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ChiefsClash | CEO Roast, AUG 2023

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

The new ChiefsClash episode is not a regular but a reversed one: while celebrating Shahar's birthday, the guests were the ones who actually interviewed the birthday guy. The guests are Ewa Bakun from Clarion Events, who gave Shahar his first public speaking spot, Yulia Jeshinko - Shahar's first hire as a consultant, and Nicole Schindler - a colleague consultant, sharing several projects.

Ewa: Shahar, what were the circumstances of our first conversation?

Shahar: We first started to talk before a conference in Malta, the 360 thing in 2008 or 2009, right?

Ewa: Yes, close, in 2009. But, do you remember what we talked about?

Shahar: No, but I was blown away.

Ewa: I will remind you. I called you and invited you to speak on a conference. And you told me "Why would I go to a conference and reveal all of my secrets to the public?" So my follow-up question is - What made you change your approach towards sharing information to the public?

Shahar: The first conference was not contributing positively in terms of audience perspective. What happened is I took it upon myself that every time I go on stage I always take one piece of information that I can share and people can apply in their life the next day. Not something that is illusive, vague or "I have been told", not something theoretical, but an actual piece of advice that is useful in real life.

Nicole: What is your dream client?

Shahar: If I try to describe what would be a client that is challenging and interesting for me to work with then it's a well-funded startup that is willing to listen to everything I say. But since these do not exist, then my dream client is you, Nicole.

Yulia: I will have this one personal. Was there a time when your sense of humor helped you in a hard situation?

Shahar: I have stories where my sense of humor got me mixed up in trouble. But there is a story that may fit in answering this question. There were two projects happening in CIS countries: Georgia and Ukraine and they were limited in the amount of time and workshops. But since I was able to speak with these people about "Nu Pogodi" which is a series of Russian cartoons that everybody in this region knows, I connected with them on a deeper level and took the conversation into projects that lasted for months, if not years.

Ewa: What is your favorite "Saturday Night during Covid" outfit?

Shahar: For people who do not know there is a story behind this. During Covid when nobody could travel and for several months we could not meet each other and all the conferences were pushed, a bunch of us gathered and decided to do Saturday night calls. We were deciding on a theme, dressing according to the guidelines and just having a drink and catching up on what is new on every Saturday. I think my favorite is when I had a long blonde wig.

Nicole: If you could go back in time, which moment would it be and would you change something?

Shahar: I would be honest but nobody will believe me. I was a local managing director of the previous "Casino Club" then "GVC Holdings" now "Entain". And when the project ended up, at some point the CEO came to Israel and placed an offer to stay with the project and become the COO of the company. So, the options were becoming the COO of "Entain" or walking away and starting "Hybrid Interaction" and becoming a self- made consultant, as I actually dreamt about. Was that a good decision, I would say, yes.... because, first of all I followed my dream, second, it definitely paid off. And lastly, I was able to have lunch with my daughters throughout most of their school years.

Nicole: What would be your perfect birthday party if the cost did not matter?

Shahar: I really like Sinai because it is very hard to get connected there and the objective environment forces you to actually be on a vacation, which is something that rarely happens. If I had enough money I would bring everyone I know to Sinai and celebrate my birthday together.

Nicole: My birthday will look more or less similar. I will just invite my closest friends to Majorca, rent a big house with a pool and get a cooked chapin. Have my friends there for like three days, have a little wine, a little conversation and just enjoy our time.

Ewa: So, I was born in December, like 4 days before Christmas, which means basically that my birthday historically is getting merged with all the other celebrations. But because it is in December, maybe I will go on a skiing trip with my closest friends as well.

Yulia: I would go to Greece, more specifically to the Achaea Island. There is one good place in a small village called Paros and a restaurant called Leonidas. Just having my best friends eating fish and wine on the sunset is the best celebration I can have.

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