Name: Robert H Ficken
Organisation: ASK HR Consultancy
20+ years HR Leadership experience
10+ years COO experience
25+ years University Professor experience
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Robert's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Sourcing and securing qualified applicants.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Started as HR professional, thanks to advice from my then CFO, I quickly learned cost-benefit analysis and ROI calculations, along with how to think and act like a CEO.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
0630-0800 Return calls, emails and texts
0800-0900 Review latest metrics/reports
0900-0930 Quick meeting with leadership team
0930-1100 Walk around talking with and connecting
with every employee available.
1100-1200 Available in breakroom for any and all
1200-1215 Power shake with lean protein
1300-1430 5-7 meeting with each department head
1430-1500 Financial Forecasting meeting with CFO
1500-1515 Meet with Social Media team
1515-1530 Meet with AI team
1530-1540 Brief break-return messages
1540-1600 Meet with Marketing Team
1600-1630 Meet with HR team
1630-1730 Brainstorming session
1730-1800 Return all messages
1830-2000 Return home. Dinner with family.
2000-2030 Review schedule for tomorrow
2030-2115 Listen to relaxing music
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Leaders must make certain every employee feels valued, appreciated and cared about.
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?
Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty: Powerful reminder to allocate your time to what you most value.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
You cannot make everyone happy, but you can make everyone feel important, appreciated, and valued.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I once had an employee that I personally saw deliver outstanding customer service, yet that employee often received terrible reviews. I spoke with that employee and found out English was his second language. I found a free ESL class near his home, helped him enroll in it, and that employee went on to become one of my top managers.