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7 Questions on Leadership with Patrick Christian Magtaan


Name: Patrick Christian Magtaan


Title: Founder of Hipatrick


Organisation: Hipatrick


Patrick, the founder of hipatrick.com, is a Growth Marketing Strategist, SEO Specialist, and Prompt Engineer with a reputation for significantly boosting the ROI of businesses he works with. Patrick provides top-tier strategic positioning for companies ready to ascend to new heights. He is recognized not only for the tangible results he delivers but also for the value he adds through his expert consultancy.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


As a leader in the digital marketing space, one of the most challenging aspects is staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape. It requires constant learning and adaptation. Implementing SEO strategies that are effective today may not work tomorrow. Therefore, I have to continuously research and innovate to ensure that my clients receive the most current and impactful strategies. Remote work brings its own set of challenges, especially when coordinating across different time zones and managing diverse projects. It's essential to establish clear communication channels and set precise expectations. I leverage various project management tools and foster a culture where quality is paramount. It's also about trust – trust that each member will deliver their best work on time. Sometimes, it's like conducting an orchestra where every instrument has to be in tune, despite the distance. Balancing creativity with a data-driven approach is crucial in our field. Creativity is at the heart of what we do – it's what catches the eye and engages the audience. However, data tells us if we're on the right track. It's about merging the two, using creativity to produce compelling content while also relying on analytics and keyword research to ensure the content reaches its intended audience and achieves its purpose.Delivering ROI is the bottom line for my clients, and it's a pressure point for any marketer. I employ a methodical approach, starting with a thorough understanding of the client's goals and target market. From there, it's about setting up metrics for success and continuously analyzing campaign performance against those metrics. Testing is an integral part – A/B testing, split testing ads, different content formats – you name it. The key is to be agile, to learn quickly from the data, and to adapt strategies accordingly.


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


My journey into leadership was a combination of passion, curiosity, and the drive to make a meaningful impact. It all started during my time as a student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where I was pursuing a degree in Political Science and Government. I had always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and politics, and I saw digital marketing as a powerful tool to connect ideas with audiences.


While studying, I dove into freelance work, where I honed my skills as a technical writer and content creator. I worked with a variety of clients, from digital marketing agencies to SMEs, producing high-quality written content that resonated with their audiences.


Then came my role as a Data Annotator at Microsoft UHRS and Toloka, where I learned the ins and outs of data categorization to train machine-learning models. This experience was invaluable as it gave me a deeper understanding of how data underpins the technologies we use every day, especially in AI-driven marketing.


As I continued to sharpen my skills in SEO, content creation, and data analysis, I realized the potential to drive change and efficiency in the marketing strategies of businesses. This led me to Upwork, where I've had the opportunity to implement comprehensive digital marketing strategies, rebuild content management systems, and craft high-engagement content across various niches.


Becoming a leader wasn't about a title for me; it was about making a tangible difference for my clients and empowering those I worked with to achieve collective success. It was a natural progression as I shared my knowledge, innovated solutions, and consistently delivered results. That's how I came to be a leader in this space – through relentless learning, adapting, and a commitment to excellence in every aspect of my work.


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


My days are meticulously organized to balance productivity with creativity and well-being. Here's a typical rundown:


Morning:


I start early, usually around 6 AM with some light exercise to get the blood flowing and to energize myself for the day ahead.

After a healthy breakfast, I dedicate time to plan my day. This includes reviewing my to-do list, prioritizing tasks, and setting clear objectives.

I then catch up on the latest industry news, trends, and updates to ensure I'm always in the loop.


Mid-Morning to Afternoon:


I dive into deep work during these hours. This is when I focus on high-priority tasks such as strategy development, client consultations, and data analysis. It's a mix of creative and analytical work which requires undivided attention.

I also use this time for content creation, whether it's writing blog posts, designing landing pages, or crafting scripts for videos.

I break for lunch, and it’s a time when I step away from work to recharge. It’s important to have this separation to maintain a high level of focus.


Late Afternoon:


I shift towards collaborative work like virtual meetings with clients and team members. This is where we discuss progress, brainstorm, and tackle any challenges that have arisen.

I handle email correspondence and administrative tasks that require less cognitive intensity.


Evening:


As the workday winds down, I review the outcomes of the day and update my task lists accordingly.

I usually set aside time for professional development, whether it’s taking an online course, reading, or researching new tools that could benefit my clients.


Night:


Dinner is my opportunity to disconnect from work and spend quality time with family or friends.

Before bed, I have a wind-down routine that often involves reading non-work-related material, which helps me to relax and ensures quality sleep.

I reflect on the day, practice gratitude, and mentally prepare for the next day.


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


One recent leadership lesson that struck me is the power of intrinsic motivation and the importance of understanding the 'why' behind what we do, as Simon Sinek so eloquently puts it in his work. It's crucial that as a leader, I not only communicate the goals and strategies to my team but also the purpose behind them. When the team understands the 'why', their engagement and commitment to the work intensify. Sinek's concept of starting with 'why' has been a pivotal framework for leading my team with clarity and inspiration.


From Warren Buffett, I'm always reminded of the lesson of integrity and trustworthiness. He famously said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." In my leadership role, I've seen the truth of this; being transparent and honest with my team and clients builds a foundation of trust that is essential for long-term success and resilience.


Lastly, Dr. Andrew Huberman's work on neuroscience and behavior has been a valuable resource. A lesson from his research is the significance of managing stress and fostering a growth mindset. By understanding how our brains react to stress and learning, I've been able to create an environment that encourages my team to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, rather than threats.


Combining these insights has reinforced a lesson in holistic leadership—where motivation, ethical practices, and an understanding of human behavior come together to create a powerful team dynamic that drives 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?


One book that stands out is "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek, published in 2014. This book has profoundly impacted my leadership philosophy.


Sinek's central thesis in "Leaders Eat Last" revolves around the concept of creating an environment where people feel safe and valued within the organization. He introduces the idea of the 'Circle of Safety' that leaders must create to foster trust and cooperation. The title itself is a metaphor for placing the needs of others—especially those we lead—ahead of our own.


The moment I turned the last page of Sinek's book, I realized that my role as a leader wasn't just about driving results but about creating a culture where my team members felt secure and supported. This realization led me to shift my focus towards the well-being of my colleagues, understanding their aspirations, and helping them achieve their goals.


I began to implement this by being more transparent in my communication, actively involving team members in decision-making, and publicly recognizing their contributions. I made it a priority to provide my team with opportunities for professional growth and ensured that they knew their work was meaningful and appreciated. This book helped me understand the long-term benefits of investing in relationships and the strength of a loyalty-driven team.


The impact this book had on my leadership was significant. It not only improved team morale and productivity but also helped me build a more cohesive and committed team. The principles I learned from "Leaders Eat Last" are ones that I practice daily and they've become a cornerstone of how I approach leadership.


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


Embrace the power of active listening. Leadership is often misconstrued as a role filled with speaking, directing, and asserting one's thoughts. However, the true strength of a leader lies in the ability to listen—to truly hear and understand the perspectives, challenges, and ideas of others. Listening allows you to build deeper connections, foster trust, and gain insights that can lead to better decision-making.


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


There was a particularly challenging quarter where our customer satisfaction ratings took an unexpected dive. This was a serious concern as our brand prides itself on exceptional customer experience.


The initial reaction was one of disappointment and concern. We knew that this dip not only affected our reputation but could potentially lead to a loss of trust from our clients and a decline in revenue. As a leader, it was crucial for me to steer the team through this storm.


I called for an all-hands meeting where I addressed the issue transparently. I presented the data unfiltered, allowing everyone to grasp the severity of the situation. However, I coupled this with a message of resilience and determination. I reminded the team of our core values and our history of overcoming obstacles.


"In moments like these," I said, "we are presented with a clear choice: to see this as a setback or as a set-up for a comeback. Our ratings have gone down, but this is not a reflection of our potential. It’s a call to action, a challenge to rise above and come out stronger. We have done it before, and we will do it again."


We organized task forces to pinpoint the root causes of the dissatisfaction, using customer feedback to guide our improvements. I encouraged open communication and innovative thinking, reminding the team that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and excel. This collaborative approach fostered a sense of ownership and urgency among team members, and together, we implemented changes that were both immediate and strategic.


In the following months, we revamped our customer service protocols, introduced new training programs for our staff, and refined our product offerings based on customer input. These efforts required commitment and hard work, but they paid off. Not only did our ratings climb back up, but we also strengthened our internal processes and team cohesion.


This experience has shaped me as a leader. It has reinforced my commitment to leading with transparency, empathy, and a focus on continuous improvement. Adversity is an inevitable part of any journey, but as a leader, it's your response to these challenges that defines your legacy. This experience has solidified my resolve to not only lead but to empower others to become leaders in their own right.

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