Yuri is a 3X, multi-award-winning CHRO and C-suite leadership coach, Top 5 Thought Leader and Influencer on Global HR and Entrepreneurship. CEO of HR, Talent & Systems Consulting, an industry leader consulting Fortune 500 companies and tech startups on strategic HR, he’s likewise a contributor to Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Newsweek, CEO World and other top publications, as well as a frequent speaker for Fortune 500 companies (Google, EY, Medtronic), universities (Columbia, UPenn, NYU) and VC-backed startups. Yuri has authored or co-authored 8 books, including the award-winning, 4-volume "Be Your Own Commander-in-Chief," (Ideapress Publishing, 2021) and "What Millennials Really Want From Work and Life" (Business Expert Press, March 2019). His industry-leading HR consulting, L&D and DEI work has been recognized by Mogul, PeopleHum, Thinkers360, Engagedly and DesignRush, among others) and has impacted thousands of executives and staff. Yuri hosts the weekly Commander-in-Chief Podcast, interviewing top CEOs across industries on leadership, people management and personal development. He advises numerous HR Tech and other startups on GTM and product strategy, as well as strategic HR through Google for Startups, Venture for America, Crew Capital, Newchip, Innovation Channel, Alchemist and other VC networks and accelerators.
What's your industry?
Consulting / Professional Services
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
5 careers before HR (neuroscience, law, finance, health tech, coaching)
What kind of work does your daily role involve?
Lots of coaching, lots of systems, project, program and people management, as well as delivering trainings to corporations and startups
What gets you excited about your industry?
HR is changing for the better, but is still largely too reactive, backward and with a poor reputation, too often without a voice and without trust or empowerment. Talent is pouring in, tech money is chasing the industry. But we're very far from any sort of meaningful AI automation of people, culture and HR management across the enterprise. There's also not enough HR products built BY HR people for other HR people. Too many techies chasing money and building products that fall short of being helpful.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
Sticking around long enough, pivoting quickly and figuring out where the puck is going before everyone else is the key piece to achieving any sort of meaningful success. If you can drive revenue that sustains you and your family and team in the process, you'll be able to stick it out longer. You'll get nowhere without optimism and not far with optimism alone. Execution is everything, even if you are often flying blind and making your best guesses. Just keep going, as long as you still believe in the importance of what you're doing. But when the writing's on the wall, also be flexible and humble enough to change direction.
What's the most challenging project or situation you've overcome to date?
Many - single parent family, 2 immigrations, 5 career changes, lots of revenue shortfalls, $250K in debt from law school while living in NYC and growing a family (3 kids, thank G-d), built several businesses myself with very limited resources
Are you using any AI tools right now to help grow your business or, if not, do you plan to use any this year?
Yes, we use Bubble to code an app.
Overall, do you see AI as a good thing for business?
Yes. AI is raising the base level of what's expected from people, which means the possibility of higher-quality work and more productivity. It's scary for many, but also inevitable and great for top talent that can now level up that much more.
Overall, do you see AI as a threat or an opportunity in business?
Opportunity. It's a huge enabler for productivity, creativity, efficiency and quality for top talent to produce that much better work.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
More talent, more (smart) funding, more empowerment and trust for HR people to help people do their life's best work in the here and now. And a really robust marketplace to share the best practices, tools, strategies and fractional talent within HR.