Quick Hits: Igor Zdorovyak, PMP

On the value of focus, showing empathy and relieving stress.

Igor Zdorovyak, PMP 
Location: Fair Lawn, New Jersey, USA
Title: Program manager and chief of staff
Organization: Merck
Industry: Health 

What three adjectives best describe you?
Accountable, decisive and dedicated.

What’s the one must-have skill for project leaders right now?
Today’s project leaders must have laser focus. Things can change in a split second. Project leaders must adapt and focus on critical items.

Why does the world need project leaders? 
The world needs project leaders so that it continues to move on time, on budget and with the right scope.

What do you now know that you wished you knew on your very first project? 
People’s feelings affect the project. Being empathetic and understanding why people act the way they do is important.

What’s your project management mantra? 
Calm before the storm. That means being prepared for whatever might come.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Standing up an enterprise project management office (EPMO) at a bank. I created the project management framework, policies, procedures and templates. As head of the EPMO, I oversaw hundreds of projects with 45 vendors and 80 system integrations, on top of running the bank’s operational projects.

How has the pandemic affected your work habits or leadership style?
The pandemic has affected everyone. One thing I make sure to do is give team members an extra call or a ping, asking how they’re doing.

How do you relieve stress? 
I paint in different media and different styles, such as classical, modern and abstract.

What famous or historic person would you want on a project team? 
U.S. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War. Not only would he provide strict discipline, but he would also be able to connect to everyone on the team at a personal level. 

Know someone who should be featured? Email [email protected].

Image credit: Suniko Bazargarid


View More Digital Exclusives