eudaimonia logo - 156x80

Natalia Blagoeva

ASSISTING LEADERS AND THEIR TEAMS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THEIR VALUES, FOSTER INTUITION AND INSPIRATION, AND FULFILL THEIR MISSIONS.

 

I am curious what possibilities we could awaken together.

Countries of Residence
Countries of Operation
Nationalities of people managed
Nationalities of co-workers

Certified Management Consultant (CMC)

the golden standard for quality in management consulting, an international professional certification guaranteeing that the consultant meets the criteria of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes.

Certified Cultural Transformation Tools Consultant

with Barrett Values Centre providing powerful metrics that enable leaders to measure and manage culture: the most crucial driver of organizational performance.

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance

(CPLP) –the only credential covering the entire talent development profession from ATD- the World's Largest and most reputable Talent Development Association

Certified Net Promoter Expert

Net Promoter grew from a customer metric developed at Bain & Company into a holistic management system and the gold standard in customer experience management.

Executive MBA, M.Eng. and Certificates

from world leading universities in Global Management and Authentic Leadership like Copenhagen Business School and Thunderbird School of Global Management.

25 Years of Executive Experience

with blue chip companies and 20 years of talent development and change leadership throughout 15 countries in Europe.

Finding My True North

THE FURTHER I GO, THE BETTER IT GETS.
  • 2015

    The Future Today

    THE GLASS IS NEITHER HALF-EMPTY, NOR HALF-FULL. THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF WATER AND CUPS.

I get lost every now and then, probably just as you do. What helps me in such moments is to ask myself: Deep down in my heart, do I know what is the right thing to do? What does my intuition tell me right now? What do I have energy for? Are my eyes shining? And if none of these works, I would tell myself – just hang on. It will clear out. That’s my only true North and no matter how discouraged or lost I get at a given moment, I feel happy again once I ask myself these questions. Not much reasoning. Just the questions and the intuitive answers I feel in my heart and my gut. This is my calibration and this is all it takes to go back on track and be happy again.

My Key Learnings from That Time

Leadership skills are inseparable of our humanity and a display of our spiritual growth. It all ends up being about having a high level of self-awareness and being tuned into your values, intuition and inspiration.

There is no such thing as work-life balance- it’s all about life. There is no such thing as "no pains- no gains." Great life is about commitment to balance, flow and inspiration alongside with patience.

The best ideas come out of friction and confrontation between people. In business and in life it’s all about who you are, what you believe in and what you would be willing to stand for.

Any person and any group of people that can’t talk sensibly, publicly and at length about beauty and values condemn themselves to unhappiness and inner and outer ugliness.

Life at its best is a flow of moments when things come together in an almost unbelievable way and events that could never be predicted or controlled seem to guide us along our path as if helped by hidden hands.

We all get very caught up in the day-to-day. We need to carve out the time to slow down, reflect, look at the whole, get in touch with our values, intuition and inspiration and visualize where we are headed.

  • 2012

    I Learnt What Holds People back

    AUTHENTICITY IS SIMPLY BEING WHO YOU ARE. IT IS THE ALIGNMENT OF HEAD, HEART AND HAND.

I founded Eudaimonia Solutions after a period of a lot of soul searching. What was the reason for the immense success of the organization I co-managed across different industries and many cultural boundaries? Why do several generations of people we worked with still talk about that part of their life as very important and formational? What changed later, when and why? What makes people great leaders? What makes them bad managers? When did that transition happen for me? Why do so many organizational managers operate mediocre organizations and struggle to bring the best out of their people? Why do so many people feel insecure and fearful? Why do we see so many wrongdoings in organizations across the world? What do love, values, spirituality and the heart have to do with all that?

At the end, I felt I have a story to tell.
I felt I could make the road less travelled less bumpy for other people.
I felt our common future tomorrow is dependent on how we all approach work today.

My Key Learnings from That Time

Do some people irritate you? Are there situations in which you lose your temper? Do you blame others for your misfortunes? Look carefully into these cases as they are the biggest source of personal development and spiritual growth for you.

Deviating from your own unique path can make you unhappy at least and sick at worst. In such moments your highest priority is going back to it. Everything else will fall in its place after that. How would you know you are there? You would know…

True happiness is not just about pleasure but also about emotional, mental and spiritual growth. Some call it eudaimonia. It is about a life of joy but also meaning and consciousness. It’s about those moments that take your breath away and make your eyes shine.

The best way to test if you know something is to try to teach it to somebody else. If they learn it, it means you know it too.

Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of being yourself, and fear of being out of your comfort zone are among the biggest impediments to happiness and human flourishing.

There are only three career questions you would ever need to answer: What do others value in you? What are the things you feel so passionate about that you would pay money to do them? What is it that you know that others need?

  • 2010

    We Are Defined by the Choices We Make Every Single Day

    THE HEART IS MORE CAPABLE AND QUALIFIED TO MAKE DIFFICULT CHOICES THAN THE MIND.

I left a successful corporate career at a moment when I had a dream-come-true job! I was living in beautiful Prague, I was doing exactly what I believed in, I was given the opportunity to keep learning and developing, I was least stressed, best paid and most independent. My mind told me to hang on, enjoy and benefit! My heart told me – run! Run no matter what you would lose financially; you would lose much more if you stay.

What happened?
I was part of the regional management team for Europe of a leading global corporation and the leader of a cultural transformation project in 13 European countries leading a cultural transformation project and shared practices that would foster service centricity, customer loyalty and fuel business growth. However, something felt very wrong.

The award-winning organization that we built during the previous 20 years was gone. I was working for an organization that did not share my values, management felt like management and not like leadership, and I knew deep down in my heart that the gap between what I believed in and what the organization practiced is there to stay.

My Key Learnings from That Time

The heart often knows better than the mind but the mind doesn’t let go easy so you need to make extra efforts to silence your mind no matter how brilliant you think it is.

Outer appearance and status are very often misleading. Be aware of your own unconscious bias of towards types of people that you associate with success and intelligence.

The success of any organization today is dependent on the average level of leadership skills of its entire workforce rather than of leaders only.

The future of any group of people is connected to how fast they can learn and how they fast they can unlearn, as well as where they are headed, as opposed to how much they know or possess today and where they are coming from.

Everybody is brilliant and flawed at the same time. Focus on the brilliance in people, the rest will take care of itself.

Happiness, prosperity and human flourishing are at the other end of conformity.

  • 2005

    Small Kids — Small Problems. Big Kids — Big Problems

    BRING IN A SMOOTH TALKING STRANGER AND YOU WILL SOON KNOW THE TRUE VALUES OF EVERYBODY.

After five years as an expatriate manager in Belgrade, Serbia, I played a key role in securing a major international contract and moved to Zagreb, Croatia to open the new office of Colliers International there. In parallel, I served as the Regional Operations Director and Managing Partner for Colliers International Southeast Europe and played a key role in building nine offices throughout Albania, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria and provided ad-hoc services in Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During this period, the company was elected three times in a row as the best Corporate Real Estate company in Southeast Europe and received three awards as best Employer- an award given to organizations showing exceptional results in their people management practices.

Today I believe that our unprecedented business growth and success were largely result of:

  • The authenticity and determination of the leaders
  • The strengths of the core culture and values, which were the only “rules and procedures”
  • The lack of structure, bureaucracy and silos
  • The resilience that aroused out of surviving unprecedented crucibles
  • The experience in working for years in volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity
  • The high level of democracy and open communication
  • The focus on raising the level of self-awareness and the emotional and mental growth of key people
  • The trust in values, intuition and inspiration
  • The commitment to be a factor of social change
  • The aspiration to positively impact lives of all stakeholders and make a difference as a whole.

However, exactly when we finally started seeing the first real fruits of years of very hard work, we made some of our biggest mistakes.
Why? Because, we did not take the time back to reflect on what we did well and started believing instead that we are lacking structure, procedures, operational manuals and clear department structure and chain of command. Today I know that a lot of the “deficiencies” were actually the main organization’s strengths.

My Key Learnings from That Time

When you go forward look back to see if people are following because pushing them and telling them is not the same as pulling them and leading them. Also, believing it and wanting it is not the same as inspiring and empowering them.

Some of the worst evil in the world is caused by people who have completed some of worlds’ most acclaimed educational institutions but have not evolved spiritually. Beware. They speak well, they look well, they know well. However, they do not do well.

I’ve always used my intuition rather than my mind when hiring or assessing people. However, I learnt that if your heart and your intuition tell you nothing, you need to count it also as a firm no. And, do not silence your inner voice just because you really wish for the best to happen.

Don’t trust people who play roles and games to get to the bottom of what others really think. Never play roles back when others play roles on you. Being authentic and treating people right will always open more doors than everything else combined together.

Probably the worst sins you can do as a leader is to surround yourselves only with likeminded and not give yourself enough time to stop, reflect and tune into your heart and your intuition. Why? Because in such periods, it is very easy to perceive something totally mindless as mindful.

Admitting when you are wrong in front of everybody is as important as persisting when you are right. Both are difficult because when you face strong opinions, it can take a lot of time to be sure if you are really right or really wrong especially if you do not tune into your intuition.

  • 2000

    Learning from Exposure to Diversity

    EVERY TIME YOU GET OUT OF YOUR USUAL ENVIRONMENT, A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES OPENS UP.

After eight years as a manager and a few years as a partner, I took my first expatriate job and started the office of Colliers International in Belgrade, Serbia (still Yugoslavia then). The country -- just weeks after the announcement of the end of the war – was not your usual business environment. Today I know that living and working in a foreign country, and not just any country but a post-war one, is one of the most transformational experiences I’ve had, which took away some conveniences but helped me build the confidence that I can cope with just about anything and anywhere. The company I managed was recognized as a leading service provider servicing major investors in the region. I was elected as the Vice President of the Foreign Investment Council in the country and President of its Real Estate and Construction Committee.

During this time I was also the first female Managing Director for Colliers International worldwide. The only other women I met at international conferences were holding marketing and administrative positions. I did not think much about that at the time but I know now this was no coincidence. Today, the company has four female Country Directors but interestingly --- all only in Southeast Europe and none in the other markets.

My Key Learnings from That Time

The toughest challenges develop the resilience and determination needed to face the constant setbacks that life brings. That resilience and determination is what differentiates the true leader.

Grow your stamina by walking straight into situations that terrify you.

The harder I work, the luckier I get.

For a while I kept a sign above my desk saying “It’s difficult only the first 100 years.” At some point I stopped needing it. I realized that solving challenges and assisting your people is why you have the job at first place.

Always question authority and majority. Statistically, neither of them knows the best way forward.

If you are a manager that wants to check their leadership skills, join a voluntary organization in which everybody is a manager. It is a lot different from leading the people you manage.

  • 1999

    Insights About Education

    EDUCATION IS GREAT IF IT TRANSFORMS A CONFUSED AND WORRIED MIND WITH AN OPEN AND HAPPY ONE.

I’ve always been a good student and I have been raised to take for granted the importance of education and academic excellence. However, my experience until this moment with education was that there are too many ”boxes” and too little inspiration. It was all about following, repeating and remembering.

Nothing I’ve experienced so far however can compare to the sheer happiness to study something that you want to study, something that teaches how to think, something that you could apply straight back to life. I started an Executive MBA program with an US University after eight years of experience as a manager. The relief to know that you are not alone or deficient and all managers go through similar challenges was liberating, invigorating but most importantly- it boosted my confidence and gave me the tools I needed to become a much better manager.

My Key Learnings from That Time

Learning is what people do best. If it does not flow naturally, find something else that does.

Be aware that the life lessons we run away from often represent the learning we need most.

To know if you agree with what they told you in school, try convincing somebody else the same.

You never have unique problems. For every problem you have, there are a lot of people who have already dealt with something similar.

Bad management is all about low self-awareness, lack of knowledge, fears, bad role models, and emotional deficiencies.

Exposure to people who think and do things differently are essential for development. Do something that scares you or you completely don’t get every single day.

  • 1995

    Crucibles of Leadership

    THERE ARE NO GAINS WITHOUT PAINS. (Or at least that's how I felt then; today I believe the opposite.)

The 90s were everything but straightforward throughout the Balkans. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity were the norm. At that time, I became a sweat-equity partner and operational manager for several start-ups in real estate, publishing, up-scale private club and restaurant, and industrial catering. For me, these were the years of growing as a manager and an entrepreneur, years full of great moments but also many mistakes, and the challenges and crucibles that I would later recall as formational and significant.

However, at the time they were just tough and complex, often unconceivable and sometimes even life threatening. Today, I know that these extreme conditions are at the foundation of my uniqueness as a leader, entrepreneur and a human being.

My Key Learnings from That Time

Desire to be the best and lack of self-confidence look like total opposites but they are not. They both hinder us from getting the self-awareness we need to grow as humans and as leaders.

Crises are the ultimate test of the ability of any person or organization to survive and thrive. They open opportunities that would never come to life otherwise.

Trying to escape from a challenge instead of dealing with it only prolongs your negative experience with it.

I have faced tough, often unconceivable and sometimes even life threatening difficulties. The biggest threat I have ever faced however is fear itself.

My worst fears have been related to not understanding my own introversion and judging myself for it. Knowing your strengths and accepting yourself just as you are crucial for wellbeing and success.

Other people’s power thrives when we believe we don’t have any.

  • 1990

    Trusting My Intuition

    INTUITION IS THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE HEART AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOUL.

After completing a Masters in Engineering and practicing three years as an Engineer in Automatics, I left a just-started PhD career. Driven purely by intuition and against all logic, I jumped into the unknown and never looked back. Up to that moment, I felt lost, in the wrong profession, insecure and somewhat empty. From that point on, I felt alive.

The lesson… the heart always knows better than the mind.
Never hesitate following it for fear of the unknown or the comfort of conformity.