Creating IMPACT in today’s Turbulent World

How are you doing in today’s changing and turbulent world? Today, more than ever, I believe our ability to create a positive impact through business can be our guiding light.

Hi, I’m Catherine Rocheleau, founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and the creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint online program.

I work with socially-conscious and purpose driven leaders to align profit and purpose so they can create great cultures that inspire impact-driven employees to do great work in the world.

It is hard to go through our day without facing the implications of the enormous impact of COVID-19.  It’s impact on our ability to conduct business, deliver goods and services, and plan for the future.

Change is challenging at the best of times.  When we have so many unknowns, risks greater than we ever anticipated, unforeseen circumstances that are pulling the carpet out from under us, and our employees, customers, suppliers and our community, it is easy for panic and fear to set in.

As a business leader, I believe we have to step forward and be leaders.  We don’t have to have the answers. We may feels like our world is crashing, yet, we have a responsibility to our teams, ourselves and our business to take a deep breath and hit the pause button – if only for a minute or two.

As each of us, as leaders, takes a minute or two to pause, we can start the shift – the shift to one of calm, thoughtful perspective, and openness to accept what we cannot change, take action on what we can, and keep an eye on the future and what we can become. 

Most importantly we can also recognize how we can have a positive impact on the world around us. Yes, opportunity abounds. 

I encourage you to take a moment to recognize what steps you can do to make the world a better place.

We have been asked to engage in social distancing and self-isolation depending on potential exposure.  Right now, I am in the middle of my 14 day self-isolation period after travelling from Vancouver to LA for a conference.  I believe it’s the one thing I can do to help flatten the curve in the spread of the virus.

In light of the cancellation of in-person events, how can you deliver products and services to existing customers in new or more innovative ways?

My business can continue to operate virtually with my global market.  Some programs I offer have moved from in-person to virtual, without skipping a beat, and without a loss of value.

The up-side, I have been able to adjust my pricing as my costs are lower and this benefits my clients without harming my business – a win-win situation.

Another great idea is exploring how you can spread payment terms over a longer period of time to help reduce the financial burden of your clients.  When we can maintain a continuity of business, we create some stability for everyone we impact.

If business has slowed to a crawl, is it time for you to take time out to work ON your business instead of IN your business?  Would a strategy session or coaching help you get clear on next steps, any areas to pivot, and on creating a positive future.

For those of you who have employees or sub-contractors, working remotely can present challenges, however there are tools like zoom, trello, and so many more that can facilitate collaboration.

Delegating clearly with designate job duties, milestones and expectations will foster a sense of calm and prompt the right use of time for everyone.

Communication is critical between team members at any time.  However, when you are engaging in social distancing and remote working conditions It is even more important.   I recommend you implement daily huddles as a way to check in, set priorities, identify bottlenecks and opportunities, while also celebrating successes.  Huddles are easy to lead, easy to participate in, they are also time efficient and deliver a high ROI.  This is definitely a triple-win strategy.

Reach out to colleagues, clients and suppliers. Is there some way you can assist them? How can you work together to keep business operating during this volatility?

What about your impact initiatives?  Can you tweak them to help front-line agencies and causes that are struggling to remain afloat?

Can you transition cost savings incurred by operating virtually and not communiting or travelling to different locations, into donations to help non-profits.  Can you volunteer your time or expertise?

Linking your business successes, even in hard times, to your impact strategies creates a positive ripple effect that benefits your business, and all your stakeholders.  Be a leader.  Take positive action!  Make an impact!

Be safe. Be Healthy. Be Kind… and let’s make a positive impact in the world to make it a better place.

If I can assist you please do not hesitate to book a consultation call so we can explore options that work for you.

When Teams are Fractured

This past week has been an interesting case study on the impact of team dynamics on the ability of that team’s ability to achieve optimum outcomes.

I was speaking with a potential client on the challenges they are facing.  What bubbled to the surface was high turnover, poor communication, and a lack of perceived value in what they do.  From the outside, this group offers amazing value that has the potential to have a significant impact throughout the organization and beyond yet internally they lack the culture to clearly recognize and reveal their value.  This results in fractures between the team.

Later in the week I heard a discussion on the radio in response to two statements made by members of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.  When some players dedicate themselves to a solid preparation routine and others don’t, performance suffers and cracks show.

What do you think?   Is there a real connection  between the ability of a team to work toward a common goal and preparation, communication and perceived value?

My response to this question is definitely YES.

Preparation is a critical component to long term success.  In the case of athletes, they create routines for practice days as well as competition/game days.  These routines prepare them to be in top condition, to have the right mindset and to dig deep and deliver their best when it counts.  In the business world, preparation can include having the right mindset, knowing the subject matter, having the right tools to do the job when called upon, or showing up prepared to work.

Teams, whether in sport or in business, have the challenge of pulling together several individuals into one cohesive unit.  When team members change, fail to get the job done as planned, or when communication breaks down, the team can experience setbacks, lost productivity, lost confidence and in some instances, a loss of trust.

The ultimate goal is to be a high performance team where each member of the team is valued and trusted to do what it takes to bring their best to the job.  They know their role, and are committed to contributing to the goal.  Leadership is more fluid – shifting as needed to drive results.  Productivity is high and the culture is strong and cohesive.

What steps can you take with your team to build a strong culture where every team member is valued equally and results reflect the great environment?


Ignite Leadership is committed to turning dysfunctional or challenged workplaces into one that is built on trust, strong leadership, effective communication, good processes and systems and positive team dynamics.   How can we assist you and your team?   Book a call to explore options.


Press Release – Worldwide Business with kathy ireland

For Immediate Release:

Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® Highlights How Ignite Leadership International Helps Challenged Businesses Work More Efficiently 

Company Leader Will Discuss How Vivial Helps Businesses Connect and Engage with Customers

Tune in to Fox Business Network as sponsored programming on Sunday, May 21, 2017. See market-by-market listings below.

Los Angeles, CA – May 16, 2017 — Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® is pleased to announce an exclusive interview with Catherine Rocheleau, Founder and CEO of Ignite Leadership International, a team of business-savvy professional consultants who are dedicated to turning dysfunctional or challenged workplaces into businesses that are built on trust, strong leadership, effective communication, good processes/systems and positive team dynamics.

Ignite Leadership International helps develop better leaders and better teams who are more engaged, enhance existing or develop new business and communication skills, align systems to improve productivity, reduce costs, increase revenue and amplify learning. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

16-11KIWWB_3754_IgniteLeadershipRocheleau says that the team of professionals at Ignite Leadership International is not an average team. She explains, “I’m not a typical consultant or coach. Typical consultants tell you what’s wrong, write you a report and then leave it to you to implement. A coach may help dig deep, but not actually give you the solution. I tend to be more solution-focused, and I measure those results. I really want to know that whatever we’ve done together has made a significant difference.”

JL Haber, Vice President of Programming for Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®, is delighted to feature Ignite Leadership International. He says, “As companies strive to grow, there can easily be some hiccups along the way. But when those roadblocks arise, Ignite Leadership International is there to help. This inspiring company is great for helping companies boost engagement, learning and profits. We couldn’t be happier to have Ignite Leadership International on our show.”

For more information about Ignite Leadership International, visit and tune in to Fox Business Network as sponsored programming on Sunday May 21, 2017 at 5:00pm EST.

# # #

About Worldwide Business with kathy ireland®16-11KIWWB_3793_IgniteLeadership

Worldwide Business with kathy ireland® is a weekly business television program featuring real world insights from corporate executives from all over the globe which can be viewed on Fox Business Network as part of their sponsored programming lineup, as well as internationally to over 50 countries on Bloomberg International.


Visit for detailed airing schedules or check local listings.


The Challenge of Delegating

In the book, The Winning Way, co-authored with Brian Tracy, I described three key attributes for good leaders — Communicate, Calculate and Delegate.  It is interesting that this week I was faced with situations where clients were experiencing challenges all related delegation-400x275to letting go and allowing their team take on the responsibility and ability to get the job done.

Delegation — the act of passing a task or responsibility along to others, most commonly to people who are below you on the totem pole.

Delegation isn’t just a top down action.  In fact, delegation happens in all directions.  for example, my clients delegate projects and responsibility to me as their consultant (external delegation), a committee may delegate action items to specific departments or positions within an organization. Delegation happens between colleagues and collaborating departments too. When teams, from the leader on down, are engaged and share in the goals and vision of an organization, delegation is a fundamental component and can be a “make-it or break-it” facet of the results achieved.

I recently hired a new virtual assistant and I have been in the process of letting go of tasks I’ve been doing over the past few months.  This involves a change of thinking and planning.  My VA is eager to take on whatever I’ll send her way.  She’s also eager to assume role that offers me more value, and saves me time and effort.  What’s stopping me … bad habits!  Yes, its true.  I’m so used to just doing it all that I forget to delegate.

This week was a pivot point for us. My failure to effectively delegate was stopping both of us from being successful!  A great conversation where we shared, clarified and planned our next steps opened new doors.  My “aha” including the realization that I wasn’t  afraid my V.A. couldn’t do the job correctly.  Instead,  it was a failure to communicate what was in my head when I realized something needed to be done.

Do you delegate what and when you should, or do you fall prey to the common trap of “if I do it myself it will be done right”  or only delegate tasks you don’t like doing?

Delegation, when done right will enhance morale, build trust and facilitate success for yourself, your team and your organization.


Ignite Leadership has many solutions to develop stronger leadership and better teams.  Contact us to explore how our solutions may help you improve delegation, communication, leadership and team dynamics.



Going Rogue – Time to Rebuild or Breakup

I am sure many of you remember when the newswire was buzzing with the lone-wolf behaviour of one of the (Canadian) Tenors during the signing of Canada’s national anthem at a All-Star baseball game in San Diego in July.  During the anthem, Tenor Remigio Pereira substituted words to make a political statement.  This change was made without prior knowledge of his fellow quartet members.  The backlash has been huge and now the future of the Tenors is in question.

In this instance, one member of the group took it upon himself to act on his own, w permission or the support of his fellow teammates, to express his own political belief.  Not only
were his actions self-motivated, but the timing of his message was poor and the desired result not what he intended.

This is a very public example of how one member of a team can have a significant impact on the team.  In the case of the Tenors, trust was broken, member of the group no longer want to perform with Mr. Pereira, and their future must now be re-created.

Within most businesses, there are teams which are key to creating  and sustaining the business, its reputation with customers and its internal culture, to name only a few factors.  When someone on a team does something rogue these three steps can help salvage the situation.

  1.  Act swiftly   —  If the rogue behaviour has the ability to cause damage, your swift and decisive action is vital to making a wrong a right.  A rogue act requires you to step in, initiate an impartial investigation to determine the facts and to hear all perspectives.  Sometimes a 3rd Party is needed to conduct this investigation.  The investigation should be quick and to the point so next steps can be taken quickly.
  2. Be transparent —  In all actions and communication associated with the incident, it is important to communicate clearly and often so everyone within your team, your business, and key stakeholders understand what is happening.  You don’t want to breech confidentiality or individual rights, but you also don’t want people second-guessing you.    When you are transparent with the rogue team member, they also know where they stand and what actions will be taken and what to expect.  Transparency and frequent communication goes a long way to build trust, repair your reputation and minimize the negative impact the rogue actions could cause.
  3. Follow Through — Once you have dealt with the situation, its important to follow-through.  This means confirming the conclusion of the incident, ensuring all actions plans identified to prevent a repeat are in place and to check in with each member of the team or key stakeholders to get their perspectives, feedback and comments.  This debrief process is often over-looked, yet I have found it to be the most important.

Sometimes you can’t repair the damage done and a break-up is the right thing to do.  When this happens, the swift action, transparency and follow-through will help you re-focus on the future and take the right steps forward.


We have lots of experience assisting organizations during and after a critical incident.  Contact us to learn how we many assist you.

Start a Conversation – Gain More than You Expect

When was the last time you had a good conversation with a colleague or a team member?  Did this conversation result in new insights?  Did you learn something new?  Did it up-lift you or provide valuable information?

Fancy action plans don’t create engagement; ongoing two-way dialogue creates engagement.

A conversation is described as an informal exchange of information between two or more talk bubblespeople.  A conversation involves two aspects — sharing information and listening.  Too often listening, I mean really listening so you hear what is actually being said to you, is lost.  Communicating by email, text or notices shares information but lacks the engagement and “hearing” components of a conversation.


Nothing managers talk about will affect engagement if they don’t listen to what associates tell them.

According to Gallop, “Great managers who have meaningful ongoing discussions with their employees also take ongoing action based on what they hear in those everyday conversations. They ask good questions, including disarmingly simple ones, and they pay close attention to the responses. They keep the wheels of engagement turning all the time, just by talking.”

In my role as a Consultant I have the opportunity of observing the interactions of many different people in the workplace.  I also see and work with the impact of poor communication and the lack of meaningful conversations.


When you make eye contact you acknowledge the other person’s existence

Make Eye Contact

What does eye contact have to do with conversations?  You can’t connect and initiate a conversation if you don’t see and acknowledge a person.  How many times have you walked down a hallway at work and not made eye contact, smiled at or acknowledged the other person?

eye_blue-eye-pic54When I am working with clients who are disillusioned with their job or their workplace, they frequently say they don’t feel valued.  Many also tell me “the boss just ignores me unless I’ve done something wrong.”  Others report they don’t feel heard because their boss doesn’t make eye contact, but looks at paper on their desk or their computer screen.

Eye contact during a conversation can be difficult for some people but it is vital for effective communication.  People are more willing to talk to you when you make eye contact and you are more likely to hear them too.

Your challenge… When you get to work make a point of making eye contact and saying good morning to every member of your team.  Make a point to acknowledge each person you pass in the hallway or who gets on the elevator… see what happens.


“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

Huddle Up

One way to build engagement with employees and to connect with what is happening around you is to have daily huddles.  A huddle is an opportunity for you to connect with your team and to plan your day or gain insights. Huddles are short (less than 15 minutes) and to the point.  They are not for problem solving or lon

g-term planning. Huddles are probably one of the most effective interactions you can have with your team.

A huddle isn’t just a “report out”.  Instead, its an opportunity for every member of the team to share information, insights and to ask questions to help them move forward.  You’ll build connections, improve organizational productivity, enhance the culture and keep your finger on the pulse.

I also have used huddles to connect individually with team members during the day.  I’ve used these exchanges to touch base, learn more about employees and share.  These meetings don’t have an agenda other than to connect but I’ve shared positive feedback, asked questions about a challenge I’m aware of or to check on progress and to offer my assistance.

Your Challenge — Connect with every team member in your team and have a conversation.


Learning without thought is labor lost. ~Confucius

Boost Learning

One of the best opportunities a manager has to positively impact their organization’s learning and to lead change is to teach.  I don’t mean in a classroom style, but through a conversation.  Traditionally, when people attend a workshop or conference they become excited about new information or insights they have learned but this goes by the wayside when they return to their desk.  Why?  There is no mandate to integrate it into their job.

After an employee attends a conference, have a conversation to identify what their key insights were and if there is something they would like to integrate into their work?  Can you help them set up a personal challenge to instill an action plan into their work?  Book follow-up conversations to monitor progress.

Do you provide in-house training sessions?  Coaching has helped organizations to support employees to actually implement skills they have learned into their daily work habits.  Daily conversations can also help improve employee engagement on skill integration as well.

Your challenge —  Establish regular conversations with each member of your team as a way to integrate learning into their daily work habits.


You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way. ~Marvin Minsky


If you are interested in how to integrate daily conversations into your workplace to improve employee engagement, learning or productivity, contact us for more information on the options we have available to assist you.

Who Do You Know?

Who do you know?”  Some say, “Its not who you know, but who knows you.”  Others say “its not what you know but who you know” that’s important.  Regardless which saying resonates, this seemingly simple concept is a priceless one, particularly if you are in business. Unfortunately, it is also a question we often fail to ask ourselves.  My own coach refers to it as Relationship Capital.

What is your Network?

The term network can be defined as a group or an alliance of people who you know.  These people may be co-workers, colleagues, friends, members in your running group or your church, competitors, present and past employees, suppliers, neighbours or people you meet at a networkingEach Contact with a Human Being or educational event.  They will most likely come from different walks of life, be in different roles, and yet, you have something in common – each other.

Why is building a Network Important?

The number one method of securing a new job or gaining new business is by word of mouth introductions – in other words, through referrals.  The success of “the old boys network” for decades demonstrates how these principles do have a positive impact on making connections and building business.

How many times have you asked friends, family and other people you know what brand they use, or which model they like best, or what they know about a company?  People trust the word of people they know, like and trust over that of a stranger or advertisements.

Another key benefit of your network if you are in business, is potential customers who are referred to you are frequently “sold” before they ever speak to you.  You are just the ‘cherry on top’.  This not only saves you time and money, but it allows you an opportunity to really add value to this customer.  Most people who were referred will refer others.   Wouldn’t you like an income stream generated by referrals?

Networks are Two-Way Streets

Great business relationships include two conditions: 

1)  Each person in the relationship offers value to the other.  

2)  Each person works effectively with the other.

Obviously the success of a network is in the way each person is able to help others.  Working your network only for what you will gain will back-fire!  Givers-Gain is a great mindset to maintain. When you refer others, or offer to help them achieve a specific goal i.e., meet a person in your network, they are more likely to reciprocate with you.   Always keep the interests of others in your network in mind and make sure you are giving as much as you are receiving, and everyone will win!

A few questions to ask about each relationship:

  1. What value does that person bring to you? Why do you need that person on your side?
  2. How would you describe his or her leadership and communication style?
  3. What criteria does he/she focus on when making decisions (e.g., technical, business, political or process issues)?
  4. Who influences this person? Who does he/she perceive to be mentors and trusted sources?
  5. What past issues and resentments need to be resolved before the relationship can get stronger?

Your Next Steps

Again I ask… Who do you know?

This exercise involves creating a list of 100 people you that know, their position, contact information and how they may help you and, most importantly, how you could help them?

Once you have created this list, identify a group of 10 – 25 who you can reach out to at first, then expand to others on the list.  Can you share something of value to them, or offer an introduction to someone who may be interested in their product/service, can you share their blog post or other social media activity to help increase their exposure?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help if they could help you, but remember to ask what you could can do to help them.  If they say nothing, try to be imaginative to show your thanks in another way.  You may share resources, articles, tools they may find useful, send a hand written card, make a donation to their favourite charity.  The ideas are endless.

Continue to stay connected with your network connections and try to add value wherever possible. Always be respectful of their time and “in-box” but when done well, most will be happy to keep in Processtouch with you.

Are you up for the challenge?

Will you do what it takes to build and maintain your personal and business network in an authentic and value-added way for the success of your business or career? Download a complimentary copy of our Network Circuit Board to get you started.  Please share your experiences with us.


If Ignite Leadership can assist you and your business, please reach out.  You may be interested in our mastermind or group coaching options to connect with other like-minded business leaders.  We offer a complimentary Ignite Business call to explore your next steps.  Click on the contact us button below to get started.

Social Media can help Professionals Build Relationships


When I wrote my e-book, “Social Media for Professionals”, I was responding to the overwhelming need for a tool to assist my clients and colleagues in better understanding how social media could help their business.  Most thought of social media as a time-drain, and an avenue of communication which was a slippery slope which would cause them to give away free information or cross ethics boundaries.

Here we are a few years later and the use of social media has continued to grow an evolve.  The one stable component is that business is conducted primarily when a business or professional has developed the know, like and trust factor with their customer.  Customers are less likely to do business with a complete stranger or business they know nothing about – even if that business carries a product they want or need.

As a professional, you bring knowledge, skill and experience to your customer.   Whether you are a realtor, accountant, bookkeeper, nurse consultant or graphic designer, you offer a valuable service to your clients and many others who are yet to become your client.

An online presence, including your website, blogs, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) offer professionals a very effective way to connect with prospects and stay connected to existing customers by offering information, insights and ideas.

Social media helps business professionals establish a rapport with  potential  customers, and stay connected with existing customers.  

Your time is valuable and connecting in person at networking events alone can be expensive and limits your ability to expand your reach.  In contrast, social media enables you to build a global customer base or expand the customers you serve within your city, province/state or country.

Every communication channel you have, offers another unique touch point to connect with your ideal client.

Connecting is not selling.

Similar to networking in person, connecting via social media is not just another sales channel.  Instead it offers you an opportunity to share articles, tips, or insights that others perceive as valuable or interesting, as well as offering a solution to a pain or obstacle they face.  Each article, tweet or post allows you build a connection with that person and to stay “front of mind”.

Take this blog post and my newsletters for example.  In each blog post or newsletter , I attempt to share a few key points I hope others can use to take action to grow their own business or develop their own leadership skills.  I share these options on other social media channels which increase readership and expand my ability to connect with new people I would not have connected with otherwise.

Although most articles or newsletters include some information about the services I offer, or contain a call to action, selling isn’t the primary focus.   People who relate to my article will share it with others, download free resources, book an exploration call to learn how they can work with me, or they may just incorporate the insights I shared.  Regardless, I become better known and my value is shared.

Social Media is one marketing communication channel which, in my opinion, needs to be included in every business and professional’s marketing plan.

Consistency is key. 

It doesn’t matter which communication  channel or approach you use, the important point is to communicate consistently – whether this is daily, weekly, or monthly. 

Reach, Target Your Focus

Some points I share in my blog or social media posts  may resonate with you, while others do not.  This is the challenge of communicating with a wide audience.  Social media enables you, as an individual or as a business, to have a very wide reach… but targeted messages are necessary to connect with the right person.

Choose the communication channel(s) that allow you to connect with your target clients.  If your target clients are on Facebook, use this channel.  Twitter is popular because people can quickly scan messages and click on links that peak their interest.  You can drive them to your blog, website, or a landing page.  Pick the right content and add value — people will interact and connect with you.

 A Call to Action

Another component of each article is some information or reference to my Ignite coverbusinessIgnite Leadership International.  As a long-time entrepreneur, I have lots of experience in change management, business development, and growing business.  My experience coaching business owners, managers and executives to do the same adds another opportunity for me to work with motivated, successful leaders.

If you want to learn more about how you can grow business with social media, order my ebook today .  Only $19.97

What steps can you take to build your network, and the relationship with each person to expand your business or career opportunities? I hope you will continue to read and share my newsletters and blog posts as I share tips, ideas and thoughts about business and leadership.  I’ll keep you informed about my business programs too.  I’d love your thoughts and feedback!

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”

Author Unknown

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Oops…Be Gone!

In Vancouver, a member of the B.C. Lions Football Club has come under significant media scrutiny for racial slurs he made in his Twitter feed.  Later realizing his error, he apologized publicly but the damage had been done!  The B.C. Lions are attempting to limit the impact of one team member’s impact on their organization by commenting on the situation in the media and removing him from the up-coming game.  This is a great example of how one message sent without considering its impact on others can come back to bite you. [Read more…]

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