Name: Sonia Hunt
Title: Health & Wellness Global Speaker, Best-Selling Author
Organisation: Sonia Hunt Media
SONIA HUNT is a Health & Wellness Global Speaker and Best-Selling Author. She is empowering people to create harmony across business-health-life to thrive.
Sonia has a background as a Chief Marketing Officer, transforming global brands: Apple, TiVo, Califia Farms, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Sephora, with whom she won the 2015 WWD Digital Innovator of the Year award.
Hunt is an advisor to global organizations, celebrities, and CEOs focused on solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the creator of Three to Be™, a holistic health and well-being program that guides people to Be Healthy, Be Safe + Be Well™.
In her #1 Best-Selling book, NUT JOB, and her TEDx Talk (1M+ views), Sonia chronicles her journey of overcoming chronic health conditions to thrive.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Sonia's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Getting buy-in that employees are a company's first true customer, and as Leaders, we're responsible for their growth, well-being, and success before our external customers.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I knew at a younger age that I wanted to reach the C-level, so I carefully designed my career from Engineering to Product Management to Marketing.
I took the time to get experience in each marketing role as I moved up the ladder, so that I would have real life experience to guide my teams.
It was my CMO boss at a previous company that knew of my ambitions, guided me, and taught me much about leadership.
I learned quickly about the responsibility that comes with being a Leader.
It's not about titles, compensation, or power. It's about building relationship with each person on your team and supporting them to grow in the ways they want to grow and being their guide along the way.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Not every day is the same, especially when I'm traveling.
-Early morning: ~2 hours deep thinking/strategic work.
-Morning: LinkedIn, networking, emails, clients, podcast interviews.
-Late Morning: break to get in a workout
-Lunch: I always stop for lunch with no devices
-Afternoons: client meetings and work
I try and end my day at 3pm PT since I'm up and going early. Then it's time to get out of the house, meet friends, take the dog to the park, cook dinner.
I'm in bed at 10pm and get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
This is a crucial daily reminder: "Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge." ~Simon Sinek.
In 2023 the rates of mental health, chronic conditions, autoimmune disease and diseases are on the rise; 93% of American Adults are unhealthy.
These are not other groups of people, they are working professionals who need empathy, support, and guidance from their Leaders to prioritize their well-being.
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?
"Dare to Lead" by Bréne Brown is a must read for Leaders.
Leadership is rapidly changing. Authoritarian and transactional leaderships styles are cancelled - as we've seen in the massive exit of our younger workforce.
Anyone who takes responsibility as a Leader must build human relationships, prioritize health and well-being and recognize the potential in people to develop that potential.
We need a lot more of this to create the healthy leadership and cultures that everyone so desperately desires.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
"You'll never have all the answers because you'll always be a work-in-progress." ~Sonia Hunt
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I'm also certified as a Coach, so my style has always been about coaching my team to take care of themselves first and foremost such that they will be healthy to achieve their dreams and thrive.
One of my past direct reports was a workaholic and didn't see a path to rest and relaxation - until he burned out and ended up in the hospital. He was okay, but I encouraged him to take time to heal and come back to work in a new way that was beneficial to his health and dreams.
His 'go-go-go' mentality brought stress to the entire team, and at one point, everyone's morale was down.
This was a good lesson for the entire team to work through together.
I feel the work will always be there, but the person may not.