David Singh – The Leader

Who are you?

Who I am is the output of what I beleive, which is a deep conviction in the power of people. I’ve been fortunate to have grown up in great communities, known and worked with great leaders, and been admitted to and learned from great insitutions and organizations. My life’s mantra is to be fresh, bold, and positive. By day I’m a strategy consultant for Deloitte in Toronto. By day AND night, I’m a young leader who loves to connect with people who are passionate about what they are doing and where they are going.

What do you do for fun?

I read, which is in alignment for my dictionary definition (see below – thanks Matt!). But I also love to take a saturday afternoon, several cups of coffee, and my sketchbook to litteraly draw out business plans and concepts. Many are far-fetched. Correction: all them are far-fetched and aspirational. The more I learn about business the more I know there are no rules. There is only conviction of purpose, which is fueled by passion. So I love to sit, draw, and drink! As Thomas Friedman said in The World is Flat ”It’s better to have more dreams than memories!” (This is definitely a great book to check out!)

What is your favourite community and why?

I’ve got two: my close mastermind group and the Stryde community. Two essential books I think every human needs to read are: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Who’s Got your Back by Keith Ferrazzi. These books are rich with advice. Most important of the advice shared, in my opinion, is the essential need for all of us to have a close group of trusted advisors that we meet with regularly to share, discuss, and track our goals. Take a moment and think about these questions:

1) Do you have goals?

2) Have you written them down?

3) Have you shared them with three of your closests friends?

4) How many true friends and life-line relationships do you have in your life that you are totally open with and implicitly trust?

While I hope the answers are: yes, yes, yes, and many. That’s most likely not the case. These two books will inspire and teach you how to do this. Do not pass go. Go and buy these books!

My second community doesn’t exist, but it will soon. Insert my visionary mindset here. Over the past 6 months myself and Daneal Charney have teamed up to write Hitting Stryde: A Gen-Y career Survival Guide. We’ve got very grandiose social media plans, but wanted to start by sharing 110 proven tips that will help young leaders navigate their early career. Our hope is to share our thoughts in tandem with engaging young leaders around the world about what inspires them, where they need help, and where they’ve achieved success. We are just building our digital footprint so stay tuned to www.stryde.ca

for more information.

What is your superpower?

Packing way too many things into my day. Who needs sleep anyways!

How do you use it to build community?

I think there are two ways to build community: actively and passively. If you are actively building community you are organizing, arranging, and leading community organizations and events. In the later, you are attending events, networking, and adding fuel to the fire. The world needs active leaders, but most importantly, as Robin Sharma has written in his new book The Leader without a Title, the world needs leaders without a title who relentlessly show-up at their best. As I transition into the work place, a new city, and larger social network my goal is show-up everyday showcasing my best. I do this at morning breakfasts, morning meetings, lunches and coffees with colleagues, events at night, dinners with friends and mentors, and late night phone calls with students who are needing help in their careers. At times I’m an active leader, but the majority of my day is spent ‘just showing-up’ and I love it.

My three favourite things about David are…

1. Leading without title. I met David when he was one of my students at the University of British Columbia – quickly, I because one of his students.  Whether it was building consensus amongst his classmates, recommending a few books or connecting me with interesting and/or important people, Mr. Singh was a true leader who stood out from everyone else. Trust me when I say that he’s one to watch in the next 10 years and beyond, as his potential is just beginning to be realized.

2. Trendspotter. There are some people out there who know what’s cool even before the people who create said cool thing know how cool it’s going to be. Whether it’s Twitter, an innovative new graduate business program, MARS, or wearing jeans with a tuxedo, David reveals trends or – from time to time – sets them himself.

3. The oozing of charismatic creativity. The idea is a simple one: mentally record the “touch points” of your conversation with someone, flip through the filing cabinet that is your brain until you find a book that is relevant to that person’s interests/ideas/needs/career, and send them a copy with a meaningful hand-written note that candidly acknowledges the importance of the conversation. David’s mastery of this powerful relationship-building strategy had such an impact on one of his fellow alumni that I was recently sent this note below:

da·vid singh /   Show S[day-vid sing]

(verb): To craftily mention a literary work in casual conversation upon meeting an acquaintance, then giving the referenced literature upon next encounter as a gift.
(noun): Craftiest networker this side of the Atlantic.

Use it in conversation, write it a couple of times into the Gumboot and maybe it’ll catch on. Imagine someone is looking to network with you and all you say is ‘look me up… in the dictionary.’ Talk about a career advisor’s fantasy.

The thing about David Singh is that he makes the unreal, well, real. Be sure to pencil this one into your dictionaries right now.

…as told by John Horn