President of Hamilton Health Sciences speaks to Population Health Research Institute

Friday, February 19, 2016

Articulate a compelling vision and inspire your employees to believe in where your organization is headed. Create a culture of respect and be satisfied with nothing less than excellence.

  This is some of the advice Rob MacIsaac would give to aspiring leaders. The president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences was speaking at a leadership forum earlier this month at Mohawk College Enterprise (MCE), Stoney Creek Campus.   MacIsaac, who was also president of Mohawk College and mayor of the City of Burlington for three terms, was speaking on a panel with Michael Sanderson, chief, Hamilton Paramedic Service; Kelly McGiffin, president and CEO, FirstOntario Credit Union; and Fiorella Callocchia, HR/leadership consultant, HR Impact.   The forum was part of Future Ready Leadership, a program created and run by Mohawk College Enterprise (MCE). Future Ready Leadership is a series of customized leadership training sessions held one day each month, over eight months. Employees from Hamilton Health Sciences’ world-renowned Population and Health Research Institute are participating in this program, which helps develop emerging leaders and provides critical thinking skills, valuable insight and behaviours that will equip, prepare and address organizational change.   When discussing how leadership is different compared to past eras, McGiffin said successful leaders today are more engaged in their organizations. “They do what is best for the organization but they care about the people. They need to care about how the people feel about their roles and about their contribution,” McGiffin said. “It is a more holistic approach.” MacIsaac says there are three things every organization needs for success. People need to feel valued. People need to feel like they are part of the team and understand how their role contributes, and they need the tools to do their job.   And Sanderson says, that while you shouldn’t change who you are to fit a leadership style, it makes sense to use different methods. “You can approach certain people differently. You can change your style depending on that person’s ability and desire.”   Callocchia stressed the importance of soft skills, like communication and managing people.   “At first, I overestimated the importance of technical competency,” she said. “I learned that your emotional intelligence is more important. There are a lot of smart people out there. You need people skills.”   Mohawk College Enterprise (MCE) prepares people and companies with the skills and expertise required to succeed in today’s fast-paced world. For information, visit or contact Dianne Jones at