Technology may change but one thing remains the same: the dynamics between individuals in the workplace and their importance in helping organizations move forward. David Paquette is a Laurentian University alumnus who works as a management consultant, executive coach and leadership trainer. He has dedicated the past 26 years of his career to helping organizations and leaders implement change and build better workplaces.
David Paquette grew up in Garson, a small community in the Greater Sudbury area, and attended St. Charles College. He was passionate about hockey at a young age and, after high school graduation, the University of Windsor recruited him to play hockey on their varsity team. After being encouraged by the coach of Laurentian to transfer and play hockey for them, he returned to Sudbury the next year and joined the Laurentian Voyageurs varsity hockey team. “Playing hockey helped me in my studies because I had to stay organized to make time for daily practices and weekend hockey games as well as keeping up my coursework,” says David. “Being part of a team also really helped me understand how people work together.”
At Laurentian, David studied Political Science and Government, which increased his interest in management, political events and how the world works. Because of the small class sizes, he received many mentorship opportunities within his program and considerable support from his professors who challenged him and helped him grow as a student. He didn’t realize the impact and benefits of learning in small classes until he attended the University of Guelph to pursue a Master of Public Policy and Administration and experienced much larger class sizes. Upon graduating with his MA in 1989, the Canadian economy had weakened into a recession, which made it difficult to find a new job. David went a year and a half without being able to find work because of the recession.
“You create a lot of your own opportunities,” says David. He kept on searching, applying to jobs and building connections until the Cochrane District Health Council hired him on as a Health Planner. The position was a great learning opportunity for David. Much like his time at Laurentian University, the position taught him essential work skills such as research, synthesis of information and teamwork. A couple years later, he made the move to Parry Sound when he accepted the role of Executive Director with the District of Parry Sound Community Services Planning Council (1992-1994), followed by another move back home to Sudbury to serve as Executive Director of the Sudbury-Manitoulin Social Service Research & Advisory Group.
Just over a year and half into his new role, the organization lost its funding and he decided to establish his own consulting business. “I had just gotten married and I had a child on the way, which motivated me to create my own opportunity,” says David. “I didn’t want to be doing the same thing every day and I wanted to be able to work with more organizations in Northern Ontario.”
As an Executive Coach, Consultant and Leadership Trainer for his own business, Paquette Management Services, David supports organizations through strategic planning, implementing and evaluating projects and providing specialized training for managers and Boards of Directors. “The key priorities to keep in mind when being a leader are simple: be kind, help your team grow, and build people up. People can get caught up in being a supervisor instead of a leader, which can have a negative impact on workplace relationships. It’s important to listen to your employees, encourage their feedback and learn from them if you want to thrive as a team and as an organization.”
David is also the author of his own book, How to Be a Great Leader: 7 Steps to Success for CEOs, Executives and Senior Managers, and offers a management course which provides advice to leaders on how to implement the 7-Step Guide outlined in his book. He will also soon be launching his Executive Accelerator Coaching Program, a virtual coaching program aimed at helping aspiring executives become high performing leaders and fast-track their careers. He believes that creating more competent and confident leaders contributes to building more productive and happier workplaces. His main goal is to help managers become more effective leaders and get improved results in the workplace. He loves to help his clients move ahead quickly and achieve their big goals.
In addition to being a business owner, David and his wife Stephanie are the proud parents of three sarcastic boys who continue to make life interesting for them as they each move ahead in their lives. “At the end of the day I hope that I have instilled in my kids the importance of being passionate about what you do, working hard and going after what you want,” says David. “It’s about putting the work in, being a good person and leading by example. We are all a work in progress, so do your best and don’t be too hard on yourself. Have fun, enjoy the ride and add something to the universe by being of service to others.”