Marie Claire: for what purpose did you start these business forums?
Grigory Avetov: After I got used to it, it became clear that this business is not capable of being particularly marginal. As Medvedev said: "The teacher is not about business." Everyone laughed at that phrase, but in fact it is. So the calling - to popularize education - turned out to be paramount.
Okay, and you, Grigory, do you somehow differently earn your living?
No, for me this is the only business, it's just not super fast. It is impossible to become a dollar millionaire at the Forums, unless you collect the money from ticket sales and leave. If you still pay fees to coaches, bring the same Branson and Tyson, then it is extremely difficult to become a millionaire.
Have your expectations come true? Are you happy with the performances of the coaching stars?
For example, Branson at our Forum in New York was a little more fun than in Moscow.
Did you tell him about it?
No, there was no task to spoil relations and finally prove that it is pointless to come to Russia. Precisely because we didn’t tell him this, Richard posted a selfie on Instagram with a comment: guys, there are 20 thousand entrepreneurs sitting in front of me in Olimpiyskiy. And this was seen by millions of his English subscribers, for whom Russia is just bombing in Syria and a hat with earflaps. After all, we all draw information from the media, and when news suddenly appears in the monochrome media field that two tens of thousands of entrepreneurs have gathered in Moscow for a master class by Richard Branson, this is no longer North Korea. And in this sense, it seemed tactically unwise to tell Branson that he was a little tired.
Who are you really happy with, who did you bring, maybe personally for yourself?
Tyson was not tired, Mike was happy, energetically filled, joking. In general, we bring everyone we invite, first of all, personally for us, the shareholders. Branson is the best entrepreneur in the world for me, I grew up on his books. Marshall Goldsmith is one of the top 50 smartest people in the world. I read the book "Black Swan" by Nasim Taleb three years ago, and it seemed to me a genius. That is, all these people are from our orbit, I am a fan of them. And I'm 95% satisfied with the performances.
To motivate people to study for an MBA, I need to gather them at the Global Forum and provide short-term insights.
You have a tremendous head start in front of all of us - the opportunity to personally communicate with world coaches. What have you learned from them during the Forum?
Communicating with the Dalai Lama taught you to think, compassion and indifference, when any option for resolving a situation is equally suitable for you. Your brain has found a resting point, which is very important in a troubled world. I also remember a long intellectual conversation with Taleb about the world economy, about the United States. He has a complex personality, but Taleb is conceptual. Guy Kawasaki developed the topic of startups in a personal conversation, talked about where Silicon Valley is heading. We do not lose touch, we communicate often. But all these piecemeal, albeit exclusive, insights cannot be compared with the comprehensive education that we do. A systemic result can be achieved in only a year and a half. But in order to encourage people to get MBA, I need to gather them at the Global Forum and give short-term insights.
But you had the Insight Forum with the number of celebrities as at a social event. Is this work for the image?
More likely to expand the market. The proportion should be 30 to 70 in favor of the media part. That is, we serve fundamental hot dishes under media sauce. And everyone wins. In general, it's very cool when a star is giving a lecture. It turned out, however, that Russian celebrities hardly know how to do this.
Andrey Malakhov performed magnificently for you
Yes, Malakhov gave an excellent lecture. But I, as a typical snob who does not watch TV, what is the association with the name Malakhov? Shurygin and other oddities. And then we met for lunch, and I realized that Andrei is an intellectual, besides a compassionate guy, ready to help everyone. And a few days later Malakhov enters the stage of "Crocus" and makes an interesting, structured report.
Collecting 20 thousand for Oliver Stone is very difficult, but possible. And you were the first in Russia to do it. What is it like to collect 20 thousand for Ryzov, Sivozhelezov, Kolmakov, your specialized gurus who are known to a narrow circle?
Precisely because we were able to expand the education market through Stone and Co., people came and for two days they recorded lectures of not supermedia, but superprofessional people. The audience wanted to learn.
Who are these people who want to learn?
Suffering. Entrepreneurs are looking for new business acceleration tools. There are people who have nothing but an idea, but they begin to work actively, and this is how their business grows stronger. They live by work and give work to others. They are very cool, they plow all day, read books, take care of the family.
Synergy is not for those guys who invest easy money in beauty contests. I work for those who sleep in their bed at night and run or practice yoga in the morning.
Do you run yourself?
I'm running. And I do Thai boxing.
But what about the joys of life?
This kind of life is no worse than life in Soho at night with the strippers. In principle, the endorphins from running, from a 12-hour marathon in the office, are no less than from a girl on a pole.
Well, running is probably cheaper …
I agree, there are also fewer disappointments.
Do your listeners pay for their studies, forums themselves?
Somewhere 70% pay themselves, the rest come as a team at the expense of their company.
How and where do you get new knowledge personally?
I am a student of the programs of the notorious Synergy business school. They also invite me to the Forums. Sometimes I go on stage, joke during the opening and closing ceremonies, and for this they give me a free ticket to the front rows. I sit, listen, record.
Are these the same expensive tickets for half a million?
Yes, and I always take one place. Now we are launching a new MBA program (imagine, I still have not received an MBA diploma!), And in September I will become one of the first applicants.
Is the lack of MB a problem for you?
Of course! Business education should be comprehensive.
Have you ever been confused by students?
Regularly! Students come to me whose monthly business turnover is equal to the annual turnover of our school. There are such cases that our business is flea compared to theirs. But we shouldn't be in proportion to them, our strength lies in something else. The coach of a world boxing champion is not always himself a past champion.
What are your requirements for teachers?
As a rule, these are consultants, strategists, through whom many different companies pass. For example, we have now formed a block for finance. We take on Zoya Strelkova, a very strong expert who advises the largest corporations in terms of financial management.
You finally mentioned the female expert. I have been to several of your Forums and I will say this: there are an order of magnitude less female coaches than men
Honestly, I do not know.
But there is the same Oprah Winfrey, and you do not invite her
I can't invite Oprah Winfrey because she's worth one million dollars. For the Russian market, this is not a person who needs to be paid a million dollars. Angelina Jolie is much more popular with us (and, by the way, she is half the price).
But you don't bring Jolie
We're in the middle of negotiations. And already 100% we bring May Musk. 75 years old, model, mom of a billionaire.
Yes, she's on hype now
But women are still very few, you are right. Tina Kandelaki, one of our forum speakers, talked into bringing in Suzuki, the Ted speaker. Tina says it's fire. I looked - really interesting. They will have an interview about the health of a business leader … In principle, women perform well. Will seek. But I will not invite, for example, Monica Lewinsky, although she exploded the audience on Ted.
There are probably slightly different lessons …
… and I don't need these lessons yet. But never say never. Yesterday she was just the president's mistress, but today she was able to repackage the experience by releasing a book, acting as a good motivational speaker on the topic of society. Monica begins with the words "fallen woman, mistress, sex slave", thereby removing claims from the audience in advance. A very accurate move. The feeling that the text was written to her by a Hollywood screenwriter, and therefore I advise you to look - ours do not yet know how.
You have held a Women's Forum. Is it necessary to divide forums by gender?
You need to talk to women separately. Women should do this. Women have a different psychology, they work differently and relate to their work.
Is it better or worse?
Now it is rather different - better. I believe that the influence of women within corporations will grow. And in entrepreneurship too, but at a slower pace. There is a very high level of risks, and this does not correspond to female psychology. At the same time, the proportion of women entrepreneurs is still growing, it can be seen. The strong qualities of women are responsibility, communication. A woman shows significantly better communication characteristics from the age of 16. If she gave birth and stayed at home, took care of the family, then the man still has a chance to catch up with her in the interval of 20-30 years. But if she did not give birth before the age of 30, then, of course, in terms of emotional intelligence, a woman is several times superior to a man. Women in Russia are beautiful, men are not. This is important for business, especially sales. She is more punctual, she is more attentive to numbers. If we add a little bit of passionarity to the female community, we move on to matriarchy. And I don't mind.
Will you be the vice-rector and a woman will be the rector?
I will be doing yoga in Phangan, and the rector will be a woman, rather like that. Recently, a feminist was on the lookout for me. Hello, Gregory, he says. - Hello. - I am the head of the feminist society in Russia. I say: very nice. Her: Why do you constantly use sexist jokes on the forums?
By the way, I also wanted to ask about this! There was a block with bloggers at the Synergy Insight Forum, and you and Huseyn Hasanov joked about: ay, brides for Husein, go on stage
This is Yitzhak Pintosevich, our moderator, said.
All of you on stage laugh happily at the joke
I am completely unfoundedly accused of sexism and anti-Semitism (although I greatly respect and love both women and Jews), but it so happened that this sexist joke was uttered by our friend Yitzchak.
But you didn't say: let's go on business, guys …
Cool. But to the feminist toy, I said that I love women more than men, so I'm more of a feminist. She says: no, you are cheating.
I also think that you are capable of deceiving
I often joke, but I rarely deceive, no more than twice a day, and you cannot spoil karma. Seriously, I can hardly imagine a super honest entrepreneur or director. Can you imagine what Elon Musk has to say to shareholders, annually showing a loss-making company? When you have a loss of two billion, you will seize Mars too - you will do any things to somehow manage the situation. A leader is a way of compromises, one must be aware of this. After all, we are not all Yura Shevchuk. Although sometimes I would like to.
… But back to women.
I support women with both hands, so we held a Women's Forum for fifteen hundred participants, we plan to gather another one - already for 6000. And that's why I joined the jury of the Business Woman Award Veuve Clicquot. It is important. The only thing that upset me during the first Women's Forum was that men also bought tickets.
Is it bad?
Yes, because my dream was - I am one and a half thousand women. By the way, I just said that, and the feminist will read it and say “sexism”. What's sexist, though?
There are many women around you, but you are not married
I am single.
What kind of woman do you see next to you?
Are you actively searching?
I am rather in active defense. I assume that with a high probability I will be the subject of the search. There is a certain number of requests per week that I receive.
Does the number of offers increase during the Forums?
During the Peaks Forums, yes. But now I am focused on solving other problems, on business. Multitasking is not my thing.
But if She is cool, then she will remove many tasks
No, I definitely do not plan to shift the burden of problems onto the woman. I was raised differently. I'm talking about “picking up someone else’s cargo,” and I will definitely pick it up, but in a few years.
Grigory, returning to our award, which we are promoting and conducting together with you. What is the main selection criterion for you personally?
I will focus on being affiliated with all sorts of drivers that can be considered unsportsmanlike.
The husband is rich, the parents are officials. It is very difficult to find pure self-made. For example, is Ksenia Shoigu self-made or not? On the one hand, no, but on the other, Ksyusha made a really cool brand in the field of healthy lifestyle - "Race of Heroes". A very laborious product - extreme races, where there are many risks, including reputational ones. And in this sense Shoigu for me is a woman-hero, despite not being very athletic one of the criteria.
I believe that in the search for self-made we are partners: your Forums help women develop their business, motivate them
By the way, I will definitely use the chance given to all members of the jury to nominate the businesswoman whom I consider worthy of our award. I have already identified the five coolest women in business who will receive an invitation from me to participate in the competition.
3 main lessons from the rector of the Synergy business school
- Although this does not correspond to feminine nature, but you need to set yourself the largest possible, even crazy goals.
- You can already start your own business. No need to wait, save, start today, now.
- Working hard is the best I can recommend.
And it's all about him
Rector of the Synergy Business School
Education: graduated from the Moscow Financial and Industrial Academy, defended his Ph. D. thesis. Ph. D. in Economics
Career: since 2014 he has been the head of the Synergy business school. For 4 years more than 200 thousand people have studied at the school.
In 2017, he held the largest business forum in the world and was included in the Guinness Book of Records
Favorite writer: Ernest Hemingway
Travel: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Belarus The
best food for a businessman: water
About the Business Woman Award Veuve Clicquot
In August, an application form was opened at marieclaire.ru for those who wish to participate in the award. After examining the questionnaires and meeting with the candidates, at the end of November, the jury consisting of Grigory Avetov, Olga Slutsker, Irina Prokhorova, Nadia Cherkasova and Mikhail Kuchment will name the woman-entrepreneur who will receive the Grand Prix.
Photo: Ivan Kurinnoy
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