Seeing the Forest From the Trees: An Interview with Mark Lieberman, CEO of Viamedia
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO of Viamedia, is an optimist. The future of work will be more productive, more rewarding, and more challenging, he said. Developing a diverse skill set is the most important way to prepare for the changing workplace, a workplace that waits for no one.
“If you want to make a living, no matter what level you’re at, you’re gonna have to learn a new skill set,” he said.
Technological change is spurring change in industry as well as society, but Lieberman believes in the power of human adaptability. “One would assume that - with the way technology and markets and industry are changing - that this dislocation of the workforce would have already started to take place,” he said. “And yet, you’re seeing unemployment at an all time low. Employment is at an all time high, and technology change is at an all time high as well. So yes, I am more of an optimist.”
Lieberman has had several careers and has had to adapt to a variety of industries. Before his time at Viamedia, Lieberman was a mechanical engineer, an intellectual property attorney, a part of Washington’s technological commercialization policy team, and an entrepreneur. He spoke of his journey fondly, emphasizing that being successful is all about being able to logically transition from one position to another, seamlessly adjusting to different types of jobs.
“My dad used to say that you don’t wanna be a jack of all trades and a master of none. But I think that, in today’s day and age, you have to be a jack of all trades. If you’re just siloed into being a master of one area, you’re gonna be hard pressed in understanding how quickly the world is changing,” he said.
Today, as CEO of Viamedia, a cable TV advertising giant, Lieberman reflects on his diverse and extensive career. “I love building things, both literally and figuratively, and the opportunity to continue to build, in this case my company, is what inspires me,” he said. “But sometimes it’s hard to see the forest from the trees.”
“It’s like you're nailing one nail into a board that’s going to be part of your house. It can be sometimes discouraging to only look at that one nail. But at the same time, if you’ve got a vision for what that house may end up looking like, then every day you come in, you realize you’re getting one step closer to building that house,” he said.