“Through expertise in impact development and feminine leadership, I unlock transformation of individuals to find their authentic voice & flow, teams to fulfil their mission via emotionally intelligent collaboration, and organisations to walk the talk of inclusion and well-being. Let’s explore this possibility.
Hello beautiful soul!
I am Lucia. I have a feeling you have been guided here to explore if we would be a good fit in getting you unstuck on your journey of creating a life that feels healthy, wealthy and excitingly meaningful. Maybe you wonder why a public servant would embark on a rather unorthodox journey of political campaigning, podcast production or freelance coaching. Maybe you already notice commonalities in what we create in the world. Are you curious to dig deeper into the story of how I went about re-discovering my passions and creating new forms of self-expression to feel more alive, aligned and impactful? Welcome and read on.
What am I about?
What’s clear is that I don’t use my cool-sounding business card as an identity crutch any longer. After an exciting reinvention journey, I am now all about empowering other change makers and elevating consciousness of teams they are part of. No longer working on innovative tech policy, but loving the exploration of “technology of transformation” of people. If you read on, you’ll find out more about my careers in tech, European policy making, political campaigning, Brexit negotiations and careers comms. But in addition to my jobs, there was always an extra dose of activism, intrapreneurialism and involvement in all things HR, L&D, diversity, empowerment… So today I am proud to say that now I bring all of this together – playing an exciting game of personal development with others who are courageous to raise their standard and become more effective agents of change. I do this as a burnout expert, women empowerment coach, societal impact mentor, public speaker & events host.
Born in post-communist Czechoslovakia…
I grew up together with the democracy around me – in a society formatted by decades of absence of free expression, values-based leadership and respect for fundamental freedoms. My childhood was marked by experiences that appeared normal only for those who grew up eastwards of the Iron Curtain – how special it feels to have pineapples on the Christmas table or to have access to high street fashion imported from Austria. I perfectioned my discipline, strength and flexibility in gymnastics trainings and foreign language classes, wondering how much extra work is necessary for somebody ‘like me’ to succeed in the bigger world.
Integration was THE cool subject back in the 90s.
I went to study international relations and European affairs, and started accumulating countless internships in business, national parliament, foreign ministry and embassies. Selling ice cream and washing public bathrooms on the American East Coast taught me a lot about managing multiple jobs and building one’s dream bottom up. EU-funded exchange programs like Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci internships unleashed my European soul and never let it get squeezed back into the Slovak-only box.
My first work on ‘women’s agenda’ was about female genital mutilation.
I remember flipping through the flyers at the Bratislava office of UNIFEM, the United Nation’s Fund for Women. I can still feel the goosebumps. The contrast of photos depicting the African beauty with stories of violence that ruins lives of entire generations of women. The anger, which overtime I learned to convert into ‘a force for good’ as Tony Robbins makes us shout at his events. My journey of being a catalyst for transformation of lives of other women started back then with writing my thesis about violence against women and gender equality across various cultural spaces.
LSE taught me to surf on the interface of public sector and business.
My first job was at a boutique consultancy providing market-entry advisory for the Central European markets – like a real-time MBA exposing me to end-to-end consulting and business growth challenges. I loved how my experiences started falling into a coherent image – I saw myself growing into a mediator between the worlds of public and private business.
My masters in Public Management and Governance at the London School of Economics was a tailor-made prep for this desire – simplifying lives of business owners in Europe. That year was intense, confirming how much we grow when stretched. From fundraising for tuition fees and quick acquisition of academic writing skills, through standing up to the expectations set by our professors from Harvard, to keeping up with the uncompromising commitment to excellence of my study group.
IT careers = springboard to e-government but also education activism
Upon my graduation, I was headhunted by one of the Slovak tech leaders to advise on growth of their e-government projects and design their corporate social responsibility strategy. I became the voice of the Slovak employers in driving the debate about linking education and labour markets. I found my recipe for productivity, flow and self-expression; and proudly co-shaped career choices of thousands of students.
Somewhere between designing a smartphone-enabled authentication solution for electronic elections and campaigning for the rights of teachers during one of their biggest strikes ever, I received another once-in-a-lifetime offer. After a two-years long lasting selection process, I was hired by the European Commission in Brussels.
Since 2013, policy-shaping from the European Commission
- At first, I was in charge of ‘skills and digital’ for the tourism sector – equipping the EU’s small businesses with the training strategies and tools to deal with the digital revolution, online platforms and sharing economy.
- Then I moved to an area where the EU got an exclusive regulatory competence: public procurement. I worked on the more geeky side of developing e-procurement solutions but also on a more political side of assisting Slovakia and Czech Republic in reforming their procurement systems.
- In 2016, the year of the first Slovak presidency in the Council of the EU, I was seconded to the team of the Slovak diplomats in Brussels, helping them with the proposals related to e-government.
- Then followed years of advising the European Commission’s senior management about industrial policy – from Brexit negotiations through smarter use of data, to diversity & inclusion. Helping our industry prepare for Brexit was a unique policy endeavour but also energy draining at all levels – ultimately sending me off to a burnout break (a gift on its own, as you’ll find out below).
- As a member of the Equality Task Force of Commissioner Helena Dalli, I had a unique chance to help reflect equality in its broadest sense in the EU’s policy. The best part was that I was appointed to this role because I had become known for my passion to empower women as a coach and mentor.
In and out of office, I am the voice of femininity in Europe
I stand for transformation through feminine leadership and work culture that works for all genders and generations. As a coach, mentor, public speaker and a host, I support women’s self-expression in the worlds of politics, policy and large-scale impact. Powered by collaboration with the Global Institute for Evolving Women, I believe in the transformation of humanity through aligned power of evolving women – if we learn how and dare to work, live and communicate with feminine principles at heart.
In 2019, 14.896 Slovaks gave me their personal votes in the European Parliament elections
Yes, it’s rather unusual for a bureaucrat to run as a political candidate. Yet, for me, it was the only place that felt right – in the view of Slovakia’s lowest turnout rates in the European elections, massive rise of far-right extremism, years of traumatising work on handling the Brexit process and consequences on millions of citizens and businesses…
So I took my first sabbatical and moved back to Slovakia for a road trip that opened endless conversations about the ins and outs of our EU membership. Similarly to building a startup, it was a priceless lesson in leadership, management, communication, fundraising, product development, PR and much more. Similarly to exiting (the startup or any life experiment into the unknown), my return to my Brussels matrix was anything but a comeback to a policy life as I knew it.
Get in touch if you’re called to explore how I can support you – either as a political candidate or as a female change maker in any other domain:
Podcasting Lights on Europe for those curious about humans of the Brussels bubble
Lights on Europe is how I shine more light on ‘the story behind the story’ of EU change makers. Listen to my interviews to tune into their passions and hacks for successful EU careers – from policy experts through lobbyists and activists, to top level leaders like the European Commission’s Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. Check it out on podcast platforms or my YouTube channel – hope it will be one of the resources transforming your outlook on how we create public impact.
Today I empower women, parents and all burnout hero(in)es to become even more radiant, energised and impactful
It is my inner work that makes massive outer impact possible. After years of studying and experiencing various healing modalities, I passionately share these gifts with people seeking more flow, authenticity and productivity.
My 1on1 coaching offer attracts mainly those who identify themselves as
- young professionals in the field of EU/global policy careers,
- women desiring to rediscover and express their feminine qualities,
- newborn mothers wondering how to have it all in their own way,
- creators looking to avoid (another) burnout to maximise their impact – in collaboration with Burnout Heroes.
Let’s speak if deep down you know there is a way for a more authentic life in flow.
They say I’m good at building bridges between disconnected worlds; mediating between communities that feel misunderstood; unleashing the talent that would otherwise remain unseen; converting ideas into roadmaps. Without a fear of failure, unpaid invoices, embarrassment or burnout. If this resonates and you’re looking for a mentor who’s been through similar struggles, book a call with me and in the meantime, continue reading.