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7 Questions on Leadership with Alan Sebastian Resnik

Name: Alan Sebastian Resnik

Title: Chief Revenue Officer & Co-founder at Embi & AppGrade

Organisation: Embi Media & AppGrade

My name is Alan Resnik, I'm 32 years old and I'm the Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder at Embi Media,an Adtech company, and AppGrade a Growth Marketing Agency.

I studied Marketing in UADE, a Argentinian university. In 2016, I switched my study mode to online, which fits better in the way i learn.

I have been working in the digital advertising ecosystem since 2012, industry where I'm still working to this day.

In 2016, some colleagues and I decided to launch our own digital advertising business after 4 years of learning about a rising ecosystem back then. Fortunately, it worked pretty well.

At the beginning of the year, we decided to join the Freemount group, and our Growth Marketing agency, AppGrade, was also born.

I do a lot of physical activity in order to have a good work-life balance. It's my personal recipe to avoid burn out.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Alan's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The most challenging that i found as a leader was to lead the firsts month of the pandemic crisis in 2020.

In March 2020, I was going through some very challenging personal times, and to make matters worse, our company started losing money overnight due to the pandemic. Most of our clients stopped their activity for a couple of weeks and even months.

All of this combined, plus being confined in a house, caused me a lot of stress. On top of that, I suffered from appendicitis. It wasn't easy

Regarding to our business, switching entirely to remote work was quite demanding when it wasn't part of our agenda. Even for a digital advertising company, we were not prepared.

We had to learn to adapt our way of working, the way we motivated employees, and how we maintained our culture without seeing each other for almost a year and a half. We tried to convey calmness to our employees, as we understood that in that moment, holding on tight was essential. Our priority was ensuring no one lost their job, and we accomplished it.We surfed the wave of the crisis.

Our enterprise experienced significant challenges, making us pay more attention to more blue ocean markets. Consequently, we started making our first steps in the User Acquisition world for apps in Latin America.

This crisis significantly contributed to my personal and professional growth. I became more creative with culture ideas, wiser in understanding our industry, and prouder of the values my parents gave me, which remain strong in hard times.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I've had great teachers. My parents were entrepreneurs for almost 20 years, long before online businesses became popular.

They worked diligently to provide me with an exceptional education and always encouraged me to excel and believe in myself. I believe their support gave me the strength to pursue my ideas.

Becoming a leader wasn't solely my achievement. I share this journey with two significant partners. Together, we've exchanged ideas and learned over the years. The diversity of our opinions, along with our collaborative work with our employees, has played a pivotal role in our growth as leaders.

Every day, I strive to better myself both as a leader and as an individual.

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

I wake up between 7 and 8 am, have breakfast, and then go for a walk with my dog. Afterward, I dedicate some time to studying a new topic I'm interested in.

At 10 am, I begin work with a mate by my side. On Mondays and Fridays, I work from home, but for the rest of the week, I head to the office.

I prioritize strategic matters related to my business during periods when I don't have a call scheduled. The majority of my calls are pre-arranged.

I work until 6 or 7 pm. After that, I either exercise in my home gym or attend boxing training.

Subsequently, I spend quality time with my girlfriend, friends, or family.

I typically retire to bed between 11 pm and midnight.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A recent leadership lesson I've been reminded of is how to avoid micromanaging when leading a new company.

A few months ago, we acquired a Growth Marketing agency from another province filled with talented individuals. It was the first time we had achieved such a feat.

When taking initial steps with new people, it's important to be present. However, paying close attention to your actions to prevent micromanaging is even more crucial. These individuals aren't familiar with you, so it's essential to provide them with calmness during these transitions.

Micromanaging can sometimes occur without realizing it. It's important to remain open to feedback, as changes aren't always well-received by everyone. Fluent and clear communication with everyone is also crucial.

In our case, being attentive to the culture and understanding how your employees feel were key indicators of the transition's success

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?

In "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?", Borja Vilaseca emphasizes the power of self-awareness to dismantle limiting beliefs. He critiques societal pressures that steer people away from authentic living. Fear, both conscious and subconscious, holds individuals back from pursuing their passions. The author urges readers to confront these fears, discover their true purpose, and embrace a life that genuinely excites them. Throughout, Vilaseca provides tools and exercises to aid in personal growth and self-discovery.

The book made me reflect deeply on my personal growth and the personal growth of individuals in my organization. Here, we aim for people to feel comfortable and enhance their professional skills, so we offer extensive training plans on various topics.

In the book, there's a moment when they quote Henry Ford who said: The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Experience is the daughter of poor decisions, don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Surround yourself with people who know more than you in various subjects; your knowledge will expand immensely by doing this.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

In 2021, as we were venturing into the User Acquisition business, before acquiring our agency, we had the privilege of winning a major account from a rapidly growing Argentinian fintech. This experience helped us better understand an emerging industry in Latin America.

We weren't the largest or most experienced company in the field in LATAM. It was a significant step for us.

A few months later, we hired the Growth Manager from this client. Today, he's a key player in our organization.

I once asked him, "Why did you choose us back then?" He replied, "You guys provided the service I needed and were completely transparent in every interaction with us."

Outstanding service and transparency have always been our recipe for success.

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