What is the best way to spend a Saturday in Fort McMurray?
With my wife, Lynelle, and a great bottle of wine!
Every day, Suncor’s Derek Jensen, who was raised in Ponoka, brings his small town value to work. “People want you to know who they are; not just at work, but who they are as a person,” he explains. “That’s a fundamental trait of my leadership. I want people to experience me for who I am. I want to show up authentically.”
In a career where he recognizes and nurtures the individuality of those he works with daily, Derek uses his natural curiosity to produce results. He encourages and supports others to develop and express their uniqueness, recognizing the authentic results - such an approach produces.
The 41-year-old Director of HR Strategic Partners lives the best advice he ever received from his early leader and mentor, Dennis Holliday: “Care for people, and give them space to create their own style; however, never let them sink.”
This mantra transfers to his views of what it means to be a part of this community, too. “It means embracing the unique aspects of the community,” Derek says, “and weaving yourself into the fabric of the community to find your own happiness and place where you can contribute.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done. As a board member and governance chair for Wood Buffalo Housing, as well as his involvement in many areas of the community, Derek is making a difference in our region.
When asked who inspires him, it’s not surprising that he includes his team. “They inspire me to be a better leader. I want to represent them, support them, and help them be great,” Derek says.
That determination for greatness is something that Derek has identified within the community as well. “We are a community that has the self-determination to succeed. We’ve been tested and we have overcome.”