Thoughts On Business Leadership By Nora Voon

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Nora Voon is the Founder and Principal of Noda Designs. A graduate of Inchbald School of Design in London, UK, she was the recipient of the prestigious Fox Linton award for her innovative commercial design for Preen Fashion House.  Working with artisans and designers, her projects span across the globe in Europe, Asia, Middle East and N. America.

Deeply inspired by her travels, her love of traditional craftsmanship, bold colours and graphic organic motifs, you can feel her passion and sneaky sense of humour in the beautiful materials she chooses, the objects she crafts, the spaces she manifests.

An artist, a connector and a dreamer, she understands that it takes a village to make things happen and counts on the best people to do it right. That’s what Noda is, a collective of incredible talent, a concept store, a design firm.

What is your definition of Leadership?
While leadership is unique to individuals and the companies they lead, there are some common ways to define it.  In my definition, leadership embodies decisiveness, honesty, confidence, focus, awareness, accountability, optimism, honesty, empathy and most of all inspiration.  Leaders are coaches with a passion for nurturing and building a team that you can empower your trust and confidence in the people you lead.  Leaders inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled.   As a leader, it is my responsibility to establish goals, innovate new ideas, inspire, motivate and trust.  At the end of the day, on a more intimate level, leaders are like parents to their children, they need to feel secure and know that their leaders will always be there for them when they need it.

What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader?
I think that trust, empathy, honesty and accountability are all very important factors in knowing that your leader has your back, because let’s face it, we can’t be a leader without anyone to lead or follow in your guidance right?

How do you encourage the development of your employees?
I often send my employees to seminars and workshops to enhance their knowledge in the work that they do.  When you invest in people, you really invest in yourself and your company.  We go to trade shows around the world to enhance our awareness of what’s new and on trend as well as meeting with new companies. Nurturing your employees making sure they are always up to date with their software and applications in our field of work is very important in the development as well as the longevity of your company as a whole.  In our sector, keeping up to date/informed with not only trends, but also innovation in software, materials, and innovative new products and applications are all crucial to setting us apart from the competition.

What is your advice to Canadian business owners during the COVID-19 Pandemic?​
During this time where uncertainty is a certainty, all I can say is that we need to stand together, we need to help each other, be more compassionate, have a little faith in our government to help us through this difficult time.  Most importantly, continue to have some normalcy in your everyday activity, encourage your employees to be team players.  It’s important for leaders to guide a team through challenging times, encouraging them and remaining positive along the way.  Team morale is heavily dependent upon a leader’s attitude.

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