022 Being A New Leader in Politics, Government, & Non-Profit with guest Steve Kent


Knowing who you are and knowing what drives you – that will allow you to be more true to yourself, and it will allow you to have a more authentic leadership journey. – Steve Kent

Welcome to the show, everybody! Today’s guest is Jared Kligerman, President of The Think Tank, a boutique integrated marketing agency based here in Toronto, Canada.

Hi everyone! Welcome to today’s show. Our guest for today is Steve Kent, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.

Today we talk about:

  • His background in volunteerism and community service,
  • Mentorship,
  • Failing forward,
  • The ever-elusive work-life balance,
  • The importance of authentic and genuine leadership, and a lot more.

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Find a mentor

When I found myself sitting in the council chambers for the first time, of course there’s a degree of intimidation that naturally goes with that. But very quickly, some of the senior members of the council took me under their wing and were able to provide advice and feedback and coaching and support.

Some of those folks, for years, have remained close advisors and friends.

I did a lot of listening than talking in the early days. It’s really important to not go in with guns blazing and really get the lay of the land, listen carefully, learn, demonstrate that you are interested in listening and learning, and pick your moments in terms of weighing in on the discussions and debates.

That’s what set me up for success in local government.


Work-Life Balance

I allowed myself to be completely consumed by the work, and it was hard not to be, because I was so passionate about the work we were doing. It consumed me. It affected my relationships, my health, and other aspects of my life – whether it was volunteering or my political life. I was still studying, and that proved to be challenging.

That work-life balance thing is something that we’ll always struggle with, but I’ve had some wake-up calls in the early days about the importance of consciously trying to find that balance. When I failed to do so, I got myself in some tough spots.

I still struggle with work-life balance, but I’ve learned along the way. You learn to make better decisions and take more time to reflect, plan, cope and seek support.


Staying true to yourself

I’ve spent a lot of time in public life and elected office, there were lots of difficult moments in politics – some I can talk about and some that I swore an oath that I won’t talk about. But the times when I got myself in trouble was when I wasn’t completely true to myself.

The advice I have for any new leader: no matter what situation you’re in, don’t compromise your principles. Be true to yourself, lead with integrity, lead by example, be honest, be genuine, be authentic, be your own dog.

If you are sticking out like a nail, someone will try to hammer you down and it’s important that you don’t let that happen.



Connect with Steve: LinkedIn

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