Name: Kristina Hernandez
Organisation: KR1STNA Media
Kristina Hernandez is the CEO of KR1STNA Media, a leading consulting firm headquartered in Greater Philadelphia. With expertise spanning across marketing, media, sales, and technology, Kristina's multifaceted approach has positioned her company at the forefront of the industry. In addition to her primary venture, she also owns and manages multiple businesses, demonstrating her diverse entrepreneurial acumen. Known for her innovative strategies and results-driven methodologies, Kristina's leadership continues to make a significant impact in the business world.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Kristina's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
One of the most challenging aspects I've faced as a leader, especially being the CEO of KR1STNA Media and owner of multiple businesses, is balancing the diverse needs and expectations of various stakeholders. This includes employees, clients, and partners across different sectors such as marketing, media, sales, technology, and events. As we navigate a constantly evolving industry landscape, I've learned the importance of clear communication, adaptability, and fostering a culture of continuous learning. For instance, when implementing a new technology solution for a client, we might face resistance or apprehension. To address this, I prioritize open dialogue, training sessions, and providing resources to ensure everyone feels supported and equipped to adapt. While challenging, these experiences have reinforced the value of collaboration and the strength of a united team.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My journey to leadership began in the early stages of my career when I recognized a gap in the market for comprehensive consulting services that encompassed marketing, media, sales, technology, events, and beyond. This realization combined with my inherent drive led me to establish KR1STNA Media. As I delved deeper into the world of entrepreneurship, I recognized the importance of continuous learning and adaptability. I sought mentorship, attended workshops, and surrounded myself with industry experts. Over time, I expanded my ventures, owning multiple businesses. Each business taught me unique lessons, from effective communication to strategic planning. As KR1STNA Media grew, I took on more responsibilities, built and mentored teams, and made crucial decisions for the company's future. Each step was a building block, shaping me into the leader I am today. While the titles and roles have evolved, my core principle remains the same: to lead with vision, integrity, and a commitment to excellence.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My workdays are a blend of professional commitments and personal priorities. I typically start my day early, taking a few moments of quiet reflection by reading the Bible and praying to my God to mentally prepare for what's ahead. After that, it's a quick morning routine followed by taking my son to school. This drive is a cherished time for us to connect and discuss our plans for the day.
Once back, I dive into my work at KR1STNA Media, often beginning with a review of my schedule and priorities. Throughout the day, I balance meetings, strategy sessions, and overseeing various projects across marketing, media, sales, technology, and events. Given the dynamic nature of my work, I ensure I'm accessible to my team for decision-making and guidance.
In the evenings, family becomes the focal point. We eat and commune together, discuss our days, and engage in activities that strengthen our bond. After my son’s bedtime, I often take some time to wind down and, occasionally, catch up on any pending work or plan for the next day. Before sleep, I reflect on the day's accomplishments and challenges, always looking for ways to improve and grow as a Christian, a leader, and a mother.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Recently, as I navigated the intricacies of running KR1STNA Media and my other businesses, I was starkly reminded of the importance of 'leading from the back.' There was a particular project where my team faced unexpected challenges, and while my initial instinct was to step in directly, I chose instead to empower my team members to come up with solutions. I provided guidance, resources, and a safe space for brainstorming. It was during this process that some of the most innovative ideas emerged, and the team's confidence grew exponentially. This experience reinforced the lesson that true leadership isn't always about being at the forefront. Often, it's about providing the tools and environment for your team to excel and innovate, then stepping back and letting them shine.
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?
One book that has had a profound impact on my leadership is the Bible. While it is the Word of God and many might see it only as a spiritual guide, I've found immense wisdom in its pages that have directly influenced my leadership style. One particular story that resonates with me is that of King Solomon, who when offered anything he desired, chose wisdom. This story serves as a constant reminder to me about the importance of seeking understanding, knowledge, and discernment above all else.
Moreover, the teachings of Jesus about servant leadership have shaped my approach. He taught that true leaders are those who serve others, putting their needs above one's own. In my work with KR1STNA Media and my other businesses, I've aimed to embody this principle—leading with humility, prioritizing the well-being of my team, and always striving for a deeper understanding of the challenges we face. The Bible has not only offered me spiritual solace but has been a foundational guide in shaping the principles and values I uphold as a leader.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
If I were to give one piece of advice to a young leader, it would be to embrace the power of active listening. In my journey with KR1STNA Media and my other ventures, I've found that the most effective leaders aren't necessarily those who speak the most, but those who listen intently. Active listening allows you to truly understand the perspectives and needs of your team, clients, and partners. It fosters empathy, builds trust, and often leads to more informed and collaborative solutions. As you navigate the complexities of leadership, remember that every voice holds value, and by truly hearing them, you open doors to innovation, growth, and strong relationships.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
One of the most meaningful stories from my leadership journey happened during an annual review at KR1STNA Media. A young team member approached me with feedback about an internal process she believed could be optimized. Initially, it was a system I had personally implemented. Instead of dismissing her input, I encouraged her to present her findings and potential solutions to our senior team.
She not only identified areas of improvement but also provided a detailed plan that had the potential to save both time and resources. We ended up adopting her recommendations, leading to significant efficiency gains for our projects. This moment was a testament to the culture of openness and innovation we’ve nurtured. It reminded me that as a leader, it's essential to remain humble, to be open to feedback from all levels, and to recognize that great ideas can come from anywhere within the organization.