September 10, 2021 - One on One
In conversation with Anne-Marie LaBerge, Senior Vice-President, Global Brands & Communication at BRP, a passionate manager driven by people and new challenges who believes int the importance of relevant, transparent, clear and concise communication.
1. Since you’ve been a manager, what have you learned about yourself?
That I was tougher than I thought! At BRP, I discovered my ability to transform and build… and then COVID arrived. For months I had a chance to really reflect on things. I thought I knew myself, but I realized that my courage, my ability to see the glass as half-full and my ability to support the team were strengths I’ve always had. With the crisis they’ve turned out to be even more solid.
My thinking is, resiliency is not just surviving a situation. Being resilient means continuing to build the company, the teams and your ability to lead, no matter what the circumstances or situation. Surviving is one thing, growing is quite another.
2. What was the most important innovation your organization developed during those trying times?
When I arrived at BRP five years ago, we had some work to do to really define what our mission and values were. There was no question of having formal meetings to explore the subject. We wanted to go directly into the field and meet with the teams to identify those traits we already shared. Today these traits have become our values: confidence, passion, ingenuity and determination. These values are alive and well, they make up our DNA, and they are what helped us overcome and continue to innovate during the pandemic.
BRP is a company that’s continuously innovating. Over the last five years we’ve launched a whole host of services and products. Despite the roller coaster ride the last few months, we were able to determine that power sports were the next new thing. We launched new products in every category and delivered record results. It’s really amazing to have done all that during a global pandemic. Our teams are true super heroes. Despite supply issues, our teams demonstrated ingenuity and we delivered on the promise we made to consumers.
3. What drives and inspires you every day?
Today and always it’s the people! I love people. I love investing in people, seeing them succeed and being there with them even when the going gets tough. It’s one of the ongoing rewards of working at BRP.
The other thing I find really energizing is change. Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to transform marketing, digital, the teams and give marketing a more global scope… plus a lot of other things that have made an impact at BRP. In five years, BRP doubled in size and revenue. We’re undergoing an incredibly fast transformation.
And finally, the thing that gets me going every morning is the desire to win!
You bet we’re competitive at BRP. Every employee is driven by the desire to win. We want to be on the winning team, to be best in class in every category. Whether it’s in terms of digital transformation, how we manage brands or the customer experience, we work hard every day to be the very best.
4. What does professional success mean to you?
Success to me means waking up every morning and being excited to be doing what you’re doing.
There’s nothing magical about success, it means being happy. Most of all, when a leader is happy their happiness rubs off on everyone. Today in my career I don’t do things because I have to do them but because I have a passion for doing them. Leaders have a direct impact on a team’s happiness index. Even when I’m not having the greatest day, I know that can have an effect on the teams, so I always keep a smile on.
5. What would you like to leave behind as Senior Vice-President?
I’d like people to remember the importance of relevant, transparent, clear and concise communication.
I’m convinced that to be a great leader you need to be a great communicator. And I don’t mean a great orator but someone who knows how to share the right information at the right time. Someone who knows how to have the hard but necessary conversations, who knows how to provide constructive feedback, and who sees the big picture. That’s the kind of approach I’d like to leave behind.
Another thing is a sense of humour. Over the past few years I realized how important it is to downplay a situation, to not take yourself too seriously, to be able to laugh at yourself. I’d like to think I bring a certain levity to work every day. It helps to manage stress and anxiety. Without that kind of good humour and humility, I couldn’t have taken on the biggest challenge of my career. I’m extremely proud of what BRP has accomplished and its promising future.
When you’re smiling outside, you’re smiling inside!
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