Courage and leadership

Nicole McNeill, MPAC President & CAO.

From the President & CAO

Along with many MPAC employees this year, I’m celebrating a milestone of 10 years with the organization. I’m really proud to be a part of MPAC’s accomplishments over the past decade, including the challenges we’ve faced. 

We couldn’t have achieved what we are today – a more transparent, customer-focused, leader-in-assessment organization with a winning culture – had it not been because of courage. 

What does courage mean to me? It’s about having some fear about what you have to accomplish, but you do it anyway. It’s not about being fearless. It’s about being brave.

Leadership takes courage. Look at the past year we’ve had! The pandemic has changed our work and our lives tremendously. There are times when I was afraid of the unknowns – about the pandemic, the health of others, my own health and how we’d keep the business operating while working remotely.

Courage got me up on my feet to act, even when I was scared. That’s when we developed our guiding principles to help guide all of our decision making at MPAC: 

  • The health, safety and wellness of employees is our top priority 
  • We need to keep the business operating 
  • We need to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities 

Being courageous has prepared me to take (what some may say is) the unpopular stance – by making decisions – even when you don’t have all the facts yet. People want as much certainty as they can get when our world has been filled with so much uncertainty. 

We’re doing everything we set out to do while working from home and pausing in-field property inspections. All the while when many of us are wearing many hats balancing life as caregivers, homeschoolers, entertainers – and managing our own mental health and wellness. Trust has been built as we stand by each other – encouraging flexibility – and employees have been resilient. 

A courageous leader inspires teams to also be courageous and to make bold, innovative moves that transform the way we do business. While we were preparing for the 2020 Assessment Update, we quickly turned our attention to responding to the needs of our municipal partners. We built a safe way for municipalities to share digital building plans electronically. We launched a curbside pick-up program to collect building plans without needing access to municipal offices. We modified the way we conduct on-site property inspections and provided safety training to employees when it was safe to be in-field.

When will the next Assessment Update be? We don’t know yet. In the meantime, we’ll continue to prepare for a future valuation date, keep municipal records updated and accurate, and monitor current market conditions. 

We’re emerging from the pandemic stronger, and together facing fear and the unknowns head-on. Courage is learned through experiences. And I’m thankful for the past 10 years with MPAC where I’ve learned and grown from my experiences, and now, leading our organization as we value Ontario together. 

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