Q&A with Karina Ochis: Leadership, Branding and Achieving Success

On the 9th February 2019 I have been the main partner of THE UPLEVEL SUMMIT 2.0 in Abuja, Nigeria. I was truly willing to elaborate my thoughts on next generation leadership, branding and my formula for achieving success. My ideas were widely discussed in an interview taken by Ms Shirley Hills, President and Chief Executive at Shirley Hills Global and Founder of The Uplevel Summit.

S.H. – “You are by all standards a ‘Life Champion’. Can you please introduce yourself, and share briefly with us how you evolved and emerged to be so successful, accomplished and significant?”
K.O. – I believe that what makes me accomplished is the fact that I tried to raise the bar in every professional endeavor. I have always been interested in the lives of people who left their marks on history and I have consequently studied these people. I realized that all of them followed their mission. Besides my studies, PhD Candidate at Monarch Business School, Masters Cum Laude from Rome Business School, Bachelors Degree in Politics from Queen Mary University of London, studies in marketing and e-commerce from London School of Economics, studies in digital strategy from the Online Marketing Institute and I am an accredited coach by Tony Robbins, my relentless pursuit of the next great thing made me emerge as successful, accomplished and significant.

S.H. – “Through your signature TEDTalk, ‘The Olympics of Life’, shared firstly in Brasov, and which has gone global, what in a nutshell is the “Olympics of Life”, and who really is a ‘Life Olympian’?”
K.O. – I am glad that my ideas have been shared with world-wide audiences. The Olympics of Life is a framework, a philosophy, a way to pursue your day to day activities. It is both something that I am teaching, preaching and implementing. In a nutshell, we usually think that only professional athletes can have a rigorous lifestyle. But the truth is that each and every single one of us, regardless of the profession, can implement this mentality. We can constantly train and better ourselves. We need to be persistent and have our eyes on the prize. Therefore, a life Olympian is a person who implements this framework in his/her day to day life.

S.H. – “You are a pro-NEXT GENERATION expert and thought-leader. How can individuals and institutions distinguish themselves to stay ahead in life and business and create outstanding legacies?”
K.O. – There is a clear differentiation between institutions and individuals in this respect. The idea however is the same, as everyone needs a vision, a mission and discipline. We all need to know where we are going and how are we going to get there while respecting the process. It is not about only one thing that might help someone build a legacy. It is a sum of things that need to be correctly and constantly implemented.

S.H. – “What is the role of personal/corporate branding for the Next Generation?”
K.O. – Personal Branding is a topic which I tackle in most of my speeches and interviews. Most people are aware of the importance of having a personal brand but they are however trying to copy something that works for someone else. Personal branding needs to be built around that specific person, taking into consideration his or her resources, strengths, weaknesses and objectives. We need to create our authentic brand in order to succeed. Moreover, both personal and corporate branding are important for the next generation. The world’s digitalization brought more and more online searches. If your online profile does not grab the attention in the first 7 seconds, the competitive advantage will be lost.

S.H. – “What are 3 life lessons you would tell your 10-year younger self?”
K.O. – First of all, you as a leader do not want to be a king, but a king maker. You want to help other people become kings and queens in their domains. Secondly, time does not work if you do not work. Thirdly, I would have told myself that it takes very long to solve any issue if there is a large number of people involved. You are the only master of your time and of your own tasks. The more people are involved, the longer it takes to solve your issues. Be patient!

S.H. – “Can you tell us your views about where the world of business is going 10 years from now, and how we can position ourselves to be among the high-flyers in the next 10 years?”
K.O. – We need to focus on the near future, especially on the next 2 to 5 years rather than on the long-term future. This is a more controllable time frame as it does not necessarily have to depend on the macro and micro economic issues, on the globalization and on the developments in technology. I was pleased to discuss the future of business and circular economy with world leaders at the “Technology, Innovation and Circular Economy Summit” 2018 held in Madrid (more details here). There, we reached a common conclusion that we should focus on the creative industries, on circular and green economy. We need to embrace the “new” and make it part of our business plan. We also need to take into consideration that, as the futurist Thomas Frey mentioned, until 2030, more than 2 billion jobs will disappear. However, the individual that is creative will always have a safe position in society and on the market. Having a personal brand will enrich your position and will make you a competitive player.

S.H. – “In view of the ‘Global Leaders Alliance & Mentorship Conference Africa Conference’ coming up in Nigeria in September, in which you will be the Lead Conference Speaker, what is your take on global leadership lifestyle, mentorship and influence for transforming and empowering our society?”
K.O. – I am mostly concerned about our society of achievers. The global situation is fickle and as entrepreneurs, we are at the politicians’ whims. However, we should focus on us, on the business people. We need not fear this situation, we need to focus on our work. When circumstances are difficult, we have to remind ourselves of the Phoenix bird who is rebirth from its own ashes. As achievers, we need to be consistent and persistent and we have to be the best leaders that we could be regardless of circumstances.

S.H. – “What are your final inspiring words for us in the pursuit of success and significance?”
K.O. – The best way to predict the future is to create it!

On March 6, 2019

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