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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

Monday morning inspirations

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Sean Hanlon, CEO of Dillon Consulting.

I’ve had the good fortune to meet, and then get to know, a leader by the name of Sean Hanlon. Sean is the CEO of Dillon Consulting, an employee-owned professional consulting firm with 20 offices and more than 900 employees across Canada.

We’ve had many great discussions over these last many months on so many fronts, including navigating change, on leadership, and on engaging your people. What has struck me about Sean is how genuine he is, how much he cares.

At the start of each week, he sends off his “Monday Message” to his employees, and it is far from your typical corporate missive. It’s not chock full of talk about sales targets, corporate goals, benchmarks.

It’s most often a deeply personal reflection, intended only to provoke thought or to inspire. I still remember one from a couple of months ago, sharing how he had been revisiting The Optimist’s Telescope by Bina Venkataraman.

From the heart

“As I was flipping through the book, I found a few old boarding passes from the days of yore when I was on a plane six to eight days a month. Seeing these boarding passes reminded me of how much reading I did when I was travelling,” Sean wrote. “At the time, I failed to see the value I was getting from it when I was in the midst of the drudgery of business travel. That time to pause and think was, and is, quite valuable.”

He went on to explore the concept of optimism, and the idea of the “Positive Lens.”

“It is the orientation that looks for opportunity and possibility in situations and people, where most others only see adversity, crisis and failure,” he wrote. “It is different from being irrationally optimistic. You can both acknowledge the reality of the situation, and look for the opportunity inherent in it.”

Sean’s message was simple, and it came from the heart.

Not afraid to show vulnerability

And, for me, it spoke volumes about who he is – as a person and as a leader.

In my view, some of the very best leaders today are not afraid to show their vulnerability, to reveal what makes them human, to share insights and lessons. Through their words and deeds, they demonstrate that this is a journey we’re all on together.

Today, emerging from the trauma of a prolonged pandemic, it is more important than ever.


Dave Veale Founder & CEO Vision Coaching

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