital Transformation at Stratford Managers. "In my position within the Digital Transformation group I get to have a taste of being an entrepreneur. I manage the practice, but do so in a supported environment."
We have more control than people think, but we have to be open to new opportunities
As the Director of Marketing & Digital for the Ottawa Senators hockey team for 8 years, Isabelle saw a shift at the intersection of digital technology and business and wanted to be a leader in that space. "I am perfectly suited to this role," she exclaims. "It's my sweet spot. I consumed everything I could about digital technology and transformation for a year before making the leap into consulting." In fact, it was up to Isabelle to create the business line at Stratford Managers for Digital Transformation.
Stop comparing the success of others to yourself
"Digital transformation is in constant evolution," Isabelle explains,"I did the research and put it all in writing - the transformation framework, the processes, built a digital readiness assessment - I documented everything. It was a tremendous amount of work. But I consider myself a specialist in this space now. May agencies offer Digital Marketing, whereas my focus is more on organizational readiness and the ability to leverage digital to improve performance. It is very satisfying."
Elite athletes make great leaders
It is easy to see when meeting Isabelle that she is extremely goal oriented, and not comfortable 'settling'. "People are often caught up in the mundane of everyday tasks. I believe it's important to set big goals and take responsibility for the life you create," Isabelle confides.
Isabelle keeps herself accountable to her goals through the use of a Vision Board. It includes three disciplines she practices everyday:
1) Fitness: a focus on health of the mind and body. "I would love to do an Iron Man someday and to test my physical limits", Isabelle reveals.
2) Inner peace and mindfulness: 60-90 minutes each morning starting at 5 a.m. to make time to think and reflect. "This allows me to start my day from a place of clarity, thoughtfulness and focus," Isabelle reveals.
3) Leadership ands self-improvement: Isabelle is always striving to be better and grow. "How can I make this my best year yet?"
"It's important to stay focused on the outcome," Isabelle advises." How you get there may not always be in your control, and you have to be flexible with the deatails, but always keep your eye on the end goal." The vision board helps Isabelle stay on course and focus on what matters.
How you lead people through change is more important than what you do
It should come as no surprise that Isabelle is as accomplished in her personal life as she is in business. "I have never enjoyed the status quo. And it's not wrong to say that I am driven," she laughs. Being driven is how Isabelle became the Ontario Women's Boxing Champion 3 years in a row. "I wanted to get fit," she explains. "So I started doing Muay Thai kickboxing which lead me to boxing." She was fast and strong and had to travel often for matches as there were fewer women in boxing than there are now! She also ran her first marathon shortly after the birth of her twins.
Isabelle is proof that busy people keep getting busier. A mom of three young children, Isabelle recently took on a Board position with the Youth Service Foundation. "I am passionate about ykids and being on the YSB Foundation Board allows me to get involved with and give some of my time," Isabelle remarks. "People who have nothing to lose try harder," expresses Isabelle," people with comfortable lives tend to have more fear of risk of failure" she explains. "It creates complacency."
With a demanding career, Board position and busy home life, it's easy to wonder how Isabelle does it all. "I think as women we have it all," she explains, "just not all at the same time. You need to focus on 1 or 2 areas that will have a big impact, and move onto the next mountain."