Leaders of the 21st Century. Smart. Inspiring. Connected

POSTED: 17.12.2019.

This year’s 3rd Research meeting’s central theme was Leaders of the 21st Century. SMART. INSPIRING. CONNECTED. It was attended by over 70 leaders from companies with foreign investment and mixed capital investment who had the opportunity to hear talks by experienced leaders sharing their views on successful leadership of employees and companies.

Ajda Cuderman, Acting Director of SPIRIT Slovenija, opened the event with a keynote in which she emphasized the important role played by companies with foreign investment and mixed capital: “Over the past 25 years, these companies have become an integral part of the Slovenian economy, which has turned out to be competitive, solid and flexible while staying focused on looking for globally attractive business solutions and healthy growth of added value. They bring excellence, added value and experience to the table and are an important export generator and belong among the most attractive employers while also ensuring integration into global value chains.”

Ajda Cuderman, foto: Vid Rotar/Mediaspeed


Klod Kolaro, General Manager of Comtrade Solutions and Vice President of Comtrade, a leading regional ICT provider, shared his experience.

Klod Kolaro, foto: Vid Rotar/Mediaspeed


Being a leader at the time of digital revolution is a demanding task and a significant challenge for many leaders.” He explained that traditional leaders from hierarchical systems must give up the old leadership patterns and adopt new ones as digital leaders differ from traditional managers significantly. “A successful leader must be flexible and learn constantly so they can understand the changes underway within their company and more broadly. They must lead by example, empower their employees and inspire them to believe in what they are doing with their hearts and souls. This is the only way to lead the companies of the future, where artificial intelligence will take on a much more important role.”

Sandra Županec, foto: Danijel Novakovič/STA


Sandra Županec, Director of Carthago, d. o. o., one of the leading manufacturers of luxury motorhomes, also talked about how to manage employees. “The leaders of today need to have relevant competencies. We live in a world of conscious and engaged employees who prioritize relationships and values and want to know what they get in return for their investment in the company.”

Marko Bitenc, foto: Danijel Novakovič/STA


Marko Bitenc, founder and Director of genEplanet, d.o.o. high-tech startup, talked about innovation as the key ingredient of success. His company won the title of the best biotech startup in the Central and Eastern Europe in 2018. “Innovation is an integral part of our business and is also crucial when it comes to managing employees. However, success in business also requires patience and perseverance.”

Andrea Massi in Tina Maze, foto: Vid Rotar/Mediaspeed


Tina Maze and Andrea Massi, Team to aMaze were also among the speakers sharing the secret to successful leadership. “Just like in business, success in sports requires an outstanding team that works in harmony. As we were putting our team together, professional skill was not the only factor. We also looked at how this person will get along with other team members. After all, we spent 300 days with our work family and it was very important that the team worked well together. People needed to trust that every team member will do their work reliably. Every team member had to contribute specialized knowledge, otherwise we would have failed.” Tina and Andrea emphasized that the important thing was a leader who knew how to build upon the past achievements and constantly look for better solutions.

The meeting concluded in the evening with an award ceremony celebrating the best foreign investors – FDI Award Slovenia 2019.