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I hope reading

7 Questions with Derek Hergenhein

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Derek Hergenhein

Name: Derek Hergenhein

Current title: Director Acquisitions and Divestments, Canada

Current organisation: LafargeHolcim

Currently, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Canada wide. 13 year professional in the building materials industry across multiple product lines in multiple disciplines. Educational discipline concentrated in finance and accounting.

7 Questions with Derek Hergenhein


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Inspiration and inclusion from senior leadership.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

At the beginning of my career I would say it’s from the culmination of implementing calculated small to medium risks that resulted in wins and limited losses (stemming from very hard work). Now, I’d credit success to influencing others and fostering winning as a team mentality.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

1. Wake up early. Make the bed. Review global and market news while having light breakfast 1 to 1.5 hours
2. Review where the previous day was left off. Prioritize projects/tasks - morning
3. Check in with team to align priorities, if required - morning
4. Work to remove critical items from priority items - morning
5. Email and communication maintenance – afternoon
6. Valuation review on new files and integration of new businesses acquired - afternoon.
7. Update priorities for tomorrow - afternoon
8. Physical exercise - evening
9. Household improvements / take care of the home / family time- evening
10. Optional decompress through reading or television series - evening.
The typical day doesn’t stop moving. When I get home I will not sit down. I like to carry momentum home, continuing productivity with projects. When I wake up I try to start my day with little wins; making the bed is a great example of starting the momentum of accomplishing tasks.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

When the consequences aren’t paramount, allow employees to make mistakes. Learning the “hard way” can have a more profound impact on the individual learning curve. Failing fast can be powerful in a supportive environment.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Anything Malcolm Gladwell. Think differently. Understand all angles. Be open to new ideas.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Inclusion, positivity and acknowledging efforts to individuals.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

There are a lot of moments that come to mind. But the most powerful moments are when you know your employees are ready for their next career challenge. Developing people can be the most rewarding for a leader and probably the most important factor for a successful organization.