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Madame la Chancelière, Monsieur le Recteur, Doyens et Professeurs, Anciens et Anciennes, Mesdames et Messieurs.
Chancellor Labelle, President Patry, Deans and Professors, Graduates, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with great privilege that I am here today, as a recipient of this Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Ottawa, Canada’s University.
C’est un immense privilège que d’être avec vous aujourd’hui en tant que récipiendaire d’un Doctorat Honorifique de l’Université d’Ottawa.
As President and Chief Executive Officer of Husky Energy, one of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies, I am very pleased that the company and I have had the opportunity to be involved with this highly respected University.
The partnership between Husky and the University has enabled the University to pursue bio-scientific research, which will be beneficial to the environment of Canada. Today, it is a greater honour to be invited to address this year’s graduates from the School of Management. As today’s graduates, you have achieved the first milestone and prepared yourselves for future challenges in society. Please remember and appreciate the quality education provided by this University. You should be proud of your achievements and support your University from wherever you may live and work. From the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most important weapon, which you can use to change the world”. With the tools you have acquired from your education, you can shape and mould your career paths.
On this occasion, I would like to give you some insight from my personal experiences in management. After I graduated from University, and gathered further disciplines of learning, I found myself steered from professional fields into areas of corporate management and corporate re-structuring.
Husky Energy has been my latest challenge. Many believe it to be one of the most successful ‘turn-arounds’ in Canadian corporate history, with a $20 billion in value creation over five years. The guiding principles I have focused on during my many ‘turn-arounds’ are vision, commitment and leadership. These three basic principles are built on a solid foundation of ‘integrity and social conscience’.
Mon dernier challenge en date a été Husky Energy. De l’avis de beaucoup, avec une valeur ajoutée de 20B$ en 5 ans, le redressement de Husky est l’un des plus impressionnant de l’histoire des entreprises canadiennes.
Voici les principes qui m’ont guidé durant ma carrière : vision, engagement, leadership. Ces trois principes fondamentaux sont construits sur des bases d’intégrité et de conscience sociales.
No matter how large or small your business, success could never be maintained without integrity and social accountability.
Set high standards for yourselves. At the end of the day, you will always be accountable for your actions. In the past decade, unfortunately, you will find records of many who did not follow their social consciences. Many business executives went from being famous to infamous, mainly due to greed and dishonesty. The repercussions of this non-conformity to social conscience are still being felt by many who had invested their life savings. The lesson here is quite transparent, as the future is never a promise. To minimize such catastrophes, it is important to conduct your working life with the highest standards of integrity and ultimate social responsibility. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, the Inventor and Statesman, in the eighteenth century, “Keep conscience clear, and then never fear”.
In closing, it is worthwhile to note that there is no shortcut in life.
En conclusion, dans la vie, on ne peut pas prendre de raccourci.
We should be mindful of “The Seven Social Sins” as echoed by Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian Spiritual\Political Leader and Humanitarian:
“Knowledge without character
Science without humanity
Wealth without work
Commerce without morality
Politics without principles
Pleasure without conscience
Worship without self-sacrifice”
Please use the above as a reminder of your career road-map. The future is what you create for yourselves. I wish you all every success in your future endeavours.
Je vous encourage à ne jamais oublier ces principes durant votre carrière. Le futur est a votre portée et il dépend de vous. Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès dans votre futur.
Je vous remercie.
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