Steve Leslie is the type of leader who genuinely cares about what helps people become successful in their roles. This quickly becomes apparent when you sit down and talk with him about his passion for leadership development. And that is just one of the many reasons we are excited to welcome Steve as one of our newest Crestcom franchisees in the Toronto, ON area.
“I have spent just about my entire career as an executive, and what I know for sure is that strong leadership matters.” explains Leslie. “Those leaders who have the right tools and training make a tangible difference in the business. I’ve had to develop, restructure and replace leadership positions in my career, and when a strong leader was in place performance measurably improved.”
Steve Leslie began to feel the urge to start his own business about five years ago. As he researched different business models, he came across Crestom and realized it was something a little bit different. “It’s way beyond typical leadership training. It’s developing strong leaders over time,” says Leslie.
Crestcom’s philosophy of developing leaders—not just training managers—is not an accident. Everyone has sat through a leadership (or sales) training class for a day or a weekend and felt energized by the experience. But what happens when you return to the office the next day? The next week? How about a month or a quarter out? All that training has gone out the window.
With Crestcom, franchisees have the unique opportunity to make a lasting, tangible difference in the organizations they work with—and in people’s lives. As he continued his evaluation of the Crestcom business model, Steve was impressed by the brand’s global presence and the excellent content. He liked that all the modules are developed and led by world-class experts in the various competencies of management and leadership.
“I also really like the venue and debrief model of the business,” explains Leslie. “It’s a great approach to bring leaders from various organizations together in one venue for the in-class sessions. Then do team debriefs with participants and senior leadership of each company to really highlight the value of the program to their business.”
As an accomplished business leader himself, it’s exciting to receive such a review from Leslie. His education accolades include St. Mary’s University, Duke, Stanford and Harvard; and a distinguished career in senior executive leadership with companies such as Xerox, Softchoice and TELUS.
“I like to engage and inspire people in a true vision, in a greater purpose. And I like to create a fun environment that allows for levity and transparency,” Leslie describes his leadership style. “When those things are working well, people are able to establish trust. They are more engaged in driving and supporting a culture of accountability.”
Knowing this, it’s not surprising to learn that he doesn’t hold the normal corporate executive leaders as his number one leadership role model. Leslie’s role model is someone who has inspired him since he was young, Terry Fox. “Terry Fox has been a special role model to me since I was very young. To me, he personifies courage and leadership.”
Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete who lost one of his legs to osteosarcoma cancer in the 80’s. To raise money and awareness for cancer research, Fox embarked on a run across Canada, running a marathon every day. While his illness, unfortunately, forced him to suspend the run and ultimately cost him his life, Terry Fox continues to inspire and a foundation in his name continues to advocate for cancer research.
As Steve Leslie works on building and growing his new Crestcom franchise, the thing he’s really enjoying is working with his clients and individuals to help businesses succeed. He loves the strong sense of the higher purpose that he gets to work toward when he’s working with clients, especially as they go through the program and begin to experience the results of their personal and professional growth.
Steve’s advice to prospective Crestcom franchisees? First, you really have to love the leadership development space. Second, give yourself the time to learn. “There is a big learning curve as you come into it,” Leslie explains. “Crestcom has a lot of content and good tools that will help you be successful, but you have to learn how to use them.”
He also encourages new franchisees to make sure they are very active in their marketplace, taking the time and energy required to focus on the business development side. “The more time you spend making connections and developing the business, the more referrals you will be able to drive from your base,” Steve advises.
Welcome to Crestcom, Steve! We’re so excited to have you on our team!