Monday, December 3, 2012

Management Quotas For Women Are Not Just Evil. The Discussion About Them Helps

We do not like when somebody tries to enforce something upon us. It especially irritates us, when it is related to the rules of Company management, as it happened now in the proposed European Directive regarding number of women in the leadership positions. After all, human resources decisions should be driven by qualification and personality traits of each individual, by the area of expertise of given company and by culture of each country.

The European Commission proposal had awakened a wave of negative emotions across whole country, across all levels and business branches. My spontaneous response is also very clear. Who will next time believe that the newly appointed member of a supervisory board got the position because of her skills, not because of her gender? How fast the 40% quota could be realistically in force when the current level of women in management in the Czech Republic is one of the lowest from the European Union (estimated at 4%-8%)? How could we remove emotions from the discussions when the suggested Directive clearly aligns men against women?

The EU proposal in any case represents a change, even though the individual members of the European Union still have to agree to it. It stands for the shift in the public viewing of the equal working rights. Each such decision brings uncertainty and fear while the number of influential and well paid positions could become even more deficient for men because of this step. All of that at a time when there is a lot of restructuring in place due to economical crisis, when there are plenty of men looking for new opportunities and the outlook for positive future is out of sight.

From the bird’s eye view I can say that the quotas are not just pure evil. After in-depth observation of the stories of women in leadership I have to admit, that there is something good about it. Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner managed to bring up the debate about necessity of balanced representation of women in management. She gave a new spark to the debate by opening the today’s taboo of hidden discrimination for the top positions and women’s career glass ceiling. Reding has done that bravely at a time when the supply of quality top men-managers overcomes the demand and it is even harder for women to overcome the prejudices.

This article was written for the leading Czech economical magazine EKONOM No.48, Nov. 2012.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Journey To Inspiration

The most satisfied, healthiest and happiest people in the world are those who have found their passion and who continuously cultivate it. They do not want to be just successful; they want to stand for something. They permanently search an inspiration for their personal or entrepreneurial growth and by that they awaken the enthusiasm of others. They nearly always find the time to support others. Their progressive goals give their life a lot of extra energy.

These wise people have realized that their dreams are fulfilled when they approach them with humbleness. The Austrian neurologist Viktor Frankl was very clear about it: “It is not possible to create neither success, nor happiness. They can only be viewed as an outcome. And this will only happen as a secondary effect when a person gives up himself to something bigger than his own being. Once a person manages to find his life mission, the whole world will become enlightened.”

I also like when things get moving. During the last years I have realized, that when I want to leave a footprint in his world, I have to start to change from within. When we will be happy and satisfied with ourselves, our positive inner peace will help to attract positive things into our lives. We will shine and our inner energy will be contagious for others - first in the small circles, later in the wider ones. And matters will turn to the right direction.

I try to encourage my colleagues not to be afraid of being themselves, of breathing for the Company´s growth. Last but not least to mobilize them that it is more advantageous for all to act as one team. I believe that the hurdles on our journey appear only because we need to further develop ourselves that we need to shift forward ourselves and the things and people around us. When we get into difficulties, it is necessary not to lose one´s head, not to give up the goals. We have to remain truthful to ourselves, to continue to listen to our inner voice and to our intuition. We have to expect the success and put maximum energy into everything we do. When we are sufficiently persistent and determined, our dreams will be fulfilled.

I am inspired by people, who target not only profit and growth of personal fortunes. I admire all those who have their passion for what they do and who always put a little bit of themselves to everything they do. When somebody mentions their name, the others became enlightened, because they remember well, how they recharged their batteries during the last mutual exchange of positive energies with this pal. Robin Sharma, the wise man and author of many development books, always tries to leave people in better state of mind than he found them. The imagination that everybody would have this approach is more than attractive.

The source of new ideas for me are not only the books of wise men (like Robin Sharma, Rhonda Byrne or Paulo Coelho, Steve Jobs or Jack Welsch), but also I am thrilled to meet interesting people during work, sport or social occasions. One of this special events was organized in September in Zlin by Jaroslav Rasa, the founder of ABRA Software, who is visionary and inspiring person himself. His conference Forum of Inspiration was devoted to the legacy of Tomas Bata, Czech founder of the worldwide-known shoe company Bata. 

We need positive role models more than anything else during continuously tough economical times. So why should we look for them abroad, when we can meet them in person in our country?

This article was written for the magazine Business Woman - for their first ever issue - 1/2012.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Has Bata Something To Offer To Today´s Entrepreneurs?

The Bata Company does not differ much today from its international competitors: neither in the shoes quality, nor in price, advertising or the way of shoes selling. Customer can hardly find the original Bata entrepreneurial spirit in the Bata shops.

Nevertheless Tomas Bata (1876-1932), the founder, still belongs to those leaders, who inspire long after his death: not just by his own life mission, but also by his management principles.

Not just thanks to the lasting economical crisis, today´s Czech entrepreneurial world struggles to find its positive role models. It also looses fair play and partnership trust in business matters. Totally in contradiction with Bata leading principles, the main current goal remains one-off maximization of profit, instead of building lasting business partnerships. Biased disadvantageous agreements, supplying non-quality products or services, pressuring price of subcontractors or of employees bellow the healthy survival level, shortage of staff & its lack of qualification, postponing the payment of invoices, re-directing and avoiding of tax payments, no interest in support of the region or of education and charity – these are just few examples, how some Czech companies today artificially try to reduce their fixed costs, just to survive the tough times. Still they lose not just the trust of their partners, but also the ability to sustain their reputation and economical health in the future.

Bata has also lived during crisis and believed that: “Fight is the essence of live. Who does not fight, can never win.” But the famous shoes king was not interested only in the short-term winning. He was a visionary – builder. He believed that: “Good business is only when all are satisfied with the results. Good entrepreneur produces for customers, takes care about his staff and serves well the society.” Maybe that’s why Bata managed to use crisis as an opportunity for his Company growth.

His story forces us to reflection. It shows that entrepreneurial ethics, giving priority to customer needs, taking care about employees and the effort to do something good for the society may not be just empty claims. They can represent the magic key to unlock the competitive advantage. They can help to lead the company from the spiral of decline back to growth and to assure it lasting place under the sun.


A lot of Bata´s inspiring ideas were presented at the Forum of Inspiration in Zlin, September 13th-14th.This conference was organized by Jaroslav Rasa, the founder of ABRA Software Company.

My contribution to the Forum of Inspiration attendees regarding people motivation is here available for download: MOTIVATION OF THE FRONT LINE by JANA BUDIKOVA . 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How To Leverage Twitter For Businesses And Individuals

See tips and much much more ... in the attached presentation.
Twitter For Companies and Individuals (PRESENTATION)

Twitter celebrated last week its 6th birthday. How can companies and individuals fully exploit its potential? What are Twitter worldwide key facts and figures? How does Czech Republic differ? What are the key principles of communication in the twitterverse? What were the successes and failures of leading companies?

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