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Luc Filiatreault Of MDF Commerce: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A CEO

My advice would be to connect what everybody does on their day-to-day job with the success of a greater group. If you make that very clear in everybody’s mind, you will create a fantastic work culture.

  • Explaining what you do for a living is part of the job — I often think about my kids and explaining to them what a CEO’s job is. If you would ask my kids about what I do, they would say “Oh, my dad is always on the phone. I have never seen him do anything else”. Since the pandemic, I use one of the bedrooms as a place to work and I am mostly glued to my chair on calls from 7am to 10pm or sometimes later. So, it still takes explaining within my own circle and family for what I actually do as a CEO.
  • Managing the company is all about managing its people — I thought most problems were technical and if I am really smart I could solve all the problems. But I wish someone would’ve told me to take psychology because leading a company, leading a group of people is mostly psychology. You have to learn how they are, how they react. In the first few weeks of the pandemic, people were extremely stressed and everybody at mdf commerce worked from home. It took a bit of an adjustment to deal with psychological aspects of being alone, fear of COVID and more. A leader’s role is then quickly transformed to become the person that motivates, guides and brings this big group of people together and moves ahead in one direction. I firmly believe that it’s all the soft skills that make the difference and not the technical background.
  • It’s not right if you are not having fun — Becoming an executive involves investing a lot of time in it and comes with its ups and downs. But it is important to have fun on this adventure. I wish someone told me that I was going to enjoy this journey as much as I have been.
  • Influence trumps control, always — As I mentioned earlier the more responsibility you have the less you control and the more you influence. A CEO’s job is to influence people to do what’s best for the company and its clients willingly. I have always known that controlling isn’t my style of leadership, and now I know why because influence goes a long way in motivating and encouraging people than control ever will.

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