I am Ilja - a builder by heart and a people geek by profession. While having been wearing many hats and working in various industries throughout my career, for the last 10 years the "people, talent and tech" has been my preferred space.
During those years I have been helping start-ups, scale-ups and grown-ups not only to attract and hire the very best talents from around the globe, but also to build up and set their teams for success from HR & TA perspective. Leading people and running the People, Culture, Operations and Talent Acquisition topics is what I enjoy doing most. Hence - those are the topics that I believe I could help out with.
I am originally from Estonia and love to travel, but you will find me spending most of my time in Berlin. Snowboarding, running and Sicilian pastries are the things that I am almost always up for!
In case you believe that I could help you with your growth - let´s connect!
My Mentoring Topics
- - Full spectrum of Human Relations (HR) and Talent Acquisition (TA) topics.
- - Leadership
- - Finding a job and getting hired
Great mentor, I learned a lot about the HR industry and I got a lot of ideas for my startup that was my end goal. Thanks for everything
Ilja makes you feel comfortable and heard immediately, I got insightful answers to my questions, clear and actionable feedback, it was indeed a great session that brought many action items and excitement. Thank you Ilja !
Ilja was one of the most thoughtful persons that I could have as a mentor. In every session, he was a careful listener, open to understand the situation and provide the best advice he could. His accurate advices were certainly crucial to clarify my uncertain paths.
Going further, he is calm and patient - so if you are feeling lost in the eye of the storm, it’s super helpful to be able to count with someone to balance your feelings.
He has an enormous market knowledge, being an extremely qualified professional with several years of valuable experience. He knows his business and will make sure to share it with you, granting you multiple fruitful insights.
After our sessions, I always had more homework to do and the mission digest what we discussed. I strongly recommend booking a session with him, preparing yourself in advance, and you’ll get the most out of it!
I had a session with Ilja, and I was impressed with his professional approach. He actively listened to my concerns and asked insightful questions to help me clarify my situation and desires. He provided me with valuable feedback and guidance, drawing from his extensive experience and expertise. Overall, I found my session with him to be very productive, and I would highly recommend him as a mentor to anyone seeking guidance in their professional development.
The session with Ilja was very good. It was like talking to an unknown friend who is surprisingly also very interested in the same business areas like you. Overall it was a very positive and insightful conversation with Ilja and I am very happy to had this session with him. I got definitely more out of this session than I expected. I'm sure I will rebook one more session with Ilja after some time has past.
I was thrilled by the session we had with Ilja! Exactly what I needed and of course his detailed profile description of where he could help was beneficial. He gave me good advice based on his HR experience and considering my current circumstances. My thoughts immediately got more structured and I gained confidence that I am moving in the right direction and making the right choices at the moment. No generic advice, directly to the point, with examples and "why". Can't wait to have a few more sessions after I will digest received information and try to implement the current plan in practice.
Great session, Ilja was really helpful and nice.
EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products
What is it about the top tech product companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix and Tesla that enables their record of consistent innovation? Most people think it’s because these companies are somehow able to find and attract a level of talent that makes this innovation possible. But the real advantage these companies have is not so much who they hire, but rather how they enable their people to work together to solve hard problems and create extraordinary products. As legendary Silicon Valley coach--and coach to the founders of several of today’s leading tech companies--Bill Campbell said, “Leadership is about recognizing that there's a greatness in everyone, and your job is to create an environment where that greatness can emerge.” The goal of EMPOWERED is to provide you, as a leader of product management, product design, or engineering, with everything you’ll need to create just such an environment. As partners at The Silicon Valley Product Group, Marty Cagan and Chris Jones have long worked to reveal the best practices of the most consistently innovative companies in the world. A natural companion to the bestseller INSPIRED, EMPOWERED tackles head-on the reason why most companies fail to truly leverage the potential of their people to innovate: product leadership. The book covers: what it means to be an empowered product team, and how this is different from the “feature teams” used by most companies to build technology products recruiting and coaching the members of product teams, first to competence, and then to reach their potential creating an inspiring product vision along with an insights-driven product strategy translating that strategy into action by empowering teams with specific objectives—problems to solve—rather than features to build redefining the relationship of the product teams to the rest of the company detailing the changes necessary to effectively and successfully transform your organization to truly empowered product teams EMPOWERED puts decades of lessons learned from the best leaders of the top technology companies in your hand as a guide. It shows you how to become the leader your team and company needs to not only survive but thrive.View
INSPIRED - How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
How do today’s most successful tech companies—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla—design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class in how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization, and how to discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love—and that will work for your business. With sections on assembling the right people and skillsets, discovering the right product, embracing an effective yet lightweight process, and creating a strong product culture, readers can take the information they learn and immediately leverage it within their own organizations—dramatically improving their own product efforts. Whether you’re an early stage startup working to get to product/market fit, or a growth-stage company working to scale your product organization, or a large, long-established company trying to regain your ability to consistently deliver new value for your customers, INSPIRED will take you and your product organization to a new level of customer engagement, consistent innovation, and business success. Filled with the author’s own personal stories—and profiles of some of today’s most-successful product managers and technology-powered product companies, including Adobe, Apple, BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix—INSPIRED will show you how to turn up the dial of your own product efforts, creating technology products your customers love. The first edition of INSPIRED, published ten years ago, established itself as the primary reference for technology product managers, and can be found on the shelves of nearly every successful technology product company worldwide. This thoroughly updated second edition shares the same objective of being the most valuable resource for technology product managers, yet it is completely new—sharing the latest practices and techniques of today’s most-successful tech product companies, and the men and women behind every great product.View
Getting to Yes - Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In; Second Edition
Roger Fisher, William Ury
Getting to Yes offers a concise, step-by-step, proven strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict—whether it involves parents and children, neighbors, bosses and employees, customers or corporations, tenants or diplomats. Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals continually with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution from domestic to business to international, Getting to Yes tells you how to: * Separate the people from the problem; * Focus on interests, not positions; * Work together to create options that will satisfy both parties; and * Negotiate successfully with people who are more powerful, refuse to play by the rules, or resort to "dirty tricks." Since its original publication in 1981, Getting to Yes has been translated into 18 languages and has sold over 1 million copies in its various editions. This completely revised edition is a universal guide to the art of negotiating personal and professional disputes. It offers a concise strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict.View
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions 'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics 'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.View
Start With Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Simon Sinek's recent video on 'The Millennial Question' went viral with over 150 million views. Start with Why is a global bestseller and the TED Talk based on it is the third most watched of all time. Why are some people and organisations more inventive, pioneering and successful than others? And why are they able to repeat their success again and again? In business, it doesn't matter what you do, it matters WHY you do it. Start with Why analyses leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Steve Jobs and discovers that they all think in the same way - they all started with why. Simon Sinek explains the framework needed for businesses to move past knowing what they do to how they do it, and then to ask the more important question-WHY? Why do we do what we do? Why do we exist? Learning to ask these questions can unlock the secret to inspirational business. Sinek explains what it truly takes to lead and inspire and how anyone can learn how to do it.View
The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in. Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.View
Give & Get Employer Branding - Repel the Many and Compel the Few with Impact, Purpose and Belonging
Bryan Adams, Charlotte Marshall
In today's fiercely competitive job market, with the balance of power squarely in job-seekers' hands, how can organizations attract and retain the most talented candidates--and the best additions to their culture? The answer may surprise you. The most effective employer brands don't attract candidates; they repel them. Combining the expertise of employer brand industry leaders Charlotte Marshall and Bryan Adams, Give & Get Employer Branding redefines the concept of an employee value proposition entirely. Instead of a sales pitch aimed at seducing candidates with sizzle, this refreshing new approach harnesses the value to be found within the cultural realities and expectations of the company. You'll learn how to create a "smart filter," elevate your organization's strengths by pairing them with what it truly takes to thrive, and answer the burning questions on candidates' minds like never before.View
Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition - Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
* New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller multiple years running * Translated into 20 languages, with more than half a million copies sold worldwide * A Hudson and Indigo Best Book of the Year * Recommended by Shona Brown, Rachel Hollis, Jeff Kinney, Daniel Pink, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gretchen Rubin Radical Candor has been embraced around the world by leaders of every stripe at companies of all sizes. Now a cultural touchstone, the concept has come to be applied to a wide range of human relationships. The idea is simple: You don't have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor—avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy—you can be kind and clear at the same time. Kim Scott was a highly successful leader at Google before decamping to Apple, where she developed and taught a management class. Since the original publication of Radical Candor in 2017, Scott has earned international fame with her vital approach to effective leadership and co-founded the Radical Candor executive education company, which helps companies put the book's philosophy into practice. Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, about soliciting criticism to improve your leadership and also providing guidance that helps others grow. It focuses on praise but doesn't shy away from criticism—to help you love your work and the people you work with. Radically Candid relationships with team members enable bosses to fulfill their three core responsibilities: 1. Create a culture of Compassionate Candor 2. Build a cohesive team 3. Achieve results collaboratively Required reading for the most successful organizations, Radical Candor has raised the bar for management practices worldwide.View
Talent Intelligence - Use Business and People Data to Drive Organizational Performance
Leverage the power of Talent Intelligence (TI) to make evidence-informed decisions that drive business performance by using data about people, skills, jobs, business functions and geographies. Improved access to people and business data has created huge opportunities for the HR function. However, simply having access to this data is not enough. HR professionals need to know how to analyse the data, know what questions to ask of it and where and how the insights from the data can add the most value. Talent Intelligence is a practical guide that explains everything HR professionals need to know to achieve this. It outlines what Talent Intelligence (TI) is why it's important, how to use it to improve business results and includes guidance on how HR professionals can build the business case for it. This book also explains how and why talent intelligence is different from workforce planning, sourcing research and standard predictive HR analytics and shows how to assess where in the organization talent intelligence can have the biggest impact and how to demonstrate the results to all stakeholders. Most importantly, this book covers KPIs and metrics for success, short-term and long-term TI goals, an outline of what success looks like and the skills needed for effective Talent Intelligence. It also features case studies from organizations including Philips, Barclays and Kimberly-Clark.View
I exchanged ideas with Ilja about team building. He helped me a lot with a current professional challenge through his experience and external perspective. The atmosphere of the conversation was very pleasant at all times. Thank you Ilja for the greatest gift one can give another person - your time.