Christian Drobnyk, SVP Programming Strategy & Acquisitions at Lifetime Television oversees the strategic planning, program acquisitions and scheduling for Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women.
He speaks about the Accelerated Development Programme at London Business School.
Transition to multi-functional leader
After 12 years in business, I had risen to a senior post and my role had changed from focusing on an area I knew well to a multi-functional general management role. My team had also grown exponentially which required stronger leadership skills. I had no formal training in business and I wanted a foundation of study to ensure a smooth transition into this broader leadership role.
The TV industry evolves quickly and people consume TV in different ways. I needed to learn to approach the changes strategically from different angles and functions, and work effectively across the business. For example, I wanted to be able to go equipped into financial discussions with the tools to challenge my finance director. It was also extremely important for me to learn how to shape my team and ensure they were engaged and motivated.
A rich experience
The whole experience was transformative, in my approach to business and life. The group dynamics were phenomenal and the diversity of the participants made for an incredibly rich experience. The faculty were great and easily accessible outside of class. The contrast of lectures and out of the classroom activities kept us all engaged and motivated. The division of the two modules was very effective; it allowed the information from module one to sink in and be applied back in the office before beginning module two.
From a personal point of view, the leadership portion of the programme was something I benefited from most. Through the introduction of a coaching regimen, 360- degree feedback and personality profiling tools, it was a module I found truly eye-opening. It gave me a comprehensive look not only at my own self-awareness but specific areas of development to make the jump from manager to leader. Since the programme finished I’ve experienced a significant change in my leadership style and my ability to build a strong team.
The strategy and strategic decision making portions of the programme were incredibly important for me. During these sessions, it became clear that there was a master plan to the programme and that every element had been carefully considered to take the participants on a real journey. I found it fascinating because it helped to integrate all the elements of the programme and linked to the work that I do every single day. As a result, I believe I’m now far more effective at making good decisions.
A holistic approach
Finally, I had no idea how beneficial the health and wellbeing element would be. Exploring how energy relates to performance and learning to manage my diet to enhance my energy levels was incredibly revealing. It’s changed my work/life balance too, by giving me a different perspective on how to manage my time and priorities. The result has been that I’m working fewer hours overall and it’s actually strengthened my productivity.
The programme effectively changed my outlook on business in a very holistic way - I’m now a more self-aware leader with stronger business relationships and the ability to build a strong team. I am able to take a broader general management approach to business decision making thanks to new knowledge in strategy, marketing, finance and accounting. Plus, I have a new network of 40 friends spread out across the globe in a variety of fields who I continue to learn from.