As the founder and CEO of Makers – Europe’s first coding bootcamp – I learned leadership lessons on how to run and scale a business the hard way.
I had the privilege of learning from some of the best founder coaches as a CEO. Being coached didn’t only change the way I did business; it changed me as a person.
After stepping down as Makers’ CEO, I became a founder coach myself, helping others achieve transformational growth.
It started in the back of a black cab. I had studied Computer Science at Imperial College London and then gone to work for Forward Internet Group, where I started Forward Labs. This is where I met Rob.
I was struggling to hire qualified software developers. Rob had been through an arduous process of teaching himself to program through a book on Objective C. We both saw that traditional education was broken.
"As well as a great business Evgeny built a strong culture at Makers. He is a person of deep integrity with a strong sense of caring, character traits he imparted to Makers that are a huge part of what makes it such a special company today."
Nic Brisbourne, Managing Partner at Forward Partners
In early 2013, we launched Makers, the first coding bootcamp in Europe. These days, you can read about Makers’ successes in the press. We trained thousands of people and placed them in hundreds of companies like Financial Times, Deloitte, Google, Accenture, and the BBC.
Through my experiences leading the organisation, I learned that transformation does not happen by accident. It happens when people invest in a growth mindset. Makers’ mission has always been about changing lives.
Little did I know how much running Makers would end up changing my own life too. A pivotal moment of my leadership journey was going on the CEO Bootcamp run by Reboot. I joined CEOs from high-profile companies, and at first, I felt like I didn’t belong.
I thought we’d be talking about strategy and vision. Instead, we got friendly with our emotions and shared our childhood stories, our hopes and dreams. I learned that love and unconditional acceptance of all experiences are the foundation of good leadership.
My meditation practice has always been a big part of my life. Like many, I started meditating to learn to deal with stress, yet instead of offering relief, meditation helped me face the pain I was carrying inside.
I practice both on my own and together with others as part of the Buddhist Geeks network. My primary practice is samatha-vipassana as taught in The Mind Illuminated, but I draw inspiration from many teachers, including Sam Harris and Pema Chödrön.
"If you’re a CEO or a founder and you need someone to support you on your journey, Evgeny has the empathy and he can also challenge your perspectives. I'm so grateful for his support."
Kate Pljaskovova, CEO of FairHQ
Now, I am an executive coach helping entrepreneurs to grow, together with their companies. I believe that building a company is one of the most exciting ways to impact the world. But there is no guidebook. You have to create it as you go.
Most importantly, always do the right thing.