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Learnings from shadowing a CEO for a day

  • Oct 04
  • Tags CEOX1Day, MBA, Experience, CEO, Leadership

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USB MBA student Jessie Hurst was selected as a participant for Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day programme where she spent the day with Afrimat’s CEO Andries van Heerden. This global scheme is designed to uncover promising future leaders and give them an opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior business leader.

“The most striking thing about Afrimat is their culture. One of their key values states that they strive to do everything in an atmosphere of joy and positivity, and this was truly evident in every interaction I had with Andries and his amazing team,” says Hurst of her experience.

Here she shares her experience:

The Opportunity

It is not often that one has the privilege to participate in an initiative where you get to shadow one of South Africa’s most successful CEOs. The Odgers Berndtson CEOx1DAY programme made it possible for me to spend a day with Afrimat CEO Andries van Heerden and what an incredible experience that was!

The Afrimat Experience

The most striking thing about Afrimat is their culture. One of their key values states that they strive to do everything in an atmosphere of joy and positivity, and this was truly evident in every interaction I had with Andries and his amazing team.

There was a sense of eagerness and willingness from individuals to share information and include me in real and relevant conversations regarding challenges and strategic decisions. The distinct focus and intention on delivery at Afrimat was extraordinary and evident in how well prepared the leaders were and how engaged the discussions were that I had the privilege to attend.

Andries runs his organisation with focused intention – and it is clear that this is emulated by his senior leadership team and that it filters down to functional teams. I got the distinct sense that everyone was working towards a shared objective and were committed to the shared success of Afrimat.

The most valuable learning from the day was the extent to which Andries shared his knowledge and embraced the teaching moment. He demonstrated true selfless leadership, and it was inspiring to watch and learn how to be a successful leader in a challenging South African environment, dealing with complex challenges.

I’m grateful to have been able to witness an incredible organisation truly living their ‘why’.  Afrimat is built on good values and run by highly competent individuals and teams under Andries’ experienced and skilled leadership.

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