Last October at the Western Distribution Center in Las Vegas, Jocelyn Guiwan was holding a regular team meeting with her team when she asked for 10 volunteers. “I could tell by the looks on their faces they had no idea what I was going to do,” says Guiwan, who is the Senior Manager of Configuration Services at CDW’s Las Vegas facility. “Eight people stepped up. I said I still need two more. With a little prodding, two more walked up.” She told her volunteers she was going to ask them three questions. Two were about the steps they’d taken to improve their own communication skills and the third was how they embody the CDW Way. She then asked if all 10 still wanted to participate. Each said they did and answered her questions in front of the group. “Most of us are afraid to volunteer because we fear the unknown,” says Guiwan, who started as a contractor with CDW 11 years ago and gradually worked her way up to a senior management role. “But nobody has all the answers. That’s why we network and collaborate – to learn from each other.” After the 10 gave their answers, Guiwan thanked them. She then handed each volunteer $50, which was the $500 Guiwan had received for being named 2018’s August Coworker of the Month.
“The lesson I was sharing was not to fear the unknown,” she says. “I started at CDW a week after I’d turned 18 and I tried to approach every challenge as an opportunity to learn. The recognition, the pay, it all comes later. The only way to get where you want to go is to overcome the fear holding you back.” And it is this unwavering commitment to her team, CDW’s account managers and our customers that earned Guiwan the honor of being named 2018 Coworker of the Year.
“I am grateful for every setback and challenge I’ve faced in my career, because each strengthened me to become the person I am today,” Guiwan says. “Receiving the Coworker of the Year award wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing leaders at CDW, my mentors who believed in me, and my teammates, who I have the utmost respect for. Each stage in my career has required me to be a different version of myself, and I truly feel my ability to adapt, change and tackle challenges by believing I am in control of the outcome has led me to this.
” According to one of her nominators, Guiwan’s leadership and coordination are clear, “Jocelyn and her team are always willing to take on a new challenge, build out a new solution and brand everything that comes out of the Configuration Center with CDW exceptionalism.” Whether it’s answering those late night calls, responding to those early morning emails or her dedication to excellence, her coworkers agree Guiwan’s commitment makes everyone around her better and no challenge unachievable.
For Guiwan, though, her philosophy is simple – to put others first. “You can’t put on blinders or pass the buck in an area like ours, because we can’t succeed without collaboration,” she explains. “While collaboration may seem appealing and easy in concept, it’s quite challenging in practice. I lead my team by effectively navigating through the complexities of collaboration by cultivating trust, clarifying purpose, convening the right people, clarifying purpose, and coordinating tasks and activities.
When I think about my own success, I am reminded of other leaders and coworkers that have helped me navigate through my career,” Guiwan adds. “To me, it’s all about giving back to others and putting them first. I know if I take care of my coworkers, they’ll take care of our customers and it leads to achieving success for CDW. It’s as simple as that. Hearing thank you, and knowing how genuinely grateful they are to receive that support, is what makes me love what I do.”