‘Leadership is about taking care of others’ says Meredith Powell

Meredith Powell is not only a successful business leader and entrepreneur, she has now made a career out of helping others succeed.

Powell has already bought three companies and she now uses that expertise to help other young entrepreneurs through The Next Big Thing, which she co-founded in 2013.

“We open up the doors to investment, we help introduce them to other leaders, and over the course of eight months, scale their business,” said Powell. “I also am a strategic adviser to other start-ups. So I have lots of cool companies that I am very excited about.”

Powell is also a mentor at Launch Academy and a director at Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

She is our second leader to be featured in the Global News and CKNW Leadership Series. She talks about the secrets of effective and impactful leadership.

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To achieve business success, Powell says it’s important to listen to your intuition.

“We’ve all had moments where we’ve had intuition about something and I find often, the biggest mistakes we make are fear-based decisions where we don’t listen to that intuition,” she says. “So I think that’s a really important thing, just to have a deep gut-check.”

“We have one life. I want to try. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? I’ll embarrass myself.”

What do you think makes a good leader?

“We’re looking for compassion, we’re looking for charisma, creativity, resilience, definitely,” says Powell. “You have to get used to hearing ‘no’.”

“But I would say there’s also a component that less talked-about around leadership and that’s this idea of giving back and paying it forward.”

Powell says at The Next Big Thing, paying it forward is part of their code of ethics.

“Leadership is about taking care of others,” adds Powell. “Sometimes with leadership we confuse it with authority, I think. Authority is one thing. We sometimes confuse achievement with fulfillment. They’re actually quite different.”


For anyone getting started in business, Powell says the number one book she recommends is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

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She also recommends watching Simon Sinek’s Ted Talks, which talks about what all great leaders have in common.

A number of other resources are also available at Meredith Powell’s website and on this Google Document.

WATCH: Web exclusive Q&A with Meredith Powell:

Global News and CKNW’s Leadership Series, presented by FortisBC:

Airs on BC1

  • Nov. 18 @ 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 19 @ 3:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 @ 11:30 a.m.

Airs on CKNW

  • Nov. 18 @ 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 19 @ 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 @ 3 p.m.

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