Lessons, Laughs, and Leadership: Taboola Management Training 2019

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At Taboola, we know that a team is only as strong as its leader, and a leader is only as strong as their team. That’s why we recently gathered a group of our leaders from all over the world in our UK office to spend some time learning the ins and outs of what it means to be a strong leader and, of course, having a little fun, too.

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This workshop was broken up into three days. On day one, we covered what it means to be a self-leader, on day two, we dug into the art of leading others, and on day three, we discussed leading the business. 

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In addition to making the experience so enjoyable for one another, our managers walked away with truly actionable takeaways. 

I figured there’s no better way to give a glimpse into the topics we covered and the insights that were uncovered than to go right to our managers themselves. Here’s what they had to say when their training came to a close.

Swita Charanasomboon

Sr. Marketing Manager, APAC, Bangkok 

What does leadership mean to you? 

“I like to think of it as learning about yourself, in order to use your skillset to help others learn, grow, and do meaningful work!”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

“I would tell them not to be afraid to use tough love! It’s important for team members to learn and grow, so timely feedback and coaching is important. It’s not helpful to a team in the long run if a manager is  trying to be their friend at the expense of challenging them and helping them grow.” 

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“I like to start by listening––find out what really matters to them in terms of their career development, and create opportunities for them. When relevant, I share my own experiences and learnings from my career, including the mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve learned. Managers are given the opportunity to shape the lives of individuals, so I try to be mindful of this gift.” 

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“We learned about the support-challenge matrix, and that the ideal mixture for a manager is to be ‘high support and high challenge.’ I’ll keep this top of mind to make sure that my team is engaged in challenging work, and that they know they are supported.”

Yven Gonnet

Sales Team Lead – EMEA SMB Publisher, London 

What does leadership mean to you? 

“The ability one has to motivate and inspire others to go towards a common goal.”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

“Do not fear being vulnerable to your team. It leads to relationships based on trust, better communication and more effective team in-fine.” 

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“While I acknowledge and tackle issues, I’m always focusing on the solution and what’s positive—now, or to come in the future.”

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“To do a lot more coaching.”

Robert Perry

Publisher Account Director, APAC, Bangkok

What does leadership mean to you? 

“To me, leadership means creating the conditions for my team to accomplish our greater goals, and to foster individual growth amongst my team.” 

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

Be yourself––don’t try to be anyone else.” 

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“I think it’s really important to foster a sense of autonomy for each member of your team. This allows them to have a stake in the team’s greater goal setting and attainment. In addition, you need to provide a healthy amount of challenge with corresponding support, so that the team is constantly moving forward.” 

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“One thing I’ve started to use immediately is the coaching line of questioning with my team. There is a lot of nuance in coaching, but the framework given during the course can immediately be put into practice.” 

Vinicius Landucci

Team Lead, Media Sales, Brazil

What does leadership mean to you? 

“Leadership is about enabling people to achieve and deliver results with one common purpose. It’s also about creating an environment that is not only challenging, but also one where they feel excited and fulfilled.”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

Be authentic, humble, and open to learning every single day. Most likely, you will make mistakes and by recognizing those, you become more likely to succeed.”

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

I make sure we are all on the same page with our purpose. Then, by understanding each person individually, I let them naturally step into situations where they can use their skills, and I always give them proper recognition for their accomplishments.”

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

I want to create a high-performance team culture where people will not only achieve results because they are good at what they do, but also because they feel responsible for the outcome of the group as a whole. I want to give them the level of learning, confidence, and excitement that will make them ready to overcome any obstacles together.”

Sofiia Zuieva

Media Sales Manager, Media Sales, London

What does leadership mean to you? 

“It’s the art of getting others to do what you want, but so that the person wants to do it themselves, too.”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

“Always be open to communication with other people. Learn to listen to what your team members say or ask. The more you know, the better prepared you are to make decisions. 

Find the right motivation in each team member and help to structure their workflow in order to reflect their professional and personal aspirations on projects that they are set to do.”

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“I do it through involving the team in setting goals and making decisions. To keep the motivation levels up, I set ambitious but achievable goals and give them praise for reaching every milestone in the process.”

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“To develop and exercise coaching skills when speaking with my team.”

Bastian Richter

Team Lead, Media Sales, Berlin 

What does leadership mean to you? 

Leadership means so many things, but the essence of leadership to me is the ability to help an organisation realise a vision––to bring that to life in a way that people want to do their work instead of being told what they have to do.” 

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

Focus on your strengths and build those out. Be the kind of leader that you would follow.”

 How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

I create a positive work environment and always be respectful, honest, and supportive. I give them room to grow, I ask them what they want, and I make sure to share feedback. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for motivating and encouraging growth, I’m always looking for the ways that work best for my team.” 

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“I would love to establish team rules and I also want to do much more coaching with my team.”

Emina Biscevic

Team Lead, Media Sales DACH, London

What does leadership mean to you? 

“For me, leadership comes from the heart. Leadership is not about the ‘you’ but the ‘others’ and the empowerment of people. It means working with and through others to achieve goals. Good leaders are facilitators who are helping people to learn from everyone around them.”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

Listen and be nice to people.”

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

By offering regular feedback, sharing success stories amongst the team, and encouraging teamwork.”

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“I’m going to create a team charter in which we define the purpose of our team, expected outcomes, and how we will work together to achieve our goals.”

Maxime Berthier

Team Lead, Publisher Sales – SMB EMEA, London 

What does leadership mean to you? 

“Empowering others and creating the best environment for people to succeed.”

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

“Be yourself. You don’t have to become this stereotypical idea of a manager. You were chosen to lead because of who you are.”

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“I give them the flexibility to set their own goals based on their career aspirations and areas of interest.” 

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“Coach, coach, coach. You will save everyone a lot of time if you train people to solve their own issues.”

Lucy Trudeau

Media Account Director, UK Account Management, London

What does leadership mean to you? 

Leadership, to me, means being brave enough to take risks and inspire others through your actions.” 

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a brand new manager? 

“I would advise them to take time to get to know each person on their team and start to understand what motivates them. Then, to create a highly supportive but challenging environment where their team feels enabled to be the best version of themselves.” 

How do you motivate and encourage growth in your employees? 

“I encourage each member of my team to discover what the higher purpose is behind each action. I encourage them to focus and prioritise on the initiatives that are going to have the most impact, and have the confidence and autonomy to own their career development.” 

What’s the one thing you took away from this management training that you will put into action right away? 

“The first thing I’m going to do is rewrite my personal development plan by thinking about my strengths instead of focusing on my weaknesses. I recommend that for all managers––It’s very inspiring!” 

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