Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Rebecca Spour
Title: Managing Director
Organisation: Minerva valuations
Rebecca Spour is a serial entrepreneur and strategic board advisor who works with executives, boards, VCs, incubators and UHNW clients. She has an academic background in neuroscience and areas of cognition research (memory & learning) which inspired her passion for artificial general intelligence. She also has ten years of experience advising small businesses and start ups with particular focus in deep technologies, decentralized autonomous organizations, blockchain and artificial intelligence. Her clients have raised millions of dollars and had successful exits. She is a c-level board member at csga-global.org a cyber security non profit think tank. She is inspired by how ai can be used for good. In her spare time she is very involved in the arts and fundraising for charities.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As an optimistic futurist and innovator, it's been challenging to deal with cumbersome cross border multijurisdictional lengthy policy conversations. The diligence is necessary but the time to implement change always feels challenging at the time.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started my career at big financial firms obtaining solid formal training but later needed more flexibility in my calendar to help family with health challenges. I was blessed to find a few mentors in my career who helped me realize the importance of solid research and technical approach. My family always instilled in me the importance of building trusted solid relationships so I made a major effort to network as much as possible with a diverse group of smart goal oriented disciplined people from a range of industries.
I am where I am because of their guidance. To build my network and as a seeker of truth, I started doing freelance journalism on the side covering emerging technology. I was blessed to attend some of the top tech conferences and meet C suite leaders with inspiring stories. I was in the right place at the right time and started a consulting company that led me to collaborate with a few of the worlds foremost pioneers in fields like ledger technologies, artificial intelligence, digital assets... I saw the future and am confident everything will be tokenized sooner rather than later. Data is the new oil and unites us all to make better more informed decisions.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I use an artificial intelligence executive assistant app that helps me set my daily priorities and schedule things in my calendar. I also have recurring tasks like weekly goal reviews, data / computer back ups, and check ins with my team. I prioritize health before wealth and make sure I exercise at least 3 times a week. I also really enjoy morning smoothies and take my daily vitamins. I limit my caffeine intake after lunch and stay hydrated to I have as much energy as possible to perform. I also always make sure I turn off my phone within an hour of sleeping so I have some down time. Discipline and scheduling everything is critical.
If I think it's going to take x time I often give myself 3x that amount of time to be sure I have the right allocation to execute. Most importantly I schedule one day of rest per week and time with loved ones. So important to balance and know what really matters in life. I monitor my energy levels more than anything else. I also regularly do kaizen priority matrixes to figure out what I need to do now, do later, do never and as much as possible delegate. Team work makes the dream work.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I've realized the importance of not being tied to performance or external validation. The journey is always within. Success is not about being number one. Leadership is about impacting and supporting those around you positively to achieve collective goals. It's about serving others. Leadership is about knowing that you are infinitely stronger with your network and friends / colleagues all succeeding. Higher calling. Bigger missions. A true noble cause. Economies of scale through network effects.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I find a lot of people read more than act. I'm all about action and just doing it. My mother was an english and music teacher so I still appreciate the classics that help you reconnect to the soul. Poetry etc. In business we often forget the humanities and its humanity that buys from you.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Young leaders get so caught up with wanting to be, do, and have that they forget to live. Focus on the tasks in front of you and don't get so anxious about the future. Being young is a time when you have limited responsibilities or financial obligations. Take CALCULATED risks and follow your passion. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Take chances. Be great. Don't settle because you're afraid of a challenge. Mistakes are just lessons preparing you for a greater future. And always find a mentor who is where you want to be. Good advice is priceless.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Working with early stage start ups trying to tackle massive global problems is inspiring. I was helping organize a start up pitch competition this year and it was thrilling to see the innovative solutions in emerging areas. We were successful in getting one of the companies multiple offers and institutional deals. Seeing founders get to an exit through the power of networking in a fast time frame is exciting. I love connecting people and seeing fast results.