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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 Steve Brown
7 Questions with Steve Brown

Name: Steve Brown

Current title: CEO

Current organisation: ROI Online

Steve Brown believes you, as an entrepreneur, are the invisible hero of today’s economy. You provide products and services that improve our lives and you also provide jobs for people with families and dreams. As an entrepreneur himself, an author, and podcast host, Steve knows what you face today as you fight to grow your business. And his mission is to help you avoid all the mistakes he’s made while trying to navigate the modern world of marketing.

7 Questions with Steve Brown

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

Building a team and clearly communicating the vision of our agency.

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

I saw the opportunity after two experiences with my two previous employers and I stepped out to do things better.

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

I'm mostly driven by my calendar appointments and accomplishing required tasks in between. I use the evenings and the earlier mornings to study and for R&D.

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

I must continually communicate to my team the vision of our agency with examples and trends. It helps them know we are moving forward and it creates positive energy and anticipation. As humans, we need to have something to aim for.

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?

Marketing to Mindstates by Will Leach. Every day, we experience multiple states of mind. In certain situations, we fall into a common state of mind. When you can discern what the common state of mind someone might be when evaluating a situation, you can design your communication to satisfy how their brain would prefer to receive communication at that moment. It makes them feel understood and out of danger.

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

By making sure the vision of the future is clear so your potential leaders can focus their best energies to move the organization in the proper direction. Your leaders reveal and expose themselves when there is safety and clarity in your culture.

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

The past year and a half have been the toughest year for our agency since we started nine years ago. It's a test of leadership to keep a team together when the future is uncertain. It requires an honesty that brings with it the dilemma and risk of communicating fear rather than confidence. How does a leader share the real dangers that exist and yet rally a team to stay and fight for each other when they could bail and look for something else? How do you communicate your soberness about the situation and yet inspire them to roll up their sleeves to stay and fight? When we look back now, even though it didn't feel like we were winning, we had many little victories and successes. It's something I'm proud of. What doesn't kill you makes you better is true in this example.

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