Alumni Profile: Buffy St. Amand

Anna-Marie AshtonAlumni Profile

1. What are the most significant engagements in your life, and why are they meaningful?

The most significant engagement for me right now is raising our twins to be caring, resilient and curious about life and the world we live in.  Parenting is the hardest job in the world…nothing prepares you for the joy and the challenges it brings.  It also includes a lot of driving them around and saying yes to adopting pets! My other life engagements are my work at the University of Calgary which includes working with some pretty awesome alumni and staff.  I also volunteer with the Calgary Foundation on the Children, Youth & Families Grants Advisory committee and I sit on the Board of Directors of Making Changes.

2. What resources (books/ films) have been most influential for you? In what ways?

Mistakes were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.  This book has been life changing for me in many ways.  It offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception – how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.  It changed the way I make decisions, about my own ignorance and self-justifications.  The world needs more of this book NOW more than ever…

3. What influence has your learning with Human Venture Leadership had on you?

Both my husband and I completed the program when our kids were still little. It really has influenced the way we parent and the conversations we have with them and with each other.   It also changed what I read and how I read.  I also realize that the more I know, the more I don’t know. I love learning but learning is not enough…I also have to continuously unlearn, relearn and reprogram what I know and what I focus on.  I’m thankful to the Human Venture for opening my eyes and for getting me out of the closet.

4. What have you learned about the kind of leadership the world needs?

Patience, caring and commitment. You have to keep going especially when it’s hard!

5. What are your hopes for the future?

As Jane Goodall would say…the Human Spirit.  People who tackle what seems impossible and won’t give up.

“It is these undeniable qualities of human love and compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future. We are, indeed, often cruel and evil. Nobody can deny this. We gang up on each one another, we torture each other, with words as well as deeds, we fight, we kill. But we are also capable of the most noble, generous, and heroic behavior." ― Jane Goodall