"Behind every individual success story, there is a lot of teamwork", Interview with mag. Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport
Mrs. Bulc, sport lies close to your heart. You used to play basketball and, if I am not mistaken, you hold a black belt in taekwondo as well as in hapkido. Do you find this devotion to “perpetual repetition”, which any sport demands from its practitioner, an advantage in your professional career?
Sport is an important part of my life. When I was young, it used to be a test course where I strengthened my character, my work habits, practised the feeling of belonging to a team, and got to know my physical limits. It was sport that firmly connected me to the spiritual world and pushed limits beyond the rational border. It showed me the power of focus, the difference between a wish and an honest inner need, the path to results attained by boldness and the paucity of empty ambition. Sport made a significant impact on my personality and my worldview. Later in life, it became a companion that helped me stay in good shape, be with friends and embark on bigger adventures. Right now, I mostly walk a lot. I cannot imagine being able to face all the professional and personal challenges without being in a good physical shape.
Throughout your career, you have focused a lot on positive energy and teamwork. Do Slovenians know how to work in groups? Sometimes it seems that we are much more successful as individuals - in sports, for example, the exceptional results of our ski jumpers, both men and women, would testify to that.
Behind every individual success story, there is a lot of teamwork. It may be true that Slovenians work better in smaller teams, probably because of our history, which, considering the nation’s position within the bigger picture, favoured smaller vigorous groups. Still, we would be wrong to say that we cannot work in larger collectives. There are many Slovenian companies and teams in team sports who are incredibly successful. But of course, the complexity of skills needed when leading bigger teams increases in range and difficulty, especially with regard to organization, networking, motivation, training and development of new talent. Here, we still have room for improvement.
Ljubno is a relatively small town, but with the right sponsorship and the relentless effort of the local community, it managed to put itself on the European map and gain recognition worldwide. Is this the recipe small countries that are part of such a large community as the EU should follow?
Ljubno is an excellent example of an approach well-known to athletes: a clear vision and measurable team goals, trust among all team members (sponsors, organizers, athletes, experts) and faith in shaping the common good, which exceeds the ambitions of separate individuals, a professional approach based on long-term strategy, tracking of intermediate results and a constant adjustment of work content with respect to the vision. Ljubno has it all and the results are here. It is truly a wonderful story, which also resulted in the first World cup win this year. Congratulations to all!