In today's business world, effective communication is essential for success, and no one recognises this more than Sudonum’s CEO and Co-Founder Mark Griffeon, founded on the basis of smart solutions that connect businesses with humans through calls and messages, Sudonum and Mark know that when you connect for real, you get real results.
& that's precisely why we at Sudonum have decided to connect for real with our team members. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with a deeper understanding of who we are, what we do, and what motivates us. This Q&A with Mark Griffeon, our CEO and Co-Founder, is the first in a series of meet the team pieces, where we'll be featuring members from various departments across the company. Through this, we hope to showcase the diverse talent and experience that drives Sudonum's success.
In this first post, we'll be talking to Mark to learn more about his experience with the company, the challenges he's faced as CEO, and his insights on leadership and success in the industry. We'll delve into Mark's day-to-day routine, his proudest projects, and the lessons he's learned along the way.
- What lead you to join Sudonum, and how long have you been working here?
Michael Toop and I started Sudonum as an R&D project at Mxit. We’ve been around from day zero.
- Could you describe your typical workday at Sudonum and what you enjoy most about it?
I have a very diverse day. Some days start gently with a coffee and a conversation; while other days my first task is to approve leave or release payments. What I enjoy most is time in person in front of our clients.
- What do you believe sets Sudonum apart from other companies in the industry, and what do you think are its biggest strengths?
I’d say our ability to respond to market needs and spot significant trends before they are mainstream. We’re a business with grit and put client needs at the center of what we do.
- Can you talk about a project that you are particularly proud to have worked on and why it was important to you?
There is a lot to be proud of from the last 8 years. There is also a lot to be embarrassed about. Starting from zero and now having clients on 5 continents makes all the products and projects feel like one of my kids. It would be hard to pick a favourite.
- What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your role, and how do you go about overcoming them?
While I excel at focusing on the details of our product, I’m the first to say that I’m a work in progress when it comes to how I communicate Sudonum's mission to our team. I am working to improving how I communicate so that it can be a catalyst that enable our team to do their best work.
- Can you share any advice or insights you have gained during your time as Sudonum CEO that you think would be valuable to someone starting out their CEO journey?
Be truthful even if it costs you business or you lose revenue. You cannot put a price on integrity, and you will never get it back if you compromise. Always be curious, ask questions until you understand; focus on the problems you are solving and don’t get caught up in the IKEA effect (a cognitive bias that helps explains why people place a higher value on things they helped to build or create).
- What is a goal that you have set for yourself that you hope to achieve in the next year?
My main goal is to enable our team to step take ownership of the future we are creating.
- What are you most excited for this year?
Watching the various talented people at Sudonum step up and make what we do their own.
- How would you define your personality in 3 words?
Direct, Curious and Assertive.
- What’s your biggest strength?
Making decisions (for better or worse) and getting things done.
- What inspired you to get out of bed in the morning?
I need to get my kids to school.... Seriously though, every day is an opportunity to make a dent in the universe. Dents can be infinitely small but when combines become meaningful.
- What is one hobby or interest you have outside of work that you are passionate about?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
It would have to be either a remote island where nobody can find me or bouncing around the world riding the best mountain bike trails the planet has to offer.
- What is something you are currently learning or working on that you are excited about?
Sudonum and my chili plants
- Who is someone that has had a significant impact on your life, and how have they influenced you?
My Grandfather. He arrived in South Africa on a ship from the Netherlands with a bag of oranges and very little money. Through hard work he built a business that enabled him to retire in his early fifties. His integrity, work ethic and directness were things I admired.
- What is one skill or talent that you possess that most people might not know about?
I could hold my own on a Waterski. I was a Junior and Senior South African Waterskier from the ages of 12 to 19 and still hold the South African record in the tricks event for both the Junior Men and Open Men divisions. I also came 4th overall in junior world waterski championships in Canada in 1996.
- What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- If your life was a movie, what would the title be?
Some days I’d say, “The Longest Day” some days “Finding Nemo” and most days “Hard to Kill.”