Vladimir Kolomoets on the four types of top managers – and how to spot them, “www.thepage.com.ua”

Kyiv, Ukraine – Systematisation is an essential process for accurately assessing a company’s operations, the way in which its employees work, and the potential consequences of their work. Throughout my Executive Search career, I have identified four main types of managers in Ukraine.


An inspector is a manager who has been delegated to provide oversight and ensure that everything works perfectly, that all the goals and commitments are achieved, and that no one steals more than the “permitted” amount. Don’t be surprised at that last item, by the way – in many cases, this is an accepted and regulated process. For example, an entrepreneur acquaintance confided: “I have 4% loss of turnover caused by this phenomenon. If the loss is no bigger than 4%, then we can still make a profit and grow the business.” The “inspector” monitors and supervises the company. As a rule, good “inspector” top managers come from finance management and audit roles – in other words, professional bean-counters.

However, the downside of this type of manager is that they do not deal well with innovation. Nowadays, the world is developing so fast that it moves forward at a rapid pace, and you will be swiftly overtaken if you stand still. In the long term, an “inspector” manager can prove to be inefficient at maintaining the company’s strategic position.

Project Managers (allegedly!)

These executives tend to achieve all their goals – I sometimes call them “business sprinters”. They work quickly, they are good at leading teams, and they know how to organise efficiently. However, they can get bored very quickly. Once the risky stage of the project is completed, the stability phase is reached: the processes are running well, there are no demanding inquiries, and the stimulus is lost.

When we identify such executives for particular projects, I like to politely inform the clients from the very beginning that these are short-term people, best for short-term contracts of 1.5 to 2 years. When the project manager’s tenure comes to an end, an “inspector” might be a better fit for the company’s management.

System Builders

These are executives who create long-term, large-scale projects. They possess the unique skill of finding new, inner motivation to support the team’s spirit and desire to move forward. These are the boxers who train for an important match, reach peak condition, fight the match, and then rest. Afterwards, they move on to training for the next fight, and the next, and the next.

Sand-Castle Builders

Last – and very much least – come the “sand-castle builders”. These are professionals who are savvy at selling themselves, and who know how to present themselves in the best light. They are frequently business owners who are passionate about their occupation, and eager to embrace new ideas.

These managers carry out impressive presentations for the senior management members, who are not willing to consider any other options, subsequently. They are assessing the situation with zero objectivity, swayed only by the presenter’s personal charisma. After a year or so, senior management may realise that the “sand-castle builder” has failed – but now it is too late. Unfortunately, this can cause money and time to be wasted.

The effectiveness of your business depends on correctly estimating which of the three management types you need at any particular moment – and avoiding the last category altogether!

Vladimir Kolomoets is a Client Partner and the Country Manager for Ukraine at Pedersen & Partners. Mr. Kolomoets has more than 15 years of extensive experience in the field, with over 300 Executive Search and recruitment assignments across all practice groups.  He puts a particular emphasis on the Industrial (Heavy Industry, Mining, Metallurgy, Agribusiness), Telecommunications, Technology, and Consumer Products sectors across the CIS region. Prior to re-joining the firm, Mr. Kolomoets held senior roles with two international Executive Search firms in which he served as Partner and Client Manager.

Mr. Kolomoets holds an MBA from the Kyiv National Economics University. He speaks fluent Ukrainian, Russian and English.

Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 57 wholly owned offices in 53 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at www.pedersenandpartners.com.

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