Leadership Blog #1: Conversation with the CEO

I still remember how nervous I was the first time I rode the elevator up to the 40th floor where all of the executives lived and breathed Husky. Even after a dozen or so times, I still felt different whenever I set foot on the executive floor… This time, I was finally meeting the CEO, Mr. Rob Peabody, and I was super excited.

The hour-long conversation was an incredible opportunity for me to learn more about Mr. Peabody’s career path and what led him to the unique role of CEO. With his consent, I am kicking off my Leadership Blog series my interpretations and key takeaways of our conversation. I’ve framed what Mr. Peabody has emphasized in our conversation as 3 questions that you should always ask yourself…

What value do you add to the company?

A lot of people are guilty of focusing on themselves and what they want, what their career goals are, and where they want to go in life… Don’t just focus on yourself. Be flexible and avoid over-planning because you never know where you will end up. When applying for a job, you really need to dig into what exactly is the job and what you actually need to accomplish. It is equally important to look at who you are working for and whether you have a real interest in the position and company.

Thoughts: From observing the workplace and talking to others, I’ve noticed that there are so many smart people who stick to what they know, and do things well, but don’t take the time to learn how they can do things better. We might think that we’re adding value to a company by doing our jobs well, but I think we need to do better at creating more value in the tasks that we do. I also think that this is challenging in cases where organizations employs contractors because they don’t get the same performance reviews and goal development plans that full-time employees do.

What are the most important objectives that your company wants to achieve?

Always look for opportunities to be a part of the most critical aspects of your organization. Pay attention to what your senior leadership is emphasizing and find ways to tailor your work or integrate yourself into those areas of focus. This gives you more visibility across the organization because you will be working on high-profile projects that deliver big outcomes.

Thoughts: From what I have absorbed in my time at Husky so far, Safety is at the forefront of everything that we do. We need to be diligent in identifying safety gaps within the workplace and actively addressing these concerns, even if we are not the ones who are at immediate risk (i.e. Office vs. Site). The greatest challenge would be simplifying these safety practices so that busy people can understand and adopt them without much effort. I look forward to seeing Husky advance its safety practices and becoming world-class in this area. It’s also clear that Cost Efficiency is essential in responsibly producing the energy that the world needs. Any business should eliminate redundancies and focus on its core business, but innovating the core business is also important. I believe that it will be challenging to innovate when process and standardization are so heavily emphasized, so a compromise will need to be achieved.

How are you getting noticed?

The first 10 years of your career sets you up for how quickly you can advance. It is as important to look for the most interesting work (and excel in it) as it is to find mentors and managers who will develop you as a professional. Organizations have High Potential Programs that identify key talent and pipeline these candidates for executive positions. These programs often include the pursuit of prestigious graduate degrees and international work assignments that provide you with insight into the industry and across your entire organization.

Thoughts: Reflecting on my 3 years at Husky, I can definitely attest that doing what interested me (SharePoint!) was definitely what I excelled in, and what set me apart from others. I am also grateful to have met my mentors because they supported me through some of the most challenging times in my career, and played a huge role in helping me develop my confidence when tackling new opportunities. I would definitely encourage other students and new grads to find role models to learn from because they share real-world lessons that are beyond those of the classroom. I’ve also met many leaders who’ve encouraged me to pursue international experience, which is why I’ve decided to go to Singapore for my final semester!

I’d like to thank Mr. Peabody for his time and an enlightening conversation. I will leave you all with the last words he said to me as I took one final glance at the stunning view from his office and walked out…

Go Change The World.

… which is exactly what I plan to do.

Thank you for reading my first Leadership blog. Stay tuned for my next one featuring Charles Duncan, Chief Strategy Officer of WestJet!