Ljubljana MBA, WOMEN FOR WOMEN: Nela Bučević

As an individual and professional, how do you operate today (after your MBA degree)?  What’s different from before, during the MBA course?
After the MBA programme, I have definitely acquired additional knowledge. Also, it encouraged me to discuss with my colleagues topics that were until then out of my area of responsibility. By gaining deeper knowledge, I have also acquired a deeper understanding of business in general. I feel more comfortable to lead strategic discussions and make decisions in all areas of the company.

What is the best business decision you’ve ever made? What are three events that helped shape your life?
Integrity, transparency and authentic leadership with a clear vision of our future drive all of my decisions. Rather than pointing out three specific events that have shaped my life, I would emphasize a high level of motivation, curiosity and desire for continuous learning and improvement, as well as a creative approach to each task and openness to new experiences as enablers of all of my actions. “Always dare to change things around”  has been the base for all the changes I have made in my life.

What are the most important decisions/challenges that you face daily as a leader in your organization?
Daily challenges are connected with the development of potentials, the inclusion of different personalities and continuous development of competence and capabilities. We are living in a fast-changing world; consequently, flexibility and capability to listen to people’s needs are nowadays essential. The aspiration in my organisation is to install a structure that will foster greater decentralisation and empowerment, enable entrepreneurship and better and faster decision-making. This will in its turn result in full engagement across the company and a breakthrough in business results. This way of working will unleash the full potential of the company’s strategic ambition with a clear focus on local core target groups, an intensified effort to engage in communities, aiming to continuously increase the relevance of its business, having a strong differentiation in food competence and a solution mind-set, serving customers through various channels, exerting intensive efforts to further improve employee engagement, possessing powerful and intensive execution mind-set and “lean attitude” that is about using benefits of economies of scale and shared resources.

What’s an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m always proud of new projects, new ideas and their development, especially people development. After 6 years, my team has completely changed; all of my team members have been promoted to regional positions, which gives me an opportunity to show my colleagues that people development is the most important role of a leader. I’m proud of our organization’s completely new strategy and of my role during these changes. I’m always proud when I am able to see people around me grow, take on more responsibilities and govern their own actions.

Do you think businesses benefit more from having women in them?
In my opinion, women bring in more emotions; think more about people and their feelings. We look beyond the figure and the facts. We think more about the atmosphere at work and extra engagement, not just to fulfil tasks and achieve great results. I can say that women’s approach is much more sustainable.

When you’re really busy, how do you manage to find balance in your life?
I always strive to clearly define my priorities, making to do lists for everything I have to do, since I believe it is the best way to stay focused. I consider quality planning as half of the success. I worked with people and really cannot make a clear cut between business and private life, because it is the relationships with people that inspire me in my job. I’m trying to balance every moment of my life. I’m simply present in every moment and try to recognize when it is special or nice; try to be aware of the moment whether it’s simple or special. Therefore, whether it’s making coffee in every morning, spending a cosy evening with friends when you just enjoy each other’s company, reading a good book, lighting a candle, walking around downtown or traveling around.

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