Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Susette Andaya-Gomez
7 Questions with Susette Andaya-Gomez
Name: Susette Andaya-Gomez
Current title: Head of Digital Strategy
Current organization: Winni, LLC
With more than 15 years of experience, Susette has mastered the unique intricacies that make up the world of e-commerce, digital marketing, media buying, SEO, partnerships and Internet technology. The Florida International University graduate has an innate passion and skill for directing SEM & SEO advertising initiatives while reducing acquisition costs and increasing a business’s bottom line.
Determined to find a career path that combined her love for travel and her passion for digital marketing, Susette went on to lead marketing initiatives for Air Jamaica Vacations, Wyndham Resorts, World Travel Holdings, CruCon Cruise Outlet and MSC Cruises. Currently, you can find Susette spearheading the online marketing initiatives for Winni, a privately-owned strategic marketing firm and a subsidiary of SLC Group Holdings.
As a past President of the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association (SFIMA), Susette is dedicated to staying on top of trends in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. When she is not helping Winni’s clients master their own e-commerce platforms or developing media plans, she can be found scuba diving, biking or traveling with her son Sebastian and her husband Rick.
As a recent breast cancer survivor, Susette now shares her story of early detection with the hopes of saving others by hosting preventative, guided breast self-exams alongside her surgical oncologists on Clubhouse.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
One of the most challenging things I have had to work through in my role, when working with small to large organizations, has always been finding a balance between implementing a new way of doing things and leaving enough room for business owners to want to move away from the “we’ve always done it like this” mentality.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started my career as a digital marketer in the travel industry and quickly realized that I had a true passion for all things digital marketing. I love how in this particular field, most initiatives are truly measurable, which consequently allows for quicker, smarter decision making. I’ve been fortunate to work with great leaders and for companies that value my opinion. In hindsight, I’d say that every single experience (good and bad) and the lessons I’ve learned along the way have led me to the role I have today.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
This is a question that brings a smile to my face. Perhaps with a little eye-roll as well. Ha! Mainly because as I think back to our family morning routine, which now includes getting a toddler (Sebastian) ready for his day. It all seems to be a carefully crafted, beautiful chaos. But it works for our family.
The morning routine goes something like this: My husband (Rick) wakes up before the rest of us, makes us both a cup of coffee and brings it to me either at my bedside or wherever I may be at that moment. I’m lucky, I know. I usually get myself ready for the day as fast as possible and then switch gears into getting our son ready. My husband then takes him to preschool and I get things going in my home office. I like to start my day by catching up on emails from the previous evening. Then I consult my to-do list and take it from there. My to-do list is more of what I aspire to get done that day and less of the exact items to tackle because in my line of work, the list of priorities can sometimes shift a lot. Every day is different, and I absolutely love that! I have many responsibilities which can range from working through short and long-term projects to attending business networking events.
Once the work day is done, either Rick or I pick up our son from pre-school and we start the evening routine. One of us gets dinner started while the other bathes our son. Then it’s playtime for Sebastian as Rick and I briefly catch up on our day. Right around 7-ish we eat dinner as a family and continue talking about our day and aim to share something good that happened that day. Then the evening routine starts, Rick puts Sebastian to bed (he’s a total Daddy’s boy) and that’s when I try to catch up on a book or TV show that I may be watching.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most important leadership lesson that I have learned is that it’s all about the team. No one can do it all. I find that when we empower others to take action and be free thinkers, that’s when the magic happens. I keep a letter board in my office with a quote from Robert Ingersoll that reads “We rise by lifting others.” For me, this serves as a little reminder to move through the day being kind and accepting of others.
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?
“Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown has been a great one so far. The overall theme as perfectly stated in the cover is: “How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.”
This book has challenged me to push through my fears, recognize the power of vulnerability and be more accepting of others.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Focus on serving others and always try to lead by example. I’m of the mindset that successful leadership is more about serving others than getting people to do things your way. When we listen to the needs of a group and seek to resolve the issue at hand, that’s when we shine as leaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
There have been several occasions in my career, where I’ve had to make tough calls that could directly impact an individual as well as a group of people. In all instances, I have been able to step back, look at the situation from an outside perspective and allow for the right course of action to come to me. Stepping away from the situation and looking in with empathy has always served me well.