A Mo Bro sits smiling in a barberchair from a barbershop in Calgary
Mo Bro Greg FilipchukImage by: Max Rosenstein
A Mo Bro sits smiling in a barberchair from a barbershop in Calgary
23 January 2023

Greg’s story: Leading with vulnerability

Greg Filipchuk
3 minutes read time

Meet Greg, a leader of 2022’s Oil Rig Rumble winning team: SECURE Energy.

For me, the draw to Movember originally started through personal loss. I lost an uncle to prostate cancer, he was a very young man. He was forty-two or forty-three at the time when prostate cancer took him. Movember seemed like one of those things that was silly, a bit of fun, and simple. Over time it’s evolved for me, as something that I raise awareness for with my family, circle of friends, and the industry. Something that is more than a moustache and goes beyond just the thirty days of November.

In recent years, the mental wellbeing and suicide prevention piece has drawn a lot of interest in me, because we’re seeing it more and more. Given the place the world’s been in the last three years, these conversations are just so important. So, for our team, it’s really about that wellbeing piece, checking in on your Mo Sisters and Brothers.

When I think back to the conversations of twenty years ago, there was more stigma. In the workplace and roles of leadership there was this stereotype, where it was rare that you would find men speaking openly with each other about what’s going on with them, in their lives or their own head.

I think there’s a huge opportunity here. The methodology around leadership is changing where it’s okay for a leader to stand in front of people and say, “I don’t know”. It’s okay for a leader to stand in front of people and say, “I’m worried about this...or scared about that”. And it’s something we can collectively do together. The approach I’ve been taking is to be able to show vulnerability myself.

Just a few days ago a teammate asked to speak with me, closed the door, and disclosed some personal stuff that was going on in his life. He did it because he was comfortable. He was in a place of trust, where it was safe to be emotional; vulnerable. And so these changes and these conversations are becoming more commonplace.

It’s changed. More organizations that are investing in it, recognizing that their employees need programs in place. We talk about our Rolodex of practitioners that we have available to us. We have dentists, we have doctors, we have physiotherapists. We used the month of Movember this year to really promote the mental wellbeing practitioners available on that Rolodex. Really signalling to the team that it’s okay to seek that support out. That it’s not a weakness.

I don’t believe it can be one time a year to truly influence the DNA of our workplace. I think it’s a constant practice; day-by-day; week-by-week; month-by-month. And it can be as simple a question as “How are you today?” That could open the door for others to feel more comfortable. I want us to get to a place where every colleague knows that they could shut the door or grab a coffee and go to a place of trust, respect, and vulnerability.

That’s a great place to be today to build for the future. There are lots of opportunities to be better, so as long as my feet are walking this earth, I want to be a part of Movember, raising awareness and keeping the conversation frequent and live.