Canada Wide Media chairman and CEO Peter Legge with special guest David Foster at the 2017 Top 100 event
As our 30th Top 100 event approaches next month, Canada Wide Media chair and CEO Peter Legge looks back on some standout interviews he’s conducted with B.C.’s biggest business players at the annual gathering. This year he will add the venerable Jim Treliving, co-owner of T&M Group of Companies and Dragons’ Den judge, to the list
CHAIR + CEO, JIM PATTISON GROUP
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Jimmy told a story of visiting one of his supermarkets on Vancouver Island. He noticed how clean and shiny the floors were, but yet they weren’t slippery. So he said to the general manager, “Who’s responsible for this?” He brought the janitor over, and I don’t think the janitor really knew who he was talking to. Because Jimmy said, “How do you make the floors so spotless, so shiny, so clean, and yet they aren’t slippery? They are the finest in all my stores.” And the guy said to Jimmy, “Well, I don’t listen to head office.” And Jimmy turned to the audience and said, “Every single one of you can do one thing better than someone else.”
TAKEAWAY: Your mission in life is to find out what that one thing is and be the very best at it.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER + PHILANTHROPIST
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Joe said, “Take a piece of paper, and draw a straight line from one side of the sheet to the other, as straight as you can. And on the left side of the line, put the age you were when you were born. On the right side of the line, put the age you think you’ll be when you meet your maker.” Most people put 85. So zero to 85, that’s called your Runway of Life. About 4,400 weeks, depending on leap years. Or is it? “Now what I want you to do is mark your current age,” he said. “Let’s say you’re 60. From 60 back to zero is prologue, you can’t change it; you can learn from it, but you can’t change it. So your Runway of Life is actually 60 to 85. You’ve got 25 Christmas dinners left, 25 AGMs, 25 summers. And what are you going to do with it?”
TAKEAWAY: God put you on the runway, and God takes you off. What you do on it is up to you.
CEO, LUVO; FORMER CEO, LULULEMON ATHLETICA
MEMORABLE MOMENT: What I try to do with these interviews is have four or five lunches or meetings with the subject to get to know them. And I get them to tell me what they don’t want me to ask them. So she said, “Well, I don’t want you to talk a lot about my relationship and experience with Chip Wilson.” But as we went through the month of interviews, I said to Christine, “Well, I’m going to have to ask you at least one question about Chip, because that’s what the audience is going to expect me to do.” So I asked her what it was like working with Chip Wilson. And she said, “It’s like driving a Ferrari with your mother-in-law in the back seat.”
TAKEAWAY: Find a mother-in-law you can live with.
MUSICIAN, PRODUCER + SONGWRITER
MEMORABLE MOMENT: He told a story of when he was lecturing music students at the University of Victoria, and he had a little piano in front of him. And at the end of his talk, a girl near the front put up her hand and said, “Mr. Foster, I wish you could have heard my sister sing and play the piano. If you heard her, you would have recorded her and maybe we could have all made some money.” Her sister lived in Toronto, and David goes, “Well, you should have had your sister fly out on a red-eye Air Canada last night, sat in the front row and asked to come up here. I would have had her sing and play. And if she’s as good as you say she is, who knows?”
TAKEAWAY: Everybody laughed, and he said, “If you’re going to make it in this business, you better learn to sacrifice.” And that’s true of any business; you’ve got to sacrifice monthly, weekly or daily.
The 30th annual Top 100 event featuring Jim Treliving takes place on Thursday, June 20, at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, starting at 11 a.m.