Video Remarks by

The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

 Saturday, March 27, 2021


Future leaders of Manitoba, it’s a pleasure to join you electronically in a conference perfectly timed to help us feel the hope that this season brings.

As much as I’d love to be with you in person, just knowing that we have an up and coming generation of young leaders like you in our province puts spring in my step.

Leadership has long been a favourite subject of mine. I’ve had the good fortune to learn from great leaders in education and health, business and government, sports and culture, community building and compassion.

They have shown me that leadership is not a matter of what “position” you have; it’s a matter of what actions you take.

Leadership doesn’t depend on your ability to talk. It depends on your ability to listen.

And a leader isn’t something you “are” – it’s something you are always “becoming.”

It’s obvious to me, after reading the profiles on the CBC’s Future 40 website, that you are all becoming outstanding leaders in so many ways.

You are people who take action. You are people who listen.

I’m sure you didn’t start out on this path in life by saying “I’m going to become a leader.” You started out with a drive to learn and a passion for people. Those characteristics allowed you to find ways to lead – in your communities, your work places, in your relationship with the world at large.

With an age range from mid-20s to 40, you’re at different places on your leadership journey. Some of you have years of career development behind you and are moving into senior positions. Others among you are still just beginning in your chosen fields.

In the years ahead, you’ll all have opportunities to take on new challenges. You may be asked one day to join a board or take on a new committee responsibility or to head up some new initiative.

You may find the most powerful experiences in your life will come when you take on a challenge that stretches you – that draws on skills you didn’t even know you had. You may discover that other people see in you strengths you’ve never even considered.

You’ll find yourself increasingly in the position to influence and inspire others. You will find that even the smallest interactions can have a powerful, positive effect.

A few words, a simple action, a kind gesture – these can make somebody’s day. And they can encourage others to find their own strengths, abilities and passions.

It’s been said that a small child hears the word “no” up to 400 times a day. As we get older, we may not hear it quite so often, but we can carry that “no” with us everywhere.

On the other hand, the word “YES” is a much more powerful influence.

You’ve reached this point in your lives and careers because you’ve said “yes” to challenges and opportunities.

As you take on more leadership roles, you have the opportunity to spread that positivity and encouragement around.

By doing so you can keep sowing the seeds of hope, creation and growth, season after season, year after year.

Congratulations and may this conference inspire more life-affirming “Yes’s.”

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.