#StandApart: Linsey Ferguson, VP Partnerships, Alpine Canada Alpin

Work/life balance rarely comes easily: Work often dominates free time, hobbies get swept under the rug, and going to the gym takes a hit for working late.

But Linsey Ferguson, VP of Partnerships at Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA), has created a perfect marriage of work and play for herself. Her love for alpine skiing—which she competed in internationally for 8 years—goes hand-in-hand with her current work with Canadian Olympian and national team athletes. She brings to the table a comprehensive understanding of the athlete component (the unending physiotherapy appointments, the strict caloric intake, the hours of ‘practice makes perfect’) but also her 11 years’ marketing/biz expertise as VP of Client Services. She was deeply entrenched in the marketing scene at BOOM! (a company name unsurprisingly similar to her leadership style), she’s bringing her international skiing experience to Canada, and now is one of our #StandApart Torontonians.

A phone call with Linsey is akin to a shot of adrenaline. She emanates energy and positivity—it’s contagious. This #StandApart factor has opened doors for her. However, it is her goal-orientation, grit and determination that has caused her to deliver amazing results. And, this is why she has earned a spot on our #StandApart list.

1. Describe your current role in 140 characters or less…

Creation of ownable marketing campaigns with focused content creation, driving partner value, gen pop awareness and $ generation for Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA).

2. One word that best describes how you work.

Fast.

3. What is your superpower? (What is the one thing you do you do better than most?)

I wear many hats at the same time, transferring from situation to situation, scenario to scenario, challenge to challenge and solution to solution, while keeping things moving forward for our clients, our teams and my family.

4. Intentionality or Happenstance? Which has played a greater role in building your career path?

Most definitely happenstance. In my 4th year of University, I coached 12-year old ski racers at my local ski cub to make some extra money, and stay connected to my passion of ski racing. One of the parents was a partner of an integrated marketing agency and he scooped me up before I could hit Wall Street. That was the beginning of my marketing career.

“A million people ‘could’ do the role, but only a select few are going to bring something unique and different that becomes a catalyst for growth, opportunity, and change.”

5. Where does your motivation come from? Does motivation come easy for you or is it work/discipline to sustain it?

I’m an athlete at heart and I’m constantly challenging myself and those I work with to exemplify a sense of pride in everything we do. My motto – ‘if you’re not proud or believe what you’re producing, don’t sell it’.
My motivation comes from within, it’s like I’m programmed to search for success, to be the best and to deliver the best for my clients, my team and my family. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so motivated as I find that I could likely stop & smell the roses a little more often. It’s something I strive to do daily.

6. Have you ever watched someone sabotage his or her own career? If so, how?

Sadly I have. It still bothers me to this day to know that someone with so much talent could be so blind to what they did to destroy their potential for the greatness they so passionately wanted to experience. It was simple – they stopped listening to others and solely looked inward.

7. Can you point to any career/life turning points that either a) provided clarity or b) served as a springboard/accelerator/ launching pad

My turning point was when I received the opportunity to work with an executive coach. I’ve always been the coach, and I’m known as ‘the coaches coach’, so when I got the chance to be coached, it was a really amazing thing.
Through life’s journey, you gain so many lessons, many of which you don’t realize until later on down the road. My executive coach unlocked those life lessons and turned on so many lights for me. She would argue they were already turned on…I just didn’t realize it.
I used to make decisions without understanding why, and she helped me to understand myself and the decisions I intuitively knew were right. For that, I am forever grateful.

8. When you look back over your career to date, what are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the impact I have had on others. Sometimes leadership can be a brutal job, one that can feel thankless at times. However, when those you have lead come around with genuine appreciation for all that you have done for them, the gratification makes it all worth it.
If those I work with and lead receive a promotion, I feel that I have done my job.
If I can help someone be a better person, this is a legacy I am proud to have.

9. We asked one of your past team members from @BOOM!, Andrew Gayle, what makes you #StandApart. Here’s what he said:

I would identify three qualities that separate Linsey from the masses: authenticity, perseverance and passion.

 

EVERYTHING Linsey does is tackled with these qualities and I can safely assume that these elements are what have made her successful throughout her career.

 

Authenticity: I understand that anyone can ‘act authentic’ , but with Linsey you truly get the sense that this is who she is all of the time whether at work with colleagues or at home with her friends and family. Her positive essence shines always through and she will NEVER hesitate to raise a hand to either lead or support.

 

Perseverance: Linsey comes from an athletic, sporting background and anyone that knows her can attest to the fact that she will stop at virtually nothing to accomplish a task whether it’s the planning of a party or the fabrication of a consumer pitch. Linsey knows no bounds and will work tirelessly to deliver great results to both her clients and her friends. You can take the woman out of the competition, but you can’t take the competitor out of the woman…

 

Passion: I would be hard pressed to say that Linsey isn’t in my top 5 list of passionate people that I’ve met throughout my carer. She exudes passion and a contagious energy that easily ‘riles up the troops’ when a task, project or just a moment of fun is on the horizon. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and ALWAYS leads by example. It is virtually impossible to be around her and not be positively affected by her spirit. She attacks life with gusto and imparts no limits on what can be done with a little care and a lot of effort. There is no better makeup of a leader than a leader that leads from the trenches.

9. You’re interviewing a candidate and there’s no doubt, they’ve got it. What ingredients were you looking for? When it comes to hiring, what does you/your organization consider the special sauce?

For me, competency and skill set are the cost of entry. Your resume is what gets you in the door. A million people ‘could’ do the role, but only a select few are going to bring something unique and different that becomes a catalyst for growth, opportunity and change – that’s what I’m looking for. Most of the time I’m not sure what that is until it’s in front of me – searching for that hidden gem is the exciting part of recruitment and hiring. I always ask a candidate how will they do things differently and in a way that drives excitement, energy and passion?
The special sauce is what I refer to as the ‘give a shit’ factor. Many people could do the role & they would care whole-heartedly. But I want someone who is invested in the role and themselves. They’re always thinking. Always searching for new and innovative ways to deliver everyday.

“If you’re not proud or believe what you’re producing, don’t sell it.”

10. Describe the best team you’ve ever led – one that was ‘firing on all cylinders’ – what made that team #StandApart?

The best team I have ever led was one where we all trusted each other, supported each other and believed in each other. We divided and conquered the jobs/tasks/projects, allowing each other to tackle the elements we were best suited to, as well as where our strengths shined. Some may not have had the most ‘sexy’ of roles, but their contributions were critical in the development final product.
What made that team stand apart was the inherent appreciation for each other and how each person cared for each other. It’s really about loving what you are doing, and loving who you are doing it with. If one team member needed help, we all put a hand in to help them along. That is true teamwork.

11. What devices/apps/tools form part of your regular routine?

My calendar and my mobile device. My life is linked to my calendar & it’s how I ensure I stay ahead of the game. All of my family events and requirements are in the calendar. My husband and I send meeting notices to each other constantly. Having two working parents is a juggling act, but one that can be done with an organized approach.

12. How “LinkedIn” are you? Do you use it? What role has networking played in your career?

LinkedIn for me is a platform to present myself professionally, create connections with like-minded business professionals and stay connected to those who come and go throughout my career. I use LinkedIn for business development, as well as to search for potential candidates I am looking to hire. Networking is a critical part of my career. You never stop networking, as you never know what each conversation will yield – and that’s an exciting part of my everyday!

13. If you could put one question on the list for our next #StandApart Marketer profile, what would it be? What do you want to know?

How do you give back to those who have helped accelerate or further your career unselfishly? Why do you think that is important?