At the time when you attended the MBA program you were a principal at the primary school, a PhD candidate, a wife and a mom of four. How did you successfully manage all this?
We have many roles in our lives and each role requires sufficient amount of time. There are four keys to success: the first one is setting clear goals, the second one is identification and elimination of all bad habits and thieves of time out of your life, the third one is tight schedule and the fourth one is focus on what you do. Simple, right?
Do you believe that MBA helped you shape your leadership skills and gain knowledge needed to run the school?
Yes, of course. FELU MBA program is not designed specifically for public sector managers, and since a school is not a company, sometimes it is still quite challenging for me to transfer business knowledge into school daily practice. Nevertheless, during FELU MBA classes I had an opportunity to rethink my own leadership style and to reveal my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. I also gained many new insights in areas that had been totally unknown to me before. I was also given the opportunity to meet many excellent lecturers and interesting colleagues, and I immensely enjoyed deep conversations with them.
What are the most important challenges that you face daily as a leader in your organization?
I think that the greatest challenge is wide range of very different tasks and responsibilities I have. As a headmistress of a public school with kindergarten included, I also have to engage a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, such as pupils, their parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, municipality, broader local community, and ministry, who all have different, sometimes also conflicting, interests, expectations and views.
As an individual and a professional, how do you operate today (after the MBA)? What’s different from before, during the MBA time?
At the first sight, nothing changed. I still have the same job. However, every kind of learning is all about developing your personality. As Aristotle says: He who is to be a good ruler must have first be ruled…and he who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.
When you’re really busy, how do you manage to find balance in your life?
I have my own so called “hill of health” and I climb it up more than hundred times a year. Hiking renews my energy sources, clears up my thoughts, untouched nature and fresh air generate new ideas, sweating removes all the bad things… I also enjoy reading, growing orchids and of course time with my family.