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7 Questions with Fanny Murhayati
7 Questions with Fanny Murhayati
Name: Fanny Murhayati
Current title: Business Development Lead
Current organization: eyos Indonesia
I am a business development and marketing enthusiast who spent my working life time mostly in consulting industry such as marketing research and HR consultant. Currently, I am continuing my journey in SME Retail intelligence with eyos Indonesia. eyos is a retail data automation technology company and helps independent shops and brands in tapping the full potential of data-drive shopper marketing using sell-out data.
Some reasons why I am in love with the business development and marketing world are because I can always meet many people, learn new things from them, whilst at the same time, share my experiences and knowledge that might be useful for others and also enrich my networking. It also helps me to learn and adapt how to deal with different types of persons and types of businesses. Trying to be in other shoes, to understand their interest, their top of mind gives me good references for my leadership style.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
As a business development person, all challenges excite us as we are always triggered to convert challenges into opportunities. For instance, challenges on how to provide better products or services and become more relevant to our clients. Many initiatives are always shared within the team, yet knowing our current priority, resources capacity and the alignment from one division to another are important parts. Though everyone sits in different parts of the world, everyone is shaping the solution together, and learning from each other (even if it is beyond our scope). This is something that I learn a lot in eyos.
Another challenge of SME is also on brand building, how to be in people’s top of mind, whether it is for our target client, target market or public. I believe, brand building is the homework for everyone in any company, as employees are representing the company. How they tell the story about their working experience to others, digital media, their satisfaction are considered as the journey of building the company’s brand.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The work combination of business development and marketing always motivates me, in shaping my career life. I was introduced to the business development world during my previous role as HR Consultant. The target was growing the industry or attracting new industries to join our boat. This experience excited me; how we need to convince people, to understand their needs and how to tailor-made our solution into their needs. Hence, I shaped my career in BD and marketing world in several large enterprises, then, I was offered to be the business development leader in eyos where I can implement my previous experiences and contribute to the business growth in eyos. So yes, all those experiences shaped me into who I am currently.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a mom with three incredible kids. It’s challenging to wear lots of hats (myself, wife, family, home and work) especially during pandemic (when we also need to be the home-teacher for our kids). Yet, I always try to be balanced in juggling with those hats. I am used to getting up in the early morning to pray and ensuring my big kids are on their seats for their “school from home” activities. Then I can peacefully exercise with my youngest baby girl - cycling or walking with her (sometimes together with my hubby), within my cluster area. I need to ensure that she has a full stomach, nice smell, and good mood before starting working at 9am. Having three kids forces me to become more organized. It’s also our way to lead by example and teach them how to be disciplined with their tasks and timeline.
During working hours, my schedules are tight with business development and marketing activities, such as approaching prospects through many touch points, follow up, product development and team alignment. Learning from my early pandemic mistake, when there was a grey area between working hours and non-working hours, currently, I always put “break time” in my calendar. At least, a reminder for me to have an engine break, having my lunch time with my family or sometimes virtual lunch with my friends.
If I can finish my work before 7 and there is no important deadline, sometimes I spend my time on my non-work related activities (such as exploring community virtual speaking engagement, personal learning through online class etc). Some days might not be perfect, yet we always try to build the habit of spending family dinner time together, to have good conversation when the kids can talk about their day, their friends, at least, they have a good quality time routine.
If all school tasks are done, it’s playing time for big kids with their mom, dad, and little baby or their friends (virtually 😊). Story time, Lego time and of course movie time are our favorites before going to sleep.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most important leadership lessons that I have learned are about:
- giving the trust, the space for your team to grow. Not micromanaging the situation, but giving them a space to learn, to explore by themselves. Of course, to be there whenever they need advice, time to discuss. The big line is to never leave your wingman alone.
- Knowing your team’s greatest strength, their passion, and whether they are on the right seat. So, they can be passionate in doing their work
- Listening, spending your time with your team (even across the team), to understand their challenges, to get their feedback in any cases - create bonding with them.
- And of course, maintain your relationship even with your previous company’s team. We’ll never know, if sometimes they will become our future colleagues, clients, or simply because we just love talking to them.
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?
There are many inspirational books that impact my leadership style. The book that I just read recently is “advice from my 80-year-old self” by Susan O’Malley. It’s a good reflection book of compilation quotes and real words of wisdom. No detailed explanation from each quote, yet it made us think and reflect to ourselves on our behavior, and a great reminder. Here are my favorites quotes and my reflections:
- Be friendly to people, don't pull people’s hair. Understand and listen to our team, make friends with them, so we can create an office as a great place to work. They can also enjoy working with us
- Try new things, It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s a reminder for us as the leader, to give people’s personal space for them to explore, to grow, and to try new things, as we learn from mistakes.
- Look to others for help and to help. Never leave your wingman alone, support your team to grow not only career but also for their personal development.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
In my overall career journey, how I build my leadership capacity is by having feedback from my team, my peers, and my manager. That will be the best way to learn my leadership personality and to have some reflection time.
Joining leadership or manager courses will also help us, as leaders, to continue shaping our leadership style and to improve ourselves. What I appreciate during training is sharing and learning from each other, as I believe as leaders sometimes, we are facing the same challenges. And of course, practicing communication is one of the important things in building our leadership style.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Being a leader is closely related to human connection. This is what I love the most about eyos, their warm culture. How people are really welcoming any new joiner, appreciating each other’s, and celebrating the success together. eyos has forum chat across regions and encourages people to do simple “praises of the week” to anyone in the company in our chat group. The freedom in sharing our thoughts, our initiatives and working on it are something that I truly appreciate.