10-MINUTE MANAGER: Ian Blanchard
ARE YOU WHERE you’ve always wanted to be?
Yes, I am. I had a desire to be a chief executive officer at Cable & Wireless and this was accomplished when I became the youngest CEO of C&W, Dominica. Along that journey, I discovered my passion for people and business. Now, I’m living my purpose and helping people and organisations tap into their highest potential and make it a reality.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
Getting leaders to see that people are the foundation of everything in life and business. As leaders, we must recognise that leadership is about people. And while we may see this as a soft skill, for any business to thrive, you need to ensure that the leader/owner/visionary understands first themselves and leads themselves, then care for and do the same for the people they lead – and help them provide their product and or service – and last, but by no means least, the people they serve; their customers/clients.
What is your biggest life challenge?
I have a passion for helping men fulfill their God-given responsibility as fathers and leaders in their homes; helping them to recognise and live up to their responsibility as leaders and see the impact they have on their children and the next generation of leaders.
When you look to the future, what do you see?
I see a bright future, where the Caribbean takes full advantage of a connected world and gets back to the foundational principles and values that created strong families and even stronger communities and countries.
What is your favourite pastime?
I love playing sports. I believe both team and individual sports are key to learning key lessons in life. I played football at a national level and really learnt the value of discipline and how people together can accomplish so much more. Individual sports have taught me the importance of a positive mindset and visualisation in achieving success.
What is your favourite meal?
Rice and peas, barbecued baby back ribs or chicken.
On Saturday nights, where are you likely to be?
With family and friends or, once a month, with a group of young adults discussing key issues of life, love, and faith.
What upsets you the most?
People who are wasting their ability and potential. I believe that every one of us has a God-given purpose and destiny. It is heartbreaking when I see people who are talented and can contribute so much more, living below their ability. My life’s purpose and mission is to change that for as many persons as I can.
What is your guiding philosophy?
If I help people get what they want, then I’ll get what I want. My mission, therefore, is to ensure that I add value to the people I meet – that we’re both better for the interaction and engagement.
If you had the chance to manage Barbados for a day, what would you do?
That’s a tough one. A day is really insufficient time. However, I would spend the first part of the day with the key stakeholders within the public service and Cabinet on the need for them as leaders to take time to build the capacity of the people they lead and manage, and giving them the tools to accomplish this first for themselves and their families. For the second half of the day, I would pull together key business leaders to discuss and create a 25-year National Development Plan for Barbados. I would then have a national address in the evening sharing a vision of the future and path to that vision, with a challenge to move past being consumers and inspire them to leave their mark on history.