Today we interviewed Maria Meshkova, who has been working with us for 5 years. Masha started her career at BGS in 2015 and today she is the head of sales in the Moscow office. The path of success, life principles, and Sailor Moon – you can find more info in this interview.
Hi, Masha. You said that your love for BGS started with one mailout. Tell me, how was it?
Hi! This story was born when I started working at BGS. I remember that I, a new PR manager, was entrusted to write a mailout for the LNG Congress vital for the event’s future. The point that they trusted me grabbed me so much, so I fell in love at first sight with the company.
At that time, you gave a lot of time to dancing and wanted to connect your life with it. So, why BGS?
Oh, it was a drama for me. At that time I was engaged in dancing for 16 years. I wanted to advance further, so when I was invited to continue my dancing career in Moscow, I did not hesitate to agree. The turning point came when Kris suggested me to try myself at sales.
When you see every day how the guys sell and feel proud of what they have done, you catch this passion. The moment the team believed in me, I realized that everything would succeed. After the first sales, the taste of victory came and I realized that I was completely given to the company.
How did it happen that you started your way in Chelyabinsk, and now you are the head of the sales department in Moscow?
Before Tanya, Lyosha, and Kris [the company's managing partners] decided to open a new office, I had already grown to a group leader and helped newcomers. And when Kris offered me to open a new office in Yekaterinburg in autumn, and in Moscow in winter, I agreed.
Was it scary when you and Kris went to open a new office in Yekaterinburg?
As such, there was no fear due to the fact that Kris was near to me and was trusting me. If I had any concern, I immediately went to her. The excitement appeared when we recruited the team. We set ambitious goals, it was necessary to lead the guys to victory in competitions, to help forward them to the career ladder, and I was carrying about their successes.
And what was harder: to open a new office in Yekaterinburg or in Moscow?
I will only say that in Moscow it’s easy to blow an opportunity .
If you didn’t do it – someone else did it, who thinks faster. We were looking for an office for a very long time. Firstly, the pricing policy is not as in Chelyabinsk or Yekaterinburg, whatsoever. Secondly, it was not easy to find a cool office in the Moscow center. And thirdly, the urgency is highest possible here. If you liked something, you have to take it straight away, otherwise, you would be left with nothing. Two days before arrival, we had to look for another office and sign documents in the middle of the night at the weekend.
But we passed this quest with a bunch of obstacles. Now the office on Sukharevskaya is one love.
As far as I know, Moscow surprised you not only by finding an office. How quickly did you get a cool team?
At the beginning, there were a lot of interviews and we thought that we would get everyone out in bulk and start to bomb. But a big part of applicants did not pick up the phone, although their resumes were posted on HH.ru, others did not reach interviews. One day a girl calls, standing right in front of the office windows, asks how to get up to us, and as a result does not come to the meeting O_O And one guy, after the first day of work, was taken to the army.
Then in a couple of months we recruited only 4 people - the backbone of our today's team. But step by step everything worked out. However, now I do not set myself high expectations.
Yes, now you have a big team. You manage to develop leaders, and you get great results. How do you do it?
There are some systemic things, without which it is unreal: planning meetings, training, communication with guys on current and urgent issues.
It seems to me that the principle of unity of purpose works here. I run and they run after me. We are constantly in the race. We run at the same pace. We have mutual involvement and together we are ready to move mountains.
You have real #bgsteamSuperHeroes. And if you were a superhero, what kind?
I am Sailor Moon. I bear retribution in the name of the Moon, a fighter for good and justice.
I believe that everything should be fair and everyone should have what deserves. If you have any nonsense today, look at what you did yesterday. This is my strong point. And, of course, I believe that the good will save the world. You need to bring goodness and justice to the masses.
As a leader, you often make decisions. Do you have any traditions before adopting them?
To begin with, if there is an emotional point, I breathe out. Then I analyze all the pros and cons, critically evaluate any solution in my head and ask myself: "Will this action lead to a result or not?"
What advice would you give to those who cannot make a decision?
Firstly, you shouldn't make decisions impulsively. Get down to business with a cool head and analyze pros and cons. Secondly, imagine a picture in your head: what will change when you accept one choice or the other. If you can't answer right away, stay where you are.
How do you deal with the excitement?
I have a favorite phrase: “If there is a situation and you know how to cope with it, do not worry, because you will solve it. If you don't have power over the situation now, don't worry, now you won't change anything".
Being a leader is a big responsibility. How do you reboot from working moments?
Most of all I like to run. In Chelyabinsk, I got up at 6 in the morning and did my morning run. As the saying goes, motion creates emotion. Physical activity is the best reboot for me. Now I like to enjoy the peace in the park.
I will secretly share with you my favorite place - Ostankino Park at VDNKh. It's a very cozy place there.
And what do you dream about when you take a break from work?
Hmm, a dream. Complex issue. I dream about big and micro goals. The story of the magical fulfillment of wishes is not for me. The goal that I am trying to adhere to now is to be a person in whom all areas of life are fully grasped when you are a cool leader you can count on, while you still have time to relax and do what you love.
What advice would you give to those who want to join BGS?
First, you have to try. Don't be afraid to come for an interview.
Be open to everything new. The main selection criterion for me is the flexibility of thinking.
And, of course, be active. It's cool when inside you have some kind of internal motivation, an internal engine.
And the last question. A true BGS member, who is he/she?
Team player. Well, honestly. Even those who were lone wolves eventually joined the team. BGS is, first of all, a team, when everyone stands behind the company like a mountain.
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