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Lada Smakhtina

  • Programme: High Performance People Skills for Leaders
  • Nationality: Ukrainian
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Compliance, Executive Board Member, ING Bank

Education and career

Lada has a degree in law and banking from the Banking Academy of the National Bank of Ukraine. She joined the legal department of the National Bank of Ukraine in 1999 and later worked in the anti-money laundering department. In 2008, she moved to ING Bank Ukraine where she is currently Head of Compliance and a member of the management board.

Leadership challenges

Leading the compliance team in Ukraine is a challenging job, and I felt it necessary to further develop my people skills. In particular, my development challenges were listening and being flexible to different work styles. I wanted practical advice on implementing this knowledge in my day-today work.

Everybody has strong and weak points in their leadership style and I believe that you need to develop in order to get the best out of yourself and other people. The compliance function is not only about delivering requirements, but also about being a robust partner for the business. Strong people skills are essential for this job.

London Business School has a strong, global reputation and many of my colleagues and friends recommended the School to me. My decision to attend the High Performance People Skills for Leaders programme was therefore because I expected to achieve effective results.

Professional and supportive learning environment

My experience on the programme was great, and definitely added value to my professional and personal development. I was part of a very diverse group, with people from different businesses and cultures. The faculty are excellent, and our coach was very professional and supportive. Special thanks to the Faculty, not only for the excellent content and effective organisation, but for creating an atmosphere which took into account the interests, cultures and characters of all the participants.

What is really important for me is that the knowledge you get from the programme can be implemented in practice and bring you immediate success. Now, back in the workplace, I definitely listen to people more, which has improved my communication skills. When people know that you are listening to them and that their opinion is being taken into account, they trust you more and feel much more comfortable doing business with you.

Future direction

Being able to work alongside others and being flexible to different working styles is very important. The programme gives you the opportunity to learn with people from different cultures and different spheres of business. By looking at a problem from different angles you are able to increase effectiveness in the decision making process. Of course, it’s not possible to change your behaviour at once, but the programme definitely shows you the right direction.

I am positive that my participation in the programme has contributed to my personal success and to that of my team. Thanks to this programme, I have grown as a leader and as a person.