September 11, 2014

How to Create High-Performance Business Leaders and Professional Athletes

My undying passion for high-performance and leadership led me to explore a deeper understanding of what it takes to be the best performer and leader, as well as how to create high-performing culture or teams. By observing the behavior of high-performing individuals, both in business and professional sports, I found a first-hand connection and common traits between high-performing individuals in life, regardless of what game they played – individual or group professional sports or business and leadership. Over the last 15 years, I watched closely the behaviors that were reflected in high-performing individuals who took their business or personal performance goals yet to another level, showing others that impossible is indeed possible. Observing and interviewing various pro-athletes, in addition to high-performing business leaders, led me to arrive at the following conclusions: Know Your WHY It is critical to know your why that motivates you and gets you out of bed […]
October 28, 2014

5 The Most Desired Executive and Leadership Traits TODAY

Growing up as a little girl in former Yugoslavia, I was exposed to Mother Teresa’s work and her foundation through charitable giving to underprivileged children in Africa and then India. I was mesmerized by the stories of the children’s lives and the level of poverty in their villages, yet could not shake the sense of joy, love, and happiness that radiated from the photos they sent me every year as a thank you for my little donation during holidays. These experiences and Mother Teresa’s Servant Leadership taught me one of the most profound lessons, as well as leadership traits, that changed my life early on and influenced my personal and career path. Today, after reflecting on various rich leadership experiences, research, and many conversations with the most influential 21-century leaders, arriving to the following conclusions when it comes to the most desired executive and leadership traits that may surprise you: […]
October 28, 2014

What Types of Leaders Are Most Needed in the World Today?

In the world we live in today, there are more personal and professional complexities than ever before. Organizations, especially the Fortune 500, need a strong leadership presence in order to succeed in transforming, innovating and implementing their vision and value across the globe. The impact on humanity by actions of leaders today is indeed more visible than ever before. As I was seeking the answer for years to “What types of leaders are most needed in the world today?,” I consistently came to the following conclusions: Charismatic Leaders – have a lot of charm and engaging personality with a strong ability to motivate and inspire others by encouraging their followers to commit and devote their time and support in new innovative projects or large goals. Legacy Leaders – represent a body of work at each stage of their career or path as they establish the foundational building blocks. Over time, they accumulate […]
October 28, 2014

What Kind of Leaders or Players Do You Have on Your Team?

All of us at one point in our life played sports, either as an individual and/or team contributor growing up. Those early life lessons shaped us to be better today, either as a pro athlete performer or successful executive business contributor. I am sure you have your own powerful story and golden nuggets that helped you along the way to your rise to the top. For me, it was a mix of bittersweet experiences that by looking in the “reverse side of the mirror” of accumulated events, I would not trade them for anything despite how they were painful and or challenging. Henry Ford’s quote sums it up the best: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” As I am reflecting more on specific kinds of players and leaders I have encountered along the way while dealing with both pro athletes and business executives, I […]
October 28, 2014

How EQ and IQ Can Make a Difference in Your Leadership Performance

Often we think that if we train and prepare before the big event or meeting, we will perform well. By coming to the table with the Exceptional Player attitude, with high skills and competencies, that small difference between high performer and exceptional performer will depend so much on you and how you see and process things emotionally and intellectually. What I discovered in looking closer at Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Intelligence Quotient (IQ), is that your success will depend on how well both of them work together. The lower of those two, when making your most important choices and decisions, will affect your overall success on a personal and professional level. Low EQ has proven its danger over IQ so many times, and this ends up affecting the team dynamics and overall team results – particularly when based on the coach’s or leader’s performance and the behavior they exude. I […]
October 28, 2014

What I Learned From the Best Coaches and Players Before the 2014 US Open

Players are warming up and mentally, physically and emotionally preparing for the best games of  their lives after finishing the qualifying games. If you are in NYC and close to the US Open participants, infectious excitement will greet you everywhere you go. It was very refreshing to see the list of new players competing in the qualifying draws with hopes of getting a spot in the main draw of the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year. Personally, I am very glad to see more names of young talented tennis players as well as returning veterans from Croatia (Borna Ćorić and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni), Ireland (James McGee), and Tunisia (Ons Jabeur), just to name a few. I am eager to watch their progress and placements among the long list of other top tennis players in the game such as Novak Djoković, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and others. Besides looking […]
October 28, 2014

Career and Leadership Lessons Learned by the Best: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic

The opportunity to watch live tennis matches is priceless. It is a totally different feeling to be in the stadium with thousands of others, especially in the venue in NYC, at Ash Stadium during the US Open 2014. I feel very grateful and fortunate from multiple avenues to have had this experience and opportunity, especially as a passionate tennis fan, high performance coach and fearless leader in the making. Lesson #1: Developing your own style and personal brand. Watching Djokovic’s style; classy, elegant, creative, playful performance that reflects his joy and passion for the game, was priceless. Seeing him maturing over the years to keep his emotions in check makes him even more desirable as a player, as well as to stand out from others as an athlete. He is a living proof that you can be the best if you work hard for it: “Nobody actually played tennis in […]
October 28, 2014

How to Achieve High Performance in Life & Professionally

High performance is a big buzzword that can be used or interpreted in many different ways. In my mind, high performance is all about personal and professional development, while focusing on goals and key objectives in order to achieve exceptional results. Today, in our ever-changing environment, coupled with high-pressure and expectations, high or low levels of performance affect us personally and/or professionally more than we may want to admit. I was always wondering: What makes us low or high performers? Is it energy, passion, drive, motivation, focus, or desire? Or is it something else? This topic is very close to home for me. It took me many years to understand fully that managing energy is the key to sustaining high performance! “To be fully engaged in our lives, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.” ~ Jim Loehr […]
October 28, 2014

Who Do Responsible Leaders Bring to the Table: High Performers or Overachievers?

Responsible leadership may be a scary concept to many since it encompasses such a wide range and exposure beyond just the interests of the shareholders as it has been traditionally done in the past. It also includes all the other stakeholders within and outside of the organization, from workers to the community, and even future generations including the environment. That is a powerful impact for sure, right? It requires a slight shift in the thinking process, especially if you are aiming to influence others. And that is not only for short-term strategy, but also long-term – a concept that many leaders are still adapting to on a personal and professional level. But how can this can be achieved? In my mind, there is only one way – to be the best you can possibly be by developing yourself into the maximum of your own potential in all aspects of your life. It is […]
October 28, 2014

Why Fortune 500 Organizations Need Change Leaders

Demand for change leadership assistance and support is a rather urgent situation for Fortune 500 companies in today’s rapidly changing business world. Why? If you haven’t noticed, many companies are going through major transformations. They often look for external assistance for quick turnarounds and focus on short–term changes while simultaneously working to grow their long-term global businesses. This is where things get complicated in addition to the always present, very complex, and high-risk business challenges regardless of the industry or sector. The Business Objective – What exactly are you trying to accomplish? That is the question in my mind and an excellent starting conversation to have before getting too deep into the details around specific issues. If you don’t know the specific business objectives desired and how to measure what you’ve committed to achieving, stop, gain clarity and then proceed. The Change Management Strategy – Are you leveraging strategic and tactical […]
November 10, 2014

The Power Behind Executive Leadership Mastermind Groups

To many people the concept and value of an effective mastermind group may possibly be rather new and undiscovered territory. A mastermind group provides the opportunity for group participants to tap into the potential wealth of knowledge and intelligence of others, especially when seeking solutions to complex issues and challenges. The best part, if you are a leader facing a dilemma or uncertainty, you can quickly tap into other leaders for guidance and advice, while learning and working together to find the best solution to the problem. The excellent news; when the mastermind groups are set up correctly, they can produce tremendous growth and value to you and your business. I had an opportunity to be part of a high impact leader mastermind group just yesterday, allowing me not only to ask some of my burning questions but also to work together with others in finding solutions to very complex issues […]
November 10, 2014

How Are You Managing Organizational Risks

Several weeks ago I was approached to speak at an event organized by Deb Hileman, President and CEO, Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) and sponsored by Business Wire: Issues Management and Crisis Communication, as a guest speaker and panelist on the topic around risk management for Public Relations (PR) firms. This opportunity made me think of many current issues that we are hearing about in public affairs, sports, and the corporate arena as I was preparing for my relevant and value-driven presentation. Regardless of what industry you are part of or whom you are representing, it is essential to have a highly competent PR department and dedicated team. If you are utilizing one of the best PR firms in the industry, such as Edeman or Weber Shandwick the more time invested in advance with your dedicated team to respond timely to the crises at hand, will make a significant difference in […]