Have you done that? Have you started being a board member?
L: Yes. I am on the board of a chemical business in the U.S., Pinova Holdings Inc., which is again, private equity-owned. The CICA which is now CPA Canada asked me a year ago to chair an advisory board for the organization. My role has allowed me to keep moving into leadership roles with organizations as opposed to just being the board member; I am asked to be the chair.
What is your desire now? Do you want to be a CEO again or are you going to do multiple directorships?
L: I am open to either. I haven’t ruled out going back.
What would be the right role? In terms of industrial chemicals again or could it be something else?
L: It is going to be industrial and that includes chemical. I was chairman of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and I think it always has been beneficial to be engaged with others for that very reason. You don’t want to be inward looking and too many executives will get caught because of time pressures. It doesn’t matter what the role is. Their entire life is their job and their family. Some don’t get that balance right. There has to be a third element to that, which is community. It’s not just that you are giving back to the community, one of the benefits of being involved, whether it is business or charitable. It also allows you to keep a perspective that you bring back to the job because you become more outward, as opposed to inward-focused. There is a huge danger, if all you have got is family and job, of just becoming too insular. As a CEO or as a senior executive in business, that’s one of the most important roles that PEO can play. The buck stops with you. You are making the final decisions on a number of things and your ego gets to you too. You think that there is no decision you can’t make. Then you get into a group like PEO and you think, “Gosh, I didn’t know that stuff.”
You also learn from others, in terms of what other people are doing. PEO and peer advisory bring two perspectives. One is it is a little bit like social media. You have got an opportunity to get exposed to things you normally wouldn’t get exposed to and you can get that through the organization. But, if you belong to a board like the CIAC that is industry-related and is important but you will not get a direct value to you and your performance as the CEO of your business.