Taking part in CEOx1Day gave me the opportunity to see a day in the life of a senior executive up close. I shadowed Annick Guérard, formerly CEO of Transat Tours and now COO of Transat, a leader in the Canadian holiday travel market.
It was an inspiring experience. I learned a lot about a fascinating role and industry and was exposed to some of the challenges senior executives face.
The day was eye-opening and I had to learn fast as Annick’s schedule is hectic.
We began with a visit to the company’s maintenance center, where Transat services its aircraft and handles flight logistics. From there we went to the head office where we joined strategic meetings in different departments including sales and digital.
Throughout the day, Annick took the time to explain to me the biggest issues facing each part of the business and the solutions being put in place to achieve the company’s strategic objectives.
I learned a lot about leadership by talking to Annick and observing her in action. Vision, strategic thinking and decisiveness are all fundamental skills for leaders, enabling them to direct the future of their organization.
Annick showed me that leadership is about people – they are the most crucial variable when trying to translate vision into reality.
Spending the day with Annick made me realize that becoming a leader takes hard work and a willingness to push ideas that upset the status quo. It also requires developing relationships that help to foster and deliver the company’s strategic goals.
Uncovering the leadership potential within
I am currently a financial analyst at ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, a division of the world’s leading steel and mining company. I am particularly interested in how the iron ore mining and steel manufacturing industries are evolving and generally how businesses adapt to face the challenges that lie ahead. Keeping up with the latest industry developments helps me implement strategic thinking skills on the projects I lead by reflecting on the bigger picture.
The CEOx1Day experience taught me that being willing to learn and change constantly are the most important characteristics a future leader can develop.
Technology moves quickly, and change remains the common denominator across all industries and functions.
Living these traits on a daily basis can help uncover the leadership potential that is within us all.
This article is from the latest ‘Talent and Potential’ edition of the Odgers Berndtson magazine, OBSERVE.
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