Welcome to the second instalment of our new interview series Leadership Insights: 3 questions with… where we ask the same three questions to each of the exceptional leaders we interview, revealing some very unique and insightful answers.

This month we spoke to marketing leader and expert Sandra Höfler who has over 13 years’ experience in senior marketing roles across the UK, US and Europe. Sandra is currently Senior Director of Performance Marketing, International, at Ticketmaster and leads on marketing strategy across 30+ different countries. Prior to this she supported the hyper-growth at WeWork.

Here is what Sandra had to say…

1. If you could rewind the clock to when you started out on your leadership journey, what advice would you give yourself?

To me one of the most important skills in management and leadership is active listening. You can’t walk your path alone. Your stakeholders around you (your team, your peers, your manager and other teams around you) are the key to achieving any of your objectives.

Starting out on my management journey I still thought if I just worked hard enough or more I could do it all. Didn’t take long for me to realise that this is not true.

So now I focus to understand the priorities and personalities around me to find common ground and achieve goals together.

2. What is the best advice you have been given about creating a positive team culture/being a leader?

“Leaders aren’t born. They are made.” and “Everyone can be a leader, even if you don’t manage.”

To me, managing people is about understanding what motivates others to achieve a common goal. Yes, it might come a little more naturally to you if you’re an extrovert but some of the best managers and leaders I’ve worked with are introverts and quiet. You need to care about what you do to be a great leader.

3. What is the one book, that has most influenced your approach to leadership?

The piece that comes to mind is a Harvard Business Review article about the so called “Trust Triangle” from Frances Frei and Anne Morris. It explains that leadership is based on trust. And trust is defined by:

  • Authenticity: I experience the real you (My manager doesn’t lie to me)
  • Logic: I know you/we can do it. Your reasoning is sound. (My manager’s explanations make sense)
  • Empathy: I believe you care about me and my success (my manager is invested in me)

It goes on to explain that if one of these three pillars doesn’t exist or gets shook to the core, trust breaks which will make leadership very hard for the manager/leader. I myself experienced this when I worked at WeWork during the IPO failure in 2019. A big part of the company during the process lost trust in the senior leadership team which could only be replaced by replacing the CEO in the end.

 

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Nua Training is a boutique training and development company specialising in presentation, sales and leadership skills – helping teams to achieve their true potential. To find out more email: info@nuatraining.co.uk

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