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7 Questions with Eder Holguin

helps you in your leadership.

 

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Jonno White

7 Questions with Eder Holguin

Name: Eder Holguin

Current title: Chief Digital Officer

Current organisation: Higher Intelligence

Eder Holguin is an award-winning Serial Entrepreneur, Digital Sales, and Transformation Expert with more than 20 years of industry expertise helping companies scale revenue, optimize sales and marketing processes and improve productivity. His clients range from brand-name Fortune 500 companies to innovative start-ups.

Eder is the Chief Digital Officer at OneQor and former CEO of OneQube and Co-Founder of Live Vote. He was also the Founder and CEO of Ideal Media, a content discovery platform that was acquired by Finam Holdings.

As a child, he left a frightening home life and lived homeless in the streets of Medellin, Colombia during the time of the Medellin cartel, when violence and drug lords ruled. His remark is captured in vivid detail in the best-selling book "Dreaming of Hope Street"​ and details how he went from living on the streets to becoming a successful Entrepreneur.

7 Questions with Eder Holguin

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

I think the biggest challenges are managing customer relationships and expectations while maintaining a great culture. I see myself as a "PPS" Professional problem solver, I always want to make sure we are adding value to our customers by solving problems they face on a daily basis. I want my team to have the same vision and we make sure we are always putting the customer first.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I started in digital marketing in the late 90s by selling online advertising. I moved up from sales to management and the startup I was a part of was acquired in the early 2000s by a fortune 500 company. I learned a lot about running a larger team while being there and after a couple of years working there I quit to start my own company, which was later acquired. I became CEO of my own company via a couple of acquisitions and running my own teams.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I tried to structure my days in blocks of time. Early mornings, I tend to do email follow-ups and respond to inquiries and pending matters, early afternoons we work on proposals and new client matters, later afternoon is for client follow-ups. After work, I take time to spend with my family and watch the news to stay up to date with what's going on in the world.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Always lead by example. Join your salespeople on their sales calls, take time to join team meetings to review proposals. do the work that you expect your team to do.

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 love the lean startup. I think that book had a great impact on how I think about building startups. The idea that your assumptions need to be questioned is how you build a product that people want, not just something you think people want; which makes all the difference.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Delegate tasks and follow-up on those tasks by providing support. You can't do everything yourself and the idea of building a large company is based on the fact that the business runs on efficient processes and capable people. Only by delegating and empowering others to do their job, you can grow a sustainable business.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

Perseverance is an important component of success. A while back while running a company we had started without any funding, we realized we had hit a wall selling something that had become a commodity and everyone else was selling cheaper. It took about a week of doing some research and having honest conversations with customers and our team to realize we had a choice. We could just give up and pivot the business by changing our offering. We pushed through and pivoted quickly, we realized we had to lose some clients and rebuild the whole sales process from scratch but we made it.