top of page
  • Черный Facebook Иконка
  • Черный Twitter Иконка
  • Черный LinkedIn Иконка
  • (16)
  • Черный Pinterest Иконка


LIS 7, 2018


Interview with the dean of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School about what transformational leadership is, where to take resources and when managers need intellectual provocation.


What is a good Monday for you? How to start the week so that it really looks successful?

You need to start the week fresh, energetic, with an open heart and mind, with ambitious plans and ideas. If all this is there, then both Monday and the week in general will be successful. For me, Monday is actually the best day. Newly structured tasks, the absence of small operational things - work with new strength, especially after a good rest. When you are charged with positive energy from family, a good book, nature and everything that filled your weekend. In addition, self-sufficient people should have an internal source of energy and emotions. Then Mondays do not seem difficult, but serve as starting points for new ideas, new approaches, new stages in your own development, development in the business you do, social or creative activities.

How do you turn on the state of the resource? Share the secrets of personal effectiveness.

Some are looking for a source of energy in meditation, some in prayer, some in science, and so on. Personally, I prefer activities that charge physically, any sporting activity - from tennis, walking, cycling to swimming and many other things. This is the pumping of the body, such a necessary compensation for office-intellectual work, which puts more pressure on the head than on the body.


But fundamentally important for me is another way of "self-charging" - creative activity. It trains the muscle of creativity, the hemisphere of the brain, which allows you to rethink, reflect, look for new images, meanings, produce new ideas.

That is, for me, physical and creative activity are two fundamental components that keep a resource in a state.

What kind of creativity do you do?


I'm taking pictures. More for myself. Although I keep in constant touch with various fellow photographers both in Ukraine and abroad.

Today you are the dean of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School. And what was your first job?


I was lucky with my first "university" - I was taught by an old and deep mine in Luhansk region, where I worked the first year after graduation. It was obscene and wrong to go to a mine with a gold medal in the late 1970s when you were taken without university exams. However, it happened, and I am grateful to fate for this experience. Today I think that this decision was extremely important for the formation of me as a person. I did not go to study anywhere. I paused and, having worked, entered the Kiev Polytechnic, where I wanted. By the way, this work experience has given me more than some stages of my studies in Ukraine and abroad. In mine, I learned more about myself, about people, and how they interact, what we call social systems today.

What did you do immediately after the KPI?


At first he was a designer at a military enterprise, then a middle manager, then he went to an entrepreneur and became a local deputy. It was then that the first democratic wave arose, and I was a member of this movement. It was very interesting, because I was an opposition person at the time, and it was just beginning, and people were afraid of such trends.

At the municipal level, I created new areas of work for local authorities and implemented new economic and management approaches. At that time I was lucky enough to learn management in educational environments of different countries. This prompted the search for new management approaches for the then Ukraine.

It was the first half of the 1990s. I met Yuriy Yekhanurov, the then head of the State Property Fund, who was also looking for new approaches to public administration. We started implementing the first comprehensive system projects to support privatized enterprises. It was a time of personalities when leaders took responsibility for the first steps in transforming systems. I want this feeling of the possibility of realization for the individual to remain in our modern space.


What do you see as your professional purpose?

Create an environment for people where they can realize their potential and multiply the effectiveness of their efforts. At kmbs, we work with people who make decisions today and have the ambition and willingness to take responsibility for creating new rules of the game at any level and on any scale. We try to create for them a special type of environment and atmosphere for development, we select for them partners in training with ambitions of similar scale and potential which they would not so often meet in other environments.

Anyone can do a lot, just do not always know about it.

We offer "intellectual provocation" and access to understanding new concepts through joint work, mutual development, give the opportunity to independently reach other worldview decisions. This is a very important thing. After all, the greatest value lies in a person's awareness that he now sees other possibilities, approaches, horizons, that he has freed himself from the time of unconscious prejudices and now believes that all this is possible.

Any person can do a lot, just does not always know about it and sometimes does not have the opportunity to feel their own scale. It is my mission to help you feel and then realize your potential.

"Intellectual provocation" - how is it?

Simply passing information is not enough today. The world is so capacious, multifaceted and multi-paradigmatic that it is already wrong to increase knowledge in one certain logic, paradigm. You need to be able to move from one logic to another, even more - it is desirable to be able to create a new logic of action, a different culture of interaction. And this is no longer about knowledge, it is at least about understanding, and this is the basic prerequisite for entering another type of ability - to create new rules of the game. Only when we provoke old truths can we create new ones.

Who do you consider transformational leaders? Are there such people in Ukraine?

There are not many such people in the world, and I take off my hat in front of them. Transformational leaders have the ability to go beyond, rethink and create very complex and complex new solutions. First of all, semantic. They are able to lay the foundation for new meanings, and this is creative work. They have the right from God to create new beings and give them new names. They create fundamentally new roles, give people the opportunity to realize in these new roles, shift and expand the boundaries of the system, the horizons of thinking. They create solutions that did not exist yesterday. Happy is the society that sees and appreciates such people.


I consider Mahatma Gandhi, Lee Kuan Yew to be transformational leaders in politics, Jack Welch, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs in business, Marcel Duchamp, Kazimir Malevich, other avant-garde artists, and so on in art.

Ukraine is still building its potential for transformational leadership. We definitely have such leaders, but their role has not been played yet. Society is not yet ready for them to realize their potential. They are not seen or appreciated by the media, for example, we are still fighting en masse "against" and not "for".

Maybe you have predictions when this will happen?

This is already happening. The Maidan was such a phenomenal collective type of transformational leadership, albeit largely a protest. There was a lot of emotional, but also a lot of operating. This phenomenon is nothing but persistent transformational behavior: to go to the end, to follow the idea. Yes, we can say that this idea has been unpolished in many ways in terms of implementation and capabilities. But later, centers of transformational behavior began to emerge, both in business and in culture and government. This is already happening. And we are lucky to either see it or be involved.

We still have a lot to do, and that is why it is extremely important to work on such a universal phenomenon as management culture. It largely determines the success (or failure) of various areas of our activities.

What is management for you? What do you need to develop in yourself to become a successful leader?


First of all, governance is not an economic phenomenon today, as was commonly believed in the paradigm of the twentieth century. It is at least a search for a solution and a leadership willingness to take on a role and responsibility for some broader logic than myself. Management permeates everything around. People, as social creatures, unite into something - and this something must be controlled. Whether in a hospital, in a business, or in a ministry, someone always decides on the role aspects of other people's activities. And in order for people to make decisions that affect the fate of other people, systems, cities, companies, countries, it is important that they themselves are balanced and harmonious individuals.

We are all "techies", even if we have a humanities degree in our post-Soviet logic of education. After all, we taught geometry to blue, physics to pink, etc., but did not have the knowledge and developed abilities for creativity, reflection, critical thinking.

But to be a successful leader, you need to work hard with the humanities component of your education. It gives you the opportunity to look at your business and environment from a different angle, to come to extraordinary decisions. Qualitative changes in any business begin with a change in the way of thinking of the leader, his personal development, the expansion of conscious horizons and going beyond purely business issues.


Therefore, in kmbs, which, I note, is a business school, you can sometimes meet writers, conductors, philosophers, politicians, transformational leaders from other countries, artists, the military, directors, publishers and more. MBA participants try themselves in creative exercises - write pictures and essays, create photo projects, discuss books (not necessarily management), etc. At the same time, they all know how to make budgets and know the indicators of financial results, because this is part of the game. However, the creative development of the individual is very important for a successful manager, as it allows you to go beyond the systems and create new rules of the game.

What books and movies are your source of inspiration? What impressed you the most?

I have a rather bad relationship with cinema. Sometimes I use movies to switch. But video is a stream, it must be perceived immediately, without pauses. While reading a book, I can stop, think, come back to think again, to taste. I am an active participant in reading, while in film screening I am a secondary one. I am led, I am not given time, I am shown only conceived angles, I am like a surfer who swims by someone else's rules and on whom little depends. This is not my speed. Although images have their power of influence and the ability to quickly switch to another mental space. However, books are more powerful for me than movies.

In the process of reading you create a number of associations, rethink something… I sometimes read long and slowly. Reading in the sense in which I see it is rather not a passive activity, but an act of creativity. I can't read empty books. Prose, texts should be "thick", with wisdom, with clues "to think", with ideas that encourage reflection.

For example, Ayn Rand's thesis that the most important book to read is Victor Hugo's novel The Disadvantaged and the most harmful is Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. And especially because the latter is written extremely talented. Themes of meanings and nobility are revealed there in the opposite way. I suggest readers to understand this on their own. You see, the pedagogical habit of provoking the search for one's own position works.

I like many contemporary Ukrainian authors (some of them have already received the Yuri Shevelyov Prize for the best essay writing, which we started together with the PEN Club). We have supported or published unique works by Valery Shevchuk, become partners of the large project "Library of Resistance / Library of Hope" together with the publishing house "Spirit and Letter", support the creation of art books and books about artists, including Kazimir Malevich. However, most books I still read in English because of my Kindle - a professional deformity.



Ill_Spromozhnist_437x437 (3).jpg
Ill_5-pomilok_437x437 (3).jpg
Ill_intervyu_05_437x437_ (2).jpg

Jun 19 2019, 15:20

Alexander Savruk - Candidate of Economic Sciences, Dean of kmbs. He specializes in strategic management, business philosophy, change management. He is also a member of the Academic Council and Rectorate of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants and has worked as an advisor to the Minister of Economy on microeconomic issues. Partner "Mohyla Strategic Agency" - Action Tank.

Jun 27 2019, 09:15

Maryna Starodubska - Intellectual Manager of Reputation Management Management Development Programs at Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, Partner-Manager of TLFRD Communication Company

Jul 5 2019, 10:20

Interview with the dean of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School about what transformational leadership is, where to take resources and when managers need intellectual provocation.

bottom of page