New Episode of Breakfast With a CEO

Written by Kelly Fisher

In this week’s podcast, Breakfast With a CEO, we hear from Merete Hverven, CEO of Visma.

Merete initially joined Visma in 2011 as HR Director, and took over as CEO in April 2020 where she now oversees a company with over 12,500 employees and has over 1 million customer contracts. She joins the podcast to talk about the importance of finding the right people and supporting employees to be their best selves at work and as people.

Engage With the Day

Merete growing up was familiar with travel and living in different places. She was born in the U.S. and would live and study in both Norway and Switzerland. Merete hadn’t thought of herself as one to become a CEO, but instead saw value in trying to be present and live each day as fully as possible. This allowed for her to fully engage with the people around her and learn why it was important to surround herself with people who inspired her. This insight about surrounding yourself with the right people has been key in Merete’s career journey and the successes she has found throughout it.

Find Your Superpower

It is important for Merete that people can find their superpower in the workforce.
Finding your superpower is just as much about finding what is your strength as an employee, and knowing your weakness. This is key when it comes to leading and creating teams because you can see how people’s strengths are balanced by each other, and making sure that someone’s job is best utilized by the strengths they have. Merete highlighted that by having diverse teams and workplaces, it is more likely to have this balancing of people’s superpowers that lead to a dynamic team.

4 Traits of a Successful CEO

Merete believes it is important to quantify people’s traits and talents that make for a successful workplace, especially being someone who had worked in HR.
Citing a study by GH Smart, Merete cited 4 key characteristics of successful business leaders. 

  1. Making decisions with speed and conviction 
  2. Engaging with impact and bringing your employees along for the ride  
  3. Proactively adapting, and 
  4. Delivering reliably 

She adds that, “CEO’s who adapt proactively were 6.7 times more probable to be successful than others.” 

To hear many more insights from this interview, including why Visma went big on acquisitions during covid-19, listen to the podcast here: