Walter Natynczyk has been described as a charismatic and amiable leader who always took his job to heart. Natynczyk has accomplished a great deal in his lengthy military career and beyond, having risen to the rank of Canada’s top General, and now serving as the president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Natynczyk
Born in 1957, a young Natynczyk spent 5 years as an Air Cadet prior joining the Canadian forces in 1975 when he enrolled at Royal Roads Military College. In 1979 Natynczyk graduated from CMR with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, a degree that would serve him well throughout his 37-year military career. Throughout his career Natynczyk also attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the All Arms Tactics Course in the U.K., and the U.S. Army War College. General Natynczyk has had no lack of operational experience. He served his country at home, leading the Royal Canadian Dragoons in operations during the 1997 Winnipeg floods as well as the 1998 Ottawa ce storms. He also had many tours abroad, spending 4 years in Germany with NATO, 6 months in Cypress on peacekeeping duties as well as a yearlong tour in the former Yugoslavia where he commanded troops in both Bosnia and Croatia. In 2004, General Natynczyk’s overseas experiences culminated with a posting to Iraq where he served as the Deputy Commanding General of the Multi-National Corps, commanding over 32,000 soldiers, and playing a substantial strategic role in Operation Iraqi Freedom for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross. In 2005 Natynczyk returned to Canada and held various senior positions before being appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in 2008.
During his time as CDS, Natynczyk was known for getting very involved. He visited troops and responded to issues arising across the globe including Haiti, Libya and Afghanistan; he traveled to Afghanistan 16 times over his four year term. General Natynczyk was also a strong advocate for veterans, working diligently to raise awareness of issues relating to combat stress, and for military families. He is remembered for fighting to improve access to doctors for military families, a chronic problem for families who are constantly on the move. General Natynczyk retired from the Armed Forces in 2012.
In 2013 General Natynczyk was appointed President of Canadian Space Agency where he continues to serve his country today. In his spare time, he enjoys jogging, sailing, and spending time with his wife as well as his three children all of whom serve in the Canadian Forces.
General Natynczyk has been commended time and time again for his phenomenal leadership abilities. In the short video below he explains how individuals and businesses alike can build a culture of quality and what made him a successful leader.
A short video of an interview with General Natynczyk, discussing leadership and how to build a culture of quality in the workplace is available here.