Q & A: Meet Brett Barriage [CEO Mentor]

In the Spring of 2020, Brett Barriage joined our team of CEO Mentors. Recently we sat down to get to know him better.


Brett brings insight from his 30-year career to help other leaders find their path to greater levels of success and fulfillment.  With a range of experience that includes a decade as CEO and President of Premier Equipment in Ontario, Canada, Brett is a leader who knows how to develop dynamic team culture. We’re excited for you to get to know him.

Recently, we sat down with Brett to learn more about his background, what drew him to Building Champions, and what he’s looking forward to in his new role as a CEO Mentor.

Building Champions: How did you come to Building Champions? 

Brett Barriage:  While at Premier Equipment, our COO experienced a heart attack at a young age.  Someone he knew recommended the Building Champions Experience as a great opportunity to think and plan, given what he had gone through. He attended and found it extremely beneficial. The following year, three of us went to the event. Then our Senior Leadership team attended the year after that. Premier Equipment went on to host two internal Building Champions events  with our group of 50 plus leaders. After that, three of us on the Senior Leadership team went on to participate in one-on-one coaching.

BC: How would you describe your leadership style?

BB:  My focus is on becoming a better leader, but it always starts with the personal component: How am I doing as an individual? Is my life balanced? Are my priorities in order?  Am I making decisions based on those things that are important to me?  This helps me be a better, stronger person, which means I’m going to be a more successful leader.  So it’s really a twofold process which starts with the individual and leads into leadership development.   

Brett and John

BC: what was the Biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career?

BB: During my time at Premier Equipment, I led a successful merger. The greatest challenge was bringing two very different cultures together to create a new, unified culture. We wanted to ensure we were doing all that we could and should do to uphold this new culture.

BC: Who’s the greatest leader you’ve ever worked for and why?

BB: Chris was the first leader that I can remember that had a profound impact on me. He helped to shape the leader I am today. His genuine concern for others, coupled with his business vision and execution, was life-changing for me.

BC: How would you describe your CEO MEntor style? 

BB: Relational, I have a genuine deep concern for my clients – both personally and professionally. I want to see my clients achieve what they want both in their personal lives and in their business. I have seen firsthand that coaching with Building Champions works.

BC: Looking back, what are you most proud of in your career?

BB: I have spent time as a CEO, President, General Manager and Director. I am proud of the variety of types of work that I have done. I also appreciate how leadership growth and development has provided me with amazing opportunities.

Brett Barriage pic for Blog

BC: What’s your favorite leadership quote?

BB: People want to be led, not managed.” – Unknown 

BC: What was the last book you read? 

BB: Refire! Don’t Retire by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz

BC: How do you enjoy spending time outside of work? 

BB: Golfing, exercising, and playing hockey. I try to get out on the ice on a regular basis. I also enjoy traveling with my wife and family. We are especially excited about becoming grandparents in August 2020!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *