Women in Research: Liubov Ruchinskaya

8 March

Think big about yourself and surround yourself with people who think even bigger about you.

liubov ruchinskaya

One day, while coaching a young talent, I was asked a question that caught me off guard - one brilliant young woman asked me how I had defined myself. She wanted to know about the best and worst decisions that had shaped my journey. I found myself blushing and sweating because I had never really analysed my decisions. It was a gift to reflect and define deep meaning, so I want to share with you today: 

  • It's almost impossible to define who you want to be by simply naming a profession. Instead, think about what you want to experience every day, where you want to go, what you want to do, and who you want to be. Be brave enough to be honest with yourself. Success is always unique; you can't use familiar paths.

  • There is no need to define yourself for the entire life. There is no endpoint in our journey. I strongly believe that we reinvent ourselves daily, either with full awareness and effort or under the influence of our external environment. Every decision, big or small, takes us closer or further from the place we want to belong.

  • I realised that the tickling feeling of excitement, curiosity, and serious fear preceded all my best decisions. I was extremely scared of travelling to Nigeria for a long business assignment; I was trembling to leave behind a company where I had a successful career for nearly 15 years; I risked arranging the first-ever Insights reception in Davos during the World Economic Forum with my own funds. Choose to do what makes you really excited, even if it is very scary. Listen to yourself, be guided, and trust the energy.

  • Mistakes are good until you make them twice. Mistakes are part of the journey, and they define who we really are - winners or losers. One of my personal failures was advocating for the launch of a Colgate medical toothpaste with cannabis. I invested lots of time and effort in the project, which fell far from my ambition. But without this failure, I wouldn't have launched Colgate's first beauty bundle, Elixir, which revolutionized the oral care experience and achieved double-digit growth in no time. Don't be afraid of mistakes - be afraid of the comfort that hinders your growth.

  • Finally, it’s crucial to be guided by strong values and to defend them, as the environment will constantly challenge you. None of the athletes prepare for the competition in the library - choose the community carefully. Define the environment that supports your growth - surround yourself with people who achieve things in life that you dream to achieve, people who celebrate your wins and are with you in your falls.

Life is a journey; enjoy the ride. It's never too late for anything. You can do anything and be anyone. The only enemies we have are our own limitations to think BIG about ourselves and our fears of making a difference. Impossible is very possible if you strongly believe in it and are determined to work hard.

Liubov Ruchinskaya is a seasoned innovation leader with 19 years of international experience in insights-driven innovation and commercial data management. Today, she plays the role of a senior executive in the corporate world and holds the position of the Global Consumer Insight Director Care for Electrolux Group. She is a public figure in the insights & innovation industry, a top voice and ESOMAR Council.