Being CEO for a day: Learning from passionate leaders that understand the future of work

Friday, March 18, 2022
by Samantha, Math/CPA student

Sharing the insights I gained from top Canadian executives at the CEOx1Day Future Leaders Summit

Photo of Samantha
As the global pandemic continues, virtual events like Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day provided an opportunity to learn from CEOs and connect with other promising future leaders across the country. I first became aware of this opportunity through the School of Accounting and Finance community and completed the two-step application process that included a written application portion, an online leadership assessment, and interviews. After being selected as one of the 50 student finalists across Canada, I felt honoured to be recognized as a promising future leader and was eager to learn from and connect with industry professionals and fellow students.

Throughout the Summit, CEOs and CHROs across various industries shared their experiences and insights about leadership on a larger scale. Throughout the panel discussions, I gained many insights regarding personal and professional development and want to share them with you!

  1. Listen and continue to learn. As students and recent graduates, we still have so much to learn about ourselves and the world around us. It is important to listen to others and absorb as much knowledge as you can to enable continuous growth.
  2. Balance your skills. It is important for continuous development of both humanities learning and technical competencies, to create a balance between human connection and digital advancements.
  3. Values matter. Values are revealed by what people do when nobody is watching, how people act with integrity and honesty, and the way people treat others. Values allow for work-life harmony, and a powerful team to support one another.
  4. Find your true passion. By trying new experiences, entering different sectors, exploring new roles, or seeking new opportunities, you can find where your true passion lies for you to thrive. There is not one sole path that leads to success. 
  5. Resilience is crucial. It is the ability to embrace a changing environment, understand how it shapes you, and adjust your approach to respond to the transformations.

CEOx1Day also provided the finalists an opportunity to increase our self-awareness to maximize and develop our leadership skills. We completed the Hogan Personality Inventory Assessment and were provided with personalized reports that detailed insights into our current strengths and future growth opportunities. Through the Summit, I not only made connections across Canada, but I also learned that self-awareness is a key aspect to becoming a great leader. It is one thing to have self-knowledge, but what develops a great leader is using that knowledge to allow for continuous growth and become stronger as a person and a leader.