The Torontoism Team’s Role Models

The Torontoism Team’s Role Models

We look up to them. They are our parents, mentors, teachers, partners in both business and life. Everybody needs a role model just like every experienced sailor needs to rely on a map and a compass. Essentially, just like the sailor has a destination, we too strive for the best of our future self. 

You guessed it right! The Torontoism team too has role models and sources of inspiration and motivation. They would like to share some of them with you.

Jim Burtnick 

jim role model

Jim, while working globally, always thinks locally. You don’t have to go too far in your search for wisdom in a city as diverse as Toronto. The Six treasures plenty of admirable and inspirational people. One of them is Robin Sharma of whom Jim thinks to be “straightforward, no raw-raw-raw, that he shares his insight and wisdom, and is humble and approachable”. 

Robin Sharma authored 15 worldwide best-selling books on business ethics and leadership training. His business, Sharma Leadership International Inc. has a vast portfolio of renowned companies such as Nike, Starbucks, RIM, The Coca-Cola, FedEx, Microsoft. His skillset places him among the world’s top leadership gurus. 

Sharma started out as a lawyer. Although unfulfilling, the craft had taught him how to work words to one’s advantage and sparked his creativity. Bored, successful on the outside, empty on the inside, Robin picked up reading biographies of famous scientists, politicians, and entrepreneurs. His first self-published book Megaliving!: 30 Days to a Perfect Life—The Ultimate Action Plan for Total Mastery of Your Mind, Body and Character hit the stores in 1994. It was a collection of life lessons he gathered from reading. Selling 3,000 copies was a success, and it provided enough motivation to keep on working towards his dream. 

Robin’s break came in 1997 when he convinced the then-president of Harper Collins Canada, Ed Carson, that publishing his new book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Spiritual Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny would be a good idea. And it was! The book sold 10,000 copies and gave Robin a reassurance to leave his career in legal practice and focus on writing.

Jim’s favorite book by Robin Sharma is Who Will Cry When You Die? Its 101 chapters provide practical, provocative and inspirational ways to change your life from hollowness to fulfilment.

When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries while you rejoice.

Sherille Layton

sherille role model

Whenever Sherille finds herself in doubts or seeking guidance, she goes back to her roots and thinks of her family.

If I always think of my Dad, then surely he must be my role model.

Sherille’s father immigrated to London, United Kingdom in his late teens with no job and started in a kitchen washing dishes. However, the completely new and unfamiliar environment and the lack of working experience did not stop him from chasing success. Where many gave up, Sherille’s dad begun his journey to becoming a company secretary in a large corporation. Sheer determination and hard work got him there, says Sherille, and adds the four life lessons her father taught her. 

He taught me never to give up, to work hard, and have strong ethics, and that “can’t” should not be in my vocabulary.

Eden Feldman

eden role model elon musk

Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.

Eden’s role model is none other than the man of thousand skills and occupations. Elon Musk is an entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor. He founded several companies including Tesla Motors, SpaceX and PayPal. 

Eden admires Musk’s humble past filled with road blocks. He was bullied in his childhood and had to change schools. Musk obtained his university education at the Queen’s University in Ontario and the University of Pennsylvania. It is undoubtedly very motivational to see a man who took risks, failed many times and got up every time.

Despite being one of the world’s richest people, Elon Musk cares for the environment and aims to enhance human lives. Reducing global warming through sustainable production and consumption and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multi planetary” by setting up a human colony on Mars are just a couple of things from Musk’s portfolio that appeal to Eden.

Richard Silver

richard darrell kent

Richard’s role model is the late Toronto entrepreneur and philanthropist, Darrell Kent, for whom Richard worked in the early 80’s at Darrell Kent Real Estate. 

Richard describes Kent as a hard-working and gregarious person, who was always happy to share his knowledge and give back to the community. 

Darrell was a great contributor to the Cabbagetown community where he spent most of his life. In the 1960s and 1970s he helped revive the area’s Victorian homes. Needless to say, they have become a landmark of the neighbourhood. 

Thanks to his successful and dominant real estate company, Darrell Kent made a fortune and he never hesitated to give back. He financially supported activities for local youth, inspiring and encouraging others to join in his philanthropy (full bio).

Richard looks back at that time with a lot of gratitude.

He enjoyed every minute of his too short life, but those who worked for him have always had a sense of being gifted, and working for a Camelot-like group. It was a special time, all of us knew it, and he was our mentor.

Everyone needs a role model or someone to look up to. Even the self-made billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffett once said:

The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.

If you ever get around to reading his biography, you will notice the large amount of names he drops. Role models are the lamp posts highlighting our paths. Acknowledge them!


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