I am Brankica Ljamić, an optimist with both feet firmly on the ground. I believe in the necessary link between having a clear picture of where we want to be, and committing to benevolent, persistent, and consistent (BPC) activities that get us there.
My experience is that I had to work hard for all my achievements. I received my Ph.D. at the University of Belgrade for a thesis on resource management of small and medium-sized enterprises, preceded by a psychology degree from the same University, and a master’s in management at Boston University. An MCC (Master Certified Coach) title was awarded to me by the ICF (International Coach Federation, USA) after having demonstrated required coaching competencies, derived from 12 years of experience, over 250 hours of training and more than 2500 hours of work with clients.
There are about 1200 coaches with the MCC title in the world, and those holding MCC and Ph.D. titles – around 200.
I became a coach after having ensured that the combination of my different fields of expertise could provide guidance to my clients on the road to change. I did not just wake up one morning with the idea that the world was missing a visionary of my ilk and who would make great posts on social media. In the sixteen years leading up to me taking up coaching, I was involved in a family business, gaining work experience in a VUCA* environment – from the dismantling of the Yugoslavian economy, friends emigrating (with me returning to Belgrade, and them moving to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc.), hyperinflation, mass migrations, civil war, bombing, transition 1, transition 2, world economic crisis, transition 3…
Much has been said about the business world, but what I find often missing in all the talk is the awareness that everything comes at a cost. Even success has its price; the choice of currency is ours to make ahead of time. I have seen many consequences of what I would call incomplete (not to say unsuccessful) professional success: lack of communication and intimacy with loved ones, personal dissatisfaction, loneliness manifested in various ways, distrust preventing one’s delegating tasks to others, physical and mental distress, etc. Of course, I witnessed the consequences of failed business initiatives. They were different and easier to spot compared to the consequences of what seemed like dazzling success, but left the protagonists feeling empty.
Add to that the line that epitomizes the willingness of one’s environment to lend support to such state of affairs : “Come on now, you can’t have everything.”
As demonstrated in my Ph.D. thesis, the owner’s knowledge of themselves as well as their line of work sets the potential for company’s success. No one can damage as quickly or seriously all which has been accomplished in business than the owners themselves; their carelessness, lack of focus, or ignorance. It is for them that I wrote the educational novel “How Much are You Willing to Pay?” (Delfi Bookstores) in which Marko Popović probes his brother Luka for answers to questions he realized were the key ones, only when he had reached the edge of a cliff – in terms of his health, family, finances, business.
This is the genesis of my approach to coaching and the framework within which I work with clients who believe they have a right to everything in life – to be both successful and to have a good time of it. Not just they themselves, but all the people they care about and who have contributed to that success. To have it truly feel right for everyone in an abiding atmosphere of mutual support. Because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and because our ego grows stronger as it masters the art of being smaller.
Apart from coaching work with individual clients, I have created and lead a world accredited education program for those who wish to become professional coaches. The CAP program (Coaching for Active Preeminence) was created with the intent of supporting the professional development of coaches. In a world accelerating on its way to virtual reality and artificial intelligence, I believe that the need for this kind of support and assistance will only continue to grow. At present, according to the findings of Price Waterhouse Coopers and the ICF, it is the second fastest growing industry, right after IT.
Additionally, I take part as a volunteer in selected projects every year because I believe in actively supporting the development of other people and local community.
That said, I am perfectly capable of not working and of not thinking about work. I still take delight in socializing with my childhood friends. I also love to travel and do it often and gladly. I visit museums, go on hiking tours, am fond of the theatre, concerts, music halls, cabarets, and savoring local food and drinks. I am a regular at the cinema. While I am an avid reader in many different fields, it seems to me that when it comes to erudition and culture, I am slowly being outpaced by my two beautiful daughters in their firm stride toward independence.
*a management term that defines the challenges of working in an environment that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous.