We recently interviewed Jacek Gwóźdź, Founder and Owner of Jacek Gwóźdź Business Consulting, which offers both consulting and coaching services. He aims to combine the best of both worlds: business and people filled with enthusiasm. Jacek shares an expertise of over 20 years in different prestigious positions, helping him develop an in-depth understanding of the industry and honing his skills as a Consultant and Coach. He is a great observer and imposes a better performing and motivational work environment with his Emotional Intelligence. Let’s learn more about Jacek Gwóźdź and his journey through this interview below.
Overview Of The Journey
We were intrigued to learn about the journey and milestones that he came across in the same. We asked, “Could you share a brief overview of your career journey, including key milestones and transitions?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “I have 20 years of experience as CEO and CFO in a global Fortune 500 corporate and top automotive supplier – Japanese Denso. In 2021, I quit the company to follow my passion for helping people and organizations more widely as a coach and consultant.
My transition from the corporate zone to the consulting and coaching world signifies my commitment to catalyzing positive change. This new chapter in my career refers to my belief in the boundless potential of individuals and businesses and my dedication to driving their growth, well-being, and prosperity.
In essence, my work exemplifies a new remarkable trajectory of corporate leadership in connection with the company’s high performance and competitiveness in VUCA+ times with leadership evolution towards a more purpose-driven activity and care of the mental strength of employees. As I continue this transformative journey, I remain steadfast in my dedication to effecting meaningful change and empowering organizations and people to reach unprecedented heights of success.”
Influence Of Education On Career Choice
Educational background profoundly impacts the career choices one moves forward with. So we asked, “How has your education influenced your career choices and success in this industry?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “My choices referring to education significantly influenced my career from two different perspectives: I met wonderful, inspirational people and received a scientific frame to my practical knowledge.
I have participated in European and global leadership programs in the Netherlands and Japan with leaders from all over the world, which enabled me to understand various perspectives and increased my respect for diversity by feeling its real power.
Following my passion and preparing for my new professional journey, in 2021, I decided to join one of the best coaching schools in the United States – the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, which gave me a new vision for combining my technical and strategic knowledge with helping people to use their maximum potential and building winning team in organizations. I became a Certified Professional Coach specializing in Executive, Performance, Health Coaching and in Energy Leadership”
Jacek Gwóźdź continued, “Guided by a team of seasoned experts, the iPEC program is meticulously designed to empower individuals with the tools, insights, and strategies necessary to drive profound change in both personal and professional spheres.
To complete my educational journey at Barca Innovation Hub, I’m certified in Psychology for High-Performance sports.
The education mentioned above aimed to connect my strategic consulting knowledge with a new era of leadership based on coaching individuals and teams using patterns of best athletes’ performance and mental strength. And this is what I use in my daily work.”
Facing obstacles is inevitable while running a business. We asked, “How do you tackle challenges in your field amidst changing market dynamics and technological advancements?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “The first thing is to listen to client’s needs and be open to change and new technological opportunities, create a bridge between AI and HI (human intelligence), taking advantage of the best features of both.
Mentally, my answer is to adapt and constantly “Challenge your limits,” emphasizing the transformative potential of pushing beyond one’s boundaries. This motto is a guiding principle that inspires individuals to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and change by stepping out of comfort zones and confronting obstacles head-on, which catalyzes personal and professional evolution.”
Jacek Gwóźdź continued, “Through the act of challenging ourselves, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, treating market dynamics and new technologies as excellent opportunities for growth. By daring to explore uncharted territories and engage with unfamiliar situations, we unearth hidden talents, develop new skills, and cultivate a profound sense of resilience. Challenges cease to be roadblocks; instead, they emerge as stepping stones on the path to transformation.
Let’s take a look at the recent growth of AI-driven analytics, communication platforms, and chat GPT. Are they challenges or rather great opportunities? They will soon become technological foundations that will give us time, the most valuable resource we have – time for growth, for family, for ourselves.
“Challenge your limits” signifies the transformative process of converting challenges into tangible, positive change, and every challenge serves as an opportunity to effect meaningful shifts in our lives, becoming catalysts for personal development. This perspective facilitates the creation of new pathways, the adoption of innovative solutions, and the realization of outcomes that propel us forward.
And what is beautiful about this journey is that authenticity and becoming the best version of ourselves remain the most profound and impactful values, especially in the age of AI. These values enhance our interactions, relationships, and the significance of the changes we create.”
Adapting To The Latest Technologies
Adapting to the recent trends happening in the industry is paramount for business success. We asked, “How do you ensure your company remains adaptable to emerging trends and technologies?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “The first part is to visualize an ideal company in the market. I connect it to my vision of a company, define what I want to achieve, and create a strategy that is an adaptable part of the whole process depending on emerging trends and available technologies which align with my business goals.
To effectively adapt to emerging trends and technologies, I would compare a company’s needs to Maslow’s pyramid. Technological foundations are akin to the physiological and safety needs of a company – they are fundamental. They establish awareness about one’s position in the business, streamline processes, facilitate effective decision-making, reduce human errors, and save time.
The second component concerns the human factor: the psychological needs of the company and its team. It mirrors the sense of belonging and self-esteem in Maslow’s organizational pyramid, underscoring the importance of culture creation. I specialize in equipping business leaders with the crucial skills to navigate and prosper in a constantly changing environment, bearing in mind that individuals are the genuine agents of change and that organizational culture propels this transformation.
One of the cornerstones of my approach is rooted in the principle of “Acceptance of things we do not have control.” Uncertainties and variables often lie beyond our influence in the dynamic business world. Acknowledging this reality and fostering a mindset of acceptance enables leaders to release the energy and mental strain tied to factors beyond our reach and redirect focus towards productive endeavors that yield tangible results.”
Jacek Gwóźdź further shared, “A key aspect of my recommendations revolves around “Focus on things we can control.” This dual-pronged strategy reflects the essence of practical adaptation. On the one hand, it involves a dynamic transformation of strategy and tactics, ensuring that business approaches remain agile and responsive to shifting circumstances. Leaders must continuously assess market trends, customer preferences, and competitive dynamics to recalibrate their strategic compass.
Simultaneously, the second facet of this strategy emphasizes strengthening mental preparation for change. The psychological aspect of change management is the key. Leaders and their teams need to cultivate resilience, open-mindedness, and a positive outlook. Strengthening mental fortitude through mindfulness, meditation, and self-awareness empowers leaders to navigate challenges with composure and determination. This, in turn, cascades down to their teams, fostering a culture of adaptability and forward-thinking.
Only when we ensure technological foundations (Maslow’s basic needs) and organizational culture (Maslow’s psychological needs) can we take full advantage of the third part – agile adaptation to emerging markets and technologies and high performance in growth, which open the doors of opportunities for the organization and its members (Maslow’s self-fulfillment needs).
By embodying these principles, I am not just offering theoretical guidance but practicing what I preach – a holistic approach that harmonizes technology, strategic adaptability with mental resilience.”
Goals For the Future Of The Company
To learn more about the plans Jacek Gwóźdź has for his company, we asked, “What are your plans or goals for your career and company?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “With a solid foundation of education and experience acquired in Europe, Japan, and the United States, I am on a mission to cultivate and nurture a thriving business based in Poland. My transcontinental journey of knowledge and expertise fuels my determination to propel this venture to new heights, extending its reach beyond borders.
The decision to grow business out of Poland is a strategic choice that resonates with my personal and professional aspirations.
My journey from studying in Europe, Japan, and the United States to establishing and expanding my business in Poland underscores the power of a global perspective.
With a fusion of education, experience, and a solid commitment to growth, I will realize my vision of a business that not only thrives within Polish borders but also makes a resounding impact on the world stage. Through big plans, small steps, introduction, relentless innovation, and a spirit of collaboration, I am excited to bring my transcontinental journey full circle, enriching local communities and global markets.”
Lessons Learnt Throughout The Journey
We were interested to learn about the lessons Jacek absorbed while proceeding on this journey. So we asked, “What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your career?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “Life, in its beauty of uncertainties, is a canvas upon which we paint our experiences. Within this philosophy is the profound belief that there is nothing to lose in Life; we either win or learn. This perspective reframes setbacks and challenges not as losses but as invaluable lessons that contribute to our growth. Every action, independently of the result, enriches our journey and empowers us to evolve.
From this perspective, we uncover that even failure can serve as a strong foundation for success as it shapes our resilience, sharpens our strategies, and ignites the fire of determination.
Treating every action and result as a part of a transformative process, it becomes evident that consistency is the key to success – move on every day. Each day presents an opportunity to take another step forward, no matter how small. By infusing our actions with consistency, we cultivate dynamics that propel us toward our goals. The consistent application of effort, even in the face of adversity, unveils the path to mastery and realizing our dreams.
This philosophy of Life encapsulates the spirit of growth, resilience, and accomplishment. We cultivate an unshakeable confidence by embracing the concept that there is always something to gain, whether in victory or the lessons of defeat. Success creates awareness of our strengths, failure becomes a catalyst for progress, and consistency makes a bridge towards our dreams. With this mindset as our guiding light, we navigate the labyrinth of Life, each step contributing to the masterpiece of our journey.”
To build a strong position in the industry, businesses must focus on creating unique features and services. We asked, “How do you differentiate your services from competitors in the current market?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “In my current role, I embody the principles of the 3C framework – serving as a CEO, CFO, and Coach. This dynamic triad underscores my commitment to fostering holistic growth and transformation for individuals and organizations.
Through my innovative approach, I introduced a comprehensive service I named COMENT, redefining the support landscape through combined Consulting, Coaching, Mentoring, Energy Leadership, and Training.
Jacek Gwóźdź continued, “As a former CEO, I support defining strategic vision and direction, guiding organizations towards excellence and innovation. My leadership fosters an environment of purpose-driven decision-making, ensuring that every aspect of the business aligns with its overarching goals. This leadership experience empowers me to practically support the ship’s navigation through uncharted waters practically, taking calculated risks and driving sustainable growth.
As a former CFO, I wield analytics acumen to optimize operational efficiency and maximize financial well-being. With a keen eye on the economic pulse of the organization, I orchestrate sound financial strategies, ensuring optimal resource allocation and prudent risk management. Through detailed financial management, I create a solid foundation upon which organizations can thrive in the short and long term.
Simultaneously, my role as a Coach ushers in a new era of transformative support. Through COMENT, I offer Consulting to provide expert insights, Coaching to unlock potential, Mentoring to share experience, Energy Leadership to elevate personal and organizational energy dynamics, and Training to prepare winning teams for adaptation with the efficiency of the best sports teams. These dimensions combine to create a synergistic blend of guidance that caters to diverse needs, fostering a well-rounded approach to growth and development.
The deep sense of my mission lies in strengthening and monetizing Organizational Culture, transcending the conventional boundaries of people, processes, and strategy. By shifting the paradigm from focusing solely on individuals to encompassing the entire spectrum of operations, I play the role of architect of increasing a company’s value based on efficiency and innovation, whose foundations are happy and mentally strong people.
My role as a 3C practitioner and architect of COMENT becomes pivotal in this transformative journey. I navigate the intricate balance between leadership, finance, and personal development while spearheading organizational cultural evolution. With this comprehensive and forward-thinking approach, I am dedicated to transcending traditional boundaries and inspiring holistic growth.”
Adjusting To The Latest Market Shifts
“How has your company effectively navigated and capitalized on emerging global market trends or shifts in consumer behavior?”
Jacek Gwóźdź shared, “Working with organizations and business leaders, I observe a new era of leadership. Leaders today are more like artists than professionals who require psychological and emotional support to navigate the complex challenges that come with their roles. The expectations placed upon them to consistently elevate performance and inspire individuals, particularly during times of crisis, can be an overwhelmingly demanding task. Maintaining composure, making crucial decisions under pressure, and steering their teams through tumultuous waters can take a toll on even the most resilient leaders.
Moreover, the burden of leadership can be a lonely one. Leaders often make tough choices that not everyone will understand or agree with. This isolation can contribute to feelings of stress, self-doubt, and even burnout, which I observe is a crisis of current times. Whether through mentors, colleagues, coaches, or therapists, a support system can provide leaders with a safe space to voice their concerns, receive guidance, and gain fresh perspectives. These partners in growth can offer valuable insights, challenge their assumptions, and provide the emotional sustenance needed to recharge and maintain their effectiveness over the long term. Through the assistance of trusted partners, leaders can strengthen their capacity to inspire, innovate, and lead effectively while ensuring their well-being in the process.
This is my direction to adjust to shifts in consumer needs and behaviors – support leaders and their teams not to help them survive but to take advantage of difficult circumstances to become better leaders and people, unblocking their full potential and designing high-performance habits.”
Advice To Beginners, we asked Jacek Gwóźdź
Beginners starting in this industry need to consider building and honing specific skills. So we asked, “What are the most important qualities or skills you believe beginners should cultivate to thrive in this industry?”
Jacek Gwóźdź replied, “The most important values are listening, serving people, presence in the moment, and seeing the unseen. These ideals form the foundation for approaching relationships, interactions, and understanding the world around us.
Listening: Active and attentive listening is paramount. It’s not just about hearing words; it’s about genuinely comprehending the emotions and intentions underlying the communication without judgment. By dedicating focus to understanding what others are saying, we create an environment of respect and empathy, enabling us to connect with people on a deeper level and effectively address their needs and concerns.
Serving people: genuine care and compassion for the well-being of others. They treat everyone with kindness and respect, regardless of their background or circumstances. This value forms the basis for building trust and developing meaningful relationships. By showing authentic concern for people’s happiness and growth, we contribute to a more supportive and inclusive community.
Presence at the moment: The past has passed, and we cannot change it; the future has not happened yet; all we have is presence. Being fully present and focusing energy at this moment increases our effectiveness, reduces the influence of stress factors, and strengthens our mindset to master whatever we do.
Seeing the Unseen: This principle reminds me to seek a deeper understanding of business, situations, and people. It prompts us to look beyond the surface and recognize the hidden struggles, emotions, and contributions that might not be immediately apparent. As a former CFO, I’m a fan of numbers. Still, I understand that behind every number, there are complexities, which understanding helps us make more conscious decisions and enables us to offer support where it’s genuinely needed.
Incorporating these values into Life means dedication to creating connections rooted in genuine understanding and empathy. By listening intently, serving wholeheartedly, and being present in the moment, we can see the unseen, distinguishing life and business leaders from ordinary people.
I invite you to contribute to a more compassionate and inclusive world to impact the lives of those around us positively.”
Find Jacek Gwóźdź on LinkedIn.