Silken Laumann to speak in Whistler 

Setting goals one key to success in leadership

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They can be found in homes, at work, in the community and on any field of play.

Some are born to it but many are molded by their life experience.

Olympic rower Silken Laumann is a little of both. Since she was a child she dreamed of being at the Olympics and despite suffering a terrible accident just 10 weeks before the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics she competed and won a bronze medal.

The experience changed her forever and it changed the way other people saw the rower. Her inner strength and determination drew people to her and today, in retirement, she uses her leadership strengths to help others find theirs.

On June 20 th Sea to Sky residents will have a chance to hear Laumann share her stories and the knowledge she has gathered in a lifetime of competition at a graduation lunch for the Leadership Forum. The mother of two will be the keynote speaker at the lunch celebration at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

One of the key attributes any leader can have is the ability to hold onto a vision and goal and then find a path to make it a reality. It sounds simple but for many, said Laumann, it is a real challenge.

“I have learned that a lot of people are challenged to look beyond what is right in front of them particularly in the area of social giving and social change and wanting to see the world differently and being able to see a problem and be able to look toward a solution,” she said this week.

“I have the ability to envision how things can be different and I believe we all have it and we need to reconnect with it and move beyond the challenges and problems most of us have. Most of us in our lives get really bogged down by this challenge, and that challenge and we feel overwhelmed and we almost lose sight of what we wanted to create and what we believe was possible.”

As kids we often have the ability to imagine what change looks like but have no power to make it happen. Then as adults the opposite is true.

Laumann hopes to rekindle those feelings of achieving the dream during her presentation as Sea to Sky residents focus on what they want out of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Parlaympic Games. “…One of the things I hope to do with this group is re-connect them to their imaginations and the legacy they think the Olympics could leave and how it could create something very special in the community that would be lasting,” she said.

It is also important to see the Games as part of Whistler’s journey — not the destination. Once it is over people should reflect on it as an achievement and then move on to the next goal.

“You don’t reach a goal and that’s it,” said Laumann.

“You reach a goal and you say that feels really good and you take a bit of a break and you reflect and you start to move in a slightly different direction.”

For more information on the event go to or call 604-902-2001.


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