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Dr. Sylvio Dupuis:
An Example of Leadershp Applied

By Dr. Russ Ouellette, DM

A question we ask when examining leadership is: "Who do you admire as a leader?" The answer usually is someone of fame: a president, someone from history or someone in the news. Another common response is someone who has touched our lives in some way, such as a teacher, coach or parent. On occasion, we think of someone who crosses both perspectives.

The volunteer at the soup kitchen, the missions-driven non-profit employees and the quiet leader of a business who touches all our lives with the advanced medical products her company produces are all examples of leaders. We all have an impact on each other in small and profound ways. Leadership is all around us.

I recently ran into a gentleman who introduced himself to me as an optometrist from the West Side. As we spoke, Dr. Sylvio Dupuis seemed interested in learning about me and my family, my work and my interests.

We later met for breakfast. I said I wanted to know more about him. I expected to hear about him being Mayor or about his work as the Special Assistant to the President at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. What followed blew me away.

He began to tell me a history of small and large leadership. A bit bored with eye examinations, he decided to have an impact on his community as an Alderman. He ran and lost. He then decided to run for Mayor. He won, and that was just the beginning. After serving as Mayor, he became President of Catholic Medical Center. He served as Interim President of Notre Dame College, Executive Director of McLane Law Firm and served on the boards of Bank East, Energy North, the New Hampshire Charitable Trust Foundation and the Currier Gallery of Art. Service to our State included Commissioner of Health and Human Services and Commissioner of Insurance. All this is in addition to his service to our country in the New Hampshire Air National Guard and the United States Air Force.

He was telling me this while brushing off any airs of success. These were just touches of his curriculum vitae, simple footnotes of history. All I could do was think about the impact this man had on all of us. He helped shape the city into what it is today, and he still serves among us on boards. From the Palace Theatre Board where he chairs the Community Advisory Council, to the state executive council of AARP, he still unselfishly impacts our public and civic policy.

The Honorable, Doctor and Citizen Sylvio Dupuis is a student of leadership and human development. He continually seeks knowledge about how to improve people's perspectives and well being. The small curiosity about helping his community as an Alderman turned into a huge lesson in giving back. Small acts turned into big results, tiny interactions merged with big ideas and one relationship at a time developed the continuing legacy of Manchester. He is both a person of note and a person of simple values and background. He is one of us, serving us.

Dr. Russ Ouellette is the managing partner of Sojourn Partners, a Bedford-based executive leadership coaching firm. He can be reached at (603) 472-8103 or russ@sojournpartners.com. He can also be twittered @RussOuellette or Facebooked – Sojourn Partners.

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