Mike Rathwell, Regional Director for Eastern Ontario, has had a long-term and impactful career at Motion, dating back to 2005. He shared some insight into his leadership style, how he helps others reach their goals and the importance of Motion and the services we provide. We spoke to Mike to learn more about his leadership style, and how he is making a difference for his team and his clients. How did you get started in this industry? After completing my post-secondary education from Carleton University and Algonquin College, I started my career in the Respiratory industry. After a few years, this led to an opportunity in home healthcare as a mobility consultant with large-scale provider beginning in 1995. I then moved on to Motion as a franchise owner (Motion was previously a franchise business), opening up our Belleville location in 2005. Over the last 15 years, through acquisitions and organizational changes, I have been involved in management on both the Operations and Sales sides of the business. I am currently the Regional Director of Eastern Ontario overseeing locations in Ottawa, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Kingston, Belleville, and Peterborough. Mobility and Accessibility is a rapidly growing industry. At Motion, we serve clients ranging in ages – from 3 to 103. Every day is an opportunity to help people of all ages maintain their independence so they can lead their most vibrant lives. As a leader, how do you support your team in terms of professional development and career growth opportunities? As a leader, I place high importance on knowing the personal goals of my staff with regard to professional development and career aspirations. I consistently utilize both internal and external development opportunities to support my staff in achieving their individual goals. I believe in empowering others through meaningful conversations. I value these discussions, as they enable me to learn more about people’s individual goals, offer clarity, and provide direction. Communication is the key to empowering others to be the best they can be and holding individuals accountable for their own goals keeps them on track. I work with individuals who have expressed career aspirations within Motion to develop a plan looking at pathways that will foster their future achievement. How does your leadership style impact your team and their success? I believe my leadership style has impacted people in a way that makes them feel confident and empowered to create their own career path and growth within the company. I am a strong believer in rewarding people for their hard work and promoting from within. There is no better example of this than the management team in Eastern Ontario where 2 out of 4 Regional Managers were promoted to these very crucial and important roles in their locations. Why do you stay at Motion? The work we do at Motion is extremely important and impactful for the lives of our clients. The industry is one centered around need vs. want, which is very unique. Our products and offerings improve the quality of life for Canadians, enabling them to move with greater freedom within their homes, communities, schools, and workplaces. Having the ability to make this possible is extremely rewarding and incredibly motivating. Having the ability to make a significant difference in another person’s life through increased mobility and comfort is what keeps me not only at Motion but has kept me in the industry for so many years. Making our products and services the best they can be to serve our clients and their families is a challenge I continue to enjoy! As a leader, how do you help teams overcome challenging situations, and deliver the best possible service? Every client, story and situation is unique, and the important thing is understanding how essential and critical our business is. We are providing people with the devices they need to be independent. This is something we continue to remind ourselves of. Our services help countless people, and that’s what we consider when working through some of these challenging situations. As you gain experience in the industry, your communication and relationship-building skills develop and overcoming challenging situations becomes a bit easier. I’ve always believed in putting myself in other people’s shoes, and that’s something I like to share with the teams that are working directly with our clients. Empathy, flexibility, and patience play a key role in our approach to serving others. We need to prioritize emergencies and understand how important these devices are to someone’s quality of life. Whether it’s 10am on a Wednesday or 5pm on a Friday, our service is a necessity in our clients’ lives. Why should someone want to work for Motion? Our Vision at Motion is to make life accessible for everyone. If you want to join leaders who demonstrate empathy and compassion, be part of a strong working culture, and contribute to the delivery of exemplary solutions for client needs, this is the place for you. Whether you are a new grad or have industry experience, you will feel rewarded every single day. We are essential, in good times and more difficult times, and our doors remain open for anyone who needs us. In order to deliver on our promise to make life accessible, we continue to seek talented people who share our desire to improve lives and help our services to reach more communities across Canada. Most of what we do can be taught, but sharing a passion and drive for our Mission can’t be. It’s an intangible reward, but a satisfying one being part of an organization like ours. We’re not just helping one person with their accessibility needs, we are offering support and compassion to entire families as well. Our support is far-reaching. If you are interested in joining our team please visit our Careers page and view our current opportunities across Canada. Join our team This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations. Get to know the writer Motion, Make life accessible Motion is Canada’s leading provider of mobility & home accessibility solutions for a wide variety of clients from children to elderly adults. Products include wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, stairlifts, ceiling lifts, & beds.