Pavlo Mykolayovych Kostyuk of Ukraine Reconstruction Fund: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Uncertain & Turbulent Times
One must realize that the one who wants to really influence the situation must work, first of all, on himself. There is no need to be afraid that mistakes will be made, any mistake for a self-demanding person is an experience of overcoming difficulties.
As part of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Pavlo Mykolayovych Kostyuk.
Pavlo Mykolayovych Kostyuk is head of the Ukraine Reconstruction Fund, a company dedicated to providing charitable assistance to protect temporarily displaced women, children and the elderly in such horrendous and extraordinary circumstances. Pavlo comes from 17 years of work experience in solving financial and economic issues in enterprise management in the USA and Ukraine. He has a proven record in building successful teams with a focus on innovating, identifying gaps, and presenting logical solutions.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I am a Ukrainian, and in this difficult time, each of us asks ourselves the question — how can I help the country and its people. In fact, my daughter, who raised money in the first days of the war, laid the foundation for all this, I only helped send these funds to Ukraine for the defenders of Irpin, Gostomel, Borodyanka, where young people lived in trenches without food and water, not to mention weapons and body armor.
Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Considering the fact that in the question you ask to tell the history of the era and the conclusions that were drawn from it, I will tell a story not from my own life, but a legend. There is a legend that a simple school chemistry teacher, Monsieur Jacques Coquillon, despite respectable age, was an inquisitive experimenter. Suddenly, by mixing household substances, one day he received in his tiny laboratory a transparent structure — an air-like substance that contradicted all generally accepted ideas about gas. Because of the obvious unscientific nature of the act, the Ministry of Education dismissed the inventor from school, and the local press caught on to the old enough. Having mistakenly and tragically found himself next to a container with the mentioned gas, Monsieur Coquillon fell into a state of deep and prolonged sleep. Three-year attempts of national medicine to bring the teacher back to life ended unsuccessfully, despite the fact that After six months, a noticeable improvement in the patient’s health was noted. A worn heart Monsieur Coquillon acquired a clear, healthy rhythm, and the gray hair of age was replaced by the former tar hair color However, this unfortunate accident revealed to the world the true value and genius of the find, which everyone recognizes today. We are talking about colloidal gas, and, accordingly, about all derivatives of the new modern gas science — colloidal chemistry, which plays a fundamental role in modern nanotechnologies, medicine, biology… Maybe it’s a legend. She is sad and funny at the same time. But, first of all, it is educational. Because, any business does not and cannot have trifles, and any business, if it is initiated by someone who cares inquisitive mind, can lead to discovery.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have always been surrounded by wonderful people. A special thanks to them. In particular, my family plays a huge role in my life — my wife, daughter, they are always there, always ready to help and always nearby. My parents played a big role in my development… special thanks to them, the land on which I grew up, and this is Ukraine.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your organization started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?
We work on enthusiasm, and dedication to help people who are in trouble, and who have suffered from all of the Russian aggression.
The task is to restore infrastructure, improve the functioning of the Ukrainian economy, provide housing for people who lost everything after bombings and rocket attacks, and restore heat supply to cities and communities.
Rehabilitation of the population, providing the necessary medical and psychological support, both to the civilian population and to those who fought directly on the front line.
Serious processes to clear a huge number of territories of Ukraine after liberation from the invaders.
Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?
First of all, this is a personal example… The whole team and in particular each of us must believe in what we are doing, believe in ourselves and our ideas. We have a common goal — the restoration of Ukraine. Our goal is to win. Difficult times are just the time when the best qualities of a person are manifested.
Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?
A character trait is to do as much as you can, and then as much as you need! Character education — a personal example from my father — he never gave up under any circumstances — how can I break the tradition! Energy is from within…. it is nourished by nature, surrounding people and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. I’m always on the move….I’ve learned how to manage it.
I’m an author and I believe that books have the power to change lives. Do you have a book in your life that impacted you and inspired you to be an effective leader? Can you share a story?
Every book you read deserves attention in one way or another — just like people. The book is not only informative, through the book you can see the best, the sharpening of feelings, logic is a conversation with a wonderful person. And the more interesting the book, the brighter the conversation with the person. I’ll start with the authors, Yuval Noah Harrari .. Homo sapiens .. Winston Churchill! He and my father — these are my idols… “We’re always suspicious of this word”, he said!
Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?
Faith in victory. Pushing forward… no waiting — it breeds inaction.
Nothing can uplift a person’s spirit like sport. Humor is an important part of communication in a team. And, of course, fun.
Always be sincere to yourself. To tell only the truth, to be open both inside and outside the company.
Taking into account not only life experience but also the experience of scientific and practical activities, and the ability to analyze this or that situation, we build plans based on this. The collegial decision is also important. And most importantly, faith in success.
This is Labor! Faith in success in the business we started.
Ignorance or misunderstanding of the complexity of the situation. Our foundation has an excellent professional team in Ukraine — capable of solving any task assigned to it. The mistake of many companies is to introduce technology in Ukraine without taking into account the culture, mentality of Ukrainians, ignorance of the resource base, the country’s potential, and climatic and geographical features.
Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.
First, one must realize that the one who wants to really influence the situation must work, first of all, on himself. There is no need to be afraid that mistakes will be made, any mistake for a self-demanding person is an experience of overcoming difficulties.
Second. When starting any business, one must clearly understand the ultimate goal. Otherwise, it will be impossible to achieve the desired result in the mind.
The third. Constant self-control is necessary. By the concept of self-control, I understand the unquestionable performance of the main tasks. The main ones. You need to learn to identify them. It is necessary to learn the ability to sacrifice an intermediate goal. It is difficult, but it is worth striving for. And finally, by self-control, I understand the ability to think in terms of possibilities, not problems.
The fourth. Any of us is constantly in a situation of making compromise decisions. It is necessary to think and act in an effort to achieve a result in the “win/win” option.
Fifth, if you offer the five most important things a business leader needs. One must strive first to understand, and only then to be understood. Any opinion can be clearly and convincingly proven by someone who knows how to listen, not someone who speaks beautifully. You know how to listen — you can learn something more from the knowledge you have. As for the story, for example, during the conversation I for some reason remembered our hero — a compatriot, the commander of flight “1549”, pilot Chelsea Sullenberg. His skill, equanimity, ability to make decisions are an example and model for an effective manager.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I am Ukrainian and I have already said that I love and appreciate humor. Mykhailo Zhvanetsky, a great Odessan, said in a letter to his son: “Have a conscience and do what you want.” I believe that it is difficult to provide a more voluminous guide to life.
How can our readers further follow your work?
I am open to communication, just as my activity is open and transparent. So, if I, or my affairs, are interesting to the reader, he will always find information on issues that will be of interest. Please check out our website: https://ukrainereconstructionfund.org/
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
Pavlo Mykolayovych Kostyuk of Ukraine Reconstruction Fund: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.