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Stories of Gratitude – the Leadership of Author Monique Gray Smith

On an extremely cold evening in Kamloops BC, young Monique and her Auntie Ellen were heading home from her ball game practice. Monique’s aunt saw unsheltered Bonnie walking along the main street pushing a cart. Monique’s aunt stopped the car, gave Bonnie the warm clothes that Monique and her aunt were wearing, as well as twenty dollars. Then gave Bonnie a kiss and continued home without saying anything.

“What I saw was one of the most profound acts of humanity”

Monique recalls this story of kindness with the aura of gratitude possessed by outstanding leaders.




After having a lung tumour removed, she realized that she should listen to the messages from the universe. This new lease on life led her to begin writing. She self published a book successfully. For Monique, getting recognized as an author is about relationships. The love of family and friends enabled Monique to continue her writing journey.

“Love is Medicine”

Monique starts her writing process by speaking aloud and recording her voice. She captures her ideas by noticing and recording actions, thoughts and feelings and then organizes, edits, and shares. Her ability to tell stories emerged from a heroic youth and a childhood she describes as mischievous, curious and adventurous. She particularly loved the freedom of skateboarding, and tells the eventful story of an injury that led to surgeries.


Throughout her childhood, Monique learned leadership skills. The continuous changes that come with frequently moving taught Monique how to be resilient and resourceful. Monique learned to be courageous from her mom who found the strength to stop moving with her dad. As a young field hockey player, Monique had an opportunity to help the coach and eventually became a coach herself. She recalls this experience with fondness.

“It’s important in leadership that we love what we’re contributing to”

Monique believes that leadership is about using intuition to recognize the potential in others. Leaders like Monique have the ability to encourage people to move towards maximizing unrealized skills. Aspiring leaders can accomplish this feat by watching others and acknowledging their abilities.

“It’s the unseen contributions that make the most profound differences”

Monique Gray Smith is hopeful about the future. She credits this to children’s laughter, the resonation of the impact of Canadian residential schools, as well as the different levels of understanding of humanity – we are in this together.


You can find Monique Gray Smith’s award winning books in bookstores, libraries, or online:


Every Child Matters Magazine

When We Are Kind

Tilly and the Crazy Eights

Lucy and Lola

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation

You Hold Me Up

Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience

My Heart Fills with Happiness

Ripple Effect of Resiliency: Strategies for fostering Resiliency with Indigenous Children


By Madeline Johnston - Blogger

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