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7 Questions on Leadership with Botond Boros

Name: Botond Boros

Title: Head of Marketing - CEE & Germany, ex-Google

Organisation: merXu

A seasoned and forward-thinking marketer with over a decade of experience, Botond brings a strategic and innovative approach to product marketing, program management, and human resource management across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region. His passion for marketing ignited from a young age, leading him to pursue academic excellence in business communications in Budapest and management in Warsaw. Additionally, he was handpicked to participate in a prestigious Google program at Wharton Business School in 2018.

After completing his studies, Botond embarked on a successful career in digital consultancy, spearheading the digital campaigns of renowned global clientele, including Coca-Cola, Erste Bank, Telenor, and Nestlé Purina. His exceptional contributions earned him widespread acclaim and recognition.

Driven by a desire to expand his professional horizons, Botond transitioned to the client side, assuming end-to-end digital marketing responsibilities at Vodafone and Cetelem Bank. His unwavering focus has been on brand building, customer acquisition, and cost optimization for acquiring new users.

Botond's extensive career has provided him with the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed C-level executives across Europe. His tenure at Google proved particularly rewarding, as he honed his people management and analytical skills, which proved invaluable in making informed decisions for launching transformative products in CEE markets, such as GPay, YouTube Music, YouTube Kids, Family Link, and the Grow with Google educational program. Botond's leadership, strategic acumen, and ability to inspire teams were instrumental in the successful rollout of these products across the region. At PayPal he built out a partnership network with payment service providers as shopping carts across Europe.

Based in Budapest, a proud father of a 2-year old.

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

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


Jonno White

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

One of the most challenging aspects of being a leader is striking a balance between being empathetic and result-oriented. As a leader, I strive to understand the needs of my team members and create a supportive and inclusive environment where they feel valued and appreciated. However, I also have the responsibility of driving results and achieving organizational goals. This can be a delicate dance, as I need to motivate and inspire my team to perform at their best while also being sensitive to their individual struggles and challenges.

The key to effectively navigating this balance lies in understanding that empathy and results-orientation are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are often complementary qualities.

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

My journey into leadership has been a natural progression, marked by a continuous desire to take on more responsibilities and contribute to the success of the teams I've been a part of. It wasn't a sudden leap into a leadership position; rather, it was a gradual evolution, a process of stepping up and expanding my scope of influence.

Initially, I focused on excelling in my individual contributions, consistently seeking opportunities to grow my skills and knowledge. As I gained experience and demonstrated my capabilities, I was entrusted with taking on more challenging tasks and leading smaller teams.

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

My work days are structured around a disciplined approach that focuses on both daily tasks and long-term goals. I start my day by creating a to-do list that includes not only work-related tasks but also any other obligations or personal errands I need to handle. This comprehensive list helps me stay organized and ensures that I don't overlook important aspects of my life.

In addition to my daily to-do list, I also take the time to identify my priorities for the week and the month. This helps me allocate my time and energy effectively, ensuring that I focus on the most important tasks first. I believe that discipline is the foundation for success, and that by focusing on our daily actions, we can set ourselves up for achieving our long-term goals.

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

I have recently been reminded of the importance of continuous learning for effective leadership. As the world around us changes rapidly, leaders need to be adaptable and open to new ideas in order to remain relevant and successful. This requires a commitment to lifelong learning, which can be achieved through a variety of means, such as taking courses, reading books and articles, attending conferences, and networking with others in the field.

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 highly recommend Adam Grant's latest book titled 'Hidden Potential'.

In his groundbreaking book "Hidden Potential," Adam Grant masterfully unravels the myths and misconceptions that hinder individuals and organizations from realizing their true potential. Grant challenges the notion that innate talent is the sole determinant of success and underscores the importance of character, mindset, and the right opportunities to unlock hidden potential.

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

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It is essential for leaders because it allows them to understand the needs and perspectives of their team members. When leaders are empathetic, they can make better decisions, provide more effective support, and create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

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

One meaningful story that comes to mind from my time as a leader was when I was working with a group of highly motivated junior colleagues who were not enthusiastic about their entry-level tasks. These colleagues were eager to take on more challenging work and contribute to the team in meaningful ways. However, they felt that their current responsibilities were beneath them and did not provide them with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills.

I understood their frustration and wanted to find a way to motivate them to engage with their work. I started by acknowledging their high motivation and expressed my belief in their potential to excel. I reminded them that everyone starts somewhere and that entry-level tasks are essential for building a strong foundation of skills.

I explained that completing entry-level tasks not only demonstrates their baseline skills but also provides them with opportunities to develop their problem-solving, communication, and teamwork abilities. I helped them connect the dots between their current tasks and their long-term career aspirations. I encouraged them to view their entry-level responsibilities as stepping stones towards more challenging and rewarding opportunities.

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