Mentoring Breakfast

We were recently were joined by Brigadier-General Carla Harding and Dr. Sue Haywood (read their bios below!). These two exceptional leaders shared the lessons they’ve learned through remarkable, yet very different, careers.

Lessons Learned

Being a leader takes you through all kinds of ups and downs, and at times both felt that they didn’t exactly fit the mold expected. But learning to be true to themselves – being authentic to who they were inside – is when their leadership styles started to feel right. In finding this stance, it has enabled Brigadier-General Harding and Dr. Haywood to empower those around them to follow suite.

The passion and honestly of both Brigadier-General Harding and Dr. Haywood’s answers was a rarity that, as a young professional, was deeply appreciated. Too often we’re shown a picture-perfect example of what ‘leadership’ should look like – rigid, assertive and always confident. But this isn’t reality. We all have lives to balance besides work that include families, hobbies and other passions. Sometimes the balance gets out of whack and things creep in that are hard to hide. Being open when times get tough and showing compassion to yourself and others was advice instilled from the breakfast.

A surprising take away: it is okay to cry. Crying is a physiological reaction and nothing else. When Carla shared this, heads were nodding along. Why does this matter (beyond being true to yourself)? Because you never know how your vulnerable, honest, emotional reaction may positively impact the team around you – Sue had a chilling tale of this.

Thank you again to these two leaders for opening up about their journeys. Knowledge sharing and connecting is one of the finest ways to support one another and grow.


Dr. Sue Haywood is the Business Unit Lead, HR with Business Sherpa Group and an Adjunct Professor at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Sue’s career includes service with the Canadian Forces and HR roles within healthcare, municipal government, Pepsi, and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Her experience and knowledge of the HR considerations enable her to provide strategic advice to private and public sectors, unionized and non-unionized workplaces, and large and small organizations. She serves on the HRPA board of directors, volunteers with Great Dane rescue and is the proud mom of a three-year-old son.

Brigadier-General Carla Harding is a professional Logistician with extensive experience in end-to-end Supply Chain Management and Operations Management. Her experience comes from over executive employment in the Canadian Forces as an Army Logistician with operational experience, both internationally and domestically. Carla has three Masters degrees and has earned accolades that include the Order of Military Merit (2015) and is a Distinguished graduate of the Eisenhower School. As an avid traveler, she often pairs outdoor adventure off the beaten track with a quest for the local foodie experience.

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