Grant Heggie – Melmart Distributors
For Melmart Distributors Inc. CEO Grant Heggie, 2010 was no easy year. A leading player in the Canadian flooring industry, the company felt the impacts of a sluggish economy, and consumers’ hesitation for spending money on big ticket items like renovations especially when consumer tax incentives dried up early in the year.
“It’s easy to postpone replacing your floors, so it’s forced us to work aggressively to grow,” says Grant. Over the last few years, “We’ve expanded into other territories, when most others we talked to in our industry said not to go there. These new markets have become a phenomenal part of the business, and account for a substantial part of the bottom line. We’re now continuing to develop those kinds of opportunities.”
Finding those opportunities, as we so often hear, is the key to not only surviving tough economic times, but thriving when money begins flowing on the way out of a recession. Grant is a lighthouse example of a CEO who’s been able to do so, and execute.
Grant notes that the biggest payout from joining CEO Global Network has been one to ones with his Group Leader. “Sitting and going over very specific, practical, and tactical issues and getting her input. It’s the old story: it’s lonely in this CEO position. It’s been great to have her perspective.”
Group Meetings have also contributed to Grant’s success as CEO. “The same is true of my Group,” he says. “I write a ton of stuff down that comes to mind as I listen to issues being discussed. There are a bunch of very smart men and women around the table and I can immediately draw some parallel to my own business. I find myself thinking ‘here’s something I could do’, or a new way of tackling things. There are so many synergies there.”
Growing up with a father who was also a CEO, Grant’s watched and experienced the CEO life since he was young, ultimately helping him to understand the importance of a work-life balance. “As I’ve gotten older (and hopefully a little wiser), I have realized the need to be careful and put in the time on all three areas: work, family, and self. And also not to ever take those for granted. All these areas are interconnected, and you must be prepared to give a lot. It’s not about being a workaholic, but hard work is part of it.” “I have seen, and lived both sides of this ‘balance’, sometimes more successfully than others. It will always be a challenge but too many guys end up with a ton of business success and a personal life in shambles. Conversely, it is just a simple reality that in order to do the job well at ‘work’, there are times that it will take it’s toll at home. Having a spouse who understands this is a big part of it and I am incredibly blessed in both cases.”
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I struggled with the concept that other CEOs would take an interest in me and my company and provide constructive criticism with the sole purpose of helping me continue to be a better leader. Having now been a Member for over three years, I can definitively say that I only wish I had joined earlier. Peter Reaume President, NLS