Meet Askar Akhanov, Managing Partner at Yessen & Company. Askar has an extensive experience in the technology sector. His focus area is data analytics. Askar has handled over 30 data management projects for enterprises. In an exclusive interview with Managing Partner, Askar Akhanov at Yessen & Company, Askar Akhanov shares his experience.
Stankevicius: How do you maintain your personal resilience during tough times?
Askar Akhanov: Personal resilience, to me, hinges on a blend of structured routine, self-care, and maintaining connections. This approach helps me to maintain a mental space where I acknowledge difficulties without permitting them to overpower my resolve or decision-making. During the quarantine, I adhered to a daily schedule, ensured physical activity, and reached out to loved ones and colleagues to sustain a sense of normalcy and connection amidst the isolation. This challenging time didn’t only test my resilience but also reshaped our approach at Yessen & Company. It illuminated the necessity of evolving our business to not merely recover but to strengthen and adapt on a global scale, mirroring Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s concept of becoming “Anti-Fragile” through encountering unforeseen “Black Swan” events.
Stankevicius: What strategies do you use to manage stress and maintain focus during a crisis?
Askar Akhanov: Personally, I believe that you can never learn everything in the world, so at times of crisis, I try to keep myself grounded by reading business literature, avoiding excessive distractions like loud music, and phone notifications, and meditating, allowing myself to calm down the stream of thoughts.
Stankevicius: How do you communicate with your team during a crisis?
Askar Akhanov: In times of crisis I believe that it is important to be completely honest and understanding, as times of crisis are not only hard on the leader, but also on the rest of the team and everyone processes hardship differently. I believe that it is vital to be open to suggestions and ideas on how to resolve the situation and value your team more than ever.
Stankevicius: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about leadership in times of crisis?
Askar Akhanov: The most crucial lesson I’ve learned about leadership in times of crisis is the indispensable value of clear, honest communication and steadiness. In tumultuous times, a leader must be a reliable pillar, providing clear directives and being transparent about the challenges while maintaining a composed demeanor. It’s about balancing empathy and strength, ensuring the team feels supported and guided, yet also being candid about the reality of the situation and the path ahead. This philosophy has been pivotal in steering through crises and maintaining team cohesion and morale.