My Life as a CEO (for One Month). [Week 2]

Spanish version:

This article is the summary of my second week as ‘CEO for One Month’ of The Adecco Group in Spain. The previous one is available here.

After a first week of immersion in Adecco, on July 2 my second week as ‘CEO for One Month’ began. During these days, my first article for El Economista, a Spanish newspaper, was published. I wrote about my first days as CEO and the current situation of young people with regard to the labor market. It’s available here.

My second week began by getting to know the Personnel Department, led by its director, Fernando Tortajada. I discovered the great responsibility his team has and how much they work so that everything goes perfectly. This department has been recognized several times as the most valued by all the employees of the company in Spain. It’s not surprising, since Fernando has an excellent team that works with a surprising dedication.

On Monday, I also met with David Plaza, Head of IT for the Iberia and LATAM region. I could have never imagined the huge importance of the IT department in a Human Resources company. After a few minutes I was impressed by the amount of progress being made by The Adecco Group in relation to the digitalization and automation of many processes. Thanks to David, I was able to learn about some relevant projects that are being developed in the field of big data and artificial intelligence, which will bring important advances in the future.

Tuesday was different from the other days, since it was focused on doing many media interviews. Along with Enrique Sánchez, I was interviewed by many print and online media journalists. In addition, during the week I also had my first live radio interview by phone. Dealing with the press made me aware of how important the message I wanted to communicate was. It was undoubtedly a great responsibility. I took advantage of each interview to encourage more companies to start initiatives of this kind and also encourage young people to be more curious and proactive.

During the afternoon, I got to know the corporate volunteering programs carried out by Adecco Spain, which involve more than 40% of the company’s staff. One of these programs is called Coach Exit, done in collaboration with Fundación Exit, which aims to help disadvantaged students to improve their chances of getting a job. The experience is so enriching that many of the employees sign up as volunteers year after year.

And finally, it was time for my first business trip. On Wednesday afternoon, Enrique (CEO), Iker (CFO) and I took a plane to Lisbon. During the trip we talked about various topics, such as the importance of always taking into consideration the opinions of every member of a team.

Enrique Sánchez: “If a manager doesn’t have people on his team who dare to tell him the truth, then he’s not a good manager.”

Both of them spoke to me of the importance of always staying teachable, being able to transform experience into knowledge, and using every single learning to become a better professional and a better person.

Our schedule in Portugal was very tight, we had less than 24 hours. Upon arrival we had an informal dinner with the CEO and CFO of Adecco Portugal. The next day, we started the business review very early in the morning, analyzing the country operations. It was like a master class given to me by two CEOs and two CFOs. I was able to learn from their data analysis skills and how they came up with solid conclusions in a really effective way. We also had the opportunity to greet all the employees of Adecco in Lisbon, and I could meet Sara Santos, Portugal’s ‘CEO for one month’. After a quick lunch we went to the airport to catch the plane back to Madrid.

On Friday, I visited the IT department again to learn more about the software applications developed for clients and candidates, with the focus on the Staffing division. The work speed of the IT team was really impressive, their dedication seemed amazing and their results were really good.

To end the week, I took part in a negotiation with an important international client. During this month I have already visited some clients and I always learn valuable lessons. These are unique moments to discover how to build strong relationships with them, detect their needs, and always offer the best solutions.

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