My Favorite CEO: Susan Stevenson
My favorite CEO is someone that I was fortunate enough to work for this summer, in Hong Kong. I interned in a healthcare company called Cigna and Susan was the Regional CEO of the Hong Kong Office. Now you might say that being the CEO of the office meant not interacting with interns but that was completely wrong. Because I participated in the internship program, she was constantly checking on our status and how our program was going, as far as asking for feedback for future improvement.
She took an effort to remember the names of the interns and made it a point to directly ask her if there is anything that we would like to know about the company, which was a very generous offer and a few of us interns took her up upon.
Susan also understood how to keep the workforce happy by creating and engaging employees in fun events outside of work that truly emphasized a work-life balance, as well as the importance of teamwork. For example, she participated in a dragon-boat racing team with other Cigna team members and they actually finished in the top half of 170 teams in a local competition, which is very impressive considering that none of the employees at Cigna were professional racers. She was even taught by one of the Cigna managers, and this goes to show how humble she is, willing to take advice and feedback from anyone in the company, regardless of their position in the hierarchy.
Working for her made me truly enjoy my internship and I feel that she has the traits that many CEOs should try to have: humility, getting to know people, and honesty. While this may be harder for CEOs of a larger company, it would very much pay to get to know the people who are working under you and to try to foster a genuinely friendly relationship to create a harmonious working environment.