Emerging Leader Spotlight: Natalia Butenko

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence.

Natalia ButenkoThis month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Natalia Butenko, Head of Marketing, Mobility with Logitech.

 Favorite leadership quote:

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” — Richard Branson

Why did you choose your current career path?

I am a marketer, but I graduated with MA in Sociology and Market Research. Very early in my research career, I realized that I was not only interested in getting to the bottom of what people think, feel and what triggers them, but also in acting upon the knowledge. This is when I transferred to a career in marketing. My consumer research roots have been instrumental in building my marketing career and shaping my profile as a marketer. I’ve always stayed consumer-centric, driving consumer insights into the center of every business decision.

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?

I’ve learned to actively seek and embrace challenging assignments and projects. This has been the best fuel for personal and professional growth for me. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth every bit of effort you put into it.

Challenging assignments stretch you and help you grow – you learn something new every day, so you never stop developing. They are fun—there is rarely a playbook for hard jobs, so there is a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking—the skills you can rarely exercise when it’s “business as usual”. And last, but not least, challenging assignments give you visibility and help to build your personal brand in the eyes of leadership teams and your potential career sponsors.

What leadership tools or resources have you used that have been crucial to your success?

There are 3 tools I use daily:

  1. Learn by observation. Both higher up management and your peers are great resources to observe and learn from. I’ve met people throughout my career whose leadership style I admire and find inspirational. I observe what they do, how they do it and analyze why. It’s incredible how much you can learn when you start actively observing.

  1. Read. For every question you have, there is a book out there. Someone took time to dive deep into the topic, ask the experts and consolidate the knowledge on 200 pages. There is no reason not to use it. Outside of books, Harvard Business review has been a great resource. It helps me to stay on top of the best practices in leadership and business.

  1. Tap into your network of peers. I find a network of peers from my previous jobs to be a constant source of inspiration and learning. We’ve all gone different ways, had different experiences, gotten exposure to different corporate cultures and leadership styles and you can tap into all this knowledge and fresh perspectives by simply picking up a phone.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as high-potential emerging leaders?

  1. Volunteer for challenging projects and assignments.
  2. Speak up and don’t get discouraged if you are not heard right away – sometimes it takes years of influencing to see your vision come to life. It’s worth the wait.
  3. Be a person others want to work with. A great team is critical for success. You can set the vision, but there is not much you can do accomplish on your own without a motivated team. Enroll people into your vision, give everyone space to speak up, be fair and make it a fun ride for everyone.
  4. Listen to understand, not to reply. It’s a critical skill to be deeply in-tune with both your business and your organization, resulting in better decisions and stronger teams.
  5. Take care of yourself. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint – plan accordingly.

Stop by and say hello to Natalia on LinkedIn.

Angie Klein

As Operations and Marketing Manager, Angie Klein is responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of  Be Leaderly.com. Angie manages all aspects of training program logistics, registrations, SEO, financials,  monthly newsletter, social media engagement and customer service.

Follow @kleina2012 on Twitter.

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