Common Sense in Leadership: Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 12

The Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter

Developing Leaders for the 21st Century

Dear Readers,

Pepper de CallierWelcome to our December newsletter.  I hope this finds you planning a relaxing time with friends and family over the holidays.

November has been busy, so let me jump right in:

First of all, it is with a great deal of pride and happiness that I welcome a new member to the PLI faculty, Jitka Schmiedova.  I have known Jitka for five years and in that time have grown to respect her as an innovative and dedicated human resources professional and a true thought-leader in executive development.  Currently, Jitka is a member of the Board and Vice President of People and Property at Vodafone Czech Republic. Jitka’s background is truly impressive, but one thing in particular I would like to share with you is that in 2011, she, as the only executive from the Czech Republic, was selected by the United States Department of State as a participant in the “Women in Leadership: Advancing Women as Corporate Leaders and as Entrepreneurs”.  As a member of this program, Jitka joined other women executives from around the world as guests of the State Department for an intense one- month tour across the United States. They met with dignitaries such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and various governmental and business leaders across America. The purpose of their meetings was to discuss leadership at the operational and Board levels, organizational culture, mentoring, and best practices in four sectors: entrepreneurial, corporate, governmental, and not-for-profit.  Welcome aboard, Jitka! We are fortunate to have you on our faculty.

In her piece for this month’s newsletter, Jitka literally walks us through her career transitions and shares with us the insights and lessons learned from her richly diverse industry sector experience.

Our next article comes from Guest Author, Lenka Hejdukova, who is a director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Audit.  Lenka comes to us through Odyssey, a highly selective, senior-level executive women’s mentoring program. In her piece, she takes a novel, tongue-in-cheek look at an imaginary VIP Lounge for executives and what the membership criteria might be.

Jitka and Lenka, thank you for your wonderful contributions to our leadership archive!

Finally, I am honored to join the Supervisory Board of Economia, a.s.

Each month, two members of The Prague Leadership Institute’s faculty, or invited guest authors, 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.


P.S. My book recommendation this month is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. This New York Times bestseller is written as what the publisher calls a “leadership fable”.  It’s a fictional look at what a new CEO faces in the way of a dysfunctional team and how she deals with it.  I can say two things about this book: The author does a masterful job of weaving, what my experience has shown to be, real-world dysfunctions in senior teams, into the story and it is full of useful insights about how to deal with them.  This one is a “keeper” for my library.  PdeC

If the topic of self-confidence is of interest to you, you’ll want to see our latest installment of Common Sense Wisdom: Thoughts to Live By, on our YouTube channel.

PLI Faculty Member
Jitka Schmiedová

How To Lead Successfully In Diverse Sectors And Cultures

Jitka Schmiedová
Vice President People and Property, Vodafone Czech Republic

In this article I would like to share with you my concrete experience, tips and tricks I have appreciated on my leadership journey from acquisitions, green field projects to change management of different intensity in all sorts of cultures, company environments and industries.     
Management vs Leadership
Often I am asked what is the difference between management and leadership and if one can live without the other.  In my understanding management is about coping with complexity mainly but not only in large organizations.  Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their existence.  Leadership is about coping with change...

PLI Guest Author
Lenka Hejdukova

Does it exist – a paradise for CEOs?

Lenka Hejdukova
Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Czech Republic
A VIP lounge for CEOs might not be a real place in heaven (although who amongst us really knows), but let’s assume for all people that there is another form of reward and recognition than what we know from this world and at this time.

If so, somebody or something as a judge who is handing out VIP tickets will look at everyone’s actions and the way a leader carries the heavy burden of pressure and responsibilities for one or even more businesses. I wonder how such “evaluations” will look given that we are now in a recession and everything seems to be difficult. Would it matter, in fact, that leaders still have a lot on their plate with ambitious business goals, cost cutting or beating competitors? ...
Prague Leadership Institute
Copyright © 2012 Prague Leadership Institute, All rights reserved.