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Leadership one-to-ones: catching up with Steven Brown

Steven Brown, Head of Brands at Savanta covers the overall responsibility for managing, leading and delivering financial performance for the division. Analytical and commercially minded, follow Steven’s story from starting at a research agency to becoming the Brand Division leader at Savanta.

Charles Rason Senior Consultant 19/06/2024
The combination of client and research experience, and continued opportunities to learn and grow, has given me the best toolkit to lead the Brands Division and to delight our clients.

About the series

I have always been interested in the stories of individuals. An avid reader of biographies, listener of Ted Talks, and scourer of Wikipedia pages, I love learning about how people have got to where they are and what it is that makes them tick. In this blog series I speak with Savanta’s leaders to understand how they’ve shaped the unique culture at Savanta and, hopefully, glean some pearls of wisdom thar we can all incorporate into our professional lives.

The 6th interview in this series is with Steven Brown, Head of Brands at Savanta. Steven’s role covers the overall responsibility for managing, leading and delivering financial performance for the division. Analytical and commercially minded, follow Steven’s story from starting at a research agency to becoming the Brand Division leader at Savanta.

Charles: What is your role at Savanta and how did you get here?

Steven: I lead the Brands Division at Savanta leveraging the company’s expertise across Consumer and Financial Services. My journey with Savanta started around three years ago, initially working closely on global relationships and focusing on key clients to later enhancing and scaling Savanta’s broader offer. Previously I worked agency side, so I understand research well, how it can impact our clients and how to combine learnings to provide valuable experience to colleagues and clients alike.

Charles: What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Steven: My morning starts early with my dog, so I need to start the day with some serious energy! I value balance in life, which keeps me happy and motivated. I’m someone who gets up and gets moving, but I also strive to apply equal energy into the different parts of my life, and I’m happiest when achieving this.

Charles: What’s the project you’ve worked on at Savanta you’re most proud of?

Steven: I played a crucial role in the design and development of a new solution alongside leading and coaching the team to ensure they confidently learn and deliver this solution. The project was especially significant as it introduced new methodologies and led to the team’s growth and independence. The team picked it up both quickly and efficiently and blew the client out the water. This left me feeling really proud and in the end – and almost not needed.

Charles: What energizes you at work?

Steven: Engaging with people who provide positive ideas and momentum. I believe in the power of collective effort and applying a positive approach to challenges. Spending time with people who give you momentum and push you further – that’s what keeps me really excited.

Charles: Is there a life / work hack that you swear by?

Steven: Finding time for exercise. It can be anything; walking your dog, training to run a marathon – it really doesn’t matter. It’s about finding your space to reflect and giving yourself time to think and relax.

Charles: What’s your superpower?

Steven: Creating connections that yield benefits and fostering collaboration. I try to do this through personal and professional scenarios by demonstrating that bringing people together, and different perspectives, can achieve greater outcomes. I always try to connect and truly support people.

Charles: What’s a skill you’re currently working on?

Steven: I am focusing on empowering those around me to succeed by providing them with support and opportunities to grow. Fostering a collaborative and supportive environment is what leads to collective success.

Charles: Have you made any mistakes in your career? What have you learnt from them?

Steven: Learning to delegate and recognize the strengths of others rather than taking on too much myself has been a significant lesson. It’s so easy to aggressively push for progress without realizing you can lean on your colleagues to prevent overwhelm. Collaboration will help you get to a better outcome and in the process you will learn from different and diverse perspectives.

Charles: If you could give your 25-year-old self a piece of advice what would that be?

Steven: Be confident in your strengths and know that no one knows everything! Continuously asking questions as this can lead to better solutions and foster collaboration. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of engaging others around you for a more collective approach. You play to your strengths, and they play to theirs.

Charles: What leadership styles have you learned from, and what really sticks with you?

Steven: Working hard, being supportive, and the importance of continuously learning and evolving. Asking questions played a huge role in my training as a leader – it ensured I enabled the best balance of autonomy and support to my teams. It’s not just talking a good game, it’s about being ready if your employees need your guidance and doing what you can to help.

Charles: For you, what makes Savanta a special place to work?

Steven: I think Savanta strikes the right balance between scale and providing targeted expertise so we can really help our clients reach their goals. The blend of expertise from various acquisitions, technology and operational robustness makes Savanta a great proposition both for our clients and those that work here, giving us an opportunity to continue to grow the thrive together.


To find out more about life at Savanta contact us, or visit our careers page.
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