When Sukhi Alberga stepped out of her comfort zone and into the world of law, she not only found a new career but a faith that would deeply root her approach to leadership and life. Our latest episode features this exceptional lawyer, who intertwines her professional expertise with her spiritual foundation, showing us that it's never too late to pivot toward your calling. Sukhi opens up about her transformative journey from the corporate and health sectors to the legal field, the challenges of being a mature student, and the joy of parenting spirited six-year-old twins. Her story is a testament to the resilience and enrichment that comes from harmonizing your work with your innermost beliefs.
Thanks for listening!
Click here to take the LeaderImpact Assessment and to receive the first chapter of Becoming a Leader of Impact by Braden Douglas.
Remember, impact starts with you!
Welcome to the Leader Impact podcast. We are a community of leaders with a network in over 350 cities around the world dedicated to optimizing our personal, professional and spiritual lives to have impact. This show is where we have a chance to listen and engage with leaders who are living this out. We love talking with leaders, so if you have any questions, comments or suggestions to make the show even better, please let us know. Best way to stay connected in Canada is through our newsletter at LeaderImpactca or on social media at Leader Impact. If you're viewing from outside of Canada or listening to us, check out our website at LeaderImpactcom. I'm your host, Lisa Peters, and our guest today is Sukhi Alberga. Sukhi was called to the bar in Ontario and New Brunswick and soon after founded Bridging Legal Solutions, the first multidisciplinary practice offering business law, health law, human resources and accounting services. Sukhi is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and was appointed member of the Legal Future Subcommittee for the CBA. In addition, she serves as an appointed member of the HR Committee and the Law Society of New Brunswick. She is also the chair of the first Atlantic Roundtable, started in collaboration with the Canadian Bar Association and New Brunswick branch, which members can get continuing professional development hours. Topics have included court modernization, cyber security, disaster recovery and more. Sukhi is the creator and host of the BLS podcast, which hosts entrepreneurs and professionals who open up about the creativity and innovation that inspires them to drive business forward. Her guests have been featured in Forbes and Time Magazine. Love all that. And, most importantly, Sukhi has six year old twins that keep her sharp and moving. Welcome to the show, Sukhi.Speaker 2:
Thank you so much, lisa, for taking the time to speak to me and to invite me on your podcast. I'm super excited to be here.Speaker 1:
I'm super excited to meet you, but I'm laughing at the six year old twins that keep you sharp and moving, Like as if your bio doesn't keep you sharp and moving. But six year old twins, how do you do it all?Speaker 2:
I don't know, but God's grace Pretty sure.Speaker 1:
Oh, that is wonderful. So I want to thank you for joining us here on Leader Impact. It's going to be a fun half hour. I'm excited to hear what you have to say and just jump right in. So if you're ready, let's begin. How's that sound? Yes, thank you for having me All right, so we love to hear a little bit about your professional journey and how you got to where you are today. So can you give us a couple of snapshots that were pivotal turning points in your journey?Speaker 2:
Oh yeah, absolutely. It's kind of interesting. I first started out a professional career in both the corporate world management and health sector so that gave me a lot of exposure to how patients and clients need to be managed, you know, and how do you manage people at the same time. So there was a lot of it of a learning curve there and how to handle privacy issues and things like that. Employment, hr issues. It all just kind of came together and I used to love doing it and I found myself getting to the point where I was like, well, I can take this one step further. And so then I got inspired to go to law school and I think I was. I was a matured student at the time, and so I thought to myself and I was single and I didn't have a mortgage or anything like that. So I was like no kids tying me down or anything. It's like okay, I think I'm gonna do this. If I'm gonna do this, I better do this now, right? And so I decided to go to law school and that was interesting because I had a lot of students that were younger than me but they gravitated towards me because I guess I was, in a way, really youthful and excited to be there, had a lot to say and a lot to learn and be an like a sponge and absorb the information. So there was a lot of that and simultaneously, while I was doing that, I found Christ in all of that, while I was in law school. So it was pretty amazing, actually, when I got if I could share, because I think it's really hand-in-hand as I, when I became a Christian, it was something that was sort of not something I really seeked out to do and I didn't quite fully understand it and a couple of friends of mine who were like oh, do you want to come to church? There's a service, da-da-da. I said, sure, no problem, went there and what? Now? I understand to be an altar call. At the time I didn't get it. They had said that if you want to have a personal relationship and have Christ as your friend, raise your hand. So I did. And then the next thing, I know everybody after service is coming around me and congratulating me and I'm going what just happened here? Like you're a Christian now you accepted Christ and I was like, oh, I did. Oh, my goodness, my family's gonna be like what the heck? You know, you got converted. I didn't ask to be converted, so it was just really hilarious. And once I discovered that, okay, you know I'm on this journey. I need to understand more what this means to be a Christian. And so, as I was studying to become a lawyer, at the same time I was studying to what it means to be a Christian and what does the Bible say and what's your walk, and I think, just hand in hand, doing that together and really reading Proverbs was another important book for me, and I read Proverbs every day. I've been doing it for years and tying in what I learned in Proverbs and what I do in the marketplace and how I manage clients, how I practice law. I try to bring it all together. And it was just recently I think two years ago, when I read Garth's book the Business the business name card, I think it's called where he talks about being able to share. You know your faith and it's okay to do so, and I think as lawyers sometimes you know we're kind of taught you stay out of that political and religious sort of you know, discussion kind of thing, but I found, the more I was open about it. If someone asked me and I'm open to share my faith, then those opportunities come up and and they've happened to me quite a number of times where I'll meet someone on LinkedIn and we're having a conversation and all of a sudden I may say something and it triggers them to ask me are you Christian? And I'll say yes, and it turns out they're Christian too, and then you make that connection. So it's kind of awesome that way. So I know it's kind of really a help me to be really open. And then sometimes when I'm speaking to clients, I find them say to me Suki, not only do you provide us legal advice, but you always give us a bigger picture of other things that are important in other angles that we haven't considered, especially being like an entrepreneur as well, right, so I'm able to bring that in and I think it's amazing how God and the Holy Spirit can help you and provide wisdom, right, and people who don't know or don't know of the faith don't recognize the value of that, but they're drawn to it. So that's kind of been my journey professionally and I continue to kind of walk that way and recently I got inspired me to do something really innovative. So I find myself now starting a startup as well, a second business which will be launching soon, in January, and I find myself in the tech world, which was something that I did not know much about. I was very green, I'll be honest about it, but I taught myself in coding. I was passionate, I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to increase access to justice for the public and advance our profession, so there's a little bit of that going on as well at the same time. So I just I've just been really blessed to have amazing journey that has a lot of ups and downs.Speaker 1:
For sure. You know it's as I listened to you, I think of. I love proverbs, I like I just it's a leadership book on its own. It is fantastic to go to every day. I'm doing a devotional right now on dangerous prayers, dangerous prayer, I don't know, but it's just praying boldly, like any bold I think I've been. Like I look back and think I've just been to you know, thanks for my meal and so listening to you and you know your journey and there was a lot of pivotal moments there, but I feel like you, just you're a bold prayer.Speaker 2:
Well, I wasn't always like that and you know, holy Spirit has helped me to sort of evolve into that. I was very timid at one point. I remember that especially came when it came to sharing my faith, because I always felt like I didn't. I didn't know how much I like, learned it I was. I mean, now I'm 17 years into being a Christian but I still sometimes think of myself as a baby Christian still, because there's so much to learn, right, like there's so much in the Bible still right. And recently I was listening to you a sermon where the pastor talked about and they were talking about from chapter the book of Luke and talking about John the Baptist and his prophecy and things like that. And he was talking about how we need to sometimes make a shift from expectations to expect expectancy right, to be able to expect what God wants for us and there's and your own expectations versus what God wants for you, and to kind of be able to line up with that. And I think there's something really huge to say about that. When you go from that place and you say, okay, lord, full surrender, I'm at the end of myself. I've done everything that I can. You know, now you take over and you kind of lead me and show me the way. There's some, there's a lot of power in that, I think, and I've I've come on that journey where I've learned, when I do that God shows up and he does amazing things and things I couldn't possibly imagine, you know, and he's faithful, he's really is faithful, so it's it's really humbling at times, right, how faithful and good he really is, even when you're walking through the storms of life as well, which I've walked through those as well. You know I recently am coming out of a divorce, so you know, and just learning how to do that and doing that with my you know ex, and doing it in the most loving and kind way, and God helping me to say you know what this is your testimony now. Your testimony is how do you divorce the right way? And and? So that in itself has been, you know, quite the journey as well, and I'm just really grateful how the word of God can be so powerful at a given moment in time, like he's so good to give you that scripture that can lift you up and give you that encouragement that you need right. And then those who come alongside you. He's really good at connecting you and bringing people into your life. When you pray and you ask him to do that for you, he does that. You know he really truly does. And again, I'm really grateful for all the connections that I've been able to make, including through Leader Impact, being part of the group and you know starting initiatives here in Monkton as well. It's been, it's been remarkable.Speaker 1:
Oh, great answers, Great Great conversation so far. I want to talk to you a little bit about your best principle of success and if you have one, and maybe a story to illustrate.Speaker 2:
Yeah for sure. I think the best principle for success is persistency and consistency and gumption. Honestly, as an entrepreneur, when you're doing something innovative and different and you're really kind of breaking the glass ceiling and carving your own path and I know John Maxwell talks about you know how important it is for leaders to not only lead by example but also to inspire. And you can only do that when you've gone through a lot of failures to get to your success. But in order to go through the failures and even to get to your success, you have to be persistent. You have to have the know how and the resilience to keep pushing forward and not giving up. You know, and I think there's scripture there too where Jesus says to the apostles don't give up. And he gave the example, the story of the widow coming to the judge and being persistent and saying you know God, here's your prayers. You know he may not answer them in that time or he may not answer that particular prayer, but he will have an answer for you. You know, and it may not look like what you thought it would look like, but it's usually better than what you thought at the end of the day. That's kind of what I learned right and just keep going, and I think that principle of just moving forward and pushing forward with wisdom and encouraging others along the way, even when you're going through a difficult time, I think is a beautiful thing and it just allows us to evolve and grow into who God's called us to be. You know, and he meets you. He meets you where you're at, if you ask him. He'll meet you. You know, and he'll give you the courage that you know. Sometimes when you feel like you just don't have it inside of you to do it, the Holy Spirit will come alongside and encourage you and push you forward. I mean, he's done it time and time again when I'm just like I'm done and then all of a sudden, no, you're not done. Here's an inspiration. Oh, okay, cool, I could do this, you know, and off you go. So it's, it's something remarkable to have a relationship with the Lord like that, right?Speaker 1:
Yeah, you mentioned you touched a little bit on failures and mistakes and my next question is a little bit about that, and we learn more from our failures and mistakes than our actual successes, and I don't know if you can share a greatest failure or a mistake and what you learned from it.Speaker 2:
Sure, there's so many. The one I can think of right now the top of my head is and I think it may be those who are entrepreneurs that are watching might be beneficial to them is when I was starting out and I wanted to get the firm off its ground, I was looking for like a marketing team and I thought, okay, well, the ones that are the bigger the better. Sure, they might cost me a little bit more, they're going to do the best job. Well, that's not always the case, and I had to learn the hard way where it was like sometimes you can communicate your message of what you're trying to get across out there and those who are receiving and working with you may not get it because you're so innovative. And what happened in my case with my the particular marketing firm that I ended up going with was they kept putting me into a pigeonhole of a traditional law firm and trying to market me that way when I kept saying to them well, no, we're different, you got to market us different. And so they didn't quite get the message. And yeah, it cost me a lot of money, it was an expensive mistake, but, having said that, it was a learning curve for me to say, okay, you know what going forward, I need to make sure I asked the right questions. I need to understand how marketing works. Who's my target? I like I knew all of that, but it was just how do I communicate it to someone that they can, in actual fact, communicate it back to me and put it into practice and action, and then I could trust them to do that. So my learning lesson has been to interview as many marketing teams out there and then finding the right fit for myself, and then I think there also comes a level of having confidence in yourself and knowing what you want and making sure you line yourself up with individuals and team members that align with your messaging and are excited to work with you and can follow through. So those are important key things I think you need to learn as you go forward and if that helps anybody, save that lesson. I'm happy to share that.Speaker 1:
So when you were experiencing that and you were telling the marketing company this is what I want, was there that gut feeling like you're not listening to me, yeah, and why didn't you ever pull out? Why didn't you go? You know what we're done. Were you too? Did you just sell costs, or?Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think for me it was like okay, well, I got to give them time to deliver, you know, and there's always that, oh, we can't give you a guarantee and we've got to see how this works and tested out and all that. So you kind of give them the benefit of the doubt, and I think to myself. You know, sometimes people say Christians are too nice or we we're not very quick. But you know, reacting or whatever, we give the person the benefit of the doubt kind of thing. I think maybe that was a little bit of a learning lesson to me when I knew this wasn't working I should have bowed out sooner. So now I recognize that and I think it's also important in how you deliver that message. To this day, I'm very friendly with the CEO and we just understood that we just it wasn't working for us, you know, and we agreed that it wasn't going to work and but there was no hard feelings about it, it just didn't make sense to continue and so it was done in a gracious way. At the same time and I think there's always important not to burn any of your bridges with anybody yeah, because you don't know when you can use them again or how you can connect somebody again, and that's just very important on how you handle ending certain relationship, business relationships, and how do you keep fostering, like fostering them and continue to have them grow. I think those are really important relationships and managing relationships are very key, I think.Speaker 1:
Yeah, because that can be a greatest failure and mistake if you don't manage those relationships throughout your I mean it's not always going to work, but when you manage them because you may have to. You know, I just got a, I had a call today and someone's retiring. Well, they're retiring to something, so where are they going? Right, like everyone evolves, everyone changes positions. Don't burn bridges. That was a great lesson. So at Leader Impact we want to grow. I mean, you're involved professionally, personally and spiritually for increasing impact. So would you be willing to share an example of how which I think you kind of you talked about this earlier, but how the spiritual makes a practical difference in your life as a leader and you talked about this right at the beginning just how you, how you're integrating them. If you had more to share, sure.Speaker 2:
I can give a recent example, a funny one. So at our hillside church a few months ago the pastor at the time she was doing a discipleship program and I was sort of looking into how I can be more of a leader at the church and things to do. So I attended that and I remember we were talking about the influx of newcomers coming into our community and I just remember the Holy Spirit inspire me in saying go talk to her. There's a gap and you have to help fill in that gap and and the game is is the communication and the ability to connect with newcomers, with existing members and how we can bring them together. And so I went to her. I spoke to her fast for a few months later. Now we have a newcomers committee at the church and we're starting a program initiative. We're also getting mentors existing members to become mentors and helping newcomers. We're teaching them certain etiquettes cultural etiquettes from different communities of how to be able to break those barriers and the ice break the ice between people that are coming from different backgrounds and different cultures and understanding how things are done in our community and bridging that gap there as well. So, yeah, that's like that was kind of an example of you know, being inspired and then how do you, how do you begin to lead that? And then our lead pastor is now involved in and tender one of our committee meetings and he was just saying how remarkable it is that God places us in a position when newcomers are coming. And he was just saying to me and I say this very humbly and I told him, I said it wasn't me, it was the Holy Spirit but he was like thank you for coming up and speaking and seeing the gap and starting this initiative. So, again, like you know, once you get inspired, I think one thing that sometimes we Christians can do is we think we hear from the Holy Spirit, but then we don't like what we hear and then we're kind of uncomfortable, and then we kind of take a step back and then we just kind of you know, mull over it and know, like, like I've come to learn now after so many years, that once I hear and I know it's the Holy Spirit, you know it's the Holy Spirit, it's just go for it, you just kind of go and do and he'll take care of the rest. Like there's a level of obedience and following. That, I think, is that's really important and it leads you into new spaces and new things that God wants you to do. And I think what's important is that he's always with you, right, and that's, and when he's with you, like he empowers you.Speaker 1:
I think too many times we ask ourselves why me or I don't know enough, I'm not smart enough, and I mean I look at you doing this and I mean you are, your multi disciplinary practice offers HR. You, you are bringing your, you're about people.Speaker 2:
So I listen to this, but a lot of times we, some of us women, may say why me, I can't do this, I'm not qualified, you know but the most is complex, right, like it's sort of like you know, and then God's saying well, what are you talking about?Speaker 2:
I'm listening, you know, I can speak for you when you can't speak, you know, and it's so true like I was doing this other podcast the other day and that was more in the tech world, which was very uncomfortable for me, but I just remember praying and asking God to be with me and then when I was listening back to it, I was laughing with. A friend of mine was a Christian prayer warrior and I said to her, when I'm listening and I'm listening back, I'm going oh, wow, I said that that's so cool, that came out of me. I found myself like, wow, that was a cool thing to say. Thank you, holy Spirit. That was not me, but, like you know, you have those moments right when I think it's all about surrender, you know it's all about surrender and having faith that God can work in you, through you, you know, and it's a remarkable and humbling journey to be on when you kind of live that way right.Speaker 1:
Yeah, and it is a journey oh yeah. Yes, we never master it. We're never perfect. No, not at all. So I have two more questions for you. So leader impact is dedicated to leaders having a lasting impact. So, as you continue to move through your own journey and it's an amazing journey have you considered what you want your faith legacy to be when you leave this world?Speaker 2:
Oh wow, that's a powerful, powerful question. That's an excellent question. I think that's a question that we all need to ask at some point or another, and it's a profound one. I think for me would be that I lived in what the best I could out the principles of the Bible and had a relationship and impacted many that either they came to know the Lord or that really moved them to change, make positive changes in their life. So I think that that would be my answer to that question.Speaker 1:
That's a great answer, and our last one is what brings you the greatest joy?Speaker 2:
The greatest joy is empowering other women to do things that they didn't think they could do, and I think to me that is, and I've had those moments recently which again are so moving and to be told. You know, thank you for praying for me or thank you for encouraging me. I did this Like I had one individual like she's so gifted, so talented and unfortunately she was in a domestic violence relationship that we do not know about and finally had the courage to share that and now she took the steps to come out of that relationship and you can just see now her walk with Christ is completely different, she's full on and her life is changing. She's like woman thou loose kind of thing you know. And just to see her evolve and change and grow and to have that courage to do that, and for her to say I just you being my friend and you encouraging me to, you know, find that entrepreneurial voice inside of me that you saw it within me and I didn't even know her personal background, what was happening, but that really shifted her and changed. And for her to share that with me and to say that I somehow encouraged her to do that, like that's just that speaks volumes, like it's so worth it.Speaker 1:
Yeah, it is. Oh, thank you for sharing the stories. So this ends our podcast. I want to thank you just for taking the last half hour with us. If anyone is listening to you and you know they want to engage with you, just ask you some. Whatever they want to follow you find you. How can they best do that?Speaker 2:
Oh, they can look me up on LinkedIn or they can visit our website at BLSMDPcom.Speaker 1:
MDP, mdp, awesome. Well, I want to thank you, suki, for joining us. You were a delight. It was fabulous to meet you and hear your stories. Thank you for sharing. Oh, thank you so much, lisa.Speaker 2:
I really enjoyed being on the podcast with you. Thank you so much, all right.Speaker 1:
Thank you. Well, that brings us to the end. If you're part of Leader Impact, you can always discuss or share this podcast with your group. If you are not yet part of Leader Impact and would like to find out more and grow your leadership, find our podcast page on our website at leaderimpactca and check out our free leadership assessment. You will also find on our webpage chapter one of Braden Douglas's book Becoming a Leader of Impact. You can also check out groups available in Canada at leaderimpactca. If you're listening from anywhere else in the world, check out leaderimpactcom. We're getting in touch with us by email, info at leaderimpactca and we will connect you. And if you like this podcast, please leave us a comment, give us a rating or review. This will help other global leaders find our podcast. Thank you for engaging with us and remember Impact starts with you.