Monday Productive #13 with Melissa Rosenthal
Published on: November 28, 2021

It’s Monday again and it’s time to get s*** done!

Monday Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game. 

Today’s guest is Melissa Rosenthal. She is the Executive Vice President at Cheddar, a live video media company at the intersection of business news and culture, which was recently acquired by Altice USA. Previously, Melissa was BuzzFeed‘s Vice President of Creative, where she led a team of global creatives responsible for building native social content executions for advertisers. 


1. Melissa you are an Executive VP in a fast-growing company. What does your schedule look like on a “normal” day of yours? 

Waking up early is key to being productive for me. Before I head into the office, I like to make sure I’ve checked off of many of my follow-ups and to-dos before I head in. This enables me to take on the day without the burden of feeling like I need to catch up. My schedule is a mix of inter-team meetings and external client meetings discussing existing big partnerships and ones that are upcoming. 

2. A lot of people struggle with planning and prioritization. How do you manage your time? Do you have a specific strategy, or a method to make sure you, and your team are focused on delivering the most vital results? 

▶ There are certain time periods during the day, where I like to block off time for myself to get things accomplished. Unfortunately, I don’t always get to keep those blocks, but just having them pre-scheduled helps. I also keep a very robust set of Evernote documents with existing projects and tasks I need to check-off each day. 

Prioritization is more challenging. You can always set aside time, but it’s easy to get distracted with the day-to-day challenges or by more immediate tasks. It’s really about trying to strike a balance each day between the two. 

3. You have an impressive CV, especially for your age. Tell me more about your story: Honest and raw. What does it really take to succeed professionally? 

▶ I truly think It’s about grit, a little bit of luck, and curiosity. These three things combined make you dangerous in any position. If you work harder, are focused on solving challenges and curious about how things are changing, you’re going to succeed. Opportunities knock on the door of those who have positioned themselves this way. Even if you find yourself among the 1 in 10,000 odds at a unicorn startup, it takes grit to get there. It takes grit to grow and scale. It takes curiosity to out-run your competitors. It takes being completely relentless. 

4. In the last 24 months – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you to be a more effective executive?

▶ That you need to put trust in the people on your team. Baby-sitting and constantly following up with people doesn’t help, but being a support system does. I find it extremely important to be a player-coach type of leader. I’m in the weeds with my team with work and meetings and I’m helping them think strategically about the future, but I also need to trust that they’re doing their jobs and that they will reach out when they need help and solve problems on their own when they know they can. 

5. How do you stay at the top of your game? What mindsets, habits and personal rituals do you have to keep you sharp and productive? 

▶ I was never a believer in self-care until this year. Having habits and rituals weekly have helped me immensely through challenges times. I’m a big believer in CBD oil for anxiety and I take a specific dosage every morning to start my day off right. I religiously go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I try to eat right. I cut out carbohydrates a few years ago because I felt like they were clouding my ability to think. Also, traveling is extremely important to me. Exploring new places and gaining different perspectives on the world helps you in every aspect of your life. I really believe you become a better person when you travel and a better leader and employee when you come back. Also, music. Music is my life-blood and fuels me every day.  


[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader? 

Grit – Angela Duckworth 

Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader –  Herminia Ibarra

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking – Susan Cain 


If you have any questions to Melissa, please leave your comment below!

To connect with Melissa: 




Thank you for reading. 

Tag someone to nominate them to be my next guest! 

Happy Monday! 


#MondayProductive #perform #productivity #culture #TeamEffectiveness

Published by: Stoyan Yankov


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