The fix was in on the contract bidding. The company “favorite” had paid off the committee. You were only invited to show up and lose. And yet you won. How did you manage that? Did you offer a bigger bribe? Did you resort to blackmail? No, that kind of thing is beneath you. You played it smart, understanding your own strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses. You recognized the client’s needs beyond immediate enrichment.
HOW BUSINESS IS DONE IN RUSSIA: SECRETS OF A RUSSIAN-AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN explores the primary occupation of Russia’s ruling class: making money. Dr. Lev Lester has parleyed his management know-how and connections from academia into international deals worth tens of millions of dollars. Building relationships has been central to his success on both sides of the old (and new) Iron Curtain.
“The harsh reality of business in Russia is corruption,” says Lester. And yet this man, while witnessing and retelling all manner of depraved graft, has managed to maintain a successful career in the country for over a quarter of a century while keeping his own nose clean. This is the story of his successes and failures of this hard, straight road.
For those curious about the road more often traveled by, Dr. Lester provides a detailed rulebook of Russian corruption, perhaps the most comprehensive work on the subject ever undertaken in English. These “rules of the game” include potentially life-saving information, such as:
• What does the Russian government know about me?
• Where did the oligarchs’ money come from?
• My partner asked me for money. What should I do?
• How do I know when I am being extorted for a bribe?
• When is the right time to drop everything and flee the country?
Dr. Lev Lester holds a Doctor of Science Degree in Economics from Moscow State University. After immigrating to the US in 1991, he served as chief director in Russia for several international companies related to the automotive and metallurgical industries. He is presently the president of the consulting firm Bridge Plus International and provides Russian-language online courses for Russian businesspeople.