Name: Sona Mamyan
Oranisation: Mamble LLC
Born and living in Yerevan, Armenia.
Educational background of business management.
Career path - product management -> finance controlling, digital marketing -> business management
Unique skill combo: Marketing + Data + Engineering + Management
Happy mom of a 7-year old son. Mentoring Armenian Youth from Regions.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Sona's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Prioritizing genuine curiosity about life.
As a leader you get drown into discussions of non-curious, egocentric people a lot, that's energy and time consuming.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Management and leadership was my career choice, I've graduated both bachelors and masters of business administration.
I have become a worthy leader by covering main aspects of management as a professional first.
I have started from founding and business development of a company with 23(!) shareholders including myself as a newly grad student. It was a disaster, but I've made a lot of awesome connections and network.
That network helped me move to financial controlling department of a large telecom company with worldwide presence. Here I've learned a lot about how large companies operate and make money and most importantly - that working for a large company is not my dream career.
Knowing my abilities better I've moved to my next role of product management and development for a revolutionary customer queue and appointment management SaaS solution.
In 2015 Digital Marketing was a new fancy term in Armenia, I've jumped on the first opportunity to work for a US-based company as a digital marketing associate first, local marketing team lead next, here I've learned how to manage six figure digital budgets.
I finally came to the point where I've felt confident enough to get back to my "roots" of business management and administration and I am now leading and co-owning an engineering first digital growth consulting agency - Mamble.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start my work by deciding on two things for the day:
Context mix: e.g. I am 80% CEO, 10% Mom, 5% Daughter and 5% Mentor for today.
Abstraction level: E.g.
- As a CEO as work on company OKRs today, or get in touch with 3 new contacts, or I review everything the team waits for feedback
- As a Mom I am an "intern" - we're doing everything my kid decides on
- As a Daughter I am an "assistant/consultant" helping my mom overcome the challenges of planning for Dad's BD
- As a Mentor I am a "personal coach" explaining time management to one of my mentees.
The rest of the day - I execute and have plan.
Deciding on Context Mix and Abstraction levels helps me stay in the moment, enjoy the day and be efficient.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Leadership is also about letting go.
I tend to take my team too close to my heart, which gets on the way when it's time to make a business-driven decisions for the sake of the whole team and company future.
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?
"The 6 Types of Working Genius" by Patrick Lencioni
This made me realize why people get excited and frustrated about their work, why some people enjoy their work and some feel like in non-stop burnout mood.
The book helps to find the sources of getting and losing energy in work and in life and can be really useful for understanding and managing team dynamics.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Stay curious! Leading people without genuine curiosity in people and things is like driving a car without engine.
Don't rush to manage, try first, be in as many shoes as you can.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I learn a lot from my kid, the most valuable leadership lessons come to me from my conversations with my son. Not that's he's got great leadership skills of knowledge, but because I believe that genuine curiosity is the most powerful instrument and ability that humans have. Kids are the best source of tapping into how a truly and naturally curious minds work.