Interviewee Name: Mireille Landry, President & Managing Director
Company Name: Solution ML Limited
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Quebec City, moved a couple of times – Montreal, New Brunswick, and Toronto. I married my high school sweetheart and we have one daughter who is 21 years old. I had 21 years of successful corporate leadership career and became a new entrepreneur last year.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Mireille Landry: I want it all. I expect it all. My family is extremely involved, more so today, in my professional life, whether they are advisers to me or I share ideas and thoughts with them. My daughter is for example my webmaster, so she contributes in my business in the way that she can. My husband is a superb supporter. I couldn’t do without him. Even more so now that I am a business owner I would say my personal and professional life are more integrated than it was before. I can’t say I was very good at that in the past, in the first part of my life.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- I truly believe that you can have it all. I know that’s counterintuitive to what a lot of people say. You can have it all but you just have to be able to prioritize.
- Networking is really important and it is important to nurture and take care of your network over the years.
- You have to define success. The way that each one of us defines success can be different. Measure your success against your definition of it, not against someone else’s definition of success.
- Have fun and be passionate in everything that you do. When you show up, you show up at one hundred percent. So if you are at a family event you need to be there 200 percent, all of you have to be there. It’s the same when you are in a business setting.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Mireille Landry: I love to golf. I’m an avid reader. I try to walk with my dogs every day. Depending on how much down time I have, if it’s a lengthy down time I love to travel. I call my parents who are great advisors to me. It’s nice to catch up with them because they live far away.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Mireille Landry: I like to get in the hot tub, or go biking, or do something like that, and that usually gets my wheels turning. I never sit down to generate ideas. That doesn’t work for me. I almost have to write down what I am looking for, what’s the topic of the ideas, and then I need to let my mind loose and then ideas pop up. The hot tub one works really nicely.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Mireille Landry: I have many. I think the one I like the most I put it up on my website on the first page. “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails,” and my husband and I both love that quote because it reminds us that we don’t control what happens to us, but we control how we react to it. And it’s just a different way of saying it. We are sailors, we love to sail so that works out really well for us.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Mireille Landry: For me success is enjoying what I do, and being able to do what matters. What matters to me is being there for my 21 year old daughter, being there for family. Success from a professional standpoint is doing something that I adore, that I feel that I can contribute, but being able to balance effectively my time among all the different priorities. Life is too short not to enjoy what we are doing.
Avil Beckford: In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Mireille Landry: You need to set goals. You need to plan your goals from all areas of your life: professional, personal, spiritual, health, all these different slices of the pie. You plan what you want to accomplish but allow life to steer, and accept what is being put in front of you and try to open doors that instinctively you would not have gone through. Take a little bit of risk. You never know what may be on the other side of that door. So the planning is important because without planning you will get nowhere. But give some leeway in how you get there.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Mireille Landry: I always established goals – short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. I had visions and most of the time I would call it visions because they were visuals more than words. I worked hard and long and that life lesson of allowing life to steer sometimes and take a door that you wouldn’t usually take. It’s not something I did in the past, but it’s something that I’m doing now. Pick yourself up when you fail, and learn from that and keep going.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Mireille Landry: Find mentors, gender-balanced mentors, and it’s okay to have more than one mentor. It’s good to have different types of mentors. Read in your field, and try to contribute even if you’re just starting out. There are always ways to contribute to your field whether it’s by volunteering – events, activities. Be a continuous learner and be a good person and give back.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
- Martin Luther King: I would like him to tell me his dreams. I’ve read his book but I’d like for him to share with me his dream and how he felt about it today, and what he would do differently going forward.
- Nelson Mandela: I would love to hear how he kept his spirit, and how he stayed motivated and grounded all those years.
- Shania Twain: I would love to talk about her recipe for staying grounded. She seems to be very approachable and casual. She protected her personal life and I’d love to learn lessons from her.
- Betty DeVita: She was a speaker at Women of Influence luncheon recently. She was at Citibank for the longest time and now she’s the president of MasterCard in Canada. I thought she was a very inspirational speaker, one of the best, if not the best that I have seen at the Women of Influence luncheon, and I’ve gone to many. I would love to tell her how great a speaker she was, and dig a little bit more into how she’s personally achieving balance in prioritization. Not everything has equal time, but she is juggling different priorities and I’d love to talk more about that.
- Dalai Lama: I would try to gain pieces of wisdom from him, learn more on his philosophy on how to achieve peace of mind and how he does it, always being so serene.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Mireille Landry: If I picked only one book it would be The Dream, the Martin Luther King speech which inspired a nation.
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why?
- I would like the have The Voyage of the Northern Magic: A Family Odyssey, which is a sailing book. It’s an inspirational story of a family who left everything they had and went traveling (husband and wife with their three children). I think it’s a wonderful and inspiring journey of a family living life together in a very different way.
- I really enjoyed the series of books from Marcus Buckingham: First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently; Now, Discover your Strengths, he’s got a few, but I think I’d pick the first one, First, Break All the Rules.
- I think I’d bring Igniting the Third Factor: Lessons from a Lifetime of Working with Olympic Athletes, Coaches and Business Leaders by Dr. Peter Jensen, which is about the core practices of exceptional leaders. He’s got so many great stories in there from the locker room because he was a coach for the Olympic hockey team. He’s got lots of athletes and business leaders stories.
- Another book that transformed me which I really liked is The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. It’s inspirational. It’s about transforming your personal and professional life so it challenges your assumptions. It gets you into a better mindset from where you are today. It’s certainly a worthwhile and inspiring read.
- An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude: It is a delicious chronicle of leaving the type-A lifestyle behind — and discovering the seductive secrets of life in the Caribbean. Who hasn’t fantasized about chucking the job, saying goodbye to the rat race, and escaping to some exotic destination in search of sun, sand, and a different way of life? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve did just that. In the mid 1990s, they were driven, forty-something professionals who were desperate for a break from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. So they quit their jobs, rented out their house, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat called Receta (“recipe,” in Spanish), and set sail for the Caribbean on a two-year voyage of culinary and cultural discovery.
Avil Beckford: What one music CD and movie would you like to have with you (on the deserted island) and why?
Mireille Landry: The music CD would be a medley of jazz artists. I love the movie, The Notebook. It’s just such a beautiful love affair. It’s sad how it ends, but we will all end up like that. I just think it’s such a beautiful love story.
If you cannot view Louis Armstrong – Hello Dolly Live YouTube video click here.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Mireille Landry: Life itself! I think life is beautiful. Being able to contribute, being able to make a difference, and depending on the season, enjoying small things like trees coming alive again, excites me about life – the small things we take for granted. Our ability to be free here in Canada, freedom of speech, or our ability to be who we want and being able to dream, reach out and achieve those excites me.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Mireille Landry: When I can I take time to travel with my best friend, my husband, and just enjoy each other’s company. Also living simply, enjoying the simple things in life such as a walk in the woods.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Mireille Landry: I would wish for a lot of things. I would wish for having greater wisdom to make the right decisions in my life and to guide other people with that same wisdom.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Mireille Landry: I’m happy when I make a difference.
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