Name: Mahin Asgari
Title: Employer Branding and Internal Communication Specialists
Oranisation: Zarrin Barg
I connect the dots between a variety of internal and external platforms through content tailored towards employer branding, internal comms, social media platforms, corporate websites, EVP, and the Onboarding process. I use my focus on analytics mixed with my unique relationship-building to drive change solve organizational challenges and increase effectiveness. Recently, I was offered a career-expanding opportunity to take my talents to the Human Resources department and the Talent Acquisition team fell in love with all things Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Mahin'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 of leadership that I have encountered is fostering effective collaboration between the human resources (HR) and marketing departments in project initiatives. While collaboration between these two departments is crucial for aligning talent acquisition and brand promotion efforts, it can present certain challenges.
Overall, the key to overcoming the challenges of collaboration between HR and marketing in projects is to establish clear communication channels, shared objectives, and a culture of collaboration. By addressing these challenges proactively, leaders can facilitate effective collaboration, leverage the strengths of both departments and drive successful project outcomes that align with the organization's employer brand and marketing strategies.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Becoming a leader in employer branding typically involves a combination of education, professional experiences, and personal development.
Developing a leadership mindset always has been essential for me. I cultivate qualities such as strategic thinking, vision, effective communication, influencing skills, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. I seek opportunities to lead small projects or cross-functional teams, to show my leadership potential and ability to drive results.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start by structuring my work days with a focus on leadership involves balancing various responsibilities, tasks, and priorities to maximize productivity and achieve desired outcomes. While individual preferences and work environments may differ, here's a general outline of how I might structure my work day:
Morning routine and preparation: I start my day by waking up early and engaging in a routine that promotes physical and mental well-being. This may include activities such as exercise, meditation, or reading. I also take the time to plan my day, review my schedule, and set clear goals and priorities.
Strategic planning and goal setting: I dedicate time in the morning to review and refine my strategic plans for employer branding initiatives. This involves analyzing data, identifying key objectives, and mapping out action steps to achieve them. I also assess the progress of ongoing projects and make any necessary adjustments.
Collaboration and communication: As a leader, I understand the importance of effective collaboration and communication. I allocate time to connect with my team, stakeholders, and cross-functional partners. This includes holding meetings, conducting brainstorming sessions, and providing guidance and support to team members.
Project management and execution: I focus on managing and executing employer branding projects throughout the day. This involves coordinating with various stakeholders, overseeing timelines, allocating resources, and ensuring that projects are on track. I break down larger projects into smaller tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress to ensure timely completion.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I'd love to share a recent leadership lesson that I've either learned for the first time or been reminded of. It's all about the power of celebrating small wins and recognizing the efforts of your team.
You see, leadership is not just about the big achievements or milestones; it's also about appreciating the small steps that lead to success. Recently, I was reminded of how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate the small wins along the way.
When we recognize and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of our team members, it creates a positive and motivating work environment. It shows that we value their hard work, dedication, and contributions. Plus, it boosts morale and encourages everyone to keep pushing forward.
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?
Absolutely! One book that has had a profound impact on my leadership journey as an employer branding specialist is "Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown.
Brené Brown's book resonated with me on a deep level because it delves into the power of vulnerability and embracing our imperfections as leaders. It challenged the traditional notion that vulnerability is a weakness and showed how it can be a strength that drives connection and innovation.
The book introduced me to the concept of "rumbling with vulnerability," which means having the courage to lean into difficult conversations, take risks, and be authentic with my team. It taught me that leadership isn't about having all the answers or pretending to be invincible; it's about being open, honest, and willing to learn from others.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
If I could share just one piece of advice with young leaders, it would be this: Embrace continuous learning and never stop growing.
Leadership is a journey, and the world is constantly evolving. By committing yourself to lifelong learning, you'll stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the ever-changing landscape. Here's why this advice is so important,
Expand your knowledge, Seek out opportunities to learn, and broaden your horizons. Read books, attend workshops, listen to podcasts, and engage in meaningful conversations with mentors and peers. The more you know, the better equipped you'll be to make informed decisions and inspire your team.
Remember, leadership is not about having all the answers; it's about being curious, adaptable, and willing to learn from others. So, embrace continuous learning, stay hungry for knowledge, and keep growing as a leader. You've got this!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Sure! Let me share a short story from my time as a leader that brings a smile to my face.
Once upon a time, during my tenure as a leader, there was a remarkable incident that taught me the value of trust and empowerment within a team.
In our organization, we had a team member named Alex who had recently joined the company. Alex was brimming with potential and possessed a unique set of skills and perspectives. However, due to past experiences in other workplaces, Alex had developed a tendency to doubt their abilities and seek constant validation.
Recognizing Alex's potential, I wanted to help them overcome self-doubt and unleash their true capabilities. I decided to approach this challenge by building trust and empowering Alex to take ownership of their work.
I started by delegating a critical project to Alex, clearly outlining the objectives and expectations, and providing the necessary resources and support. I wanted Alex to feel trusted and valued, knowing that they had the autonomy to make decisions and contribute meaningfully.
Throughout the project, I would check in with Alex regularly, offering guidance and assistance whenever needed. However, I made a conscious effort to step back and provide space for them to take the lead, make decisions, and learn from any mistakes along the way.
As the project progressed, I watched Alex's confidence grow. They began to take ownership of their work, making decisions with conviction and seeking input from colleagues when necessary. It was evident that the trust I had placed in them had a profound impact on their mindset and approach.
As a result of their newfound confidence, Alex's work started to shine. They delivered exceptional results, displaying creativity, innovation, and a level of dedication that surpassed expectations. The project became a testament to their skills and potential, and their contributions were widely recognized and celebrated within the organization.
Beyond the project's success, the story of Alex's journey highlighted the importance of trust and empowerment in leadership. By believing in their abilities and providing the freedom to explore their potential, we enabled them to grow both personally and professionally.
This incident also reinforced the significance of creating a supportive and nurturing work environment. It reminded me that as a leader, it is our responsibility to foster a culture where team members feel valued, trusted, and empowered to take risks and unleash their full potential.
From that point forward, I made it a priority to build trust and empower my team members. I encouraged open communication, actively listened to their ideas and perspectives, and provided them with opportunities to take on challenging projects and make decisions. I recognized that by creating an environment of trust and empowerment, we could unlock the hidden potential and talents within our team.
In conclusion, the story of Alex's journey serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of trust and empowerment in leadership. It underscores the importance of believing in our team members, providing them with autonomy, and creating a supportive environment where they can thrive. By doing so, we not only enable their growth but also cultivate an engaged and high-performing team.