CEOs Talk Leadership: Peter Aceto

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Peter AcetoAs HR professionals evolve from transactional players to strategic ones, CEOs are demanding increasingly complex deliverables from those leaders. HRD reveals the key expectations of some of Canada’s most influential corporate heads

Peter Aceto President and CEO Tangerine

With nearly 1,000 employees in Canada, Tangerine (formerly ING DIRECT) is the country’s leading direct bank. Between a recent rebranding, and keeping his 14,600 Twitter followers informed, Peter Aceto makes employee engagement a priority for his organization.

1. Strategic Mind: Today’s HR leaders face the same pressures as IT leaders or any other function within a business, frankly. They must understand the core of the business. They clearly see how their role impacts the bottom line, not from a numbers perspective, but from a strategic competitive advantage. They recognize that a transactional mindset is limiting and that systems and metrics alone do not sustain the growth of the business.

2 Business Acumen: Leaders keep their fingers on the pulse. They understand and acknowledge that just as consumer preferences have changed, so have the desires of employees. They discover what it takes to innovate the corporate culture to meet the needs of today’s employee. They ask questions such as How do I compete for employees? How do I keep them engaged beyond the numbers?” And they come to the CEO with a strategic objective that keeps productivity levels high.

3 Visionaries: Strategic HR leaders with business acumen not only believe that culture is at the heart of the business, but that change and evolution are inevitable. They are visionaries who — in partnership with their CEOs — enable change and motivate across all boundaries to enable employee groups to learn and embrace change. They think beyond the ordinary and guide the entire organization to do the same.

4 Teach and Inspire Leadership: HR leaders must be great leaders of people. Arguably the most important trait for a HR leader is to inspire and coach other leaders to be what they are — great leaders of people. They inherently know that everyone is different and are skilled to deal with those differences. As a CEO, I look for HR leaders who adopt a coaching and mentoring focus, naturally and responsibly. They are role models who work tirelessly to help others become great leaders.

5 Self-Motivation: A leader with a clear view of the business objectives and the direction in which it is moving must be a proactive driver. I look for my HR leader to come to me with thoughtful plans and ideas that tie with our core business objectives. They measure progress and help us understand what the metrics mean for the overall strategy. They know how to measure what is important and ensure we are improving.

Read the complete feature and more on HRM Online Canada's May Issue.

  Human Resources Management Canada

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