Women’s Executive Network (WXN) recently named University of Lethbridge alumna Tevi Legge (BA/BMgt ’08) on their list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. For 17 years, this award has recognized the many women who are actively making a difference in their communities and around the world, placing Tevi in the company of extraordinary Canadian leaders.

What went through your mind when you found out you were selected as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the Mercedes Benz Emerging Leaders category?

It was funny because when I first received the email I was confused. I had two schools of thought: spam or mistake. But soon after, the colleague who nominated me called me as she had received an email letting her know I had won and we had a good laugh and confirmed it was no mistake at all. After I had some time to absorb it all I felt so honoured and completely humbled by all of it. It has taken some time for it to really sink in and it still is! The other thing was it was under embargo so I couldn't even share the excitement with anyone, and we received notice a few months in advance.

The Mercedes Benz Emerging Leaders category recognizes women who embody and embrace innovative leadership in their various roles. What does being a strong leader mean to you?

For me, strong leadership is about being dedicated to advancing and growing the people around you. Strong leadership is completely selfless, it’s about being courageous, being bold yet optimistic, and exercising our muscles of vulnerability, empathy, and resilience. We have to be able to try, to fail and dust ourselves off quickly and try again. The most incredible leaders I’ve had the pleasure of learning from know how to remove their ego from any situation and bring it down to the roots of the problems we are trying to solve. The other key piece for me is really applying a growth mindset to everything I do and always knowing that I can learn from every person I meet and every experience I take part in, in all aspects of my life. I learn so much from my children and husband in our everyday life and it’s really important to me not to lose sight of that.

How do you challenge yourself personally and/or professionally?

I always bite off more than I can chew, and I do it with intention and on purpose. I personally learn the best when I am immersed in unfamiliar or overwhelming situations and need to work to navigate through ambiguity that is in front of me. I use a think yes first mindset, and truly believe that everything is solvable if we collectively work together. I love to challenge myself by surrounding myself with diverse thinking and people who come from completely different life experiences than myself so I can leverage empathy to learn and hopefully make the world a better place. I am a very data-driven person, so when looking to solve problems I always love to learn the cold hard truth about what we are solving for and I don’t shy away from being honest. I feel fortunate being surrounded by brilliant humans every day whom I learn so much from. Other things I do to challenge myself include meditation, physical activity, and not shying away from things that make me uncomfortable.

Tevi currently works as the Vice President of Strategy + Activation for Everyday Financial Services at ATB Financial. Learn more about the Top 100 here.