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 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 […]
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

9 Reasons to Engage in Global Leadership Conferences

Often I am asked by peers, clients and community leaders about what conferences I attend and what value I see the most; especially now when we are having less free time, more responsibilities and often limited budgets to attend many global conferences. With excitement, I am getting ready for the upcoming 16th Annual International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference in San Diego, Oct. 30 – Nov. 2. WHY? My reasons are as follows: #1 Integration of a Wide Range of Sectors in One Place – Government, Business, Non-Profit, Higher Education, you name it! It is great to get a 360° overview on how today’s global business trends are impacting a wide range of industries, and where the biggest issues or concerns are coming that significantly impact day-to-day as well as long-term operations. #2 Global Best Leadership & Disciplinary Practices – If you are consulting for Fortune 500 companies, you simply must […]
November 10, 2014

9 Powerful Leadership Lessons by Sports Legends

As my book is progressing (I’ll disclose and reveal more details soon) around more than a dozen individual and team sports with professional coaches and athletes, I could not resist sharing the following nine powerful sports legends’ lessons that I learned early on in life thanks in part to my exceptional father, brother and first mentors in my life. 1. Muhammed Ali: “ Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” It amazes me to see over the years how this statement has echoed in my personal and professional life in the self-discovery of friendships that I offered, nurtured and kept despite so many challenges. I learned that by being positive, loyal, genuine, supportive and honest, this granted me access to some of the most profound life-long friendships with many exceptional people. Brilliant, Muhammed Ali! 2. Ayrton […]
November 10, 2014

How to Be an Opportunity Maker: 7 Ways to Make a Significant Impact

Before I met Kare Anderson, I thought I figured this out: when smart, accomplished and successful people meet or get introduced to one another by friends or colleagues, they seek mutually beneficial opportunities to support and assist each other. These types of conversations often lead to opportunity seeking, which is slightly different from opportunity making. As soon as I started my first conversation with Kare, she opened yet another corridor in my already full of ideas, buzzing mind, leading me to the deeper Opportunity Making concept with a new twist. She was so clear and crisp in her delivery, with no extra words to spare in communicating the deeper meaning behind the Opportunity Making concept. Please watch this short TED talk to get a full picture of Kare’s powerful message. With other talents joined together for the greater good, we can make a tremendous positive social impact in the world TODAY! This […]