By Adam Shields
First published in The Business Link, August 2006
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Niagara Business Leader InterviewAS: What is most rewarding about being in the consulting industry?

BB: My greatest reward in life is to believe I've made a difference. I love to learn from bright Entrepreneurs and Business People. It's in this fashion that together we are able to create the platform on which to make that difference.

AS: How do you define success?

BB: I try not to be defined as a person of success but rather one of value. In my opinion, success is just a word. It's one often dependent on other people's perceptions, comprised of complex ideas and usually multi-faceted in nature. I ask myself questions like, "how can I add value to the situation?" In the broader perspective, "am I adding something worthwhile to my life and to that of others?"

AS: If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently?

BB: Yes. I would have made more mistakes earlier in my life and more often. Mistakes are the way I learn. I find that in an organization if mistakes are encouraged and opportunities to improve are discovered, the celebration of achievements is the end result.

AS: Being a very successful entrepreneur yourself, what advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?

BB: There are hundreds, if not thousands of bits of advice I would give. Here are the top three: 1) be determined and focused 2) be determined and focused and finally 3) be determined and focused. The rest, albeit important ones, rank a good distance behind the top three.

AS: Do you recommend business people to get involved in the community?

BB: That's a resounding yes. I think it's a classic win-win. My advice is that young Entrepreneurs and Executives do it earlier in their careers rather than later. They have fresh ideas and their children's future can be a strong motivation to building better communities.

AS: Where do you see Niagara in the next 5 years?

BB: I think Niagara has the same opportunity as do a lot of communities in Canada. Wayne Gretzky said; I score goals because I skate to where the puck is going to be. We can learn from him. If we look to the future and assess sustainable Global Markets, those created because of problems we face today, we learn what industries to encourage in Niagara. For example, land use issues will arguably spawn growth in biotechnology industries. An aging Baby Boomer population will drive stronger markets in recreation, modified living space and travel. With these and other examples, we can learn what to encourage and what not to encourage in Niagara.

By the way, all of us in Canada should be acutely attuned to the so-called new world developments. China will be the factory floor of the world, India the computing center. We can adjust our plans and innovate to meet these challenges, but we have to start creating those innovative options now.

AS: What inspires you?

BB: That's a Wow kind of question! Not so much because of its complexity but more because of its different facets. Let me isolate one; let's say in business.

I like seeing challenges as tomorrow's opportunity and I love seeing other people use the language of inspiration. As well, to work with Leaders who have balanced their personal ethics, technical competence and their ambition. Now that's inspiring! These kinds of Leaders will have enterprises that soar to new heights of achievement.

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