CEO Today - December 2022

December 2022 Photo: Wikicommons - Austin Community College

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EDITOR’S NOTE STAY CONNECTED! Follow us on: EDITOR’S NOTE UN I V E R S A L ME D I A Katina Male Editor All of this and so much more - I hope you enjoy the content in CEO Today’s last 2022 edition! Make sure you check out the full list of features and exclusive interviews over the next pages. If you want to stay connected with us until our next edition, visit our website for more, join the conversation on our Twitter (@CEOTodayMag) and follow our LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages. Best wishes, KATINA MALE Editor CEO TODAY Copyright 2022 Circulation details can be found at The views expressed in the articles within CEO Today are the contributors’ own, nothing within the announcements or articles should be construed as a profit forecast. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of CEO Today. Disclaimer: Images used in this edition have been done so under the creative commons licenses. For details, see links below. by-sa/3.0/legalcode by-sa/2.0/legalcode by-sa/4.0/legalcode Hello and welcome to the December 2022 edition of CEO Today! And just like that, the holiday season is officially upon us and another year is nearly over. As we prepare to wrap up 2022, I present you CEO Today’s year-end collection of inspiration from some of the world’s most successful leaders, as well as our monthly dose of travel & lifestyle content. Here are some of our favourite stories from this month’s issue: 5 Top Tips for Creating an At-Home Luxury Bar 44. 58. 62. 54. The New Year’s Resolutions the Chairman of the Board Should be Making for 2023 The Future of Wellness 5 How to Build an Iconic Brand


THE CEO INTERVIEW 12. Do Bad Leaders Create Stress? Are You One of Them? 18. Mastering Executive Transitions 26. Thriving Business Comes from Thriving People 32. Transforming the Quality of Cooperation 10. 38. VISION & STRATEGY 40. Be Honest, Don’t Greenwash: 4 Responsible Changes to Make Your Business Greener 44. How to Build an Iconic Brand 48. How CEOs Can Lead Their Organisations to the Edge and Win 52. The New Year’s Resolutions the Chairman of the Board Should be Making for 2023 56. TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE 58. The Future of Wellness 62. 5 Top Tips for Creating an At-Home Luxury Bar 40. 18. 44. 56.

8 MONTHLY ROUND - UP NEWS Estée Lauder Buys Designer Brand Tom Ford Luxury cosmetics firm Estée Lauder is buying designer fashion house Tom Ford in a deal worth $2.8bn, it’s been announced. This would be Estée Lauder’s largest acquisition to date. Estée Lauder believes the acquisition would “unlock new opportunities”, whilst Ford said this is the ideal home for his brand. He will remain in his current position as Creative Director until at least 2023, the two companies announced. American designer Tom Ford, who started his brand in 2005, is the current head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and has previously worked as Creative Director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Following the announcement, shares in Estée Lauder, worth billions, fell slightly in after-hours trading. Furniture Retailer Made Goes Into Administration Online furniture retailer has entered administration, with 399 reported job losses. “We thank you for being a part of our story, and hope to meet again”, says the Made website, after the company announced its closure. Although Made struggled to secure a buyer, Next agreed to buy its brand name, website and intellectual property for £3.4m. However, it is not going to buy the remaining stock. Due to the collapse of the online furniture retailer, 12,000 orders will remain uncompleted and undelivered. There’s no information on whether customers will receive their order or get a refund for it. “This is likely to be a recurring theme with consumer-orientated businesses over the coming months as the economy continues to face a squeeze. Many businesses are facing similar pressures and The Stories Everyone’s been Talking about Photo: Wikicommons - Debbie Rowe

MONTHLY ROUND - UP increasing numbers are seeking advice,” commented Jeremy Whiteson, Restructuring and Insolvency Partner at Fladgate. Musk to Charge $8 Per Month for A Blue Tick on Twitter Elon Musk has announced that Twitter will start charging $8 a month to users who want the blue tick next to their name that only verified accounts get. Following the official $44bn takeover of Twitter, Musk said the move was “essential to defeat spam/scam”. Currently, the blue tick symbol which appears next to a user’s name is free. It is received after a short online application form and is reserved for high-profile users like celebrities and politicians. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” the richest person in the world said in a tweet. He criticised the old verificationmethod and labelled it as a “lords and peasants’ system”. Critics, however, are increasingly worried that the transition could make it harder to spot disinformation and distinguish between reliable and non-reliable sources. Musk’s main intention behind the move is to reduce the company’s reliance on paid advertisement and find additional streams of income. In response to the news, author Stephen King posted that it’s Twitter that should be paying him, to which Musk replied: “We need to pay the bills somehow!” 9


12 THE CEO INTERVIEW Do Bad Leaders Create Stress? Are You One of Them? Jill Bausch Have you had your CEO name on the door for ages? Or do you have the ambition to be a CEO and hope to get on that track soon? All of us are inundated with tips on how to be good leaders, but what are the pitfalls that might hinder your path to the top? Everyone with leadership ambition is on a learning track and leadership skills aren’t always natural, but most can be learned. However, some of us have habits that are risking our succession path and they can be unlearned, just by becoming more aware of yourself and seeking honest feedback from others. Here’s your checklist for what NOT to do as a leader, to diffuse stress, not create it. Recognise these in yourself and become a better leader instantly.


THE CEO INTERVIEW 14 1. Not listening Everyone wants to feel heard, whether you are just coming onto the work ladder or already at the top. That doesn’t mean that every idea you have should be shared or every thought you have will be acted upon. Good leaders find time to listen fully and without distraction. Do you listen fully without interrupting and then ask insightful questions about what you heard? If you don’t, people eventually won’t want to follow you. 2. Not showing up Countless leadership studies tell us that exemplary leaders show they have uncertain moments and flaws. To be an authentic leader you must show some of your real self, what you are working on to improve and how important this is for all of us to practice. You can keep professional boundaries but show that you, too, are a real and fallible person, just like everybody else. 3. You lack empathy We all know business leaders that got to the top of their game by rolling over others. Is that what you want your legacy to be? In 2022 most of us don’t; we want the balance between achieving goals and caring about others. These are two qualities to be admired and if you show you have a balance between them your tribe will be behind you. 4.You are inflexible and fear change We live with change, perhaps too much change in our daily lives and we all seek some sense of stability. However, if your team feel you are inflexible, they won’t bring new ideas, innovation or positive change to you, and the pack will start to seek others who are more open to change than you are. 5. You practice avoidance behaviour We all know that lovely, sweet, kind person who avoids unpleasant or tough topics. Those are not the ones that end up being leaders. Being nice and kind does not mean being weak. Strong leaders have the strength of character to face problems, calculate risk, deal with problems head-on and face the tough stuff. If tough decisions are dealt with using a high dose of empathy with others, you will be a leader who others want to follow because you’ll be getting results and we all want to be on a winning team. 6.You keep your cards close to your chest Some people are natural communicators and have the innate instinct to know what information they must share, shouldn’t share or when to share vital information. Others have no malintent but get on with the job without communicating to others what is happening. Get some input from your colleagues to find out which communications camp you’re in. Remind yourself to communicate to your team with more info and more often. People don’t like to be kept in the dark and feel more connected to the team when they are part of the discussion and are kept abreast of developments along the way. Ask yourself now - does my team know what they need to know? Do they know enough to stay connected? What are the key inflexion points are in our work? Have I shared them? And ask THEM through a non-confrontational exercise if they need information. 7. It’s all about YOU Remember that time in your early career when you did all the work for the report, or the presentation and the boss’s name was the only one on it? Remember how you felt when you saw the ‘thank you’ emails they got and you were copied on, knowing it was you who did all the work? That person did not encourage you to follow them as a leader, but you can learn from how they handled that. When you share the credit, show humility, let others shine by being recognised, you’re not only prepping the leaders of tomorrow but you’re showing your authentic self, your empathy and your evident leadership qualities by leading a team, not just being the head of a team. 8.You talk about work-life balance but don’t practice it So many leaders know that in our new normal of working out of the office more often, no distinct work-time shutdowns, and 24hour days, we’re feeding burnout

THE CEO INTERVIEW 15 and its right around the corner for many people. Knowing this is one thing but being a role model to guard against it is another. If you’re the leader you should be, also be the role model that shows they are not online, on-call and on-work all the time. The new, successful renaissance leader has lots of interests in and out of the workplace and lets their staff know it, encouraging them to do the same. 9.How to get feedback? My ‘More of/Less of’ tool is a great way to get straight but candid feedback and costs you nothing but your time. Ask each of your staff to write a ‘More of’ and ‘Less of’ paragraph for you. You may choose to do it for them at the same time. You’re likely to get some great honest feedback that will propel you on your leadership path. You’ll also get that residual benefit of them feeling heard and wanting to follow an inspirational leader - you. “Everyone with leadership ambition is on a learning track and leadership skills aren’t always natural, but most can be learned.” Jill Bausch is the former CEO of Futures Group Europe, a coach, philanthropic strategist, facilitator, social impact advisor and author of Why Brave Women Win.

16 THE CEO INTERVIEW Mario Medina was born in the Dominican Republic but moved to the US when he was 9 years old. A Nova graduate, he’s worked for Fortune 500 companies before cofounding Moveo Technologies. CEO Today talks all things Moveo Technologies with him over the next pages. FatCat Studios, Inc. 410.534.8700 Amateurs Talk About Strategy; Professionals Talk About Logistics Mario Medina Co-founder & CEO, Moveo Technologies

17 THE CEO INTERVIEW 17 Please tell us more about Moveo Technologies. Ground has always been a bit of a stepchild of the passenger transportation industry - air, sea, and rail receiving all the plaudits. Our companyMoveo Technologies Corporation was envisioned to bring sophisticated logistics to the passenger ground transportation industry. The process involved not just moving away from fax machines, spreadsheets, and phone calls, which was essential, but to replace reactive dispatching with predictive and proactive systems, including, dispatch to lower incidents. A number of initiatives were undertaken to achieve the lowest incident rate in the industry, chief among them are ISO 9001 certification (a game changer for us in quality management), using machine learning and AI on our in house developed platform, and offering our back-end technology, without charge, to companies serious about passenger transport (e.g., Carnival Cruise Line and a Major League in the US). What makes the company unique? It is a combination of the projects we take on and our vision as a company, both of which put our focus on managing serious logistics. This affects everything from a single business passenger to the US Army’s OAW (Operation Allies Welcome) where we provided services and managed the stateside passenger transportation for over 30,000 Afghans refugees coming to the US. General Bradley says it best: “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.” What are your favourite things about the sector? I love the fact that the industry has become so receptive to innovation and the appreciation we receive from customers and clients when they get what we do. What are the challenges you frequently face and how do you resolve them? The biggest challenge by far is managing growth. We have grown 20 times larger as a company in the last 3 years. Ironically COVID was a huge challenge when business dropped off a cliff. But the resolution, was just realising that we were handed one of the greatest opportunities to make fundamental changes, improvements and super housecleaning. We developed the AI algorithms for dispatch, got the ISO certification, and landed the service and logistics for managing, scheduling and delivering officials to every Major League game when they could not fly. What are your goals for the future of Moveo Technologies? The two big ones in the pipeline are a planned expansion to reach 250 Metropolitan Service Areas (MSAs) over the end of 2025 (We are currently serving over 100 MSAs domestically and internationally). We also plan an ‘uber’ (pun intended) high-end product that includes private jet service and yacht service. AN INTERVIEW WITH MARIO MEDINA “Ironically COVID was a huge challenge when business dropped off a cliff. But the resolution, was just realising that we were handed one of the greatest opportunities to make fundamental changes, improvements and super housecleaning.”

- 18 - Navid N zemian “My name is Navid Nazemian. My professional career started in sales, where I spent six years. I then moved to human resources, a function that I am deeply passionate about. I have spent the last two decades working for some of the world’s most admired organisations at country, regional and global leadership level, in both emerging and developed markets. Most recently, I was the Global Head of HR at Vodafone, based in London and working in the company’s global HQ. My recent recognition as HR‘s Most Influential Practitioner by the HR Magazine has been a humbling acknowledgement of my HR career and impact. I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the world’s most admired companies, such as Adidas, GE, BAT, Roche and Vodafone. As a Head of HR, I have been a buyer of coaching services throughout my career, and I have always been fascinated by the transformational results in leadership as a result of effective coaching. At some point, I felt ready to embark on a coaching journey myself. And after some consultation with coaches and coaching organisations, I chose a three-year coach training track that took me across three continents, and which is exclusively taught by Master Certified Coaches (MCCs). My employers have been supportive of my coaching on the side, as coaching senior executives is obviously very beneficial to the work that I do as a senior HR leader.“ CEO of Navid Nazemian Executive Coaching FZCO Mastering Executive Transitions

- 19 - How have your previous roles and experiences, particularly in HR, informed your current work? The remit of a Head of HR can be broad, so one starts to develop different muscles throughout the years. Personally, I have been fascinated by impactful leadership interventions. So, it is no surprise that the transition topic – which is one of my key focus areas as an executive coach – started to emerge early on. Having lived and successfully worked in five countries across six sectors and working with C-level leaders throughout, has helped me to walk the walk for many of my clients as an executive coach. When did you decide it was time to branch into executive coaching, and why? After spending 26 years in large MNCs and having had the privilege to coach many senior leaders and CEOs in various regional and global organisations, I felt ready to transition into full-time coaching. My ‘why’ is simple: there are simply too many executives failing during their career transition, although there are proven ways to de-risk and accelerate those transitions. So my key focus as a coach is to help executives and their leadership teams accelerate and successfully transition into new roles and maximise their leadership impact. My passion lies in supporting executives during critical transitions. I am inspired by their courage to deliver value to their organisation whilst staying true to their authentic selves. Next to being a successful corporate leader and an executive coach, you are also an international bestselling author. Tell us more about that and how the idea of writing a book came about. The idea of writing a book came to me about ten years ago, at the same time when I started to work as a professional coach next to my HR role. I thought it would be a year-long project, at maximum. Little did I know that it would take me seven years from start to finish to publish my book. In between, there were three jobs with two organisations in three countries, and about a year after starting to write my book, our son was born. As you can see, life can get in the way – and thoroughly researching, writing and publishing a book on thought leadership can take much longer than initially expected. Please tell us more about your book and what it covers. My book is titled ‘Mastering Executive Transitions - The Definitive Guide’ and it is published by New Degree Press in New York City. My publisher and I were both surprised when the book was immediately a #1 new release on Amazon, before becoming a national and then international bestseller. Next to publishing the actual book, I also published the digital companion, which is the accompanying workbook. The workbook helps executives in transition, and coaches who work with executives in transition, to utilise the proven Double Diamond Framework© of Executive Transitions in a very practical and guided way. Our magazine has a deep focus on CEOs. How would a CEO benefit from transition coaching? First off, allow me to start with a recent study by Egon Zehnder that found that 70% of CEOs are either underwhelmed by their onboarding process or have had no structured onboarding process at all – so what would probably please about 99% of the employee population in a company is nowhere nearly sufficient for CEO-level onboarding. A study from the Aberdeen Group looked into the onboarding processes of 282 organisations. They found that the difference between organisations that get onboarding right and the laggard companies (bottom 30%) is significant. Best-in-class companies (top 20%) were able to distinguish themselves across key performance criteria: THE CEO INTERVIEW

1. 96% of first-year employees were retained, as compared to 18% of employees at laggard organisations. 2. 82% of employees hired in the last 12 months met their first performance milestone on time, as compared to 3% at laggard organisations. 3. 18% year-on-year improvement in hiring manager satisfaction, compared to a 1% decrease among laggard organisations. 4. Improvement in customer satisfaction by 12% and customer retention by 10%, compared to a 2% improvement of each at laggard organisations. As we can see, there are very tangible, commercial benefits from getting CEO onboarding and transitions right. What are, in your view, the ripple effects of not getting CEO transitions right? A study from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) examines the ripple effect of high-impact leadership transitions. They examined over 30,000 executive leader transitions, enriched further by hundreds of executive leader interviews. They found that the direct reports of a struggling transitioning executive leader on average performed 15% worse than those who reported to a high-performing one, so there is a clear performance drag attached to failed transitions. Furthermore, in comparing the likelihood of the direct reports of high performing versus struggling transitioning leaders to be highly engaged or remain in the organisation, they found a statistically significant difference of 20%. If we add to this the set of executive - 20 - THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 21 - peers whose productivity is enhanced because they depend on the executive leader and additional business opportunities that are generated, the ripple effects of executive transitions become truly magnified. Lastly, CEB’s rich database suggests that any large organisation has 70 senior executives on average. With about 12% being replaced annually, this results in eight senior executive transitions each year. Despite this predictable pattern, many organisations approach CEO transitions like mergers and acquisitions. We know one of the most commonly identified factors when it comes to failed deals is ineffective post-merger integration. Similarly, most executive transitions fail because of poor ‘integration’ of the CEO into the new role in an organisation. Put differently, what would be the upside of getting CEO transitions right? The best organisations truly understand the ripple effects (both positive and negative) and orchestrate a structured and externally supported CEO transition process. This process would mobilise internal resources and apply innovative tools and systemic approaches to assist the newly appointed CEO with a set of high-impact transition activities. Significant research has been conducted to evaluate the benefits of successful onboarding and executive transitions. Many studies have focused on benefits related to the CEO in transition. However, the benefits are threefold, benefitting at least three distinct groups of stakeholders. Allowme to elaborate on each stakeholder group further. Benefits for the CEO A successful transition has proven to reduce the likelihood of derailment by up to 50% (Wheeler 2009). A structured and supported CEO transition also mitigates key transition challenges and associated risks. In return, enhanced role satisfaction is a clear benefit for the CEO. The other benefit that should not go unnoticed is that baseline productivity levels are reached in a shorter period. This has been measured in many studies and the results are an accelerated transition that is up to 50% faster than with the peer group who did not get the structured transition support. Lastly, it becomes obvious how successful CEO transitions will pay a dividend in an area that has not been mentioned yet: the future trajectory of the CEO’s career, such as a higher likelihood to be promoted externally after one or more successful transitions. Benefits for the Organisation The most obvious benefit is that successful CEO transitions reduce the risk of high-stakes placements and potential costs related to mishiring. Studies show that mishiring at the executive level is highly costly, with an estimate of somewhere between 10 to 30 times the salary cost of an executive. Corporate Executive Board (CEB) research suggests that successful CEO transitions demonstrate that 90% of leadership teams whose CEO had a successful transition go on to achieve their three-year performance goals. In those teams, the attrition risk is 13% lower than the rest. A successful transition also suggests the organisation is making better—if not the best—use of the CEO’s unique talents and potential. It is a strong and clear demonstration of the commitment to the executive and their professional development. Furthermore, if part of the mandate of the new CEO is to change the organisational culture, then a structured THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 22 - transition supported by an executive transition coach can facilitate the adoption of a new and supportive organisational culture and management style. Also, it helps to reduce organisational anxiety by sending signals of proactive and thoughtful leadership. Benefits for the Stakeholders The RBL Group, a human resources consulting firm, published their findings in ‘The Leadership Gap‘, a study with 430 portfolio managers and institutional investors. They found that the top three criteria for an investment decision are: how the company performs (with 38.5%), industry favourableness with (33.1%) and quality of leadership (with 28.4%). What is particularly interesting is that the RBL Group also measured the confidence levels these investors had in their ability to assess the three criteria. The lowest confidence intervals were shown at the quality of leadership with 3.75 or a standard deviation of 0.96, versus 0.58 for performing firms and 0.66 for industry favourableness. That means investors and portfolio managers have the lowest confidence level when it comes to being able tomeasure the quality of leadership. Part of what makes the quality of leadership is onboarding the CEO effectively and minimising their chances of derailment. With these findings, we are “In a nutshell, Peer Group Transition Coaching is a faclitated, structured conversation that leads to inspired actions in small peer groups that are led by me as an expert coach. Or in other words, it is the perfect combination of coaching and mentoring coupled with thought leadership.” THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 23 - now able to relate financial investment decisions to companies with their executive transition process. Another obvious benefit is the combined result of having a high-performing executive, their leadership team, and the organisation. It exudes confidence to the management board and to investors. We can see how greater alignment of an organisational strategy with cultural execution can increase employee engagement levels and the business performance of an organisation. Successful CEO transitions also provide a platform for thoughtfully engaging external stakeholders. When we look at what the younger generations truly want from their organisation, it becomes obvious that some of the above are not ‘nice-to-haves‘ but indeed ‘must-haves‘. How do you measure success when it comes to coaching your clients? The way I was trained as a coach suggests that there is only one way that success can be truly measured. It is measured by the client’s feedback and their immediate leaders‘ feedback. So it does not matter how we as coaches think of ourselves or how incredibly competently we think we have been performing. What do you expect the remainder of 2022 and the coming year will hold for your executive coaching practice and your continuing professional growth? I have recently decided to move with my family to Dubai, U.A.E. to dedicate myself full time to my coaching practice (Navid Nazemian Executive Coaching FZCO) and continue to serve clients globally. In particular, I am very excited by a new product that I have developed, namely Peer Group Transition Coaching. I developed this innovative format as several 1:1 executive transition clients have shared the need to reflect with trusted peers about their transition challenges and encountered dilemmas. As you know, it can be incredibly lonely as an executive THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 24 - in transition. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it might be difficult to share dilemmas with functional peers, line managers and team members and you do not necessarily wish to work with a transition coach on a fully-fledged year-long executive coaching programme in a 1:1 capacity. The power of peer group coaching is proven and the format provides a unique opportunity to engage with fellow peers. Peer Group Transition Coaching is a facilitated, structured conversation that leads to inspired actions in small peer groups that are led by me as an expert coach. Or in other words, it is the perfect combination of coaching and mentoring coupled with thought leadership. In a peer group, each executive will reflect on personal dilemmas and challenges they encounter by gaining varied perspectives from transitioning peers, led by me. That sounds rather intriguing – can you tell us more about this new format? What topics may executives bring to this format? During Peer Group Transition Coaching for Executives, you can reflect with your peers on any transition related topics that are relevant to you professionally, such as: 1. Understanding and reflecting on what makes executive transitions both challenging and exciting. 2. Learning how to avoid the biggest mistakes made during executive transitions. 3. Reflecting upon your interactions with key stakeholders such as your line manager, peers and ExCo/board. 4. Learning and exploring proven interventions to transition most successfully. 5. How to break down organisational fragmentation. What are the key outcomes of this? There are multiple benefits to the executives, the organisation and the wider stakeholder group, but to name a few: 1. Trusted peers bring outside-in perspectives that provoke thinking; 2. Expert-led and shared learnings by observing fellow executives; 3. Upskilling the entire group on all angles of executive transitions; 4. Build powerful alliances that enable action outside of silos; 5. Expertly facilitated by a thought leader of executive transitions. And how does this format work? This is an exclusive, confidential and diverse group with like-minded peers. Each group consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of six members. Members get access to the executive transition video introduction series that I have created. Ideally, the group is carefully composed in terms of diversity and seniority to maximise impact. There are a total of four Peer Group Transition Coaching sessions over six months (1.5 hours/session), and the dates will be set in advance and will accommodate critical company events. Each session is focused on the Double Diamond FrameworkⒸ of Executive Transitions and will involve a dilemma or a transition challenge presented by one or two of the group member. There is also one alignment call conducted with each participant ahead of the very first group session. Sessions are held face-to-face (virtual upon request only) and followed up with a social lunch or dinner to facilitate peer networking. They take place in the client’s city of choice. One of the best parts is that there are four 1:1 mentor coaching sessions per member after each group session to embed learnings and master uniquely individual challenges. How do you maintain confidentiality in such a setting? Information sharing in the group is based on strict confidentiality (members will sign an NDA to maintain the integrity of peer coaching conversations). THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 25 - Email: LinkedIn: Twitter: Instagram: masteringexecutivetransitions/ Book: “My passion lies in supporting executives during critical transitions. I am inspired by their courage to deliver value to their organisation whilst staying true to their authentic selves.” THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 26 - Co-Founders of Thriverse Borut Jeglič Peter Baloh THE CEO INTERVIEW Thriving Business Comes from Thriving People

- 27 - In your considerable experience as a team coach, what are the most common factors preventing organisational change from being realised? How do you ensure these are addressed during your work with clients? First is lack of true dedication for a set goal. “What must be true in six months, or one year, or three years?” is a question we keep asking teams, team leaders and CEOs we work with. Yes, there is always some striving, but if persistence to achieve the goal wears off in the middle of the process, the team will be thrown back to the same old same old. It is the curse of instant gratification that our brains strive for, and we must hack it. Acknowledging that we can only get to Mt Everest by climbing every single metre of it, we make the journey engaging and useful for everyone, every step of the way. All the activities we employ are combined and simplified enough to be digestible as we gradually but persistently help the team climb right to the top. Our Thriving Team and Thriving Leader programs take 4-6 months, and a year and upwards for a Thriving Organization. Second, “leaving the client half naked” as we say in our team. You see, there are amazing leadership and team and individual development concepts out there. Yet when going through trainings, organisations and leaders do not get enough help in incepting them into everyday reality. It is like starting off from the basecamp and going to the next camp, and then looking back on the last stretch. “What was most useful for me, and us, in the last three weeks? What new behaviours and conversations worked for me? What has held me back? How will we do much more of what has worked in the next three weeks?” Third, trying to adopt wrong behaviours. We are dealing with the most complex yet most important of all changes – behaviours and team dynamics – while at the same time knowing that 80%of attempts to change culture fail miserably. That is why we have based our methodology on leading insights and incorporating them into the client experience. You cannot really play a world-class game if you are not behaving like the world’s best. For us, nothing that is short of excellent works. We rely on Gallup and other great global analytical insights. We rely on the most effective habit-building approaches. We use the most effective mass movement principles. We use tacit experience built on the thousands of teams we have worked with to individualise the proven approach to the client’s context. Every step of the way, every activity in the team session is carefully designed to deliver exceptional experience towards the thriving team destination. Fourth, clients rely on consultants to bring the change. But we cannot do the climbing for them, nor we can support you after we are gone. And trust me, we do want to be gone and not support clients forever, as they must be capable of sustaining their thriving workplace. What, to your mind, are the key pillars of successful corporate leadership? Leadership is a well-researched phenomenon, but while there is a fair amount of consensus on what great leadership is, the devil is, as is often the case, in the details. In real life, leadership is extremely complex and there is one main reason for this – people. To be a great leader means to be able to engage and inspire people to dedicate their time, energy and creativity to achieve or create something which did not exist before. But people can only be engaged at work if they feel like it. That means that for me as a leader, my output is actually the right feelings in our people, and not the performance goals (which do result as a consequence). In our work with leaders, we find it helpful to provide a framework on how to think about what leaders need to do to be successful. We found that it lies in the following four key pillars: 1. Manage self – a leader needs to understand themselves first so they can manage their own well-being, emotions, behaviours and reactions with the goal of having a positive influence on the team and themselves. Here, we build on positive psychology of innate strengths, as they provide a profound mirror of their qualities as a leader. THE CEO INTERVIEW

2. Create clarity – a leader needs to create, understand and communicate a compelling common purpose that aims the team in the same direction. Leaders must create fluent omnipresence of purpose and goals, as they are the backbone of meaning. Here, we embed that clarity into meaningful individual and team conversations that happen regularly, in the context of everyday work. 3. Support and coach – a leader recognises people’s contributions, gives effective and regular feedback and regularly engages in meaningful and difficult conversations with individuals and the teamas a whole. The hurdle we help leaders to overcome is going from full-time judges and auditors (that KPI reporting and corporate systems force them into) to being coaches and enablers of flow and great performance. 4. Build capacity for future success – a leader recognises that their key role is not only to achieve results today but to build a team that will be able to achieve even better results tomorrow. Performance development over performance management wins every time and it is one mantra we incept into the leaders’ mindsets and train for according to behaviours. How do C-suite executives stand to benefit from your individual leadership coaching? Individual leadership coaching is always an important part of our work. First, it enables executives to dive deep into their challenges so they can truly evolve their mindset, behaviours and habits. Leadership is complex and C-suite executives have especially limited options to discuss their biggest challenges with people around them. That is why having an experienced coach who can guide them and challenge them in their thinking is crucial for long-term success and growth. Second, we align the individual coaching with the developmental journey of the wider team. There is a lot of leadership coaching out there, and what we have seen is that results do not truly scale. Change cannot happen in isolation and if there is a disconnect between what the leaders think or do, and what their teams think or do, things get stuck. In our case this means that we do not just do ‘leadership coaching’ in isolation, but also reflect through the point where their teams are on their journey to become one of the top 5% high-performing teams and how their actual daily leadership should change because of that. We couple that with another reflection: “Where am I as a leader when comparing my behaviours to the top 5% of leaders in the world?” Using this, the actual steps leaders take are much more confident and get adopted quicker. Because we are not just doing ordinary leadership coaching, but tying it to those golden reflection points, one could say that we provide ‘Accelerated Leadership Coaching’ for busy C-suite executives who are taking their companies to become the world’s greatest. Is there a particular creed or philosophy that informs your practices? We are a values-driven organisation. These beliefs guide everything we do internally and with clients: 1. Business is people. A thriving business can only be created by thriving people. 2. We do not decide our future. We decide our habits and our habits decide our future. For different results we need different behaviours. In organisations of people, nothing changes if the everyday behaviours of people do not change. 3. We focus and build on what is right with people. Our strengths are the key to thriving. 4. High performance is a habit. The minute you stop doing what brought you high performance, it vanishes. 5. Business is an infinite game. You can never win business. The name of the game is to grow and improve every day and keep playing. 6. High performance should feel good. Achieving arbitrary, short-term wins on account of our health or relationships is not high performance at all. We do not rev our engine into the red zone. Rather, we find a way to shift into a higher gear. “Thriving business comes from thriving people that come from intention and action.” THE CEO INTERVIEW

Dr. Peter Baloh is an experienced consultant and coach who has worked with hundreds of global companies both before and after founding Thriverse in 2015. He has dedicated his career to building exceptional, people-first, high-performing teams and organisations. In his role of Chief Success Architect, he designs and delivers journeys that confidently take organisations from todays to tomorrow’s behaviours. THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 30 - Borut Jeglič started his career by managing the largest national project for raising digital literacy in Slovenia. It gave him first-hand experience of how to create an engaged team driven solely by a vision of a better tomorrow for a whole nation. He believes that if we want to change the world for the better, we need more people who thrive in their life, and is dedicating his life to creating work environments that not only enable but encourage thriving. THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 31 - Can you relate some past success stories in implementing team and organisation-wide transformations? Every single one is a shining star on its own. In one insurance company of 5,400 people, we significantly shifted the culture towards collaborative and responsive work which, amongst other results, moved the team’s net promoter score from 55 (where it was stuck for years) to 74, and it has been increasing since then. Another company, an IT-health services provider, boosted their CAGR from 16% to 48%. A European telecom services company raised the success rate of their strategic projects from 20% to 100%. A European computer cooling manufacturer became a global #1 niche player and has now expanded to green mobility and the space industry. While these are all ‘business performance’ metrics, what is most important is that they were all driven by a significant shift into thriving, people-first workplaces. How people feel, succeed and grow is where the true underlying success stories come from, and this is what we are most proud of. Can you tell us why you have just changed your brand? Our former name directly translated as “Catch the knowledge”, which we felt did not accurately describe what we do. Our passion and promise to our clients is to bring lasting impact with tangible business and wellbeing benefits. So we are not about new knowledge, but much Peter Baloh and Borut Jeglič are founders of Thriverse. More than a training or consulting company, their team combines the best in science and the art of leadership, team dynamics, positive psychology, experience design, habit building and change management to yield better behaviours. Thriverse has helped over 2,000 teams from global corporations, regional champions and SMEs to become exceptional in the way they perform and in the way their people feel. Thriverse T: +386 41 711 317 | E: more about new habits and mindsets that we help to create and sustain. The new name, THRIVERSE, comes from our mission: to create a universe of thriving individuals and teams. Our world faces many a challenge and we strongly believe that only people who thrive in what they do will ultimately lead us into a better future, which we want to see realised for our children. Do you have any major projects in the works that you can share with us? One of our core values and guiding principles is courage, which means we are always stretching outside our comfort zone and advancing client journeys. We’ve spent 10 months on adding latest research findings and tools and are launching a revamped Thriving Leader program in early 2023. It is a hyper individualized journey creating leaders that incorporate all the areas of human wellbeing and the high performance in ongoing, mindful conversations. “For us, nothing that is short of excellent works.” THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 32 - David Goldfarb is an organisational and transformation consultant with a focus on systemic change in companies. 20 years of professional experience in business transformation and leadership have sharpened his focus on holistic systemic processes. He was born in 1973 and lives in Düsseldorf with his wife and their two children. David Goldfarb is managing director and founder of Goldfarb Consulting GmbH. Previously, he was responsible for leading functions in international DAX companies in the areas of change and leadership. One of his focal points was the development of necessary transformation capabilities by combining lean management with systemic change management. This experience flows into his consulting approach, in which resonance as a sociological phenomenon forms the basis of his work. As a Certified Master Coach (MCC) of the International Coaching Federation and systemic solution-oriented transformation facilitator, the cultural and emotional challenges of his projects are close to his heart. For a successful transformation, he looks not only at processes and structures, but also at the relationship dynamics. His keen sense for the quality of human interactions is helpful in this. His many years of work as a trainer for mindfulness in a corporate context have shaped his work in cultural transformation processes and the establishment of a new leadership culture. In addition, as a graduate economist, the economic and organisational challenges of his clients are important and familiar to him. Here he has the clarity, rationality and determination needed to advise his clients’ companies holistically and to clearly identify challenges and perspectives. Two decades of experience in business transformation and leadership make him an expert in complex change. THE CEO INTERVIEW

- 33 - David Goldfarb Founder of Goldfarb Consulting GmbH As a coach with longstanding experience and expert in business transformation, what does coaching mean to you? First of all, coaching is creating a safe space in which I discover and examine new perspectives with my clients. The aim is to feel the power of a change perspective and to gradually integrate it into action. Do you work with a specific coaching approach? With my clients, I try to look at the current challenges and understand the root causes and the patterns without persisting with the problems of the past. My background has shaped me to think systemically with a view to the whole. In addition, my work is characterised by a solutionfocused approach where I work in a resourceoriented way with my clients. This means looking towards the client’s future situation and using their existing skills, strategies and ideas to define steps in that direction rather than focusing too much on the problem. How have your personal experiences informed this approach? In a professional context, whether in my work with family businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises or with international corporations, I have repeatedly found that looking at the desired future and working out the first small steps towards it has often been a real breakthrough. This helped me especially at decisive turning points in my life, such as when I left the corporate world and founded my own consulting company. Here, I experienced how an attractive vision of the future can release incredible personal resources. For me very personally, the solution-focused view is a kind of superpower which often helps to find the turning point in everyday conflicts – for example as a father of two children, as a husband or in conflicting relationship constellations. What characterises your work as a credentialled ICF Master Certified Coach? I do not think any credential, no matter how high, automatically makes you a good coach. But of course, I was happy when I got my MCC credential because it not only reflects my professional experience as a coach but was also an intense learning opportunity where I got to know other wonderful coaches. A major distinction that sets MCCs apart is their ability to be curious beyond the first issue that the client brings up. But also, their discovery questions evoke awareness and facilitate the client’s growth at the human level rather than the surface level of the problem. The MCC level is the highest standard you can achieve by the International Coaching Federation. THE CEO INTERVIEW Transforming the Quality of Cooperation

You mentioned your consulting company where you work as an organisational change consultant and leadership expert. What key success factors do you see for companies to master the future? I believe that the future belongs to companies that are adaptable and changeable. A prerequisite for this is vitality in the company. This develops from the ability of employees and managers to approach each other and to relate to each other well. Communication and behaviour therefore do not take place in a vacuum but meet with resonance and reverberation. Resonance seems to be a key element in your consulting approach. What does resonance have to do with business transformation? Whether transformation succeeds is determined in particular by how people communicate with each other, act and commit to common goals. And resonance means emotional connection. If rationality and emotion are in good balance, a first step towards change has been taken: listening actively instead of passively, transparency instead of secrecy, openness instead of self-centeredness, trust instead of reservation and curiosity instead of indifference form the basis for people to identify with their organisation and engage in change. Is it possible to ensure resonance? Resonance is not a sure-fire success. It can also not be created with a ready-made kit or a certificate of guarantee. Instead, at Goldfarb we create structures to transform the quality of cooperation. We design the context and conditions in which resonant relationships can develop and become established. What difference becomes visible in an organisation when structures to transform the quality of cooperation have been created? Resonance will be evident on four levels: Firstly, such an organisation enables people to get in touch with themselves on an individual level. Selfefficacy can be experienced, which is meaningful. Potentials and abilities can unfold from there. Secondly, their actions create a quality of relationship in the team and in the leadership context that is characterised by openness, clarity, appreciation and courage. THE CEO INTERVIEW

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