Interview for „Business for you“ Magazine

Companies are more and more in need of leaders than just managers

Mrs. Shuleva, we live in a very dynamic time. Managers must now have a more global view of the company development. Sometimes they have difficulty finding the right direction. How can they be successful and where is the coaching role in their development?

Today, many different qualities and skills that a modern manager must possess are sought. It may sound like a cliche, but companies are more and more in need of leaders than just managers. Developing leadership skills becomes important not only for managers, but also for managers of different teams or structures in a company.

We often talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and changes in all its dimensions. This not only concerns the introduction of new technologies, but also requires a serious change in the attitudes and thinking of company executives. A completely new approach to customers, employees, the environment and the way business is done is needed.

All these challenges bring to the fore the need to develop new quality management skills. Different trainings in this regard have their usefulness, but the most effective way to achieve quality change is the so-called. Learning by doing as they say. Coaching applies exactly the kind of approach whereby achieving specific goals is achieved by taking specific actions. This new approach to personal development is extremely effective.

Coaching targeting is paramount. It can be in many different aspects – from developing personal qualities to achieving a specific professional or personal goal. However, it should be borne in mind that clear formulation of objectives is a difficult process. Very often, it appears that there are deeper causes beneath the surface that need to be identified, that a number of circumstances have to be taken into account. It is only when the goal is defined that a proper action plan is developed.

For example, I had a client who wanted to start a new business and was considering three different options. He considered the options in terms of the business opportunities they offered. He had, however, overlooked an important legal aspect, after considering all three options. He would have lost himself, spending a great deal of time researching the three options in terms of their pros and cons, without realizing that it was these legal circumstances that made them meaningless. Coaching meetings helped him to formulate more clearly his purpose, which was subsequently realized.

Second in the coaching process is the question of how to achieve the goals – an action plan is needed as well as an analysis of all the resources available to the client. It is very important for the client to realize that they must make the most of their positive qualities in order to achieve the desired result. In the end, achieving the goals should give the client a sense of success and happiness. I pay attention to „happiness“ because, although it is an abstract concept, it is an integral part of success and in no case should we underestimate it. Passion and inspiration are very important elements of the philosophy of success.

Much of the coaching is about inspiration. For a leader, inspiration is especially important because it is a strong motivator for achieving goals, for himself and for those he leads.

There are changes ahead that will leave us breathless. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the rules of both business and life, and the sooner we change our attitudes in line with the new reality, the more likely we are to build the foundation for our future success.

We are seeing a new sharing economy like Uber or some other similar applications. These are models that are completely changing the market. One of the basic qualities that modern people must possess is to think creatively and critically in an ever-changing environment. If you have had enough qualifications and expertise in previous times, it has provided you with success, nowadays the ability to handle the vast amount of information available in the most efficient way and to offer flexible and workable solutions is valuable.

This is the type of people that are already in demand. It is an illusion, however, to think that such footage can be found on the ready. In a highly competitive environment, one must constantly invest in the staff and maximize their potential. Much greater added value for companies will have investment in human capital than material.

Aren’t leaders born like that?

There is a theory that says that some people are born with innate leadership qualities. But many studies have been done to show that leadership skills can be acquired and developed extremely successfully. However, we must realize that the development of leadership qualities must start even during school education, which unfortunately in our country does not meet these requirements at all.

Coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in the world with a growth rate of 30-40% annually, precisely because companies are aware of the need to invest in talent and develop complex qualities that increase efficiency.

Coaching has another aspect – it is largely a „talking mirror“. By sharing his ideas aloud to the coach, the client may receive feedback and other perspectives on what he or she thinks and refract his / her ideas through different views. This open communication allows for a more global perspective. Because very often people at the top are alone and can hardly trust someone to give them true, honest and impartial feedback. The coach can also pose a number of challenges to help develop and deliver on the client’s ideas. However, mutual trust is the key to the success of the coaching process.


However, these are leaders in different businesses. There is no way a coach is competent in all of them …

The topics we deal with in coaching have nothing to do with the specifics of the particular job. If expert intervention is required within the business itself, then consultancy expertise should be sought. As I said, the coach works with the client to develop his or her own potential and to realize his or her own goals.


How long does the coaching process take?

The process is individual and determined by goals. I have clients with whom we reach a goal within 3-6 months and we finish. I worked with a young manager who had a problem managing his time that he never had – working for many hours and thinking that he needed to change this situation somehow. In about 4-5 months, working together, he achieved his goal, came up with a new approach, and that was enough. But I have clients that we have been together with for almost two years, I work with them for a long time because they achieve one goal and set the next one – they find their coaching process useful and do not want to interrupt it.

Recently, a rather interesting topic, the subject of coaching, is how to leave your business, strange as it may sound. If 20 years ago the main goal was how to create and grow a business, today there is a generation that is beginning to think how to leave it. And this is not an easy process. At some point, it may be due to your financial or health status that you are forced to leave what you have created at the most inopportune moment without preparing yourself at all.

Leaving the business does not mean retiring and watching TV shows. If you decide to leave it regardless of the way, then you have to answer the next question – what will I do next? Doing business is a very stressful and stressful activity and at one point one wants to change their lifestyle. But he must be proactive in thinking about these things, have a plan in place, and not wait for unexpected events to catch up with him.

Where did your personal interest in coaching come from?

“I’ve dealt with many different things in my life. Starting with entrepreneurship with my first company in 1991 and running a large holding company. Then I got into politics. All this has given me a great deal of experience and insight into a number of systems in different spheres of public life. When I was done with politics, I had to decide what to do, it was a serious period of change – I could go back to my consulting business or set up a partnership for another business, but I wanted to do something they hadn’t done by that point. and something like an emanation of my whole experience. I had read about coaching and after some meetings and conversations with colleagues, I found that this was a profession in which I could use the experience gained. Of course I specialized in this field, got the necessary expertise and certificates. Today, it satisfies me – not to guide people, as I have always done, but to support them in their personal development.

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