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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Marta Arino Barrera
7 Questions with Marta Arino Barrera

Name: Marta Ariño Barrera

Current title: CEO

Current organisation: ZINET MEDIA GROUP

(before G+J España)
Chairman Asociación de Revistas – ARI
Owner & Founder Editorial PINOLIA

Actualmente es CEO de Zinet Media Group, -antes G+J España-, y anteriormente fue la Directora General de la unidad de revistas del Grupo Zeta. Previamente ocupó la Dirección General de RBA Coleccionables, y la Dirección de Marketing de Vanguardia Publicaciones.

Degree in Economics from the University of Barcelona, MBA in Business Administration from ESADE, and Master of New Challenges from Harvard Business School.

She is currently CEO of Zinet Media Group, -before G + J Spain-, and previously she was the Managing Director of the Zeta Group's magazine unit. Previously, he held the General Management of RBA Collectibles, and the Marketing Management of Vanguardia Publications.

It is part of the Executive Management Tutoring Program with the CEOE. She is Associate Professor of the Master in Publishing at Pompeu Fabra University, Associate Professor in the Master in Marketing at La Salle University, participates in the Mentoring in Management Program for executives with the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) and Grupo Bertelsmann, and operates as an investor in different Start-Ups.

7 Questions with Marta Arino Barrera

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small /medium company?

I contribute my best resources to the day-to-day business by working very hard to ensure that the margin is positive and the boat remains afloat profitably.

'People first'. Respond to the requests of the members of my team; because they are the most important thing to me, although the employees sometimes do not perceive this constant dedication.

The Spanish statement: 'you have to come to work motivated from home' sometimes is not like that and you have to encourage the team every day so that they can give their best. The myth of the CEO's loneliness sometimes happens to many of us; we must always be 'on fire' -as they say now! 😊- and the leader is supposed to be self-motivated, resilient, endurance, left hand, patience, positivity ... among many other capacities in which you can never fail, regardless of how you feel on a personal level.

Keep an eye on the global perspective of the company and be useful as a link between all departments to improve internal processes.

Incorporate any reinvention and innovation that I think necessary when I detect areas of productivity improvement.

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

Since I was young, I have had an entrepreneurial spirit and I firmly believe that you can get where you want thanks to your work, perseverance, discipline and ability to detect and take advantage of opportunities. Training seems essential to me, as well as continuing to constantly recycle to acquire new skills. If you add 'specialization' to these factors, you can always have a place in your sector. In my case, and throughout my professional career, I can affirm that I have a trade that I master; the publishing sector and the ability to generate content on any channel.

After years leading the business development and management of a large group, I have had the option to acquire the shares and become the owner of Zinet Media Group.

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

My working days are oriented to the internal and external team. I also have one morning a week for myself, to let my imagination run wild and draw the future or ideas. Family, friends, hobbies and my dog occupy the remaining 20%!

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

The situation that has caused the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the rapid incorporation of new procedures and resources to maintain productivity in times of crisis, not only health, but also social and economic.

Victor Flankl used to say: "Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude." More than a lesson, it is a learning that I took from this recent period: the ability to choose with what attitude I faced multiple changes in a moment of uncertainty, especially when there are people waiting for you to take the reins and shed light on them. The agility with which we put in place all the technological and human mechanisms to continue editing and publishing content on all our channels, and giving our editorial headlines "normality", is something I will always be proud of; without my team it would have been impossible. There were millions of readers on the other side who hoped that their favorite magazine issue would be available as usual. It was a challenge to achieve it with teleworking, video conferences, point of sale closings, staff leave… but the positive and creative attitude with which I faced this unexpected situation has been fundamental.

Surely many of those who read these reflections have gone through the same in their respective businesses.

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 am a compulsive reader of many and varied topics, from History to detective novels, popular science, through business; I do not have a single reference book, it would seem poor to me with the large number of excellent books that we are surrounded by. Read to enjoy and read to learn are my mottos.

I love everything that has to do with new technologies, AI, new models.

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

In my case I have to be honest; As the leader of my company I operate exactly the same as in my daily life as Marta Ariño, an empathetic woman, with clear ideas, a fighter, sincere, assertive and with the ability to link some people with others so that projects take shape and grow. A sense of humor is essential, although firm decision-making and clarity when presenting them are important to me. Being fun and assertive is not incompatible.

The leadership capacity in a medium-sized company allows me to know the people around me in a deeper way, which makes me empathize more with their family / personal realities and be more accessible when dealing with any situation. In the end, a company is a social ecosystem of dimensions x, the rest is furniture and technology. My leadership skills have undoubtedly developed from my relationship with my teams. It has depended on me to earn their respect, trust and loyalty.

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

The idea of the competition, I have always tried to collaborate with my partners in the content creation ecosystem. I think that we should all stop and think that alone we will not get very far, the idea of collaboration is fundamental these days.

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