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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 Stephy T L
7 Questions with Stephy T L

Name: Stephy T L

Current title: Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Current organisation: Beetle Branding Studio

Not only an emerging Entrepreneur but also a Qualified Digital Marketer with solid experience with years of experience in making online businesses profitable through experimenting and strategizing the various aspects in SEO, SEM, Social Media & Video Marketing. Also available in YouTube as Go Digital with Stephy to share the tips and updates in the digital marketing niche.

7 Questions with Stephy T L

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

Well.. The most difficult task which I found as a leader is to sustain the work culture of the employees in work from home mode. As this is a pandemic situation, we all know, almost 90% of our employees are working from home. So, it seems to be tough for me to create a positive vibe within the team, as we are virtually meeting for formal meetings.
This also affects the performance measurement of the team members. We are just seeing them completing their work and getting a result. But for me, the best performance measurement will be considering the working pace, dedication, responsibility, and of course the general behavior of the person. In this situation, there are limitations to get the exact score of the team members. In connection with that there are challenges in finding the right people in growing our business.
Last, but not the least, In order to gain exposure in this competitive world, we need to hone in on our individuality and present the products & services as unique. To stand out from the crowd, we are trying our best to plan & execute very special ideas in our products to gain utmost satisfaction from the customers.

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

I initiated my career as an SEO intern back in 2012. My work culture there was like a targeted number of submissions in different directories and all on a daily basis. So, once I fed up with these robotic work, I started researching & experimenting a lot of areas in digital marketing to get more exposure & to gain more experience in distinct methodologies in digital marketing. By that way, I found it a more fascinating field, since we need to think, strategize and execute marketing based on the nature & demand of each business to get the desired results.
From my experiences, I started accomplishing the do’s & don’ts in digital marketing. Apart from digital marketing I have touched more areas in business analysis, project management, HR management from the different firms I have worked with. Along with this, I was very interested in building connections in various social media professional platforms. As a part, I have started a YouTube channel - “Go Digital With Stephy”. Based on that I started getting leads and conversions in website development, SEO, and app development. Considering those I started thinking about building my own business with these valuable leads.
I have started Beetle Branding Studio and started building a team and I am glad that we have completed all those projects with utmost client satisfaction. Today I am in an intention to spread our venture to various niches as an experiment.
Besides these, I am actively involved in different art forms like dancing, crafting, cooking, home making and many more…. When I am not at work, I will be spending time with family and friends.

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

I usually start my working hours at 11.30 in the morning, so that I can stay late in the night as we are working with International clients. When I start working, I will classify my to-do list. Most importantly, I will not check my mails first. If so, will be stuck somewhere in the mails and will not be able to complete the tasks on time. So, the classification will be like:
1. Will start with urgent and quick to complete
2. Then I will spend bulk of my time in urgent tasks which requires more work
3. After that will be checking the mails and based on the time, will work on not urgent and quick to complete
4. Finally will target on not urgent and requires more work. Honestly, the day will end before starting this phase.
Because, in the evening time, I will be having more scheduled meetings, communication with the clients and follow ups on leads. It may be as long as 3 AM in the morning time. So yeah, that's my work structure.

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

The most important leadership lesson that I learned is “it’s not about you.”
As per my view, Integrity is the most important quality a leader should have. They will help their team members to grow as a leader rather than making them a resource. But always remembering that it’s not about you is critical.
Leaders have a mission to execute in any association and how the leader moves, coordinates, guides, advises, perceives, and impacts individuals can be refined through a wide range of styles and strategies. In any case, when leaders make it about them, and fail to remember the mission, excuse individuals, they will at last fizzle. Yes, there are plenty of examples of egotistical, self-centered, and toxic leaders that can “succeed,” but to me it is at a great cost to the organization and on the backs of many people.
So, it's all about being humble, consider leading a privilege with demanding 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?

It's Bruce D. Schneider’s “Energy Leadership”.
Energy Leadership focuses on the four energy blocks that leave many people at the cause, rather than the effect of their lives. It is written based on work Schneider did with one of his clients. In this book, he outlines the difference between anabolic leaders and catabolic leaders. Anabolic leaders create and automatically attract success whereas catabolic leaders negatively impact the energy and momentum of those around them, as well as their organization.
Through the 7 levels of energy, it helped me to become a better leader personally and professionally by improving my consciousness. It helped me to experience more balance in my life. I incorporate the practices that are reflective of an anabolic leader such as:
1. Encouraging others to take their own steps
2. Using whole brain thinking
3. Seeing opportunities while appreciating the true worth of an individual beyond just an employee

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

Not all leaders lead with the same style. In fact, most leaders fall into one of a few categories of leadership, determined by their personality, their actions, and their values. So, I think I have to find my own leadership style first to improve the capacity of the leadership. It will be helpful taking notes on mistakes made and lessons learned to improve the leadership capacity.

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

It's the story of Leadership through empathy – Jacinda Ardern
Empathy is not the first thing you may think of when you look at politicians, but it's the leadership quality that draws people to Jacinda Ardern. The Coronavirus pandemic may be the biggest political test facing world leaders for a generation. Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style in a crisis has resonated with people. In March 2020 she hosted a Facebook Live ahead of New Zealand’s lockdown. Apologising for her casual dress she began by explaining she had just put her child to bed and wanted to “check in'' with everyone. Her messages have been clear and consistent and people have listened. New Zealand has been one of the very few countries in the world to have appeared to have successfully managed the pandemic.

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