Common Sense in Leadership: Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter Volume 5, Issue 1

The Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter

Developing Leaders for the 21st Century

Dear Readers,
Pepper de Callier
Welcome to our first newsletter of 2015.

We begin this year with the ending of a wonderful project we started last year—Project Inspiration.  I asked members of our faculty, along with some guest contributors, to write a piece about something, or someone who inspired them in some way and caused them to formulate a new perspective, or provided a valuable insight.   I’ll get to those in a moment, but first, I would like to welcome, and introduce to you, our newest faculty member, Dr. Kathy Gallardo.

Kathy Gallardo is a Regional Medical Officer / Psychiatrist (Double Board Certified in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry) with the U.S. Department of State, currently posted to the US Embassy Amman Regional Medical Center.  She will return to Washington D.C in June 2015 to serve as Deputy Director of Mental Health Services of the US State Department.  Her brief bio and full CV can be found here. Kathy brings a wonderful, holistic, and common-sense approach to understanding one of the most important, but neglected areas of leadership: mental health.  Kathy has been a valued contributor to us in the past as a guest author, but it is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I now welcome her to our faculty. Thank you for accepting our invitation, Kathy, and welcome aboard.

In this month’s newsletter, we present three articles, two by distinguished faculty members and one by me.  In addition, there is a short piece by a young lady, Eva Michalkova, whom I will introduce below.

Pavel Rehak, Founder of VIGO Investments, and former CEO of Ceska pojistovna, leads off with a deeply thought-provoking piece titled “Defining Moments in My Life”, in which he asks a question that may cause you to think about your life in a new way.  

Renata Mrazova, CEO of ING Insurance CZ/SK, serves up a piece titled “Books”, a look at three books that have had an impact on her life.  Her trademark enthusiasm and passion come through loud and clear and make this a wonderful read. 

One of the most fulfilling things I do is to serve as a trustee of the Bakala Foundation.  In that capacity I meet the student finalists who are applying for scholarships to attend the finest universities in the world.  Each year I continue to be deeply impressed by the talent, intelligence, and dedication of these young people and their hunger to learn, grow, and contribute, in their own way, to civil society.  Eva Michalková is one of our scholars, who has completed her studies at the University of Pennsylvania and has returned home to Prague.  In a short piece, Eva defines leadership and also demonstrates wisdom beyond her years.

A special thanks to Renata, Pavel, and Eva for their wonderful contributions to our archive.

My contribution to the newsletter this month is a short review and recommendation on a book titled, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is the Founder and Director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at University of Massachusetts Medical Center. 
Each month a member of The Prague Leadership Institute’s faculty, and/or an invited guest author, share their thoughts on a wide variety of leadership-related topics.  To all of them go our sincere thanks for taking the time, and having the generosity of spirit, to share their wealth of experience.

Thank you, too, for taking the time to read our newsletter and for your support.


PLI Faculty Member
Pavel Řehák

Defining Moments in My Life

Pavel Řehák

Messages: Not a single inspiring moment. Every moment is inspiring and important / live now. PURPOSE is critical and understanding purpose of others helps.
PLI Guest Contributor
Martin Burda

The Definition of a Leader

Eva Michalková

Leadership, mentorship, membership, sponsorship, entrepreneurship, friendship ... we all are familiar with these words. Although the words have different meanings, they have something in common the magical –ship that appears at the end of all words.
PLI Faculty Member
Yemi A.D.


Renata Mrázová

Books are my passion and so there are many that have influenced me in my life. I thought hard about what book to mention as formative in my childhood, but frankly I kept finding myself distracted with thoughts of books that have impressed me quite recently. 
PLI Founder
Yemi A.D.

Food for Thought

Pepper de Callier

One of the many joys of my job is that I am continually doing research about leadership and human nature.  In the course of that research, I occasionally find a real gem—something that almost magically coalesces a thought, an insight, or a concept in a way that is crisp, concise, clear and memorable. 
Prague Leadership Institute
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