Mr. Zafirovski discussed the importance in competitiveness in the corporate world, and stated key factors to such a success are, “to absolutely delight costumers, to create the most motivating work environment, to expect superior result, to have a winning attitude and have the leadership within the business to be the role models for the values of the corporation.”
Mr. Zafirovski emphasized, “that 70% of what develops the people the best are the jobs they take, 20% is the manager or mentor an individual has, and only 10% is formal training.” He inspired the future leaders to make a brand for themselves, to determine what exactly they want to achieve in their lives and to work hard at developing their careers. He also encouraged them to take initiatives in order to transform their living conditions, their environment, and their country into a better place to live.
Mr. Zafirovski believes that the progress in the country is real, Macedonian companies will become more regionally prosperous and will need the right kind of people to fill in those opportunities. What Macedonia 2025 is trying to accomplish is to spread the word that Macedonia is a great place for companies to invest in, but at the same time to find local companies that have the capability to become global players. All of these companies will need the right people that are motivated, knowledgeable and passionate to drive the country and the companies forward.
“I love business” – Mr. Zafirovski stated. “Great business with right values provides great opportunities for bright students. Well run businesses, with right values, are absolute gifts for society.”
Mr. Kormushoff, who’s is originally from Prilep, spoke with the students and faculty stating he is proud of his education at Pennsylvania University and Boston University, but believes that the most important experience is the continuous education you receive throughout life and your experiences, and to always be willing to learn new things and to be curious. He deems education to be a great liberator, but believes that everyone needs to take responsibility for continuous education.
“No one can ever take away your brain” – Mr. Kormushoff says, “they can take away many things, but what you have as knowledge is most important”.
Mr. Kormushoff encouraged the students to learn from practical experiences, accept changes as an opportunity to develop themselves, and to build relevant skills, which will help them stay competitive in the fast moving global economy.
“Take risks, fail, learn and grow” is Mr. Kormushoff’s advice.
Mr. Hristov, who moved to US when he was 15 years old, points out that it is very important to work and learn at the same time. He says: “I don’t know when I started working, I have been working since I was a young boy helping my father in business”. He encouraged students to maximize their time, to try to do more things, take internships and to accept challenges. What makes people successful is the hard work.
Mr. Hristov works between 15-20 hours per day. “People think that I am crazy, but I love what I do. I don’t work for money, but to achieve something that I will proud of in the years to come.”
The speakers provoked an interesting discussion about their efforts to balance the professional and personal life, the leadership style and the values that make them outstanding individuals. Mr. Zafirovski emphasized that to love what you do, to be self-critical and to always look backwards to see what you could have done better is a good practice in developing yourself. Great leaders like, Steve Jobs and Jack Welch, do what they say; they are different from each other, and have a very authentic leadership style.
Mr. Martinovski encouraged the students to participate in different networks, alumni associations and other organizations that can drive activities, which improve the capabilities of more people, where people can connect and help each other.
One of the students was curious whether it would be better to stay in the country or look for opportunities abroad. Mr. Zafirovski explained that while students may be curious as to whether there are opportunities in Macedonia and whether companies will appreciate their knowledge and skills, some Macedonian companies had expressed a similar issue regarding the difficulty in finding capable and motivated students with a willingness to be innovative and successful. This illustrates a gap in communication between employers and employees within Macedonia.
Another element to this issue is that students need to know what they want to achieve, and should plan their career. Mr. Zafirovski concluded that many students will go overseas to develop their experiences, but he believes there will be just as many opportunities in Macedonia, and hopefully the process of reconciling the business needs and the capabilities of the students will match to provide the right opportunities.
At the end, all board members agree that the hard work is crucial for success. As stated by Mr. Zafirovski, “the more you work, the better results you have, the luckier you get.”
To view photos or for more infromation, visit: http://www.uacs.edu.mk/news/mike-zafirovski-with-mk-students_278.aspx.