Day in the Life | Adecco Group Senior Leadership Team Edition
If I could describe Monday in one word…exhilarating. From kicking off the morning in a meeting with Corrine Ripoche, US CEO and Christophe Catoir, Global President all the way to a discussion on HR Transformations that will touch every region of the Adecco’s global reach, I’ve gained an insight into the importance of not only having an ambition or dream for the future but a well-established communication channel, the right people to implement these milestones, and a well-articulated action plan with intermediate check ins.
I realize that a great misunderstanding about CEOs and executives is that it is a lonely leadership role. In contrast, teamwork and trust are critical to navigating workplace priorities. A leader's decisions and choices are not easy nor linear. Instead it involves a significant amount of teamwork, prioritization, and trust. Here are 4 key takeaways:
The single most limiting factor of progress is resources. Therefore, leaders must balance feasibility, profitability, and impact when choosing projects to pursue. However, a reassuring component is that a strong organization’s greatest asset are its people. Therefore, before pursuing a vision or project, a leader must build up a growth-minded team.
In addition, decisions are not the burden of any single person. A company and organization thrives and functions upon the ability to provide all levels of leadership and management a sense of collective buy-in. Especially in a multi-faceted, multinational company, no branch and team is completely siloed from the other. The success of one team is the success of another; the shortcomings of one branch is the shortcoming of the overall company.
Thus, it is critical to establish collective responsibility among the most senior of executives all the way to new entrants.
Vision is nothing more than a dream without action and collaboration. One thing that remote work has shown us is that virtual interactions require a significant investment in building and maintaining connections. Thus, leaders must balance their time between vision-building and relaying these ideas and implementation strategies to their executioners.
Moreover, a leader must have a variety of communication styles. In shadowing Corrine Ripoche through her one-on-ones to her colleagues, mentees, and team, I’ve seen her ability to adapt her communication style to foster an environment that enables enterprising mindsets. If I had to choose a single most important quality of a leader, it would be the ability to adopt an intuition for communication mannerisms.
Leadership by Learning
A critical motto I intend to adopt going forward is that “knowing is less important than learning”. Knowing is a stagnant stage whereas learning is a testament to your flexibility and ability to be preventive about global changes.
One of my favorite sessions for Day 1 with the SLT leaders was a workshop with Peggy Overmeer. Never did I imagine an interaction with with vertical leaders would involve channeling our inner 3rd grader and visualizing our challenges through art.
As I reflect on that experience, I think about James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. The power of visual cues can be incredibly motivating. Whether that be checking off a box or dropping a marble in a glass to show you’ve completed a goal, these visual indications of achievement provide an invaluable metric of personal motivation. Now combine that visualization with identifying a professional challenge, we are able to identify our judgments, biases, and fears through introspection in work environments where it is easy to pass the blame onto something external.
Learning is about transforming self-reflection into self-improvement.
Sometimes, a successful day is simply keeping the ship afloat or meeting minimum success metrics. However, rather than standing behind problems, leaders must be proactive and get ahead global transformations. Of course, this does not come without risks. However, without trust in teammates, a growth mindset, and firm decisions, we will remain reactive rather than proactive.
Responsibility is not about meeting demands but driving demand in the right direction for collective good no matter how difficult. This includes wellness in the workplace, providing clients quality service, empowering candidates by meeting their personal asks, and providing meaningful work and purpose for everyone in the system.