Lisa Eyamie, Branch General Manager, on The Game of Business and Life
If you want to get something done, call Lisa Eyamie. From her background in project management and process improvement to her 20-year-long career as a competitive curler, Lisa’s focus has always been not just on setting goals but on taking the steps necessary to achieve them. Now, in her current role as Long View’s first female branch General Manager, she’s putting that dedication to work as she focuses on growth for her team, her clients, and her business.
On Getting Things Done
With a background in process improvement as well as competitive sport, Lisa knows better than most that when it comes to goal-setting, the journey is just as important as the destination.
“Focus is really important to me, making sure we execute on the things we say we’re going to do,” she explains. “It’s critical to prioritize and select the number of initiatives you can actually execute on in a given time frame.” In order to focus effectively on her team’s priorities, Lisa has gotten comfortable saying no to things that won’t move the needle. She explains, “It’s about being really aware of the priorities and the capacity that we have to execute on those priorities.”
With Lisa’s hugely varied workload, having this kind of laser focus is especially important. “As a general manager, there are so many things that I oversee and guide and direct,” she explains, “from people and opportunities around career progression and mentoring and coaching, through financials and how to create growth and profitability. I love it; variety is the spice of life!”
She also loves getting things done. “We discuss and set vision and strategy for the branch,” she says, “and my favorite part is the collaboration, and bringing it all together into an executable and measurable plan.”
On Sport and Business
Business is not Lisa’s only passion. During her time as a competitive curler, she helped take her team to the Scottie’s Nationals, and secured a spot twice in the Road to the Roar, an Olympic curling pre-trials event.
Lisa credits her background in sport with helping her gain the skills that she’s needed to succeed in business. Teamwork, meeting challenges head-on, and learning how to manage the highs and lows that come with winning and losing are all skills that Lisa acquired through sport. “Being an athlete also taught me about preparation, planning and setting goals,” she says. “It is key to focus on and do the things that are within your control. Not everything will go as you’ve planned, not everything will go your way, even if you’ve completely prepared and practiced. How you act and react to situations is what is important.”
As an athlete and a business leader, Lisa’s approach is the same: “It’s about dedication and perseverance and mental preparation,” she explains. “Everything I’ve accomplished and been exposed to as an athlete has been hugely beneficial to my career as well.”
On The Pursuit of Leadership
In Lisa’s telling, her path to becoming a leader at Long View was the result of both conscious and unconscious decisions. The unconscious decisions flowed from her results-hungry personality. “I’m pretty bullish about the things that I want to achieve,” she says. “I’m always looking at how I can personally and professionally improve and how I can be more impactful to those around me”
When she first started at Long View as a project manager, 10 years ago, she met those goals by delivering results to clients, and letting her work speak for itself. But through Long View’s Career-Life Planning process, Lisa articulated some bigger goals, and received mentorship and guidance to progress.
“To progress my career, building relationships at all levels of the organization and consciously choosing sponsors was very beneficial,” she explains. “I believe that in business and in life, you have to actively think about your own brand and create your profile; doing this helped position me for different roles along the way.”
Her approach has been successful, moving up from Client Services Manager to Director of End-User Experience into her current role as a branch General Manager. “Those two leadership roles really helped solidify my passion around people and wanting to help others excel,” she says. “And I’m passionate about creating opportunities for others and helping them understand their path to progression so they can advance their careers as well.”
So what advice does she have for others who want to pursue leadership roles?
In addition to being a firm believer in the value of having sponsors within your organization willing to go to bat for you, Lisa is, unsurprisingly, a big advocate of having goals and writing them down. “Really have that vision of where you want to go in your career, “ she says. “And make sure that you understand the actions you need to take to actually achieve those goals.” Lisa believes in manifesting the outcomes you want to achieve – if you think them, and write them down, they will happen.
Success also requires showing up, not just by doing excellent work, but by attending networking events, and discussing your ideas with others, at all levels of the organization. “Speak up!” Lisa encourages. “Don’t sit at the back of the room. Have a voice and use your voice. And make sure, when you do speak up, that you understand your audience and that you’re adding value — don’t just speak to be heard,” she advises, adding that knowing when to listen and not speak is equally important.
On Balancing Career and Life
As an athlete, business leader and parent, Lisa knows all about work-life balance — and timing is key.
“Between curling, being a mom and becoming a GM, there’s no way I could have done all three of those things concurrently and been great at them,” Lisa admits. “So it’s just understanding when I need to close one door to open another.”
For Lisa, that meant retiring from her curling career. For a woman who planned her pregnancies around her curling seasons, the decision to move on was a big one.
Luckily, the timing was perfect. “I was prepared for retirement and I was starting to want to do other things,” she explains. “My kids were starting to get into sports and activities themselves, so I was ready to transition into parent and coach and whatever else that brings along.” Lisa had also recently gone to Nationals in 2017 with her curling team for the first time in her 20-year competitive career. “So the book, if I could write it, was the perfect chapter ending.”
Professionally, the move made sense as well. Lisa was coming up on three years in her Director of End-User Experience role, and was feeling ready for the next challenge when the GM role opened up.
Looking forward, Lisa’s goals continue to balance career and life plans. “I’m almost one year into the GM role in Calgary and there is still so much I want to do,” she says. “I plan to create more opportunities for growth for our great employees in Calgary by doubling the size of our branch during my tenure, and I want to stay laser-focused on adding value to our clients and creating successful client outcomes. Focusing on our people and our clients go hand in hand.”
Balancing out her big plans for Long View is Lisa’s passion for travel. “To balance life out, I plan to continue traveling and creating new adventures and experiences with my family and friends,” she says. “I’m very fortunate that I have the opportunity through Long View to be able to do that.”