Mark Walden is a interesting and unique combination of a banker and an entrepreneur. He also spent time in the Canadian military. He is the Co-Founder of canada2100, a company that lends money help build innovative Canadian companies.
I interviewed Mark for Journey To Success Radio. My colleague at TechBlocks, a technology consultant in the Toronto area, Peter Goral, joined me as a co-host for the show. Peter and Mark are long time friends.
From November 2005 until March 2014 Mark Walden had the great fortune to work for two of the best companies in Canada, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Bank of Montreal (BMO).
this time he met a lot of great people, many who he is blessed to now call
friends. In 2007 he co-founded The Treble Victor Group (3V), a vibrant business
network of ex-service (military) leaders. He had the honour and privilege to
serve as President and Chair of 3V for the first 6 years of its life and work
with a talented group of volunteer members (leaders!) to grow the organization
nationally. Since March 2014 he has done contract work through his personal
company, assisting a small Toronto-based firm with business development.
Mark is head down with his other co-founders building and growing canada2100 as well as working with his co-founders and a talented team of individuals to grow unwalleted, which has been growing its international membership base steadily since it was launched on the app store (July 2013) and Google play (February 2014) with $0 marketing spend.
Mark also dedicated 15 years serving in the Canadian Forces as an infantry officer, with the Royal Canadian Regiment, and on exchange to the British Army with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In May 1998 Mark was awarded a commendation for leadership on a military Operation by the British Army and in July 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada.
Another start-up venture Mark is involved with is unwalleted which allows enterprises and retailers to issue non-payment cards (gifts, loyalty, membership) digitally and allows consumers to connect with their favorite brands and venues with their smartphone and eliminates the need to carry plastic cards with them all the time.
1) Leadership is a critical ingredient to high performing teams.
2) Mission Focus is critical to aligning team members and getting things done. It is a key driver to setting priorities and helping make tough decision around the same.
3) Shared values are a critical to an organization's culture and to the tone or vibe of an organization.
4) Attitude trumps everything, I would rather take a person with no experience and a positive attitude on my team than a person with a tonne of experience and a crappy attitude.
5) Expect the unexpected as you execute your plan. There is a saying in the military that "no plan survives first contact with the enemy", flexibility, adaptability and agility of team members is critical.
6) Balance is very important in every thing we do, if you don't have it a lack of balance will become your limiting factor or Achilles Heal.