She’s no rookie when it comes to public relations, on the contrary. Jiřina Ekrt Jirušková has a wealth of experience from several PR agencies, where she dealt with clients in the area of lifestyle or gastronomy,…
From co-founder of a Czech-Australian consulting company specializing in global companies with digital innovations and transformations to the CEO of the technology division at Mind2FLO. This too is part of the story of Andrej Hájek, the new head of the FLO technology division who wants to accomplish explosive growth once again. In this issue of the Insider, you’ll find out what values and principles accompany him in his professional and personal life:
Which work skills also come in handy in your personal life?
Just like our priorities also change over time, so do our preferred skills – both in one’s personal and professional life. Nevertheless, there are skills that have always come in handy for me – especially when working with people – such as active listening or conflict mediation. Another big thing is to learn to see problems differently and to include a certain visionary aspect – whether in decision-making, planning, or team building. In short, thinking out of the box. Of course, this doesn’t always work completely naturally – it is based on experience and it’s hard to say whether one can practise doing it.
What or who inspires you most at work?
During my career I never had an inspirational personality like Steve Jobs or someone similar. Instead, I was motivated and “pulled along” by people around me. I’ve got a couple of people who meant a lot to me and whose mentoring and patience helped me grow. One such person, for example, is one of my former bosses in Australia, Justin Griffith, with whom I worked closely. I was inspired not only by his personality but also by his ability to recognize talent and potential in people. Justin and I still keep in touch, and I still call him occasionally to ask him for advice.
What characteristic do you consider most important in your colleagues?
Definitely honesty, transparency, and trust. Whether it’s in technical positions, management, or at the executive level. That’s something I consider very important, and they’ve also paid off for me in life. And it doesn’t matter if it’s within the company or customer relations. They play a fundamental role in the professional and business sphere and are critical for building strong and healthy relationships. If they’re absent, it’s just a matter of time before problems start cropping up.
How do you balance your work life?
It all changes a lot over time. At one time it was a lot of sports and travel – activities that can satisfy one mentally and physically. But lately it’s been more this golden combo – sports activities with my family. When we were still living in Australia, everything revolved around water and the beach. And then when we moved to Prague, winter sports began to dominate. Skiing or snowboarding, on or off-piste. That’s currently the right way to relax.
What would you say to those who would like to have your job one day?
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by failure and believe in what you’re doing. In life and along one’s career path, there are lots of moments when you get into a situation where your experience and skills are challenged. Negative feedback or a difficult life situation can then quite often lead to doubt or giving up on one’s goals…
So I don’t have any magic recipe: it’s all about persistence and self-confidence. People should believe in themselves and in what they want to achieve – and now I don’t even mean career-wise, but in life. Sometimes a small dose of stubbornness helps, of course, but it’s necessary to listen – because there is an incredible number of signals from people.
In interviews, what question do you ask first and why?
It depends on what’s involved. Skills are important, of course; people’s abilities, their history… But that I can read on LinkedIn or in their CV. I’m more interested in personality and motivation; why a person actually wants to do what they’re applying for, their ambitions, what makes them grow, whether their work makes them happy… These are the most important things, everything else can be taught.
If you could pick any other profession, which would it be?
When I was about ten, it was clear, I wanted to be an astronaut – that lasted quite a long time (laughs). And before I ended up in technology, another option for me was medicine. These are the professions that really motivated me, I respected the people who did these things, and I respected the calling as such.
Did you like this interview?
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