Robert Brault, an American operatic tenor, said that “having perfected our disguise, we spend our lives searching for someone we don’t fool.” I believe it’s true, I believe we take great care to perfect our disguise, and that it’s refreshing when we meet someone for the first (or 10th) time who listens, who feels genuine... someone who we can be authentic with. I also believe these authentic relationships form the cornerstone of most successful, purpose-driven organizations.
"If you want to be incredible, you must surround yourself with incredible people."
~ Grandpa Smith
My grandfather (while certainly NOT an operatic tenor) believed it too, and he famously told me that if I wanted to be incredible, I would need to “surround myself with incredible people”. Looking back, I’ve become incredible at very few things in my life, but his statement holds true in every case.
The problem is not our desire to build strong relationships (for personal or professional gain), the problem is that we’ve lost our way. Blame forced isolation caused by COVID-19, technology, the internet, modern procurement, social media or “young people”... the bottom line? As organizations attempt to navigate new ways to grow, we’ve lost the art of building, growing, and maintaining genuine connection. We’re off the path, and despite great intentions to build strategies, to plan and to grow, when it comes to marketing and sales - we wing it. And we hope. But another thing my grandfather used to tell me - “hope isn’t a strategy”.
For 20 years, Jared Smith, a Canadian-based business advisor, professional speaker, martial artist, and community ambassador, has been guiding various organizations across different industries. His most valuable contributions are in the realms of business development, relationship building, and growth strategy. Known for his work with purpose-driven leaders, organizations and social-impact projects, Jared has also cultivated other passions and is an accomplished adventure seeker, self-defense instructor, motivational speaker, and published author.
Jared was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, has won Entrepreneur of the Year Awards with BDC Canada and the Chamber of Commerce, and in 2016 he was recognized as one of Business in Edmonton Magazine’s Top 20 Business Leaders.
Jared has an intense interest in community-building. He is the Past-President of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (Edmonton Chapter), the Chair of the Edmonton Mayor’s Business Roundtable, sits on the Advisory Councils for the University of Alberta School of Business and the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and is a Lululemon Ambassador.
Jared loves traveling the world and seeking adventure with his wife Jessica and two children, Maddie and Kai, and he has a passion for fitness. He is a 3rd Degree Blackbelt in Karate, is an active boxer and he recently led, organized and endured a year-long training simulation with US Navy SEALs.