By the time he finished high school, Greg Pinks knew he
wanted to dedicate his career to helping leaders devel-op
amazing organizations – the kind of workplaces that
spark employee imagination, creativity and passion.
With more than two decades of experience in business strate-gy,
employee engagement and leadership coaching, Pinks founded
Axiom Performance Inc. in Guelph, Ont., two years ago.
Nowadays, as the company’s chief leadership officer, his work
is all about creating outstanding organizational culture by awak-ening
passion within senior leaders. Pinks’ focus on executive
coaching and HR strategy lets him help others succeed, while re-alizing
his own personal goal of making a difference in peoples’
HR Professional spoke with Pinks about the relationship be-tween
great leaders and great workplaces, and how a positive
corporate culture has a ripple effect that is clearly experienced
When did you decide you wanted a career in human resources?
Greg Pinks: It was back in Grade 12 when I was considering
what I wanted to do in university. My parents were very social and
always had a lot of people around the house. I listened to the con-versations
and heard a lot of their friends complaining about work.
So I went to my parents and asked if there was a job I could get
into that would help people enjoy their jobs, since we spend so
much of our lives at work. They put me onto human resources
management and I did my undergrad at Carleton University, com-bining
social psychology and business. I had a clear vision and I’ve
loved it ever since.
What was your first HR job?
GP: I was very fortunate in that the Ontario government had a
program where they funded summer student work placements.
In between my third and fourth years at university, I was select-ed
to go into an organization, Queensway-Carleton Hospital in
Ottawa, and I worked there for the summer under the guidance of
two seasoned HR folks. They got me for free because the Ontario
government paid my wages and I got to learn the ropes of HR. It
was a fantastic experience. I sat at the bargaining table, learned
about interviewing and recruitment and wrote some HR policies
and job descriptions. They exposed me to many areas of HR man-agement
over those four months.
Tell me about your current job. What are
your main areas of responsibility?
GP: It’s about working with leaders to create amazing orga-nizations.
From the start, I wanted to make a difference in a
workplace and I quickly realized that is all done through leader-ship.
Leadership makes or breaks the organizational culture. So
for a lot of my career, I’ve been focusing on supporting leaders and
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