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7 Questions with Yuliya Kravtsov
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7 Questions with Yuliya Kravtsov
Name: Yuliya Kravtsov
Current title: Head of Mid-America Region - LH USA
Current organisation: LafargeHolcim
Yuliya Kravstov leads aggregate operations as President for LH Mid-America Region. The Mid-America region of LH includes 23 manufacturing sites and ten barge and rail depots, and reaches from Wisconsin and Illinois down to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. She is a member of the US Executive Committee, reporting directly to the CEO. Prior to current role Yuliya led North America's Geocycle business and led LafargeHolcim through the merger process in North America.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Challenges of executives in a large multinational organization are unique not only because we are a large multinational organization but also because we try to operate as a local business. Even then key challenges I face are:
1. Making decisions and trade-offs that displease some of the people who supported my advancement - honeymoon period can be quite short before you face reality of making the best decision for the enterprise while not everyone supports or understands 100% of facts that led you to that decision
2. Leading former peers and being less involved in prior roles. When you invest a lot of effort and passion in people, vision and projects in your role its difficult to leave it behind or transition it to new person who has different strategy or vision what what you had - you have to learn how to let it go and focus on building new structure of relationships with people that used to be your peers and now your direct reports.
3. Managing priorities and expectations of stakeholders that too far removed from the business
All senior executes have stakeholders that would like their needs to be addressed first, however they don't have a vantage point into other priorities and crises being managed. Prioritizing what's important but also making sure you make all stakeholders' needs moving forward is a very real challenge on a daily and weekly basis.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I am not a CEO, but I aspire to be one in my industry. As a regional leader you plan a role of CEO in waiting every day. The best thing you can do is to view decisions being made in the enterprise and ones you make through the lense of 'if I was in the CEO seat, would I do that?"
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Relentless, structured prioritization. Strict scheduling of priorities. I don't do to bed without completely emptying my mailbox and sorting all requests into 3 buckets - urgent address now, can be address this week or nice to know/read during my downtime or as plane takes off
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Allow people room for making mistakes, while learning from the wins is great.. its the stumbles and mistakes that will galvanized the leaders.
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?
Ray Dalio - Principles
Phil Knight - Shoedog
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Don't wait for someone to give you projects and opportunities. Understand what are the priorities of the enterprise and come to the table with your ideas for how to accomplish things. Step into a leadership role on your own - don't wait for it to be given to you.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
No matter what industry I worked in, the job of the leader is to lead and care for the people - from the laborer in the yard to the executive who reports to you. Being human, open, transparent and humble will build trust, with trust will come partnership and results. Start with people and you will end with results