THE GENESIS OF WHO I AM
Benoit Morin – Leadership | CEO | Governance | Transformation | Innovation | Health Systems | Bioethics | PhD, MBA, CPA, ICD.D
I come from a humble, family-oriented background. My background extends beyond healthcare and covers public systems more broadly, including university management, health research, strategic consulting, executive coaching as well as author and blogger. I strive to help organizations and people actualize their full potential. The following brief bio outlines the background and experiences that constituted the pathway for me to be a successful healthcare leader and senior executive in my career.
My uncle’s farm
My best childhood moments were spent at my uncle’s farm where I bonded with my cousins, Simon and Martin. Simon grew to become a close friend as we shared many adventures together. At the farm, I was exposed to the beauty and also the raw truth of nature. I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Connecting with the animals, the agriculture, the forest and being exposed to the hard-working farm life imprinted the cycle of life in me. Life and death are part of our journey.
As I grew up to become a teenager and young adult, I explored different aspects of life that appealed to me in terms of learning and growing. I got involved in music, martial arts and the world of ideas. I played drums and wrote songs at the guitar, which opened potential career opportunities that I didn’t seize for a number of good and bad reasons. I remain deeply connected to music and it is a source of emotional truth for me.
The samuraï and the philosopher
I became also fascinated by the discipline and craftmanship of the Japanese culture and one of their most famous symbols of dedication: the Samuraï. The warrior way in that culture starts with the shaping of the mind and the mastery of the body. I enrolled in martial arts and earned two black belts; one in Aïkibudo (bare hands) and another one in Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (weaponry). The Samuraï way, or ‘Budo’, taught me how to enter ‘my zone’, build humble confidence and display courage in the face of any challenges and especially in the face of my own demons or fears. To this day, Budo is a driving force in my life, though I often wish I could live up to it a bit more.
All the while, I discovered the fascinating world of the knowledgeable minds that lived before me. I studied the great philosophers, legal & political systems, psychology, sociology, science and anything that was relevant to helping me understand the world for what it is. I earned a bachelor of arts and a master’s in the process, which prompted me to consider an academic career. I was in my twenties and looking at the life I had ahead wondering how to steer in the most meaningful way.
My father’s death
Almost thirty years ago, I had my first real experience of the health care system. My father’s death, and especially the health care process he went through, was a milestone in my development as a person and as a professional. My father unfortunately fell in the hands of a process solely focused on research, which pushed him to enroll at all cost. My father refused as the treatment was experimental and came with significant side effects. As a direct consequence, he was left without pain management up until eleven days before he passed in order to put pressure on him to change his mind regarding the research project. He was told it was the only way to alleviate the suffering. It is only when his family physician reacted strongly as he became aware of the mistreatment that he was provided with heavy doses of morphine. He died of bone cancer after enduring excruciating pain. I was holding his hand when he passed. My father’s death was a turning point in my young mind. Consciously or not, I had decided to get involved.
Other pages of my biography
My training as an executive
Becoming a CEO