Forbes magazine included the head of Sberbank, German Gref, in the list of the most eccentric businessmen in Russia. "Interlocutor +" studied the most extreme and unusual hobbies of a Russian top manager.
Like Steve Jobs
In 2018, German Gref appeared at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, accompanied by "old man Hottabych." This is how the forum participants called among themselves the Hindu, the star of spiritual practices, the yogi Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, who in bright clothes and with a fluffy beard looked like a fairy-tale character. Face-to-face lectures by an Indian sage cost from three to 12.5 thousand rubles, and online lectures - $ 100-200.
Herman Gref has recently been increasingly compared to the global business icon Steve Jobs. Sneakers, jeans, informal demeanor at formal events. He is also united with his overseas colleague by his interest in Eastern spiritual practices.
Yogin Sadhguru Gref personally invited. A year ago, the yogi already spoke to Sberbank employees and even conducted several trainings for them. The topics were selected by Gref himself, proceeding from the usefulness for managers of a modern corporation: how a person adapts to the world of technology, self-improvement, and coping with stress.
Gref himself also had a public question to the guru.
- How to stay relaxed in a difficult situation? - the head of Sberbank asked the Indian.
Sadhguru answered floridly, but figuratively and intelligibly.
“There are two categories of pilots: for some pilots, the wind is a problem,” the guru gave an example. - But now other pilots appear, they say that the wind is a friend, because only thanks to the wind you fly. You just need to understand how to adjust the flaps. Let's adjust the flaps a little - and fly with this attitude.
Meditation and running
Every morning German Gref begins with meditation. He told about this himself, speaking to the employees of the bank. Then he devotes 1.5 hours to sports. He says this helps him to cope with increased workloads and challenges of the time. This is what Sadhguru always recommends, who had already lectured at Oxford and Stanford before coming to Russia, and also met with Google employees. He advised Gref, like his foreign colleagues, meditation.
Of all the physical activities, the banker prefers running and advises it to others at every opportunity.
Gref even established one of the races personally and takes part in it. The green (in honor of Sber's corporate color) Running Hearts marathon was held three years in a row before the pandemic. In 2019, 10 thousand people took part in it in Moscow alone, and in total there were 120 thousand “green runners” in Russia. German Gref himself also entered the running route. He chose a presentation segment of the distance of 4.2 km and ran it surrounded by famous people - Deputy Mayor of Moscow Maxim Liksutov, singer Valeria with her husband Joseph Prigozhin, singer Mitya Fomin, actress and director Renata Litvinova, model Natalia Vodianova and other public figures and artists. In other years, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov and top model Naomi Campbell went for a run with Gref.
“We ran perfectly,” German Gref shared after the race. - Feelings are great, because the city is in excellent condition, wonderful views, we were lucky with the weather. And in my opinion, people have a positive charge. Next time we will invite even more interested and running fans.
The children's distance - one kilometer - was run by the daughter of German Gref, whom the banker also introduces to sports.
Wherever possible, Gref tries to take part in cross-country races and marathons. The banker hones the endurance so needed in big business on treadmills. One of his favorite races, by his own admission, was the start in St. Petersburg in 2018, which took place during the International Economic Forum.
- The best marathon in my life, because it is almost impossible to run anywhere with such views and without cars, - Gref admitted then.
Not all registered participants showed up for the early start. Among the most persistent were Gref, Dmitry Peskov and the mouthpiece of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova. Everyone ran to the finish line and gave their best, and the winner was Dmitry Razumov, the general director of ONEXIM. But the main prize in this case is an increase in health, energy and mood.
All Sberbank employees know that the boss is an adherent of a healthy lifestyle and demands the same from employees. The matter, of course, does not come to distortions, like that of another famous banker Nikolai Tsvetkov, who offered liquid soups and raw vegetables in the office canteen and turned off the lifts for weight loss of the staff. But Gref promotes a healthy lifestyle, and also brought back to life and developed the tradition of holding internal corporate competitions - Sberbankiada. This is one of the world's largest competitions within the company, which takes place annually and in which up to two thousand employees from different cities and countries of Sberbank's presence are involved during the week. In 2019, Sberovites competed in 12 sports: futsal, volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, crossfit, tennis, table tennis, badminton, swimming, running, chess and squash.
- Sberbankiada is one of the remarkable traditions of the bank, which appeared even before I came to Sberbank, - said German Gref himself. - And now we can say that in terms of coverage we have practically reached the Olympic set of sports. Up to five million people pass through our offices a day. Not all of our clients come in a good mood, they are ready to welcome and love us. And our task is that any client who comes to us leaves us in a good mood, with a radiant smile and with a piece of the love we have given us. So, in order to provide this, a very healthy moral and physical atmosphere is needed. And you can't do without sports.
By the way
7 unusual actions of German Gref
1. I invited the famous body-psychotherapist Andrey Kurpatov to work at the Sberbank.
2. Disguised as a disabled person and came to the Sberbank branch to check how people with disabilities are served.
3. I got carried away by Kabbalah.
4. Introduced to the public the robot Sophia, who got the citizenship of Saudi Arabia and a job at Sberbank.
5. Invented Sberkota.
6. Introduced a tradition of sending motivating quotes from ancient Greek, Eastern and other sages to all employees at 8 am.
7. Once a month, he sends letters to employees with the subject “Good morning, Sberbank!”, In which, for example, he writes: “Get up at dawn once a week. This is a magical time of day. Go for a walk or just listen to old recordings. Take a long hot shower. Read a classic book. You will feel alive and full of energy. " Or: “Smile and laugh more often. Laughter activates many beneficial elements in our body. Laughter also brings the body back into balance. Laughter therapy is regularly used to treat various diseases and is an amazing cure for life's problems ... Revive the habit of laughing and your life will become more alive. Give joy to each other and our clients! "