Ever since the announcement last December that I, Jennifer L'Heureux, had been one of the winners of the CEO for a Day contest... I immediately started to get an idea of what it is like to be CEO. The sheer scheduling of the day was an eye opener. March 12 finally arrived, and I officially changed my job title to “CEO”... however I think it was only in spirit as I did not see the actual pay raise I thought (well, I hoped) I would get. And there was no change in OHR. Even so, I enjoyed myself throughout the day.
I started my day with three Goals:
1) Get a raise
2) Make a decision
3) Remain composed
I will be honest with everyone: only one of these happened. You see, I decided with my newfound power I would try to be a CEO of the people. When I walked in the ExComm meeting and Bjorn "handed over the reins” to me, naturally my first order of business was to give everyone in the room a raise. Apparently, this would lead to many red flags, and there is something called checks and balances which would cause them not to line up. Who knew? Only Bjorn, apparently, because everyone else in the room seemed to be all for it. In the end it did not happen.
As for the second goal to make a decision, I would like to think that with every decision made that day was based around the question: What would Jennifer do? However I think after my CEO of the people stunt earlier, people had checks and balances on the brain. No direct decision making occurred.
As for the third goal, it was slightly nerve-racking thinking about spending an entire day with someone with the job title “President and CEO.” However, from the moment I arrived, I felt at ease. This was entirely due to the welcoming and open nature of Bjorn and the entire Stamford site. Throughout the I day I attended many meetings which involved a large portion of the WCS SLT. This gave me a strong sense of the different leadership styles we have at WCS and once again it was made clear there is not a one size fits all approach to leadership, everyone has their own style that works for them and their function.
Of all the things I learnt that day (for example, in order to become CEO there are a lot of acronyms I need to learn), the most important is that I was reminded, especially during my one on one time with Bjorn, is that at our core we are all just people. Although our deliverables, responsibilities and job titles may be different, we all are here on the same team to work towards one common goal: Make WCS thrive.