Catherine Monson thought leaving her friends and family behind in Southern California in 2009 to assume the role of FASTSIGNS International CEO would be the hardest venture she would ever endure. But as Catherine assumed the identity of Louise and went undercover in her own company on CBS’ Undercover Boss she soon discovered it “was a lot harder than my real job.”
FASTSIGNS International is an industry leader for signs and graphic solutions. Yet even with 530 locations, an annual revenue of $300 million and 4,000 employees, Monson knew she wanted to go undercover “to learn what training and resources need to be put in place to become the ideal company.”
Through her journey of four different visits to the various arms that keep her company running, Monson not only took away improvements that could be made to compete with other companies, but “a new appreciation for our workers and the passion that they have for what they do.”
But the most important lesson Catherine learned from going undercover didn’t come from scaling above a building to apply letters, learning how to conduct a site visit or seeing how the production area is able to keep up with the demand. It came from admiring the inspiration and passion that these workers balance in their lives. “To be the best CEO possible I need to continue to do the things I am passionate about in life and in turn make the work place better for our employees.”
From personal growth to professional lessons, Monson is grateful she had the opportunity to interact with the different aspects of FASTSIGNS and it reminded her why she became CEO three years ago. “This experience not only made me a better CEO but a better person and has truly enriched my life.”
To view Catherine Monson’s full episode on Undercover Boss click here.