No products in the cart.
“Those who understand that being globally connected today is no longer an option, but a necessity for success, will be the ones who triumph, even in times of adversity”
The time in which we find ourselves is turning increasingly relentless. It is true that globalization can no longer be stopped, but as we can see in the world around us now, globalization also brings with it a whole array of problems. In these changed circumstances, it is extremely important that countries maintain a level of economic growth, and logically, the best suited partners for any country to deepen economic cooperation are its neighboring countries. In this respect, it is extremely important for countries to have the best possible political relations with their neighbors, as they can be the ideal partners for in-depth economic cooperation.
After many years of work and engagement in the field of economic and international relations in Slovenia, in 2013 I came up with the idea of economic cooperation with Kazakhstan. The level of economic trade between the Slovenia and Kazakhstan was very low and it seemed to me that there was a great deal of untapped potential there. We established the Kazakh-Slovenian Business Club (KSBC). Relatively soon after the founding of the club, which at first no one wanted to join, a moment of truth ensued. We were in for a bitter surprise as we came to the realization that official institutions of the two countries were not in favor of the establishment of the KSBC. Another shock quickly followed – one of the co-founders was a fraud who stole a large part of the funds needed for the further development of the club.
This was a big blow for KSBC and very quickly the organization found itself at a crossroads. I must admit, I took a moment to think over things. On the one hand, there were no members, on the other hand, the state did not support the establishment at all, and to top it all – we were robbed. But because the battle can only be won if you fight, a decision was made, and we moved on without surrender. With the generous help (not financial) of our friends in Kazakhstan, we finally started to create normal KSBC structures and thus established the conditions for the growth of the organization. With a lot of effort on our part, especially my excellent co-workers, KSBC has grown and become an increasingly powerful and well-established organization which is constantly gaining members. A testament to our strength is the fact that we were able to sign an agency agreement with the main investment company of the Government of Kazakhstan to become their official branch, not only in Slovenia but in the entire region of Central and South-Eastern Europe. As a result, KSBC is one of the largest organizations of its kind in Central Europe. So, my advice would be: never give up, perseverance pays off sooner or later.
To be clear, although strategic partnership has never been established between the two countries, a bridge of friendship and cooperation has certainly been established, which the KSBC has deepened and consolidated. This is one fact that no stakeholder can deny.
“In life, with your eyes and ears open, it is imperative to have an open mind as well. However, time cannot be overtaken, and experience is something that only comes with time. I myself often say that the best experiences are the ones that were the most expensive, so the bad ones”
Globalization and the role of international organizations
I reiterate, globalization is inevitable. It is an ongoing process that is happening here and now, and it can no longer be stopped. The whole world, and with it all countries and people, are connected much more and better than it might seem to any layman at first sight. Even children today have childhood friends not only in their own street but all over the world. And that is the reality of the 21st century and the age of digitalization. In this light, all those who understand that being globally connected today is no longer an option, but a necessity for success, will be the ones who triumph, even in times of adversity.
Organizations such as the Global Chamber of Business Leaders (GCBL) help facilitate global business. According to the definition we use in the GCBL, The GCBL is a coalition of governmental leaders, CEOs and executives, entrepreneurs, investors and business and industry leaders who share a common vision: the sustainable well-being and growth of business in a disruptive and ever-evolving global economy. The Chamber prioritizes activities that align with the UN-declared Decade of Action, promoting the importance of the inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals in the business models of the future, allowing our partners, members, and participants to prepare their businesses to be vanguards of the future.
Lifelong Learning – Communication and Connection
One cannot be global or successful without being connected. But if we want to connect, we need to communicate, and knowledge and experience come to the fore only after we have established the first contact. I am comfortable with speaking around ten different languages. It is often the case that without knowledge of languages it is not possible to make contact. Knowledge of languages and knowledge of the culture of a nation can make all the difference when we make initial contact, in fact, being culturally sensitive to people of other nationalities can have a decisive influence in business.
As human beings, we are constantly learning, throughout our lives. Learning is a process that is only interrupted by our death. The sooner one understands this, the sooner it becomes clear that in life, with your eyes and ears open, it is imperative to have an open mind as well. However, time cannot be overtaken, and experience is something that only comes with time. I myself often say that the best experiences are the ones that were the most expensive, so the bad ones.
My personal career is based on a kind of gradualism, but certainly on experience. The latter, of course, does not mean that I know everything, not even the least; I learn again every day, and the price for learning is often still as high as it once was at the beginning of my career!
“If you have people who sincerely love you and support you on your path, and are part of it, everything in life is somehow easier. If so, your successes will always be noticed and someone will rejoice for you even at your smallest successes, and that is the essence of life”
Lobbying and the power of influence
A question in many peoples’ minds is – What does it mean to be a lobbyist? If we want to understand the role of a lobbyist, we must first understand the definition of lobbying. Lobbying is the process of influencing decision-makers on behalf of stakeholders or civil society. The process of lobbying is that part of influencing decision-makers that takes place outside the formal legislative process in the narrow sense and can be consciously, to a greater or lesser extent, less visible or even invisible to the public. In short, it is about exercising the influence that a lobbyist must have, and about the lobbyist’s connections which can be leveraged to influence decision-makers to make a decision.
In my personal opinion, the most important of all the skills that a good lobbyist must have is that he knows how to use his mind and that he thinks with his heart. This is followed by the integrity of the individual, and then only the connections, which are of course crucial for someone to be able to lobby at all. At this point, I must admit that in economic terms, I personally have not lobbied for a long time. Generally speaking, however, all of us who are involved in certain processes and have access to decision-makers are lobbying at some point. For me, lobbying is a kind of ‘Modus operandi’ as I always strive to live better in the future, to define social processes more fairly, and therefore create a more optimistic future.
How I define success
You know, we often experience our own successes differently than those around us, so let our successes be judged by others based on our work. For me, the greatest success is my friends, who together with my family are a strong life stimulus for me. If you have people who sincerely love you and support you on your path, and are part of it, everything in life is somehow easier. If so, your successes will always be noticed and someone will rejoice for you even at your smallest successes, and that is the essence of life.
To the younger generation
My advice would definitely be what I said earlier: perseverance, perseverance, and perseverance again. Never give up, because sometimes the essence is hidden from your eyes, and when it seems to you that everything is over, it is not necessary really so. In any case, the predisposition for perseverance is intelligence; which allows you to first assess when and why it is worth fighting in life and what to insist on. At this point, I will only repeat what I have said many times before: it is not the brain that leads to success, but the heart. One who does not have a heart does not benefit his brain either.
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead July 2021 issue.
The definition of a truly global business leader, Mr. Dejan Stancer is Chairman of the Global Chamber of Business Leaders (GCBL) and Founder and current President of the Kazakh-Slovenian Business Club (KSBC), one of the largest business clubs in Central and Southeastern Europe. He is a licensed lobbyist as well as a recognized International Advisor. Through KSBC, Mr. Stancer facilitated strategic partnerships between countries, governments, and businesses. With decades of experience in international business and a rich entrepreneurial background, Mr. Stancer is a popular keynote speaker and has been honored several times for his role as a leader in international business.