Still Loading is a podcast dedicated to exploring Leadership for the Digital Age. We have seen the world dramatically shift during Covid-19 with greater pressure and skills needed for leaders to be able to navigate teams remotely and in different ways. Added into that the increasing complexity of navigating a hybrid working work and increasingly digital way of doing things, this podcast explores the changing role and skills needed in today's leaders and a way to learn from each other.
#51 Creating a data driven strategy for your business
In this podcast episode, Ilona Brannen interviews Lesley Vossenkemper, founder of Scale Up Strategies. Leslie shares her background in the education sector and her passion for helping businesses grow and achieve their goals. She explains how she transitioned from working in a corporate environment to becoming an entrepreneur.
Leslie discusses the importance of being a spark of change and shares her experience in serving clients across sectors. She emphasizes the need for consultancy services that support startups in scaling and innovating, regardless of their industry.
Ilona and Leslie explore the significance of developing a data-driven culture within organizations. They discuss the challenges companies face in leveraging data effectively and how to approach this with clients. Leslie highlights the value of win-loss data and the insights it can provide about competitors, market trends, and marketing opportunities. She also emphasizes the importance of measuring engagement and client satisfaction as leading indicators for retention.
* Leslie talks about her extensive experience in the education sector in senior leadership positions and how EdTech has evolved during her career.
* Leslie shares her own entrepreneurship journey from the impact of the pandemic to now and what she has learned along the way
* Leslie emphasises the importance of data-driven decision-making and building a data-driven culture within organisations.
* Leslie suggests focusing on key metrics that align with business goals and using data to track and improve those metrics.
* One example of a leading metric is win-loss data, which can provide valuable insights into competitors, market trends, and potential opportunities for improvement.
* She also highlights the significance of client retention and engagement metrics in understanding customer satisfaction and identifying areas for improvement.
This episode is a must if you are interested in learning more about EdTech, entrepreneurship and how data (even the smallest amounts) can revolutionise the way you work.
#50 AI, Coaching and Radical candor: Unlocking leadership
In this episode of the Still Loading podcast, host Ilona Brannen interviews Febronia Ruocco, a marketing expert with extensive experience in the FMCG sector. Febronia shares her insights on cultural intelligence and the importance of understanding local perspectives when working on global marketing projects. She discusses her early career at Cadbury Schweppes European Beverages, where she collaborated with marketing directors from different countries, emphasizing the need to negotiate and influence while respecting diverse cultural nuances. The conversation also delves into the role of AI in marketing, highlighting its potential to streamline data analysis and creative design processes. In this episode we explore:
- The role of AI - can it replace human connection?
- The value of empathy and personal relationships
- How to develop cross cultural teams and insights
- Coaching and the power to unlock your potential
This episode offers a combination of marketing expertise, insights into cross-cultural dynamics, discussions on AI in marketing, and reflections on leadership in the digital age.
You wouldn’t want to miss it!
Link to connect with Febronia Ruocco https://www.linkedin.com/in/febroniaruocco/
Hofsted Insights Comparison Tool: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison-tool
Link to purchase the book Radical Candor: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Radical-Candor-Kickass-Without-Humanity/dp/1250103509
#49 Navigating remote leadership and the future of work with Peter Benei
In this episode, we dive into the world of remote leadership and the challenges faced by leaders in the digital age.
Our guest, Peter Benei, founder of Anywhere Consulting, shares his expertise in leadership development for remote leaders and provides valuable insights for startups and growing companies.
Peter highlights the common operational mistakes made by founders, stemming from their background in enterprise leadership or a lack of business-building knowledge. He emphasises the need for leaders to adapt to the fast-paced and reactive nature of startups, particularly when transitioning from an enterprise setting.
The conversation explores the key differences between traditional and remote leadership, focusing on the importance of intentionality, pre-communication, and written communication in remote work environments. Peter argues that these practices should be embraced by all leaders, regardless of having a physical office, as they foster collaboration, support, and effective communication.
Drawing attention to the power of leaders' habits and behaviour’s, Peter discusses how modelling positive behaviour influences team members more effectively than mere instructions. He emphasises the significance of self-reflection for leaders to identify their negative behaviours and their potential impact on their teams.
One valuable practice Peter suggests is the creation of a user manual, enabling leaders to outline their communication preferences, collaboration styles, trigger points, and other important information. This manual fosters self-awareness and promotes better understanding within teams while challenging stereotypes and assumptions to improve communication and collaboration.
The episode also delves into the significance of intentionality, empathy, and written communication in bridging gaps between team members with different social skills and cultural backgrounds. Written communication is highlighted as an inclusive tool, benefiting introverts and ensuring everyone's ideas are heard and considered.
We talk about the need to on improve facilitation skills and creating inclusive meeting environments to enhance team engagement and productivity. With uncertainty prevailing in leadership due to the unpredictable nature of the current times, Peter sheds light on how the people-first approach is gaining prominence, with workplaces treating employees as individuals working collaboratively towards a shared goal.
What about the future of work? We share insights on the anticipated impact of AI in the workplace in the coming years. Leaders must stay prepared to adapt and navigate these changes to create thriving work environments that embrace technological advancements while prioritising their teams.
Join us for this thought-provoking episode as we explore the nuances of remote leadership, the power of intentionality, and the evolving landscape of work in the digital age.
Are you ready to learn more?
You can find more out about Peter and the work that he does at https://anywhere.consulting/
#48 Global communications: how to lead in a multinational context
Heather Hansen is a global communication consultant who helps companies navigate the challenges of communication in multicultural and multilingual settings. She emphasises the importance of conscious communication, confident communication, and connected communication in her approach. The "unmuted" framework she developed from her award winning book, focuses on self-awareness, skill building, and creating inclusive environments. Heather works with companies that have recently undergone strategy revamps and helps them implement their new strategies by ensuring effective communication throughout the organisation. This involves engaging employees, aligning their roles with the strategy, and maintaining communication channels to drive strategy execution. She possesses the expertise to empower clients in conquering communication and cultural hurdles when venturing into new markets or collaborating with diverse teams.
In this episode we explore:
1. The subjective and Westernised nature of professional presence and how this impacts bias and progress.
2. Gender influences exert a profound impact on professional expectations and leadership dynamics. While men are readily accepted as powerful leaders, women often find themselves navigating a delicate balancing act, striving to be perceived as both powerful and attractive.
3. The challenges faced by women, particularly minority women, are even more daunting, as they constantly grapple with societal expectations regarding their appearance, manner of speech, and behaviour in order to be taken seriously and avoid succumbing to negative stereotypes.
4. The intersection of gender and language further amplifies biases and discrimination. Women with accents, unfortunately, encounter even stronger bias compared to their male counterparts with accents.
5. The COVID-19 pandemic cast a glaring spotlight on the paramount importance of communication skills, thereby leading to a surge in demand for Heather's expertise as organisations recognised the urgent need for effective communication and seamless collaboration.
6. Successful cross-cultural communication necessitates unwavering clarity, constant checks for understanding, and heightened awareness of the unique challenges faced by non-native English speakers.
7. Asynchronous work affords numerous advantages by enabling individuals to tackle tasks at different times, thereby injecting fresh perspectives into the workflow. To harness its potential, leaders and managers must adopt novel approaches to work allocation and distribution.
8. The advent of asynchronous work dismantles the limitations of the traditional 9-to-5 paradigm, granting teams the ability to work around the clock and endowing startups with a remarkable competitive edge, facilitating rapid growth.
9. The values of authenticity and vulnerability are now highly esteemed in leaders, who are expected to possess a well-defined strategy and stand firmly for their principles.
10. Leaders must employ diverse modalities to articulate their ideas and ensure comprehensive understanding among team members. Utilising visual prompts, repetition, and embracing various communication styles are vital!
11. In order to transform the existing leadership landscape, it is imperative to establish role models who embody vulnerability and authenticity in their leadership approach.
You can connect with Heather Hansen on LinkedIn or at her website www.heatherhansen.com and pick up a copy of her award winning book, Unmuted, from any good book store.
#47 All the secrets you would ever want to know from a tech industry recruiter
In this episode of the Still Loading Podcast, host Ilona Brannen interviews Owen Dearn, a recruitment consultant specialist in the tech sector. They discuss the unique aspects of recruiting in the tech industry, the impact of remote work, and the changing employee benefits landscape. Owen shares insights on how companies are adapting to hybrid work models, and highlights the importance of intentional efforts to create an attractive office culture. They also explore the evolving dynamics between employers and employees in the job market.
- The job market in the tech industry has been chaotic since COVID-19, with shifts towards remote work and changes in hiring trends.
- Many companies are transitioning to hybrid working models, repurposing workspaces, and emphasising the importance of in-person collaboration.
- Flexibility and freedom have become important employee benefits, and companies are adapting their offerings accordingly.
- The pendulum has swung in favour of employees with more power and freedom in choosing their employers, but it may gradually shift back as the market stabilises.
- When reviewing CVs/resumes, Owen looks for evidence of outcomes, problem-solving abilities, and tangible achievements rather than jargon.
- Selective communication is important, where important information is shared with the team while protecting them from unnecessary details.
- The middle layer of management plays a crucial role in translating and communicating business objectives to both upper management and the team members.
- In a hybrid working model, the visibility of different leadership styles and organic conversations in the office environment is beneficial for development.
- Leadership qualities in the tech sector include immersing oneself in the subject matter and showcasing expertise through personal branding, as well as adopting a "player coach" approach of being hands-on while leading and mentoring.
- Younger professionals seek mentorship, guidance, and management from middle managers to support their career growth and development.
- Good management and mentorship are often considered as additional benefits or perks for early-career individuals.
- Communication is vital for addressing issues and ensuring alignment between managers and employees.
Three top tips for leaders in the digital age: network and immerse yourself in your subject matter expertise, be a player coach, and be genuine and true to yourself.
This conversation focuses on the importance of effective communication, leadership development, mentorship, and personal branding in the digital age.
Reach out to Owen and his team at Owen@3search.io
#46 The power of mindset - the road to Harvard and the world
In this episode I’m chatting to Dr Pradeep Sacitharan who has had an extraordinary life. He went from a war refugee, teenage gangster, and a high school dropout to award winning scientist at Oxford and Harvard in 7 years. The he went on to discover drugs as a professor and become Vice President of a Biotech with a revenue of 1.6 billion USD. Not stopping there, Pradeep challenged the system, quit his career, and founded his own 8-figure company. He is passionate about speaking topics including today topic on mindset and leadership and in this episode he talks about how the most impactful leaders know how to use risk and have a higher risk tolerance than others. That’s how you get to do groundbreaking things! To get in touch with Pradeep you can find him on LinkedIn and his company website http://www.donsfield.com/