Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

In mid-June, I attended an event put on by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke, the second largest Rotary Club in the Greater Toronto Area. I was invited by John Jefkins, a business executive and the leader of my LeaderImpact group in Mississauga. That evening, he was one of two guest speakers on the topic of the “British Home Child” scheme.

From the late 19th century to 1948, approximately 120,000 lonely and frightened children of all ages were sent away from their families in England to Canada in various migrant schemes. On the one hand, these schemes served to help the British deal with great societal upheaval which manifested in poverty and overcrowding. On the other hand, Canada was in need of migrant workers, particularly on the farms. While the schemes resulted in some children finding their way into caring families, many did not. (Find out more at British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association)

John is very passionate about this topic as he is the son of a British Home Child and over the last four years through a series of extraordinary (I am tempted to say miraculous!) events, pieced together his father’s history. His voyage of discovery included meeting with relatives of his father in the UK. Read John’s Story

While this was a relatively sad chapter in the history of Canada, the Jefkins family succeeded in spite of their challenging historical roots. John’s father positively adapted to life in Canada while John has experienced success as a marketplace leader, husband and father.

Our history can and often does affect our future, but we don’t need to remain prisoners of our past.

As an investment industry professional, I am well aware that we should never assume that we can blindly extrapolate historical trends. Analyzing historical financial statements is a useful exercise in understanding a business but not necessarily in forecasting future financial prospects. In fact, we can miss significant non-quantitative clues that can repeat themselves and dramatically affect the success (or not) of the enterprise.

Notwithstanding, our history can and often does affect our future. We are all prisoners of our past to some degree. I certainly felt trapped by my drive for accolades through performance. However, I could not figure out whether there was more to life and whether change was possible. Can you relate?

A core brand value of LeaderImpact is changed lives. For me, freedom from the past came as a result of coming to know Jesus and experiencing the life changing power that comes from having a relationship with Him.

Is there something you would like to change in your life?

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.