Glenn Cleland

Trailblazer who takes pride in first mover status. Founding Director, Centre for Financial Studies. Founding Member of New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation. First to represent Canada in my region in tennis.

What has been your most notable rebel accomplishment or experience?

Initially sending a letter to the Ontario Securities commission about a situation that put my client at a financial disadvantage.

When did you first realize that you are a rebel?

I have learned that I work with people, not for them.  It did not become apparent until my current job where I have total autonomy.  An external partner is trying to slow down my ability to make decisions and that has made me decide to leave the job.  He is a micro manager and he is interfering with what is a top university program in the country – makes no sense.  I am using yourRebel at Work to guide me through the situation.  It is helpful to make sure my approach is sound and I am not missing something.

What advice do you wish someone had given you earlier in your career?

The importance of control.  This is the genius of Warren Buffett and the second coming of Steve Jobs at Apple.  By having control, you can make decisions more quickly when the window of opportunity is open.  And you do not compromise your decisions to please your boss – my biggest mistake.

What is your favorite rebel characteristic?

Integrity – not seeking personal gain but, in my case, assisting students/clients to become the best they can be or financially secure.

What’s your favorite question?

What can go wrong?   (I am the Why’s guy in my Investments program – curious, questioning and skeptical – an empirical skepticist.  This is the one question my students know I will always ask about their investment recommendation.  If they do not know the risks, I will avoid the recommendation)

What one clue tells you you’re effecting positive change?

My bosses/students realize my suggestions are realistic and benefit the situation at hand.  Usually they ask realistic follow-up questions meaning they are trying to understand my point of view.

What do you think it’s most important for people to understand about rebels?

Rebels have the clients’ best interests in mind.

What’s your one word piece of advice for rebels?

Create a rebel alliance to support you during tough times.  Use them for an exit strategy if you have to.

What’s your one word piece of advice for non-rebels?

Keep an open mind to what rebels have to say.  Do not judge them but their ideas.

Where do you think rebels are most needed today?

Bureaucratic institutions where progress is slow (ie governments, universities)

Who is your favorite rebel from the past 100 years?

Nelson Mandela – he realized that the whole Legal System in South Africa was unfair and stayed true to his beliefs even when in jail for 27 years.  I am in awe!!

What’s the one thing you should never say to a rebel?

“You don’t know what you are talking about”.  We are usually well prepared and thought about our comments for quite some time.