AIJA News

In search of leadership in Dubrovnik...

16 October 2018

by Darko Marković, executive coach and leadership development expert, Inn.Side – learning and development, Serbia

We all have experiences with leaders, either in politics, our community, business or sport. If you type ‘leadership’ in Google, you may get no less than 145,000,000 of hits about books written on this topic. Somehow, everybody knows what leadership is, but there is still a never-ending interest about it. Interesting, isn’t it?

Either in life or in the movies, we can easily recognise a great leader and get impressed with their skills: how they communicate, motivate people, manage conflicts or formulate compelling visions to follow. The good news is that these superhumans were not born with those skills, those were all developed! 

Looking at the topic of what makes a great leader great, contemporary leadership researchers and thinkers would agree that the expertise and how smart you are wouldn’t make you a leader; you need different ways of being smart. The outstanding leaders demonstrate several different intelligences, such as emotional, cultural, political and systemic.   

In my work as a leadership development coach, I have been working with executives from multinational corporations, leaders in international NGOs, owners of businesses or start-ups. What I have learnt from them is that it is never about the skills only. Skills are important, but also easiest to learn. Skills can be learnt and trained, but to produce results they need to land somewhere. There is a need for a fertile ground. This fertile ground in the context of leadership development is leadership mindset and leadership identity.

In other words, it is not so much about WHAT you do as a leader, but rather HOW you do it and WHO you are. You can imagine two leaders saying exactly the same things, but the way the things were said and who they were as persons could have created a completely different impact on people around them. Sounds familiar?

For effective leadership in the complex and fast-changing world that we are living in, more than ever, leaders need to reflect on their leadership. This reflection should include questions like ‘what are beliefs and convictions of mine that are blocking/supporting my leadership’, ‘am I ready to say YES to my leadership?’, ‘what is my leadership calling  and the source of my leadership’, ‘where do I lead from; from the past, present or the emerging future?’, ‘what does the world want from me?’, etc. Yes, you are right, this goes much deeper than ’10 steps to effective leadership’-approach, but that’s the way it is. Leadership development is much more about the inner work than public relations. In the forthcoming AIJA workshop in Dubrovnik, we will create a unique space to learn and grow as leaders and human beings. 

About the Half-Year Conference in Dubrovnik

From 22-24 November, we will host our Half-Year November Conference in Dubrovnik. This year's theme is 'Building Leadership Skills for Success'. 

On Friday, 23 November, participants will spend one day in an interactive workshop run by Darko Marković, executive coach and leadership development expert, Inn.Side – learning and development. The workshop 'How to become a better and more effective leader' promises to provide participants with hands-on advice and practical examples on how to become a better and more effective leader in their day to day work.

On Saturday, 24 November, participants are invited to attend one of the three parallel workshops held during the first half of the day. These will focus on how to develop leadership skills in an international association, such as AIJA, by taking on different roles within the association (e.g. commission officer, national representative, member of the organising committee for an event). Participants will learn how such roles can help them to strengthen their personal brand on social media and build a portfolio that they can showcase in their law firm or the wider legal community.

From 22-24 November, networking sessions will complement the leadership and skills development programme to allow for business contacts and meeting other international law practitioners.

Early-bird registrations end on 23 October. To register and view the full programme, visit the dedicated website.

About Darko Marković

Darko works as a leadership development trainer, executive coach and consultant. During 20 years of his consultancy work, he has been supporting leaders and organisations in their growth and transformation. He has been working with a large number of clients, including multinational companies, European institutions and international organisations in more than 30 countries. His main professional focuses are leadership development, team development solutions, cultural intelligence and systemic change. He has MA in psychology, background in psychotherapy (REBT, psychodrama) and certificates in The Art and Science of Coaching (Erickson College International), Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence (Weatherhead School of Management, USA) and Systems Dynamics in Organisations (Bert Hellinger Instituut, NL). He is the owner of Inn.Side – learning and development and he is  based in Belgrade, Serbia.