7 Questions with Lynn Power
Name: Lynn Power
Current title: Co-Founder & CEO
Current organisation: MASAMI
Lynn is a 30 year advertising executive (formerly CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY) turned entrepreneur. She left the agency world in 2018 and just launched MASAMI, clean premium hair care, in February 2020.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Managing cash flow is tricky, especially with the unpredictability of consumer behavior these days. We are focused on investing and growing aggressively, but can't do quite as much on the R&D front and global expansion as we'd like just yet.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was in advertising a really long time -- 30 years. I was the CEO of a large agency and really not enjoying my job any longer. I decided to leave to start a brand consultancy with a partner and then in 2018, I met my haircare partner, James. We decided to launch MASAMI (clean premium hair care with a Japanese ocean botanical) together and we officially launched in February 2020.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I try to do yoga every morning. I like Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Most of her videos are about 30 minutes which is doable. From there, I get on calls and tend to be pretty busy between team calls, partner calls, content creation, etc. I like my glass of pinot noir and the darker it is outside, the earlier the wine gets poured. Like everyone else these days, we are binge watching good TV. We finished the Undoing and are now watching Vikings.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Stay true to your own style. I didn't have many positive role models in my early career and I thought I would have to emulate them to get ahead. Most were "command and control" leaders, very different from my "player coach" style. But I came to the conclusion that I am better off leading my way and if that works out, great. And if not, that's ok too. And it has worked out pretty well for me.
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?
Thinking, Fast and Slow. By Daniel Kahneman. I loved the way this book explained how we make decisions. And once I understood the reptilian way our brains work, it made me less afraid to dig in and turn on the "slow brain" that didn't want to work that hard when I had to.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
It's about understanding your team, their capabilities and motivations. And unlocking their potential. I don't like to micro-manage, I'm much more about empowering and letting people learn and grow.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
I have really enjoyed watching my co-founder, James, blossom into an amazing storyteller. I knew he had it in him, but just needed some practice and confidence to really unlock his potential. It's great that we have complementary skill sets as well, this way we can truly support each other and get farther ahead than if we were duplicating efforts.