LIVING MY DREAMS THROUGH LEADERSHIP
HI! I'M IDA
"I have a Ph.D. in psychology and I have been working as a leadership coach and trainer as well as leading teams in the Czech Republic, India, USA and Ireland for more than 10 years. My long-lasting passion is helping first-time managers succeed quickly in their new roles and grow into strong leaders."
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AND HERE IS MY STORY
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Living My Dream
It is the summer of 2017, and I am writing in our mobile home parked close to the town of Flåm in Norway. My husband and I are enjoying our third year "on leave" living our life the way we want to. We have invested the money we earned as senior leaders in corporations and now, when someone asks us what we do the whole day, we answer that we enjoy simply being together as a family and keeping ourselves busy doing things we love such as traveling, hiking, biking, and skiing.
But what made this lifestyle possible?
Suicides, Art, and Me
In 2007 I was still studying to get my Ph.D. in psychology and was employed as a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. I studied the relationship between artistic creation, mental disorders, and suicide.
I had a lot of free time and could travel to conferences outside the Czech Republic, which I enjoyed. At the same time, I knew that being "locked" in the researcher's office with only books and little contact with people was not for me.
From Suicides to HR
In 2007 I applied for a position in an HR consulting company. I got the chance to meet general managers and CEOs, many of whom were great leaders. At the same time, I started teaching leadership skills and coaching managers whose bosses sent them to coaching to be “fixed.” Yet, I was immature and unprepared for this role.”
As a psychologist, I had learned how to evaluate leadership skills through psychological diagnostics, assessment and development centers, and personnel audits. I had read countless articles, visited many conferences, and participated in table discussions. But I still needed to become a leader myself to grow further.
The Road to Leadership
In 2010 I succeeded in an interview for the HR Manager role in a Dutch pharmaceutical company with a subsidiary in the Czech Republic. In less than three years, I built the HR department from scratch, set up necessary HR processes, and managed to be seen as an HR leader across the company. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed coaching leaders of that company to help them work better with their teams. During this time, I also finished my coaching training.
In 2013 I ventured out of my comfort zone and applied for an HR role at a fast-growing American IT company, SolarWinds. Over the next year I was part of the leadership team supporting the Czech office through its intensive growth, and I also gained HR responsibility for an Irish office. In 2014 I was rewarded with a promotion to International HR Director for the Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, and India offices. In 2015 I found myself responsible for building a Learning & Development Department, serving nine international locations, and leading a team in Texas while residing in the Czech Republic.
During my time at SolarWinds, no matter what responsibilities I’ve had, I’ve still protected my role as trainer of leadership skills. From all the groups I trained, the one I enjoyed the most was the first-time managers, whether they were based in the Czech Republic, Ireland, or India. The reason is simple: they were active, and they often came to me after training with follow-up questions that proved their will to change and grow.
People who are envious sometimes mistake success for luck.
Successful people usually work hard, are extremely open to opportunities, can make good use of them, are not afraid to make mistakes, and learn fast.
Rather than luck, there were specific learning experiences that contributed to my success:
Thanks to my Ph.D. studies of psychology I got the chance to live in the US as a Fulbright scholar and speak at conferences across the globe.
Thanks to learning the English language I was able to lead teams outside my country as well as create more impact across the companies I worked for.
With more than 500 hours of psychotherapy training I became better in self-management as well as understanding others.
Coaching training and practice made me more successful in helping others succeed.
But what truly helped me succeed throughout my career were behaviors that work in most companies for most people: asking the right questions, orientation to results, learning from the success and mistakes of others, learning through doing, and most of all CARING ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS MORE THAN MY OWN.
When my boss told me that someone who used to report to him who was unable to succeed, succeeded under my guidance – that’s when I felt really appreciated. And what touched my heart most was feedback from people I coached who told me that I helped them to become better managers.
Helping Others Succeed
With my daughter growing up, I start to feel more and more that I want to make a bigger impact. I have had the opportunity to train, coach, mentor, or design training for thousands of people. From all those people, my favorite group still remains the first-time managers. Because not only are they able to improve leadership skills fast, but because I can sense their enthusiasm to learn.
I've decided to create the Grow2Lead project because I know that companies don’t always provide management training to those who need it and look for it.
If you are a manager who:
is lost in your first weeks or months in the role and have no clear idea what to do to succeed
or feels the need for support from the outside
or wants to make sure he is on the right track
or simply looks for ways to get better faster…
You are in the right place!
My mission is to develop a new generation of future leaders, the one I would want to be led by.