Steve Burns, founder and former chief executive officer of Bulletproof Solutions Inc. in Fredericton, has over two decades of experience in building a business in the IT industry. With an educational background in computer science, he made his dream a reality and worked side by side with the hardworking people who helped him create it.
Founded in 2001, Bulletproof Solutions grew to 100 employees, generating millions in company revenue. In return for this success, Burns supported his staff, helped people in need of a hand up, and gave back to his community.
Burns was the guest speaker for ASD-W Leaders' Lounge held at Planet Hatch on Jan. 29, the second in a series of presentations in the district He offered tips and advice on becoming a leader and developing people in an organization:
1. Leadership begins at the top, but decision making is shared with your team.
2. Pick your team - surround yourself with good people with the right skills set, be a team builder.
3. Be okay with the things you are good at, just do them better.
4. If you are going up, more than you are going down, you are doing okay.
5. Be able to admit you are wrong, earn the trust of your people.
6. Have compassion for people, have humility, be a good listener, loyalty will be the return.
7. Don't think you are the smartest person in the room, everyone makes mistakes.
8. Be honest and keep your word. Follow through on what you said you would do. Your word is everything.
9. Give more than you receive, treat others how you would want to be treated.
10. Be willing to take risks. Be ready to change and work steadily on self-improvement.
11. When it comes to big decisions, don't rush, sleep on it.
"These are the lessons to live by for leadership," Burns said. "Challenges can be overcome, they happen for a reason. You have the tools to overcome them. The people in this room have the ability to change and improve the education system - the foundation of the future and you know how important that is."
In 2019, Burns was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame for Junior Achievement in New Brunswick.