#113: "Humans Aren’t Salmon": The Four Pillars of Energetic Leadership. With Dr Marie Holowaychuck and Josh Vaisman.

The what and the why of leadership is not up for debate anymore. We know what leadership is supposed to be, and we know what workplaces are supposed to be so that the human beings in it can actually get the work done. It’s the how that we’re catching up on.”

Josh Vaisman

“I’m excited. I feel like we’re at, or past, a tipping point in the profession. People really, really want to shift towards better places. It’s just about finding the ways to get us there.”

Dr Marie Holowaychuck

Two quotes, one message: veterinary leadership teams around the world know what needs to be done.  We just need a little help to get us there. 

In this episode, my guests Dr Marie Holowaychuck and Josh Vaisman provide some of that help with this conversation about the four pillars that the better workplace you want to create needs to be built on. 

Dr Marie Holowaychuck is a specialist in small animal emergency and critical care. She’s also a certified coach, yoga and meditation teacher, facilitator, and keynote speaker who dedicates her time and energy to sharing evidence-based information regarding mental health and wellbeing. She has more than 20 years of veterinary practice experience in academic, private, and corporate settings. She’s led workshops and lectures and delivered keynotes to a range of audiences in Canada, the USA, and worldwide.

Josh Vaisman is a Workplace Culture Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Positive Leadership Advocate and the author of “Lead to Thrive: The Science of Crafting a Positive Veterinary Culture”.  He holds certificates in areas such as Positive Psychology, Workplace Culture, and Building Effective Teams, and has a Masters level education in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology. He co-founded Flourish Veterinary Consulting LLC to bring the knowledge he’s obtained to life.

This episode was recorded live at IVECCS 2023. Use discount code VetVault2023 for a 35% discount when you become a VECCS member before May 2024, and join us at IVECCS 2024!

Topic list:

05:06 – The Impact of Culture on Well-being 

05:31 – The Four Pillars of Energetic Leadership 

06:10 – The Challenges of Veterinary Leadership 

07:05 – The Types of Clients Seeking Help 

08:04 – The Most Challenging Aspects Post-COVID 

10:34 – The Importance of Personal Well-being for Leaders 

13:35 – Empowering Teams for Personal Well-being 

18:16 – Practical Ways to Empower Team Members 

20:22 – The Challenges of Rapid Growth and Team Expansion 

24:37 – Addressing Psychological Health and Safety 

27:08 – The Resistance to New Workplace Norms 

29:12 – The Importance of Psychological Safety 

32:19 – Cultural Architecture and Unintended Consequences 

35:28 – The Importance of Clarity in Leadership 

38:45 – Key Takeaways from the IVECCS Session


I think so much of the challenge of leadership is the scalability of relationship, because that’s what leadership is. It’s a relationship.”

“When you’re taking care of yourself and embodying personal well being, you are also showing up as a better leader for your team.”


Join our community of Vet Vault Nerds to lift your clinical game and get your groove back with our up-to-date, easy-to-consume clinical episodes at ⁠⁠⁠


Get help with your cases in our ⁠Specialist Support Space.⁠

V⁠⁠isit ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠thevetvault.com⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠for show notes and resources related to this episode.

Connect with us through our online ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Vet Vault Networ⁠⁠⁠⁠k for episode highlights, clinical resources, discussions, questions and support.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠here⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ for Hubert’s favourite clinical and non-clinical learnings. 

Petition to protect Aussie Vets’ access to compounded veterinary medicines for emergency use.

Join our community of likeminded veterinary professionals for resources, case and industry discussions, connection and more.

Coming soon: Live podcasting, Q&A, practical sessions, and group discussions