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What Makes a Successful Leader

Growing from a small family business in glass operations to a diversified holding company 30 years later, Skidmore embodies the forward-thinking model at all times. The successful leadership teams over the last three decades understand that the effectiveness and performance of leaders themselves have a significant effect on profitability and employee engagement, which ultimately leads to the growth of the business. Alongside these touch points, Skidmore finds the following beliefs and practices also keep leaders evolving.

Behaviour forges your legacy

Effective and notable leaders keep a track of their choices, their behaviours, the growth and development of their relationships throughout their entire career. As they excel and become more prominent in a leadership role, their colleagues will remember that personal relationship and experiences more than the facts and figures. Conversely, additional studies have shown that employees who worked for low performing managers had low engagement and commitment scores. Great leaders make a great difference in business performance and forges one’s legacy.

Drive for results and inspire

A quality that successful leaders have is knowing the importance of leading with knowledge as well as inspiring others to learn for themselves. A collaborative approach also inspires the team and builds rapport as it creates synergy between each member and demonstrates strategic next actions to a common goal. This type of engagement and commitment to seeing results also provides joy and positivity for the team and overall offers a better working environment.

Strategic Perspective

Successful leaders are gifted with an entrepreneurial spirit, strong vision, a strategic perspective, and they implement steps to achieve business goals. They make it known to their team how their work makes a difference and how their efforts lead the business to success. In 1980, Skidmore’s own leadership led the company to keep our minds open for new opportunities beyond the automotive glass industry. At the time, our leadership saw promise in the wireless communications industry and created Speedy Cellular. We also acquired another communications company, Glentel. Further down the road, Skidmore’s third generation leader, Garry Skidmore, led business development with a strategic focus on growing our operations. It is this very entrepreneurial and strategic perspective that led us to diversify into retail, franchise and healthcare.

Great leaders make a great difference in business performance and forges one’s legacy.

Develops and supports others

Being a leader means recognizing that leadership isn’t about you. It’s about the people that you are leading. Successful leaders are committed to their team and their success. As a leader, you are a steward of your human resources. You are responsible for making your team more valuable through their development and growth. If you are the leader of a family legacy, it is your duty to ensure the growth of fellow family members in their roles. If you are the leader of a business team, you recognize the importance in helping your team develop new skills and abilities. Through a tailored approach, always encourage your team to learn from their mistakes and analyze their successes. Business reviews, executive coaching, and long-term planning are all great approaches to lead your people to growth and success.


Successful leaders create an organized and efficient business. They believe in their brand vision by demonstrating it and sharing their excitement with their team about it. Consider every team member’s strength and trust it by empowering them to focus on their skills to help be a large piece to the puzzle.

From our beginnings in glass operations, Skidmore’s seasoned leadership team now has expanded our expertise in acquisitions, growth and revitalization, and divestiture.

Committed and courageous

Strong leaders are committed to their role and know that they can’t serve others without taking care of themselves first. They show up to work clear minded with intent to tackle the day ahead. Leaders feel a sense of obligation and accept that expectations are higher for them. Successful leaders invest their time and energy to become better advocates through coaching or continuing education courses. They deal with issues head on, address and resolve conflicts, and uphold accountability for themselves along with everyone else.

Skidmore's Own

Skidmore’s own leadership team lives and breathes these values. Our CEO Allan Skidmore provides invaluable vision, leadership and strategic perspective to Skidmore Group. President Garry Skidmore has 23 years of hands-on operational experience in senior management, franchising, partnerships and sole ownership. As a leader, he provides investment direction, operational expertise and strategy to revitalization portfolio companies. Chief Financial Officer, Michael Darby, has been with us for over 15 years with experience operating, acquiring and divesting businesses. Chief Commercial Officer, Rick Christiaanse, has a breadth of experience working for multinationals and startups with a track record of driving profits and enterprise value.

Skidmore invests in business leaders with these qualities and family legacies. Contact us today to see how our leadership team can partner with yours to help you accelerate growth and master your industry.