Scott Calnek – Father and Leader


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Being a parent can be a lot like managing a team. Each role comes with lots of responsibility but they are both rewarding. Scott Calnek is a senior manager of Automated Driving and Autonomous engineering activities at GM Canada, but he is also a father to two young kids. We talked to Scott about his two roles and learned how they relate and what some of the rewards are.

What is your family like?

I have two wonderful kids, Natalie and Nathan. We spend a lot of time as a family doing different activities. We frequently go on bike rides that usually include a stop at the park. The kids love going on trips, one of our favourite places to go to is Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.

What is it like working and being a dad?

It can be challenging at times, it’s often hard to balance home and work life. Technology has allowed us to work 24/7 regardless of where we are. It takes a conscious effort to put down the phone and ensure you’re being ‘present’ with the kids.

What is one of your favourite family memories?

Last summer I had a Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise as my vehicle – Of course, if you have a self-driving vehicle you need to take a road trip.  We drove to Myrtle beach, and had a fantastic time playing on the beach and building sandcastles.

What is something you have learnt from your kids about being a parent?

Forgiveness. Children accept you even if you are absent or not engaged for a while due to work, they never hold it against you.

Does being a dad impact your leadership style?

I almost think it is the other way around.  As a leader you encourage, provide positive feedback, find unique ways to ensure clear communication. These skills have helped me to develop as a parent. My kids continue to remind me to think big. They are still learning the world around them, and as such, think of big ideas without limitations.