“I subscribe to the Richard Branson school of thought,” Dagmar Sevcikova muses, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
Not one to refuse an opportunity, Sevcikova strikes a charming balance between lighthearted frankness and determination. And she credits this lasting attitude to the ups and downs she’s endured on her journey to becoming a Vice President at Socialbakers.
Bringing over 13 years of experience to the leading AI-powered social media marketing platform, Sevcikova’s resume boasts positions at Avery Dennison as HR Director for EMEA, Gentronics as their HR Executive, and Microsoft where she worked as the HR Lead for the Czech Republic. Her diverse professional background also spans working in teaching, manufacturing, and working for an NGO across a slew of different countries. As a big believer in trying new things, she constantly pushes herself out of her comfort zone.
During her tenure at Microsoft, she met a CFO who would go on to inspire her characteristic warmth and tenacity. “As a successful female executive, [Amy Hood’s] professionalism combined with her humble, approachable style always impressed me,” Sevcikova told The Software Report.
Taking these lessons from the tech giant, Sevcikova notes that building and maintaining relationships is at the crux of her leadership style. “I genuinely believe that you cannot have an impact without [creating] relationships, both at a personal or strategic level.” And she isn’t wrong. A strong relationship with the CEO and his leadership team has been vital to the success of her own team, who she shares an open and honest relationship with. Encouraging feedback, engendering trust, and embedding a sense of belonging is a rarity in the tech industry, but a non-negotiable for this digital innovator.
While most executives prioritize work at the expense of their health, relationships, and family, Sevcikova learned early on, a tough lesson on the importance of work-life balance. “One of the most challenging times I faced both personally and professionally was when a key business stake-holder with whom I worked very closely experienced a serious medical emergency emanating from work-related stress,” she divulged. Sadly, her colleague died as a result. Watching this deadly burn out cost the life of her friend and colleague drove home the importance of managing a healthy personal life. It’s a lesson she takes into her position as a leader, where she’s more attuned to the signs of burnout in her employees too.
So when you talk to Sevcikova about her 2019 highlights, she doesn’t list percentages, KPIs, or targets, but rather beams with pride at the enviable work culture of Socialbakers. Citing growing talent, enriching her team, and inspiring learning and development as her biggest achievements this year, it’s clear that this VP is steering the future of digital innovation in the right direction. “At Socialbakers, we work with the strengths-based approach to learning,” she says. “Once you have hired great talent it’s important to enable them and set them up for success, both in their current role and moving towards the next role.”
Noting that “a company is only as good as its employees,” Sevcikova doubles down on the company’s commitment to attracting the right people for the job. In fact, she’s hoping that the next round of innovators to come through the marketing giant’s doors fit the bill. “Actually, we’re still hiring across many areas like R&D, Marketing and Sales,” she admits. “So just reach out if you think you’d be a fit!”
At the heart of Sevcikova is an unbridled sense of integrity and a sense to live her life with goodness. This should come as no surprise, considering Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese book of the Tao, has had a profound impact on the VP. “It’s an example of ancient wisdom applicable in modern times,” she quips.
And when it comes to keeping that work-life balance, nothing hits the spot like taking a break and turning up the heat. “Anywhere warm— even if it’s just the Bikram Yoga workout room!”