“The time that I spent in the army was formative for me. The army was all about ensuring that you properly led the people that were assigned to you, that you took care of them – that’s the approach I take every day as CEO.” – Joseph “Joe” DePinto, President & CEO, 7-Eleven Two corporate executives, Joseph “Joe” DePinto, 7-Eleven’s president and CEO, and Larry O’ Donnell, President & COO of Waste Management Inc, went undercover for a week to discover firsthand what or how it is working for the organization in the least expected workplace they can find themselves in – the frontlines.
Leaders of old went to the face of the battle themselves: Julius Caesar inspired his legions against the vast armies of Vercingetorix by leading the charge
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At that instance, a new insight has struck me: typical managers will tell you how it is done; leaders will show you how. An environment conducive to learning accepts that mistakes are inevitable; they are a part of the learning process – mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. A coincidence, it was only fitting that a soldier teaches his fellow soldier, working together to achieve learning. But it was more fitting that an army sergeant teaches an army officer. Joe was a Field Artillery Officer, a West Point cadet and graduate, and Phil, a Marine Corps sergeant. And like Dolores, there was more to Phil than meets the eye. He is a man of the arts. He was an aspiring artist, and he did not fail to impress Joe with his works. Phil’s story was like the drawings he created. Lines describe what he is, and the colors give meaning to them – they describe who he is.
Waqas has an equally colorful account. He works the night shift in another 7-Eleven store. Like Phil, Waqas was not empty of aspirations – he was taking up his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and his job has been helping him realize his goals. Joe was awed with the determination that emanated from him. It seemed that Waqas was full of hope, but his sentiments towards building a career at 7-Eleven got Joe in thinking: great people like Waqas do not see themselves developing in the company – they see no room for growth. An impression