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Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!

I hope reading

7 Questions with Mickael Shahinyan

helps you in your leadership.

 

Cheers,

Jonno White

7 Questions with Mickael Shahinyan

Name: Mickael Shahinyan

Current title: co-Founder

Current organisation: One.Fun

Mikayel is an international executive, experienced in the areas of entertainment, igaming, and IT. His background in the physics of complex systems had helped shape a unique multidisciplinary approach in corporate management. He served as a board member or co-founder for both B2B or B2C gaming operators worldwide. Besides his native Armenia, he worked in Spain, Serbia, and Ukraine.

7 Questions with Mickael Shahinyan

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Nowadays, we are part of an extremely dynamic and complex environment where we need to adapt and evolve all the time. Scaling of an enterprise is one of the most important duties of an executive and it's very important to define what exactly needs to be scaled in a long run. What are the values which need to be reflected in the basic building block of your organization to be dynamic enough to evolve and simple enough to be scaled easily? If I would pick one challenging thing among others it will be staying a perfect carrier of values you want to scale in your company.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

It was either natural promotion within a company I work for or I was leading companies founded or co-founded by myself.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I am not an early bird. I wake up sometime around 7:30 AM taking care of my personal needs. Then most important: first coffee with my wife, going over the calendar and emails. Then a second coffee and heads up to the office. Office hours generally start from checking Jira to sync up with progress teams are made, obstacles I can help to remove. Then calls/meetings with direct reportees and then shareholders.
Depending on load I love to participate in random team standups (Agile management has been part of my toolkit for the last 10 years). Then an hour for lunch with team mates or walking with team members in a nearby park.
Back to the office for two hours to sort personal tasks and then another two hours of open doors to hear suggestions and ideas from the team. Back home to spend time with family, friends, reading books, watching movies, or soccer. Going to sleep around midnight, then comes the next day with its joy and challenges.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Don't be afraid to accept your failures. The faster you accept, the faster they will turn into knowledge.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

My background is in natural sciences and I tend to think that Mother Nature has all the answers. That hugely affected my selection of books: Nassim Taleb with his books “Black Swan”, “Antifragility” and “Skin in the Game”, “Scale” by Geoffrey West and both books by Ben Horowitz: “The hard thing about hard things” and “What you do is who you are”. If the first two authors are discussing math and ethics of natural evolution for complex systems helping to see the leader's role in its widest, Ben’s books are taking us on a journey to see those concepts applied.
Be a perfect emanation of the values you want to scale - this is the lessons I took from those books.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Create a culture of equal opportunities for your employees to become an actor and risk-taker. Invest into scaling team knowledge and be ready to see self-organization knock on your door.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

All my experience for the last 20 years has to do with transformation. In most of the companies where I was serving as an executive, I was coming across a conflict between operational/financial predictability required by shareholders and chaos required for creativity and innovation to thrive. Relation of those two parameters are building clusters of perception within the company and shareholders, which led later on to the formation of various corporate cultures even within ideally the same value set, shared by employees. These clusters are becoming a major obstacle to achieving higher adaptability due to conflicting goals and differences in response time to external changes. My recipe to overcome this issue is in building cross-department independent teams with goals focused on achieving an integral approach towards product and servicing partners. These teams are quickly becoming knowledge accumulators, able to shorten feedback time to external changes independently, unifying corporate knowledge and culture.