The Importance of Embracing Community with Heather Dubbeldam

On September 24, 2018, Masai Ujiri, president of basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors, held an iconic press conference to introduce the team’s newest players, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

During the presser, a visibly frustrated Masai gave the following quote:

“The narrative of not wanting to come to [Toronto] is gone. I think that’s old and we should move past that. Believe in this city. Believe in yourselves … We’re proud of who we are.”

Nine months later, the Raptors would bring an NBA championship home to Toronto for the first time in franchise history.

From the top down, the team believed in themselves. They believed in their brand. They believed in their talent.

And success followed.

Heather Dubbeldam, principal of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, shares a very similar outlook to Masai when it comes to entrepreneurship.

“As a business owner, I feel like you need to be true to what you believe in,” Heather says on the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. “You start building a reputation and then more people hear about it. And then it’s kind of a word-of-mouth. And then, when you’re actually in the situation and you’re working for people, talk about the things that are important to you. And if you do have a good relationship, I think for the most part they do take your advice.”

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design has been recognized by over 60 awards for both design and practice, including the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, and their work has garnered wide recognition in national and international publications.

When clients hire Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, they do so not only because of their great work, but also to be drawn into a larger conversation. On the latest episode of the Leading With Nice Interview Series, Heather discusses how you can do this with your clients, the right balance of leading versus following, and the importance believing in what you do. Check it out below.