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7 Questions on Leadership with Stella Johnny

Name: Stella Johnny

Title: Semi-retired

Organisation: Individual

First Nations Elder of Cowichan Tribes. Completed Bachelor of Arts Degree, First Nation s Studies Major, Masters Education Degree, Leadership, life skills certification, 15 year’s employment readiness Counselor, 20 early education. 40 years Cultural and Traditional consultant, Certified Therapeutic Touch Consultant .

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Stella's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

To be heard, believed, and to understand the knowledge shared.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

As a cultural participant, I was trained to gain knowledge and as a preschool teacher: I was trained to take the lead. Learning to share knowledge was witnessed @ each Cultural event. Repetition was key to our building confidence and sharpening our choice of words. Stepping into Colonial world meant graduation of school, then continuing to advanced learning to compliment our Cultural ways. As a female, this was frowned on, to have a voice in the community. But is now acceptable with hesitation. Leaving culture and traditional ways came with sacrifices personally.

But, strengthening my skills complimenting our cultural ways is a bonus.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Knowing my expectations and deadlines are important.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Learning our Language takes time but has to happen, regardless of gender or age.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Tony Tobbins has impacted my way of thought and choice of words.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Listen, patience and ask questions from Mature Leaders. Keep an opening mind to accept learning opportunities as the arise. Notes are important, as reminders of your experience. Carry a small notebook for notes. Never say “I know”… it shuts The leaders sharing.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Repetition is important to carry knowledge forward to when you have to share with your future leaders. Our children watch and learn from you. Remember this.

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