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7 Questions on Leadership with Benoliel Emmanuelle

Name: Benoliel Emmanuelle

Title: CMO

Organisation: Aircall

With 16 years of experience in marketing roles at Groupon, Tableau Software and Salesforce, Emmanuelle Benoliel joined Aircall in 2020 as Marketing Director EMEA & APAC. She has contributed to Aircall's success and development on a global scale, leading the company to Centaur status a year ago. As CMO, Emmanuelle will draw on her experience, leadership and flair for supporting fast-growing companies.

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

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


Jonno White

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

As a leader, the most profound challenge I've encountered is truly engaging my team. It's not just about getting the work done; it's about fostering a deep sense of connection, motivation, and purpose among my team members.

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

My journey into leadership has been a rollercoaster of opportunities and, yes, some mistakes. What's made the difference is my commitment to seeking mentors, questioning my own assumptions, and connecting with peers who have shared their wisdom. But the defining quality that's guided me through this journey is my unwavering commitment to listen to my teams. Their insights have been invaluable.

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

My workdays are like a whirlwind. They kick off with precious moments spent with my children, reminding me of the bigger picture beyond work. Then, as a morning person, I dedicate an hour to immerse myself in the latest industry trends, debates, and news. Meetings come next, where I engage with various teams, from my bets to the leadership team and, most importantly, my own team. To maintain a balance between high-level strategy and the nitty-gritty of daily operations, I believe in staying closely connected to the field. And no matter how busy the day, I ensure I find time for candid conversations with my immediate teams. It's essential to maintain that closeness. Finally, come 6 p.m., I make a conscious effort to switch off work and dedicate myself fully to my children.

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

Do not completely entrust a job to someone. Keep track of the updates regularly and if you think the person will not meet the deadline, keep a backup or a Plan B in case the person fails to deliver.

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?

"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek has had a profound impact on my leadership journey. The book's message of going beyond the 'what' and diving into the 'why' resonates with me on a personal level. It's made me realize that people don't merely buy into a company's products or services; they invest in the purpose and the 'why' behind what we do. It's a reminder that authenticity and a clear sense of purpose are powerful drivers of success.

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

If I could offer just one piece of advice to a young leader, it would be this: Never underestimate the power of connecting with your peers and listening to your teams. It's not just about giving orders or making decisions from the top; it's about forging genuine connections and understanding the people you work with. Leadership is as much about empathy as it is about authority. These connections can be the fuel that drives your team to greater heights.

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

One meaningful story from my time as a leader is when we faced a critical project deadline that seemed impossible to meet. Our team was exhausted, and tensions were running high. Instead of pressuring them to work harder, I decided to gather everyone in a room and genuinely listen to their concerns and ideas. Through open and honest communication, we were able to reorganize our approach, delegate tasks more effectively, and boost team morale. In the end, we not only met the deadline but exceeded our own expectations. This experience reinforced the power of collaboration and the importance of empathy in leadership.

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