Marina Jankovic is a Master Coach with 17 years of international experience in Business Management, Learning & Development and Executive Education. She has managed a Global Talent and Diversity & Inclusion for a company operating in 180 markets and directly contributed to building a more diverse talent pipeline and inclusive culture.
Marina brings psychological depth and a multi-system perspective to her clients and has partnered with numerous private and public sector organisations, both in-house and as a consultant, helping them design and implement experiential learning programs and coaching culture.
Drawing from her own business and talent development experience, along with 3000+ executive coaching hours and hundreds of clients' stories, Marina identifies stepping stones towards creating a more significant impact in business and life.
She is the author of a best-selling book Your Time To Shine, a pearl of practical wisdom for women – and men – to create the lives they want, by choosing courage, leading authentically, and contributing to a better world for the generations to come.
Marina, you’re a Master Coach and best-selling author. Your Time To Shine invites readers to contribute to the world with their talent and uniqueness. Where did you find inspiration for your book?
I spent a long time studying the question of “How to identify and share your talents with the world” –through adult learning theory, neuroscience, mentoring, focus groups, and insight from coaching clients from diverse cultures, professional backgrounds, and aspirations. In my book, Your Time To Shine, I share the ideas and common themes observed through thousands of coaching hours. I personally transformed through actioning these ideas, and I have witnessed how the tools I share in the book have helped many to walk their journey with courage and authenticity.
However, there is no one magical formula to success. Every story is different because the world needs everyone’s uniqueness. What matters is mindset and that’s what I am hoping will shift for my readers and clients.
The mindset I am hoping to empower is the belief that we have unlimited growth potential throughout our adult life. It consists of principles that help us achieve our highest aspirations, whether at work, in relationships or other aspects of life.
The best part is that we develop this empowering mindset, which I like to call the “Shine mindset” through an ongoing dedication to practice. It takes a lot of inner work and occasional discomfort. But that’s how we humans grow and reach our highest potential.
When you speak with lots of female leaders, is there a common challenge that many of them face? How are you helping them to face this challenge?
“I want to be a more confident leader,” is a goal that my clients often bring to our coaching sessions. However, how to build confidence is a big topic. “Just be confident,” advice is hugely unhelpful, so I empower my clients to be more courageous.
I define courage as the secret ingredient to acting, despite your fears.
When you exercise courage consistently, the foundation of confidence will form. You become confident by pushing through psychological discomfort when you show up, regardless of the outcome. As you keep pushing through this process, you will reshape a story of your identity that will help you believe in yourself and transform into the person you wish to become.
There will be lots of ups and downs on this journey, so it’s important that we become our own best friend and practice compassion. That will help us rewire our disempowering beliefs.
In general, tapping into self-compassion can help break the cycle of letting others determine your worth and help find a validation balance. It means that you show kindness and empathy to yourself, as you would to your best friend.
My five tips on becoming more self-compassionate:
“I am enough” is a powerful belief and the one we often lack. Think about how to like yourself instead of seeking to be liked by others. When you accept yourself for who you are and learn to love your true self, others will love you, too.
Acknowledge all your feelings; don't run away from them. Be aware of your emotions, label them (look at the goblin list if you need inspiration) without letting them define you.
Embrace all aspects of personal experience without judgment. Your experience is not a reflection of who you are as a person. Accept that mistakes are part of being human but do not mean you are less worthy. If you're having trouble softening your judgement, imagine what a very compassionate friend would say to you in this situation.
Approach setbacks constructively. Self-compassion does not mean neglecting responsibility for failure. It means that you approach these setbacks constructively, learning from them instead of beating yourself up because of them. Remember what we spoke about earlier – there will be many failures when you dream and play big. That’s an inevitable part of creating your legacy.
Filter negative feedback until you see it as an opportunity for growth. Seek to improve your abilities instead of to prove your abilities. Accept both strengths and shortcomings to start making the right choices.
When you unlock your inner power, you permit yourself to be afraid, courageously dance with your fear, and make mistakes until you achieve your biggest dream. Your vision is so bold that giving up is simply not an option!
You talk a lot about our power to transform ourselves. How would you define this journey? I like to think about personal transformation journey in terms of the equation:
Bold Vision + Courageous Action = Personal Transformation
Our minds are capable of more than we imagine. Our lives, relationships, and businesses can fall short of what we would want them to be. This is the sign that you have not lost your superpower –to dream big.
You cannot step into your vision fully and share your unique gifts with the world if you only dream big. Visioning without action is only dreaming. Courageous actions go before confidence, and on this journey, you need to trust your inner wisdom.
By taking courageous actions, driven by your bold vision, you start to identify with your natural gifts and talents and release the limiting fear-based beliefs. As a result, you begin to understand not only what motivates your ego, but what feeds your soul. That’s the beginning of personal transformation.
So, what’s the next goal for Marina Jankovic? What is the future of coaching and your role in it?
My goal is to continue working with clients committed to contributing to the better world and, in that way, expand positive impact of coaching.
We also know that organisations cannot tackle environmental and global challenges alone, so coaching needs to support leaders to consider their role in a much broader stakeholder network.
I often ask my coaching clients to consider what they are doing that is good for them, what they are doing that is good for the company and what they are doing that is good for the world. Only with these three questions aligned, and serving a higher purpose, will we feel we are truly making a difference. I am optimistic about the role of coaching in shifting mindsets from striving to be “the best in the world” to becoming the “best for the world.”
My big love is teaching others how to use coaching to elevate human consciousness, so I will continue to mentor experienced and aspiring coaches. I feel incredibly privileged to do what I love and share it with others.