MILLBROOK - Sometimes, it's the little things that mean the most.
As well worn as that old adage may be, it nonetheless also serves as testament to what has been most meaningful for Robert Gloade during his first year as chief of the Millbrook First Nations band.
"It's the fact that when you accomplish small goals on a day-to-day basis," Gloade said, of what he views as some of his more important achievements at the end of this first year.
"That in itself to me, when you help other people, I find that more fulfilling than anything else. It's not what I get out of it personally, it's helping other people."
Gloade, 45, had served for 12 years as a band councillor prior to toppling Lawrence Paul from the top position during last February's elections in Millbrook.
Paul had led his community for 28 years before losing out by 167 votes.
But now, with 12 months of serving as chief under his own belt, all that is water under the bridge for Gloade, whose focus is locked solely on the future, not on the past.
"It's been busy since day one and no regrets," he said, despite the fact he had to undergo "a massive learning curve."
Although Gloade had previous political experience at the local, community level, he was not as well versed in the broader provincial and national arenas.
"The biggest learning curve I think I've found is trying to keep on top of everything. And it involves a lot of long days and long nights and research and reading and talking to people. It's been steady," he said. "Just trying to find the time to do everything, I think, has been the biggest obstacle."
One of his bigger accomplishments at the community level, Gloade said, has been trying to bring more people together for the good of all.
"The actual changing the communication channels between the council members and the community members and being more actively involved in different things in the community," he said.
"But I think the ability to communicate openly with people from all facets has probably been the biggest accomplishment."
Gloade said he treats the chief's position as a full-time job, to the point where his own business - G&G Home Heating - has essentially been turned over for others to run.
"Yeah it has been a full time job," he said. "I basically commit seven days a week, 24-hours a day. That's the mindset I have to focus on, to be available."
Gloade said that his during workdays, when not travelling the roads on band business or attending meetings, he can be found in the office "trying to get a better handle on what's going on."
But despite the hectic pace the job sometimes demands, Gloade said he enjoys holding the top position and "absolutely" does plan to run again at the end of his first term in a year's time.
"I enjoy every bit of it and being involved in the community. It's rewarding in itself when you are able to accomplish anything," he said.
"At the end of the day, if we can create employment opportunities for the youth going forward, and try to create some meaningful employment for them, some training to get them some experience on a variety of different things, the far better off all of them will be."