Traveled to India as CEOx1Day at HP

Gao Fei Yu, 3rd-year NUS student traveled with Richard Bailey, President Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Inc, to its New Delhi office as part of his CEOx1Day programme.

"In a span of 1 day, I was taken through the demands and pressure a CEO needs to undertake in order to fulfill his or her responsibilities.

During the day of the program, I attended an internal meeting with Richard to review the performance for the India team with the Managing director of India - Mr Sumeer Chandra. When the meeting was over, I attended an internal conference with Richard where the top employees in HP were invited for a meet and greet session. The day ended with a sumptuous dinner with Richard as I go through questions I have about the day."

About leadership

“Prior to participating in CEOx1Day, my understanding of what a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) does was limited by the start-up ecosystem. To me, being a CEO entailed day-to-day tasks that were more entrepreneurial and hands-on, as opposed to making managerial or strategic decisions.

Good leadership to me meant being able to inspire, manage and motivate individuals, while also synthesising team efforts cohesively to reach an organisational goal. A good leader would care for his/her followers by genuinely seeking to better their future in the process. Achieving such holistic leadership would, thus, require professional execution, maintaining responsibility and accountability to their varying stakeholders.

For a start-up, this meant commitment. To do whatever it takes to meet the collective goal, even if it meant that the CEO had to lead by example and get his/her hands dirty, while using his/her influence to make the best choices possible.

Having spent a day with Richard during the CEOx1Day program, I gained a new understanding of what it takes to be a great CEO. In the span of one day, I was taken through the demands and the pressure faced by a CEO in fulfilling his/her responsibilities. Observing his work throughout the day, I realised that Richard demonstrated tremendous ability in management and leadership. He had tremendous energy, commitment and mental fortitude, necessities for tasks that called for great stamina, focus and emotional stability. Watching Richard operate, I realised that being a leader was also a tremendous commitment that required great sacrifice. The time spent on work was overwhelming - to the point that leaders had little to no personal time.

His commitment was not merely to himself, but to a multitude of stakeholders including his organisation, his customers and his board. I realised that it required great resilience to perform under pressure, since the nature of the work is extremely complicated with little margin for error. Skillset aside, he taught me that leaders must also have the right intentions, mindset and motivation to achieve their goals.

After spending the day with Richard, I recognised how much more I needed to learn in being the CEO of Learnseeker. It has been an enriching experience that exceeded my expectations. I am extremely grateful to Odgers Berndtson and HP for making this possible. CEOX1Day inspired, and continues to inspire me as I continue my journey toward becoming a positive leader for Learnseeker.”


Gao Fei was interviewed by Radio 938, together with Alexis (CEOx1Day finalist) and Andie (Managing Partner, Southeast Asia) about their experience of CEOx1Day.