Deb Bryant, CEO Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC

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Deb Bryant describes herself as a community activist and a change maker. Spend any time with her and you can see her passion – for a civil society, for the not-for-profit sector, and for the value that neighbourhood houses bring to our communities. Just a few weeks into her new role as CEO of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, Deb says she has pretty much the best job in the province. 

Deb has a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Working for most of her career in the not-for-profit sector has given a big picture perspective on where improvements and progress can be made. She believes strongly in the importance of peer networks and collaboration. 

Deb Bryant

Organization: Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC

  1. How would you describe your leadership approach/brand/philosophy?
    When it comes to leadership in organizations, I gravitate to the “transformational leadership” model.  That involves holding a vision for a better future, inspiring others to strive together for that future, engaging the intellectual capacity of others and taking into consideration the role each person can best play.
  2. What is the best advice you’ve received?
    A lot can be accomplished in the world through working hard.  I know this is a bit out of fashion in current leadership circles, but I still think it is good advice.
  3. Who is your favourite leader from a movie?
    I like Ginger from “Chicken Run”.  She is perceptive, courageous, knows how to build alliances.  She can get things done even when there is a lot of clucking and crowing going on all around her.
  4. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    I would sure like to be able to remember details more easily and accurately.  I have to write everything down!  
  5. When did you last cry at work?
    I cried when I said goodbye to my cherished colleagues at United Way. 
  6. What trait do you most admire in yourself?
    My optimism. 
  7. What is your favorite book? 
    The Ten Thousand Things, Maria Dermout, is one of my favourites!
  8. What still surprises you?
    Too many things to name surprise me!  Today I was surprised at how beautiful the morning fog looked out over the water. 
  9. What are people most likely to misunderstand about you?
    I don’t feel particularly misunderstood.  I guess sometimes people take me as annoyed when I am actually feeling serious or worried.  
  10. How do you nurture your sense of wellbeing?
    All the usual ways, I think!  I need to get outside, to connect with family and friends, to share good food and drink, to experience arts and culture and talk about exciting ideas. 
  11. When do you get your best ideas?
    In conversation with others. 

About the Author

As Vantage Point's Executive Director, Denise is responsible for leading and executing Vantage Point’s mission to totally transform the not-for-profit sector through building leadership capability. She has a significant record of achievement in the areas of Strategic Planning, Team Development...
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