7 Questions with Bennet Bayer
Name: Bennet Bayer
Current title: Chief Growth Officer
Current organisation: CTD Solutions Group
Hand’s on Technology Executive (CEO/CMO) of “what’s next” and how to monetize it building technology business (software, cloud, network, mobile, analytics and services) into a variety of vertical industries. A CEO who can code with a talent for strategic differentiation, turnaround and digital transformation whilst leading greenfield, start-up, high growth and large-scale global business to $86bn.
• Figuring it out – Outside the box visionary product marketer with 1,500+ new services, products and applications (very extensive SaaS and mobile) developed and launched globally, usually with very limited resources; building teams from very small to exceptionally large six-times.
• Communicator – Talent herding cats, gaining buy-in and fostering cooperation amongst diverse audiences from engineers and partners to the boardroom. Conducting omni-channel marketing programs to 3-billion people daily.
• Finding the money – Seven $0 to $350m successes (one $0 to $4bn) and over $77bn in new revenue generated during various tenures with consistent increase in EBIT results.
Ability to drive operations, grow brand, top of funnel demand, with analytics, digital marketing and integrated MarTech with core business systems and the customer experience. B2B, B2B2C and 1:1 marketing expert, building teams, channel programs with marketing operations.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Learning to scale (hard to grow without learning the talent of herding cats) and communication to every level of the organization.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Mostly circumstance; going from success managing sales to adding projects and then GM. The roles increased in each tenure.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Catch up with direct reports (10-min) prioritizing the "to-do" list for the day. Then by business area - each monday morning on one topic, Tuesday afternoon another. EVERYONE knows that that is and where to find me. I carve out time early, middle and end of day to work with customer situations, sales and to fight fires.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
LoL, it is all relative. Huawei taught me a lot as the size and scope was VERY large scale. You will always be surprised, no matter what you are doing someone is at best six-months behind you. If everyone follows the basics you will do well. Empower but always factor in the customer. The best culture is one of continuous improvement methodology.
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?
Bernstein's "The Art of Risk." It puts numbers and data utilization into perspective.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Cross train your team, empower, leaders rise. You constantly test everyone and encourage questions especially of me. This becomes culture - example I always tell my teams that I am wrong half the time...THEY have to figure out which half!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Running service and installation for the City of LA during riots there; buildings burning to the ground. Many of those I worked with were much older. "OK, let's get a cup of coffee and go put that back together." - Ah, one never gets too flustered...the lesson of perspective.