Svetlana is a certified co-active executive coach and mental wealth advocate. Throughout the last decade, she has coached hundreds of leaders across multiple industries. Her coaching approach is direct and intuitive, and combines her education in leadership development with Jungian Psychology and neuroscience.
Svetlana combines her 10+ years of work experience as a sales executive, creative recruiter, content strategist and head of storytelling and has coached leaders at Google, Apple, InVision App, AutoDesk, Netflix, and AirBNB. As a speaker, Svetlana facilitates workshops on the topic of “Mental Wealth” in order to raise awareness and break the stigma around mental health issues.
I think the conversation around culture has always been important, but because of the pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on what culture means. Everyone’s trying to figure out how we can have a strong workplace culture in these crazy times with employees working from home.
I also foresee that there’s going to be an even bigger investment in in-person experiences as time goes on. When companies are able to, I think events teams are going to blow up. I think people will try to get together and do retreats. I think we’re just beginning to see what’s possible in the realm of culture.
How did you get your start in teaching?
I’ve always been drawn to teaching. When I was in college, I actually taught a course at the University of Maryland, College Park. It’s actually the only public university that allows honors students to teach a course. I got to design my own course and teach it two years in a row. I think that’s where it all started.
When I was working in the corporate world for 10+ years I always found myself in the role of teacher. I wanted to ensure everyone on my team did better. I knew I wanted to do that full-time, so I transitioned from business development and marketing into coaching and facilitation about six years ago. It was the best decision I ever made.
Why are you passionate about leadership development?
I think we teach what we need to learn. I want to develop myself because, in order to develop other people, you must first develop yourself.
I subscribe to the idea that everyone is a leader. I don’t believe there are certain people who are and then others who aren’t. And, frankly, the world needs leaders right now. The world is crazy right now. We need people to step up and lead, but that’s not an easy thing to do.
What is one actionable takeaway you want your students to leave your class with?
There’s this book called “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and it’s amazing. It’s about how you focus on one thing – just one thing – that’s how everything gets done. I want every student to take just one thing away from my class. I want them to be able to point to one commitment they’ve made to themselves during our time together.
What’s your favorite part of working at Hone?
I am pretty new, but the people have been so cool so far. I loved the interview process. Everyone I met is so nice, smart, and mindful. I also love connecting with people during the courses. This morning, I taught and we had technical issues. People were so understanding and able to laugh about it. The human connection through technology is real.
What is the best lesson you’ve ever been taught?
You can always start your day again. Sometimes if I have a really bad morning, I think the whole day is going to be wasted. I first heard it from my roommate but I love the idea of reminding yourself you can always start your day again, you can always start your life again.
Who is someone who inspires you?
Matthew McConnaughy. I’m reading his biography and he’s an amazing writer. He’s cool, smart, funny, and he’s done so much with his life. He has a family and a career and he’s a philanthropist. He just seems like a dude I’d want to get to know better. I want to be the type of person where people stop and think, “Whoa, I really like her work and what she’s up to. I just want to hang out with her.”
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to make art. I’m an artist and I love to draw and make hats. While I have always been an artist, my medium has changed over the last few years. I used to love photography, but I started drawing a lot more in the last five years. It started as a way for me to take my feelings, put them on paper, and create something beautiful from anything.
What’s something your learners and colleagues probably don’t know about you?
People often hear my name and assume I’m from somewhere else, but the fact is I’m actually a refugee from the Republic of Moldova, which is the poorest country in Europe. I moved to the United States on the day the Soviet Union collapsed. Had our plane ticket been for the next day, we wouldn’t have been able to leave the country because they shut down the borders. I always have chills when I think about that because my life would have been so different if I didn’t get on that airplane.