A year ago this month, the world as we knew it changed overnight. As I reflect back, I don’t believe that anyone could have predicted, nor been prepared, for the changes that would grip our personal and professional lives across the globe.
While I have held leadership roles for many years, I felt like overnight, I needed to become an even more resilient and adaptive leader to navigate through the rapidly changing crisis management faced by our business. A leader that needed to keep our teams moving forward and focused as an essential services provider, while at the same time remaining laser focused and empathetic on the uncertainty that our customers and team were experiencing.
My leadership path to CEO wasn’t a traditional one through finance like in many companies. My career has been one relentlessly focused on the customer through the lens of a background in operations and merchandising. Leading through uncharted waters and adversity requires not only courage and bold decision making, but also a focus on putting the needs of our customer first. The importance of clear and concise communication was critical to navigating the earliest days of rapid change as remote leadership and support emerged. My teams look to their CEO as a leader, to know the path forward, to keep the boat steady and most importantly to show resilience, clarity of voice and vision and offer a steady hand in a sea of change and crisis.
As the year continued to unfold with a quiet realization that“normal” was not returning any time soon, it meant a prolonged need to reset our focus and ensure that small wins everyday were celebrated: Staying Safe andServing Customers as an Essential Service. Thank you to all essential service providers for keeping Ontario going over the past year and for each and every ONroute team member who contributed to delivering our services to all customers across our network. You were faced with the unexpected and you aligned to work together, as a team, to help and encourage one another.
Now we need to reset again and set a course for the future. We have been busy behind the scenes readying our business at ONroute for the upcoming summer season with new innovation, services, brands and excitement. We have been investing in customer facing improvements and have starting bringing these ideas to life across our plazas. This includes Tim Hortons mobile ordering ahead of time now available at all 23 ONroute locations! We are also adding new and expanded drive-thru capabilities to serve our customers faster and we will be adding a new and very exciting franchise partner to 10 locations this summer.
For those of you that know me well, you know I love using a quote to truly offer inspiration and motivation to my team: “There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking”. Let’s make the year ahead one about positivity, change and growth. It has been a long 12 months, let’s make this a summer to remember.
We’re ON it for you!
Chief Executive Officer, ONroute