Interview with Lydka Vajsáblová, co-owner of ReFit Clinic

Interview with Anna Hajduchová-Záturecká, CFO of Frey Services
4. November 2021

At what stage in your life did you sign up for the Authentic Leadership programme organised by LeadINcenter?

At the time, I just returned to work after a year-long maternity leave, was promoted to a managing director, and became responsible for an emerging IT team that had separated from an existing one within Adient. I had a 1-year-old at home, I was carrying the financial burden, as my husband was on parental leave and I was in a cycle of constant responsibilities. I often didn’t even realise how many things were washing over me and affecting me.

The timing of the programme couldn’t have been better, it was literally the perfect timing! 😊

2. How did the programme change you? How has it helped you?

First of all, it helped me to pause for a moment, to start answering important

questions and to organise my priorities in life. I hadn’t had time to do that in the everyday hustle, and it provided me with space to reflect on who I am and what I really want and need.

The community of people in the programme and the awareness that I was not in it alone helped me a lot, as did the fact that others were dealing with almost the same issues as I did, whether it had to do with a partner, children, parents, or work.

To this day, I still reminisce about various moments and insights from the programme even though four years have passed since then. For example, just today I stopped on my way home from the kindergarten and savoured the sunshine and the view of the chestnut trees. A perfect demonstration of mindfulness in practice 😊. Until recently, I didn’t know how to enjoy the little things and the things we often take for granted and be grateful for them but I do now.

3. Do you remember having any aha moments? If so, can you give us any examples?

Yes, and there were quite a few 😊. It started with creating “my own credo”, identifying my fears, and answering certain targeted questions. As a result, a lot of things became clear and I started to work on myself.

After a year off, during which I felt I needed time to process all the stimuli and emotions, I accepted the invitation to start Level II (note: a continuation of the Authentic Leadership programme). Perhaps the biggest aha moment in Level II was the realisation of the concept of the “spiral”, which is based on the idea that life evolves and is not static. After each challenge we manage to overcome there will come another, more difficult one. This is how we change and gain various experiences, and the process never ends. The status quo does not last forever.

4. And how do you look at your situation with hindsight? Where has working on yourself taken you in your personal life?

First of all, I do not consider the completion of both programmes as the end. On the contrary, it was the beginning of my personal transformation journey.

I found the courage to make some fundamental decisions and to give up material possessions that many people chase but that did not bring me happiness. We sold our house near Bratislava and moved to an apartment in Trenčín. To this day, several family members do not understand this decision but I feel happier now and I do not regret doing it.

5. I suppose it wasn’t easy with work either, was it?

At work, I gradually adjusted my working conditions to suit me so that I could work from both Bratislava and Trenčín. Later on, when the company was undergoing organisational changes and started to significantly reduce its staff, I didn’t let the situation overwhelm me and instead made a conscious decision. Without the knowledge I gained from the LeadIN programmes, I probably would have viewed the entire situation more dramatically. This time, however, I saw “the negative aspect” more as an opportunity. I decided to take a 10-month sabbatical, to strengthen the relationships in my family, to make time for myself and my health.

6. That sounds interesting, can you tell us more about it?

Of course. It hasn’t even been 3 months since I have enthusiastically embarked on a brand new project. I am coordinating and developing the activities of ReFit Clinic, the orthopaedic and rehabilitation clinic in Bratislava.

I believe that the cornerstone of sound health consists of 3 elements: movement, diet and mental health. The leadership programmes and coaching helped me deal with the mental health aspect, but it was only after my knee surgery that I understood how important it was not to neglect physical health. Therefore, I adjusted my diet and started to exercise regularly under the supervision of Mgr. Ján Strigáč, a professional who helped me get back in shape. This was one of the reasons why I decided to support the project of his clinic by becoming a co-owner.

Today I feel more like myself and also in flow, because in my new job as a trader and supporter I connect people, establish collaborations, and design the agenda related to the overall operation of the clinic and all of this is meaningful to me.

I feel in my element, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned so far and I am full of anticipation for what’s next in my life because this is just the beginning!

– 11 August 2021 –