Monday, March 24, 2008


We just had an icq talk about russian mentality. It is started with the fact I menioned about recruiting agencies and their non-professional approach to company's websites. My position is that no compamy should use a website if it can't make a proper tool. In Russia website boom startes spontaneousely, everyone decided to have a status point - website. The quality didn't matter, the company needed to check the box - done.

My opponent gave me an exuse - Russian mentality. I could agree only with one thing - Russian mentality means to have and excuses for everything without making anything for better life (the second mentality thing is all-country sadness - bad weather worse history (Stalin's repressions, e.g.).

It's not a Russian thing to want more things for less money, it's international.
It's not a Russian thing to create a tool just for the sake of creation.
It's not a Russian thing to do and then to think. But some people understand that this way is not efficient. And some of them prefer to use excuses.

During my diploma's presentation my reviewer told that the same tool - a knife - can be used by both surgeon and murderer. Just to develop this metaphor - every surgeon practice with dead bodies before he works with humans. If a company that sells me its products or services using a bad tool it doesn't sell.

Yes, I'm Russian. But I'm also a professional.

(With a voice of Diesel advertising). Tools. Use with caution.

an example

Just fogot to share a wonderful example of my favorite coachie successful and creative way of promoting himself. I think he has chosen an appropriate tool corresponding with his goals: to show himself as a very creative and communicative specialist in PR area.

It´s my special pleasure to introduce Mauricio.

self ad

Ok, as I promised, here is the list of things I can give to the company I will work for.

- Loyalty. I don't know why, but every time I start working with a company or team, I get stuck to it. I will work for them and with them until something extraordinary may happen. E.g. I wasworking for my first serious company for 5 years. Just because I loved my partners, my product, the things I can do. And despite all the problems that may occure in every company. I left the company when I won a scholarship for my MBA. Extraordinary, heh.

- Result orientation and high work efficiency. I love to achieve. Love to strike out points in my to do list. When I was a child, my father told me that I get involved into many thing and loose my attention to some of them without finishing. Since that I've got a special feeling then I finish the task. I can control my interest to different things. But I prefer to have a tme to finish all of them, that's why I work efficiently.

- Curiosity. I like to dig into the things. This require some creativity along with analytical skills. I love to create different table forms to get better perspective or vision. I love to get information. I like to be prepared.

- Quick mind and ability to learn. I could easily understand how to avoid the paper jam into big professional printer machine with spanish interface (by this moment I've just started studing this language). I can easily become feeling comfortable with any software (it took me one night and half a bottle of rioja vine to understand meta-tag language of wiki programming - I'm still using it while making my fitness diary in tiddle-wiki).

- Ability to work with strategic goals and tactic tasks. I do it in my day-to-day life. I do it during my business activities. I love take a wider strategic perspective and break it down to a set of practical things to be done.

- Love for mentoring and coaching. I love explaining complicated things in the easiest way for people to understand. I love when people can do wonderful things after discussing with me different tasks. I love to get appreciation from those people.

- My experience and skills. As I told during one of my interviews with an employer: "I'm not cute because of my MBA certificate, only because I'm cool, I decided to get it".

BTW, it was a great exercise to make. I feel more confident before meeting my future employers.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

quick MBA notes

During last 3 months after graduation I became very sensitive about all MBA talks anyone can read in blogs and news discussions. Here in Russia we have and MBA-blaming wave among business people. Most of them don't have an MBA degree and still think they have enough information to judge the topic.

I'm not idealizing MBA, cause I know the program inside. I know that professors are just normal people and they make their professional path among people - mistakes may happen. I know that if you have a course of 240 people it is hard to provide professors of equal quality to every group. E.g. we had 2 awful marketing professors and 1 perfect bitch who was very exigent and at the same time he was balancing at the edge of roughness. Many of us hated him, I still beleive he was he of the best. People are diferent.

MBA teaches how to present your thouhts. My first course was about presentation skills and I still beleive most of our professors should be obliged to take it as well. Later I took one more course of this professors just to enjoy his style. MBA alumni are perceived as people who put format behind the content. Something like put a lot of graphs and smart words in your presentation - and you're a winner! Well, some of MBAes are stil like this, but not all of us. I always idealize content, then I spend several hours (if I have them) to put it in the best form to give it to my audience. But first is the content. Distill and deliver, as my favourite entrepreneurship professor told us.

Sometimes people think that CEO shouldn't take MBA because after the program he start to manage finances or marketing himself. MBA is an overall course, it is not specialization. It gives a width, not a depth. MBA knowledge is enough to ask smart questions to your CFO or Marketing Director. If CEO goes directly to financial management, if he can't trust his CFO, either he has a bad CFO or he is a bad CEO.

People also blame MBAers ask for a huge money for no value. I know the value I can bring to a company (I will make a separate post about that). And during my interviews I always show the company exact things I can do for them. And I know it costs a lot. My experience, sharp and quick mind, problem-solving skills, my loyality and the fact I care about my reputation - I tink I can ask a lot for this. If MBAer asks for big money only because (s)he spent a lot for the program and needs to pay for a credit - that's a reverse logic.

Just to finish the post. MBA now is something between semi-closed club to make business connections, extension courses for those who wants to change from industry to business sector, lifestyle camp and a lab where smart person can make his experiments about different business situations (I mean communications within groups, project management of case solving, but not cases themselves). It is not a panacea from all the business problems, but it gives you a good practice how to act in a situation of time and information shortage and huge peer pressure (as any group for problem-solving is temporary and everyone has his/her ow intersts). And MBA is a Master of Business Administration, that is equal to general management specialist. Not marketer, not financial guy/girl. In Russia there are a lot of programs of MBA:marketing or MBA:finance. They just mix two or more master programs. And people eat this. Cause everyone wants to buy a piece of a dream to become a good CEO just paying for a program.