Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Prof. Dr. Karina Ochis, Professor of Leadership and Management
How could you describe your career path in few words?
My career path is also my life’s path. I ascribe to holism and integration of practice theory and reflection in everything that I do. Precisely for this reason, I am able to offer speaking, education and consulting services in leadership at the highest organizational and institutional levels. As a Harvard educated professor, proficient in Swiss quality research, I am a global expert in leading and managing the generations. I am an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council.
An accomplished public speaker, I have informed audiences during the last decade over the four continents at events such as: TEDx, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Canada's Leading Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Bayes Business School London, Egyptian Ministry Of Entrepreneurship, Rome Business School, 16th Fingerprint of Change Conference Istanbul, Asharq News Channel Dubai, Nordic Business Forum, Royal Thai Army War College Thailand, Kasem Bundit University, Alghad TV Egypt, The Academy of Economic Studies, Million Marketing Tour (London, Charlotte, Copenhagen, Kiev), Women Speaker Summit Nigeria, Uplevel Summit, Business Days, Elite Business Woman, The Woman Leadership Conference, to name but a few. I am a member of The US National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers and of The International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies.
I am a regular presence at white tie events, summits and congresses together with prominent world leaders, Presidents, and Nobel Prize Laureates. I have dedicated my life to researching, understanding and developing the concepts of the future. Through my public speeches, training, consultations, interviews and publications, I share the results of my complex study and offer implementable advice to all those interested in transformative concepts. I am often interviewed in the news, popular and business press including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fox News or Huffington Post.
I am a beneficiary of various awards in several disciplines including Best-selling Author, ACBSP Leadership Award, the Quilly Award in Hollywood California, and Honorary Contribution Award from The Arab Trainers Union with my businesses also receiving national and international accolades.
As a professor and researcher, I provide a life-changing education.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
Life and work are challenging until you figure out who you are and what you stand for. Once I figured out my life’s mission and dedication to ethical leadership for the next generation, my mindset changed in a positive manner. Congruency theory states that when one has not figured out their values, principles, and life’s mission, they tend to undertake decisions based on short-term needs and ad-hoc desires. However, when one figures out their compass in life, they start making decisions based on the previously established framework having the long-term goal in mind. In this context, I was able to cultivate the virtues and abilities essential for a leader in all aspects of life as well as for a professor for other leaders.
What do you think When you are surprised by unusual or uncertain context?
All problems become solvable when you define them correctly. The first step is realistic and objective definition of a problem without emotional appeals. The second step is to ask the right question to the right person to get an accurate answer based on how you have framed the problem in step 1. The third step is to define the first action in solving the problem with the information received. It is not necessary to know the entire resolution of the problem, nor to have perfect information. One must make the best decision with imperfect information at all times.
Based on your experience, what's the key success factor for a female leader/manager?
Female leadership is based on empowerment. In the past, we used to have traditional male and female leadership styles to which the traditional genders ascribed. Female leaders were expected to act in a certain way, namely to support cooperativeness, collaboration of managers and subordinates, lower control for the leader, and problem-solving based on intuition, empathy as well as rationality. Nevertheless, young generations are gender-bending; They refuse to define themselves according to gender psychology and aspire towards gender fluidity. This tendency will result in a decline of feminine and masculine leadership styles. Therefore, a leadership style applicable to the future will have to be gender-neutral. with a slight preference towards the feminine leadership one due to maintaining the preference for supporting and guiding qualities.
From a practical perspective, I teach in my leadership programs and educate the female executive clients with whom I coach and consult that authenticity and inner congruency are keys to being a true female leader. As a woman, when you want to undertake business, community or family leadership roles, you must first and foremost be true to yourself so you can initially exercise self-leadership and only thereafter you can lead others.