Being a good manager is all about people

What finalist Katerina Fragos learned from Videotron President and Chief Operating Officer Manon Brouillette – special to the Montreal Gazette.

By: Katerina Fragos

MONTREAL — After my day with Vidéotron president Manon Brouillette, I was tired. We had spent 10 hours together, going to meetings, sitting in on presentations and pitches, and driving around the city.

As I left her downtown office at 5:30 p.m., I was ready to take a long nap. Brouillette, on the other hand, was on her way to the gym, seemingly unfazed by the long day.

Watching Brouillette in action was exciting. Like other participants in the CEO X 1 Day program, I signed a non-disclosure agreement so I can’t go into much detail about what happened during the day and what was said.

But this I can say: Brouillette has an eye for detail. I saw her pick out small flaws in the reports she was reviewing and the PowerPoint slide presentations that, in my mind, were seamless.

What also stood out for me is the way Brouillette communicates. She does not speak for the sake of speaking; every word is calculated. She knows that someone in her role has a great deal of influence on the people around her, so she chooses her words carefully. I was also impressed by the way she gave positive feedback when it was due.

No matter the discussion, Brouillette came across as humble and human. She never assumed that, because of her role, she was more capable than anyone around her. She told me that all major decisions are made in collaboration with her executive team.

She was respectful to everyone around her: the waiter, the valet, the media, her employees, everyone.

After spending a day Brouillette, I have a new-found appreciation for the level of effort a good manager puts into empowering and motivating employees. I had thought her role would be more about execution and getting tasks done. But, instead, I was surprised to see that it was mainly about people.

As a manager, you need to give your employees your undivided attention to provide them with relevant and constructive feedback as well as authentic encouragement. After seeing Brouillette in action, I think she has truly mastered the ability to do this.

The day was a great deal of fun and I think we got along well. We even took a “selfie” together and agreed to meet once every so often to catch up.

Katerina Fragos is studying finance at Concordia University, where she is also involved in student life.