7 Questions with Mark Donatelli

Name: Mark Donatelli

Current title: President

Current organisation: Hive Strategy Co.

Mark is the Founder at Hive Strategy Co., a consulting firm helping organizations navigate the complex data, technology, and analytics landscape to make good choices that will activate and sustain a growth strategy.

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?

The need to wear so many hats, although this is part of what I enjoy about it too.

2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I had some corporate turnabout go the wrong way for me and set out on my own, only to get pulled back in, then back out, and back in, now on my 4th season back out on the field as a SME. I often joke I've started the same business 4 times now - it's getting easier.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I definitely have some "zones" I try to maintain/match to my work type:
6:30-9:00 - reading news, articles, catching up on email
9:00-12:00 - meetings, phone calls
13:00-16:00 - client work, meetings, phone calls
19:00-22:00 - reserved for creative work/critical thinking
I try to avoid my phone after 19:00 if possible

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Clarity of communication is critical when setting expectations

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?

I enjoyed Team of Teams which helped me understand that creating an environment of empowerment will drive innovation, performance, and growth.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?

Employee onboarding and formalized training and mentoring programs. Even an SME can simply pair associates for shadowing, career planning, etc

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?

I had a data analyst intern whose aspirations were beyond my ability to retain her. I was able to write her a recommendation for her current role and fulfill her dream of moving to Chicago after college.