This week, the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria launched the first Leadership Academy, class of 2014/2015, starting with “Emotional Intelligence”. The Academy is a project of the Council that is a free professional leadership training program consisting of six one-day modules within the academic year. The first module was held on June 12-13.
Around 40 ladies, managers of small and medium-sized enterprises across the country and women in mid-level management positions, underwent a serious selection process as part of the professional programs for evaluation. Curiously, participants included also representatives of the state administration.
“The Leadership Academy of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria was met with great interest by women entrepreneurs. We received over 100 applications from across the country,” said Boriana Manolova, President of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria and CEO of Siemens Bulgaria, at the academy’s inauguration. “I strongly believe that a person never stops learning. So I hope that upon completing the training program each participant will take away ideas, practical guidelines and food for thought and will use them to their benefit in their everyday business, helping them in their personal development,” said she.
“The resources invested by UniCredit Bulbank in the Leadership Academy for ladies of the Council of Women in Business are desirable and important, but I admit that our goal is not completely selfless and altruistic. The truth is that we have a commercial interest to develop ambitious, educated, positive, active women to further the prosperity of the country. Therefore, we do whatever is needed to support their development because prosperity is not created through administrative decrees and laws. It is created by entrepreneurs. We invest in them so that our country has a bright and happy future,” said at the launch Levon Hampartzoumian, Chairman of the Board and CEO of UniCredit Bulbank. At the invitation of the President of the Leadership Academy Mrs. Boriana Manolova, he officially inaugurated the Academy.
About the participants in the first Leadership Academy
The class of 2014/2015 of the Leadership Academy consists of ladies with 3+ years of experience in a managerial position, owners or managers of small and medium businesses and others that strive to develop their leadership skills to expand their business or take on greater leadership responsibilities.
Applicants had to complete a registration form and send a resume. The ladies had to explain how training in the Leadership Academy would improve their work, where they see each other in one year and to share their biggest success, either personally or professionally. “We were impressed by the cover letters of the applicants and their desire and clear vision to develop professionally and personally,” said the HR specialists of CEZ Bulgaria, who conducted the selection process. The company is one of the Council’s members. About 50% of the weight in the selection of the participants in the first class was attributed to Belbin’s Team Roles selection model, which focuses on key leadership competencies.
The first module of the Leadership Academy is a one-day training aimed at self-awareness of one’s own strengths and weaknesses. It is an intense and challenging seminar that reveals what it means to deal with change through emotional intelligence – accepting emotions and understanding their results. The next module which will take place in July is a training entitled “The Business Model You”, which helps to optimize the most important business model of all, i.e. the individual. Participants in the Leadership Academy will use the visual Canvas Model to analyze their own business model.
About the Council of Women in Business
The Council of Women in Business was created by ladies in top managerial positions with proven experience in management and corporate culture. Board members include Diana Maneva, CEO of Generali Bulgaria and CEO of GP Reinsurance; Maxim Meyer, Editor-in-Chief of Manager magazine; Zhulieta Serafimova, General Manager of Grand Hotel Sofia; Vania Minkova, Human Resources Director, CEZ Bulgaria, Valentina Dikanska, CEO of BASF, and Zoya Paunova, CEO of AstraZeneca Bulgaria.
The organization is open to new members, who are prominent managers or representatives of companies with proven experience and corporate culture, who share the organization’s values.
Members of the Council of Women in Business and the Board plan to join the training to get to know their peers, and to start a mentorship program.