Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

Leadership Lessons: Meet Jay Greaves

Jay GreavesWelcome Jay Greaves, VP of Sales Effectiveness, to the Ceridian HCM Blog. Each month, Jay will be sharing with us lessons in leadership that he’s learned from his many years in the HCM industry.  Here’s Jay to introduce himself!

It seems like my entire life I’ve heard the way to learn something, anything, is to read a book, take a class, and get a degree.  Unfortunately that hasn’t always worked for me as I tend to learn from doing and in many cases learning things the hard way.

I come from a “blended” Midwestern family where I was the youngest of the original three kids, youngest of the blended family with six kids, and then subsequently gained two younger sisters.

I’ve been in leadership roles as long as I can remember.  I was the captain of the “safety patrol” in the 6th grade, the youngest Boy Scout Senior Patrol Leader in the state of Oklahoma when I was 14, manager of the Hale Marching Hundred marching band and my high school swim team at 16, and had my first manager job working at my local Texaco station at 16.

I’ve been working almost without break since the day I turned 16 (at the Texaco station). I remember that day well. I got up, fetched my driver’s license, and went to work.  I worked through high school, college, and graduate school. Other than my first semester at Oklahoma State I have not been away from work for more than 10 consecutive days except for one three week trip to China during graduate school.

At 18 I began working for Delta Air Lines to pay for college. At 25, finally about to graduate from Oglethorpe University, I started my first full-time management role leading a team of 24 computer programmers supporting financial systems. I had a stint leading change management and then moved to Sales as an operations leader. From there I moved to Human Resources leading a team of generalists who first supported Sales, Marketing, and the associated ex-pats before moving to a similar role supporting part of the In Flight Service division.  I left the airline and worked for a while as an independent leadership development consultant, sold real estate, and led real estate sales teams.  I got laid off.  And in the last eight years I’ve had positions in organization development, internal communications, Sales, and back again to organization development, supporting Sales.

So here I am today, a few months away from celebrating my 55th birthday, having learned so many lessons about leadership from my family, my education, volunteering, and 39 years of working.

I’ve learned through all of this that leadership is an amazing opportunity and with it comes great responsibility. I’ve learned that challenging and difficult to understand concepts can often be reframed and easily understood.  More importantly, the lessons I’ve learned the hard way, while not so much fun at the time, have taught me the most.

In this blog series, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned along the way, both easy lessons and many hard ones.  And I’ll offer my take on making some leadership concepts easy to understand, and hopefully entertaining too.

So thank you for coming along on this journey and allowing me the privilege of sharing what I’ve learned along the way.



Jay Greaves is a Strategic HR & OD/OE consultant, Vice President at Ceridian HCM, community volunteer. He lives in Long Beach, California and is passionate about working to make our world a better place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow @Ceridian on twitter.