I was raised by my grandparents on the Squamish Reserve (BC). I got my first management job when I was 25 years old with an Aboriginal organization that had just been awarded a province-wide contract.
I managed a $600,000 budget and thought I had the best job in the world!
Everything about management excited me. At 25, I had found My Calling. Within 18 months, I quadrupled our contract size; my employer was pretty happy. However, I had no formal training in management or business. And I really wanted that.
In 1991, I left a pretty secure job and went to university.
Nine years later, I had a Bachelors Degree, a Masters Degree and completed the coursework for a PhD – all in Business.
I started Andrew Leach & Associates in 1999. I work exclusively with First Nation organizations, helping them with their most pressing management challenges.
I have worked for about 200 of the 600 First Nations in Canada. Initially I did a lot of training. I love teaching.
Then I got into meeting facilitation. I have been hired to facilitate hundreds of meetings. Then change management. This is my bread and butter. Then business development. I’ve made (and saved) my clients millions.
Along the way, I have acted as an interim manager, for organizations in transition. One interim job lasted over 5 years. During that time, I increased our asset base to $ 500+ million – a 1500 % increase. All important and interesting work.
Since I started this work, one thing stands out. First Nations are now involved in much bigger and better opportunities; however, we still lag with our management capacity.
Costly staffing blunders, missed economic opportunities, weak strategic planning and execution. These mistakes are costing us billions.
Today, I work mostly with Chiefs and Councils and senior managers on these kinds of issues.
So if it feels like your organization is flying by the seat of its pants, it’s time to give me a call!