On April 26th, 27 years ago, Ukraine first and few days later the world, were shocked by the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.
It was not a demonstration of mother nature, a meteorite from outer space or an alien attack, it was human power at its highest, with dramatic consequences that will be visible in the decades to come.
Being just 132 km away from the nuclear plant I could not avoid to relate my week activity with such unforgettable date.
Due to flight connections I arrived in Kiev few days earlier than needed, allowing me to run some meetings, enjoy the first days of spring and meet friends.
Always happy to return at Kmbs (www.kmbs.com.ua ), this time to meet Lyubomyra Burlachuck and Vyacheslav Gerashchenko, cant wait for the next cohort of MBA students and new challenges at the school, and even got a chance to see previous students…it is so pleasant to find friendly faces.
Visiting kiev without seeing the most famous Danone marketing director in Ukraine is not the same thing 🙂 I end up seeing Tiago Santos near the opera and watch the shooting of a tv commercial (bad habits are hard to die).
Later visited one of my favourite spots in Kiev, la Bodeguita del medio (www.bodeguita.com.ua ) ….let me be honest…in few days I visit few times 🙂
Great opportunity to catch up with Dana Vereshchagina and friends and in the following night Luc Chenier (the unofficial counsel of Canada in the city 🙂 ) and because one friend leads to another, I end up enlarging my network with really interesting people, high five to Pol Marchuk for bringing the idea of Bodeguita business to Ukraine and a special word to Michael Belyaev and Masha Belyaeva for taking classes of Portuguese language…kudos to you!
While in Kiev I also had the opportunity to cross my ways with Roman Palamarchuk and Masha Zaharchenko, two of the brightest young Ukrainians I ever meet, and enjoy a terrific afternoon with them at the National Museum Park and opening the picnic season.
Among my customer safari trips, watch people walking and having a good time on a park is among my favorite ones, nothing beats the observation of people in a relaxed and natural environment, you immediately understand that wars and conflicts are not desired by the vast majority of humans.
Looking at the young crowd behind me enjoying sports and playing djembe, reinforces my hope for our world, I can just advice any young talent from Western Europe to came over this side of the world and rediscover (fast) that it is possible to be much happier and complain less.
History have shown us that every time a certain society or community is under threat, there is always (at least) two type of reactions, people that leave to escape and the ones that stay and fight for a better tomorrow.
This week I would like to share with you, few people I meet recently, that refuse to turn their backs on Ukraine and despite starting building their business and activities abroad continue to give back to society, a truly inspiring lesson for me.
Pavlo Sheremeta is a visionary, a man ahead of is time, taking full responsibility for that characteristic. Among many other things, Pavlo is the President of Kyiv of Economics.
Few years ago he moved to Malaysia, start doing is PhD in Slovenia and probably has more air miles then some airline pilots J nevertheless he continues to give back to his country.
Andriy Khudo Is one of the founding partners of !fest group, a one of a kind project that combines restaurants that besides the food also provide you a kick of emotions (take a look at www.fest.lviv.ua ), chocolate stores, children’s books, a farm with their own ham production and growing with happiness. Besides covering the all country, they also start testing the market in Poland, watch out world!
One remark…when I asked Andriy, what is going to happen when they need a private jet to visit all the locations around the world 🙂 he reply…the headquarter will stay in Lviv.
Finally I would like to refer my MBA students at the Business school in the Catholic University of Lviv (www.lvbs.com.ua ). Despite all the challenges, year after year, men and women from different backgrounds and industries came together to develop themselves, to become better, to achieve higher grounds.
They did not stayed home, complaining or criticizing what is bad, they show up for life!
I am eager to see the impact of this provoking and marvellous week in their life’s…talent and hard work is a explosive mixture, it can take you to places you never dare before.
The week was over and my mind went back to the Chernobyl with one thought crossing heart.
When mankind really wants to achieve something, even if it seems at first impossible to overcome, he usually does it. Why is that?
Knowledge can surely take you far, but that’s not enough…
Extraordinary events are usually fueled by a leap of faith. By the way…Easter is about to come around here next week….maybe a good opportunity for resurrection in our own life’s.
What will be your leap of faith next week?
Take good care!