BlackBerry Chairperson Barbara Stymiest says there’s no substitute for experience.
In an interview with the Richard Ivey School of Business about an upcoming book on leadership, called “Learning to Lead”, Stymiest says she has learned that building teams and making those teams work together is the most important thing a business leader can do.
Stymiest says her experience with government relations, branding and media relations has allowed her to integrate different perspectives, something she says she simply couldn’t have done as well in decades past.
“I sound very old now….” laughs Stymiest.
The 56 year-old Stymiest became chair of BlackBerry last January, in the midst of a period of massive tumult for the Waterloo-based company, which was then known as Research in Motion.
The company has since stabilized under the guidance of Stymiest and rookie CEO Thorsten Heins.
A chartered accountant, Stymiest was the first woman to head a major stock exchange, when she led the TSX before being recruited by the Royal Bank, where she was credited with raising that bank’s brand internationally. Stymiest has been named one of Fortune’s 50 most powerful women in business on three different occasions.
The book “Learning to Lead” will include interviews with Carol Stephenson, Dean of the Ivey Business School, Intact Financial CEO Charles Brindamour, and Eileen Mercier Chair Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.