Taking the Leap

Sean Murray is the President and CEO of Advocate Printing and Publishing in Nova Scotia, Canada. Established in 1891 Sean highlights his family's journey and how his grandfather and father worked in, bought, and led this iconic Canadian business that has become a family business over time. Sean is in the Atlantic CEO Hall of Fame, was celebrated as one of Canada's 40 under 40 business leaders, and received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. He graduated from Pictou Academy, St. Mary's University, and the Harvard Business School Executive Program. He is the Chair of the Young President's Organization (YPO) Atlantic Canada and is the Director of YPO Canada.

Show Notes:
  • The importance of being a lifelong learner in your career.
  • How have print, distribution, fulfillment, and media changed over the years?
  • Advocate was established in 1891 with the oldest company founded in 1865.
  • The importance of succession planning in business but especially family businesses.
  • (24:30) How did Sean pivot his business over time due to changes and technology in the global economy? "We put the client's success before our own success."
  • (33:00) Why data is digital oil for the new economy.
  • Favorite Case at HBS?
    • Francis Frei and focusing on customer delight. What are you choosing to be good at? What are you choosing to be bad at? You can't be everything to everyone!
    • (36:00) What is the art of the possible?
    • Borris Groysberg and building teams and culture.
  • (40:00) "The Great Resignation" moved to "Quit Quitting," and now we are moving to the "Great Re-Imagining" as people rethink how they want to live life going forward.
  • "We are moving from work-life balance to life-work balance."
  • "As soon as people start making more we learned they want to work less." People want to be rewarded with free time not more overtime or increased salary. What people want is changing all around us.
  • (45:00) We are seeing on-shoring or re-shoring back to North America. This will have profound changes in our economy.
  • (52:00) "When in doubt, focus on incentives!" - Charlie Munger
    • Flexibility today matters more than financial incentives.
  • (55:00) Ranjay Gulati's book - Deep Purpose - The Heart and Soul of High-Performance Companies
  • (58:00) "We optimized for efficiency but not purpose and meaning!"
  • (59:00) Is "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" changing today? Do we need to reimagine this for a new global economy of an enlightened and empowered population?
  • "Careers may be in 3-year increments today instead of 20-year increments as in the past!"
  • (1:05:00) Advice for young people. Its all about soft skills and building your network. How are you making sure you are relevant in the conversation? How are you adding value? Don't focus on just doing tasks. Those will be automated away!
    • "Learn how to be an entrepreneur and intrapreneur! If you learn these skill sets, you will be extremely valuable!"
  • (1:09:00) "How do we change a ME economy to a WE economy?"
  • What has Sean learned are key attributes of being a good entrepreneur? You have to have passion, vision, and purpose! What is your risk appetite? Are you willing to be "all in" and risk it all to succeed? 
    • "Through failure comes learning." 
    • It's not all about you! You have to build a team. You have to have mentors and advisors. This will help you be successful and help you have a work-life balance.
  • Book Recommendations:
  • (1:24:00) - What would Sean say if he had the opportunity to give a State of the Union address to the Canadian people?

Creators & Guests

Robert Dickie
CEO, Author, Entrepreneur, Investor
Mitch White
Freelance Audio Engineer, 2011 Recording Connections Certified Audio Engineer
Tristin Dickie
Nashville Fellows Program 2022, Marketing Assistant for Affinity Technology Partners, Professional Photographer freelancer. Go VOLS!

What is Taking the Leap?

Taking the Leap Podcast hosted by Robert Dickie III discusses changes in our global economy impacting the way we work and live. For young professionals starting their careers, mid-career professionals navigating changes and late-career professionals thinking about starting an encore career, Robert and his guests discuss the global economy, technology, workplace developments, and all the latest changes impacting our professional lives.