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How to change the world?

Early 90's. Former Yugoslavia. I was 12 years old and still did not understand many things, but I DID see what was happening around me: a country at war. Although there was no conflict in my region, the consequences for my family were quite serious. Neighbors and relatives going to war, hyperinflation, embargo, migrants from Bosnia, empty shops. Imagine that 1 liter of milk costs € 1, now imagine that it’s € 10 the next day, and 15 by the week end. Imagine working for a month and when you receive the salary it is not worth a loaf of bread. THIS IS HOW the day to day in the life of MY FAMILY changed.

EVERYTHING CHANGED, to the point that when I turn 14, my parents decide to move to Hungary so my brother wouldn´t join the army. I had to leave my friends, relatives, my life, practically I lost contact with everything I had known until then. We didn´t have much, but I was happy!

In Hungary is THE FIRST TIME I ASKED, WHY did this happen to my country? HOW did the leaders of the country allow to destroy the lives of so many people? It is when I realized the importance and the impact of the leaders on our everyday lives. And I started thinking HOW can I change this?

After discarding politics for lack of faith and education for limited reach (no internet in the 90’s) I thought that maybe through people with influence and power we can change things. After all, business accounts for the gross of the world GDP and it can be the key in changing that trend.  I decided to pursue a career in business and impact towards a change in behavior in leaders. But little by little I begun to realize the big and small injustices the business leaders were allowing and fostering.


BUT WHY? WHY DO LEADERS GET TO THIS POINT?

And I started to observe the leaders and their behaviors. To analyze their effect on other people. To dig deeper into understanding their reactions. To modify my behavior and see how to transmit my message in order to positively influence them. Learning from mistakes. Getting into conflict with the ones who were not prone to change the status quo.

After studying the human behavior in leaders since my teenage years I realized that all goes back to one thing. In the universities they prepare us with technical knowledge, but nobody teaches us how to face the real life. How to think for ourselves, how to understand others, how to manage ourselves, how to be aware of things around us. Only when we work on ourselves, understand others and the world can we really make a positive impact.

So, I left my job to change how people act.

In more than 10 years in multinationals I have seen too many leaders engaging in unethical behaviors.

I’ve seen people losing trust, even benefiting from this situation. Very few spoke up.

No one teaches us how to strengthen our character or build trusting relations.

That’s why I want to develop next generation of leaders with purpose. Talented young professionals across the globe, from all professions who are able to stop and listen, learn and change, act in the benefit of all, the society and ultimately the planet. Who want to add value to the world.

 

One of the SDG #4 Education targets’ is

  • By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

This is what we are striving for. Teach younger generations how to change themselves to change the world.

This is why I founded a Values-led leadership Academy that has 3 main objectives:

1. To strengthen their character to always stay firm in their integrity

2. To empower them to influence others and make an impact and

3. Give them the support of an ethical community throughout their career

 

There is almost 8 billion people, does it really matter what you do? Stop just for a minute. Think of everything that you think is wrong with the society today. How does your behavior add in shaping it? You have 10, 100 or 1000 people in your circle. Your behavior causes a ripple effect. Increasing global risks and current global trends are getting to the levels where the world leaders influence is not enough and often not appropriate. We need every individual on every level to take personal responsibility in rebuilding the trust in society if we are to survive.

The solution to any major challenge always starts on a small scale: within a person. From a person, it can grow into a community, a town, a country, a region, and more. To ignite the change in the world we need leaders with purpose across industries and around the globe. Trailblazers who can positively influence their community to embrace integrity and foster the well-being of all.

CHANGE YOURSELF TO CHANGE THE WORLD!

If we do so, we might hope for a world where every politician would act in the best interest of their and other nations, every manager would optimize the profit while caring for employees and the environment, every charity would be a real charity, every product would be for long-term use. The next generation could bring us higher moral standards, integrity and care in order to create and preserve the well-being of the people and the planet without compromising profit.

 

And the best part?

 

It depends on YOU!

 

Vera Mandic

Bspark Values-led Leadership Academy

Founder & CEO

vera.mandic@b-spark.org

www.b-spark.org

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