A true marketing leader with a solid business development, brand and growth marketing, as well as PR and communications background, Yara Milbes has more than 15 years of experience in B2B, B2G marketing in Telecommunications and Information Technology sectors. In her role as CEQUENS VP Global Marketing, Yara brings a wealth of global marketing knowledge along with her exceptional analytical, operational, and managerial skills. An interview with Yara Milbes, VP Marketing CEQUENS
Your career path has been celebrated as a true success story. What do you think sets you apart as a leader in technology?
Firstly, I am a hardcore team player. My job is to prepare the people that I work with for their next role, be it inside the organization or not. To keep things positive, I am clear and transparent form the get-go; I do everything in my power to constantly enable and empower my team to thrive, identifying what it takes for them to display full commitment to showing up and working with integrity.
Integrity in the workplace is difficult to frame. How do you encourage your team to embrace and implement it?
Going back to communicating with full transparency, I do this through establishing open lines of communication, delivering clearly what I expect from my team and, more importantly, what they should expect from me in return. My job is to help you do a great job; your job is to give it your best. It’s that simple, everything else is details and skills that can be taught. I try my best to avoid micro-managing my team, I see them as invaluable decision makers, whose skills are to be celebrated and highlighted in a work organization.
How do you empower your team to deliver?
To me the success of an organization is a journey of constant learning and development, both for myself and my team. But beyond keeping up with industry trends and best practices, I make it a point to impart my knowledge on my team; I take time to mentor them, making the learning process fun and rewarding, and most importantly I always give “impact feedback” to make sure feedback is entirely constructive and seen as a learning experience rather than simply pointing out what’s not working.
How do you balance between leading creatively and leading with impact?
Well, I think it is essential to see creativity and impact as part of the bigger picture. I see myself as decisive but my decisiveness as a leader does not come from my ability to make decisions quickly or on my own, but rather from rallying those around me to see things from a different perspective and look at the bigger picture until the right decision is made. A good business leader is like a public servant; I always make sure I am both accessible and responsive, so I don’t become a bottleneck in the decision making process.
What are some of your proudest career moments recently?
Over the past five years, I built three marketing teams from scratch, scaled them for business growth, and built individual trust with each member regardless of the size of the team – this trust has given me access to a pool of talent I can always reach out to and progress and collaborate with regardless of the company I am currently working at.
A good leader has the numbers to back up their claim honestly. Over the past three years, I have met all personal and departmental OKRs and exceeded my targets. For CEQUENS, since I joined last May, I have built the team from scratch, grew our online community (completely organically) by 38%+ , improved QoQ engagement rates by 41% and started generating an average of 35+ organic media mentions (from a baseline of zero).
Diversity in the workplace is a popular term, how have you translated it into an actual practice at CEQUENS and beyond?
Using my position to support diversity in tech has helped me be able to advance careers for countless individuals, I am quickly able to identify a superstar member and I believe in fairness. In the past 1.5 years alone, I helped over 10 individuals move from middle management to senior roles, celebrating their strengths and talents as opposed to using traditional hiring and promotion practices that move people based on gender, age or years of experience, This mindset has worked well for me: I have been awarded and recognized by global and regional organizations for both my role as a leader in tech and my role as a leading female in tech. I became the first non C-level executive and one of 4 females only to appear on the cover of CNME magazine – Tahauwltech’s online & print magazine. I have been invited as one of a handful of changemakers to take part in a closed roundtable organized by women in tech, Ortus Club, and mClub.
Source: Agility PR