7 Questions with Yuri Kruman
Name: Yuri Kruman
Current title: Interim CHRO / CEO
Current organisation: Healthflex HHS / HR, Talent & Systems Consulting (respectively)
Yuri is an award-winning interim CHRO / Chief People Officer, CEO of HR, Talent & Systems Consulting, top-rated executive coach board member, startup advisor and official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, as well as contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur. Yuri consults and coaches Fortune500 and Inc. 5000 C-Suites on HR Operations and Business Strategy. He is the author of "What Millennials Really Want From Work and Life" and "Be Your Own Commander-in-Chief" (Ideapress, 2021). Yuri has spoken at EY, Google, UPenn, Columbia and NYU, among many others. He has appeared on NBC's "Tipping Point" and numerous top podcasts
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The number of moving pieces involved, as well as the constant fires that crop up, especially from poor communication among people.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I pitched the COO/President of Healthflex, a past client and friend, on an Interim CHRO consulting project. He realized the need for a strategic HR leader at his company and engaged me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Very carefully. If it's not on my calendar (which is re-filtered through a scheduler), then I'm not making time for it, unless it's a true emergency. Early mornings (starting at 6:15) are for getting kids ready and dropped off at school, prayer/meditation, a proper breakfast, then getting to work. Mornings are for strategic, long-term work. Afternoons are for calls and more tactical work. Family time is sacrosanct and work begins again for a couple hours when the kids are asleep.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Managing expectations is arguably the single most important -- and most under-rated -- element of communication.
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?
David Epstein's "Range." My story is anything but a straight line (6 careers including academic neuroscience, law, finance, tech, coaching and consulting) and as I'd always known and suspected, Epstein shows that it's not just me. If you trace the stories of many (most) of the best leaders in their industry and many of the most impactful humans, they all took circuitous routes to get to the top of their chosen professions. This isn't just validation for me, but I believe a great roadmap that many more people should follow purposefully, right out of college.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Make coaching, formal mentoring and delivering learning and development to employees and other leaders a REQUIREMENT for good performance, not a nice-to-have.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
There are many, but one very notable one concerns employee relations. One high performer with bipolar depression insulted another over work hours for poor work, which escalated into a tit-for-tat. Both sides were partly at fault, but through the investigation and resolution, I had to keep both impartial and invested in the growth and development and evolution of each of them to help them grow and succeed within the company, while remaining stern about compliance or else. This fine line is quite difficult, but when walking it really works, it's the greatest feeling in the world to have helped both humans get better and to help the company continue growing.