Katarina Emma Schapiro

Czech Republic and France, coach, facilitator, trainer, English, Czech and Slovak

I believe the future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious. As Galileo said, ‘One cannot teach a man anything. One can enable him to learn from within himself’. And this is the belief that underlies my coaching work.

I have been coaching since 2000 and have worked (among others) with more than 70 business leaders at board level from Fortune 500 companies in a variety of settings across Europe, US, and Africa. My path to coaching emerged organically from my life and professional experiences. I learnt vital lessons of communication, cultural awareness and survival when I worked for UNICEF in the developing world. I have learned that what appears to be deep wisdom may be contextually determined. Children (including my own daughter) have taught me curiosity, how to ask thought provoking questions, optimism and endurance.

In 1990 I joined the consultancy world – Andersen Consulting and Egon Zehnder International – which I believed to be the logical place for me to move (with my academic background in business and psychology). Naturally positive and enthusiastic, I faced many challenges – especially in the discrepancy between theory and practice. Our clients made me aware that even the best theories do not apply easily at times and that flexibility and emotions matter. Above all, I learnt that in order to swim, you have to get wet. So I did.

In a variety of executive roles, I helped to build commercial strategies for several companies from start-ups (VAX Appl.) to multi-nationals such as Christian Dior and YSL in the Czech and Slovak markets. I discovered that as leaders we often need to stretch past the obvious and go beyond logical boundaries to uncover new solutions and perspectives – in both people and everyday business.

I decided to leave operational business to become a coach because I feel I can bring much more to people and businesses by becoming an almost invisible (although paradoxically very present) observer, supporter, motivator, teacher and ‘mirror’ to help them create and accomplish desired results. As a leadership coach and organisational consultant, I mostly work with leaders and companies in change situations and those seeking to change sustainably their approach and behaviours.

Clients include:
P&G, Vodafone, PepsiCo, Total, CEZ, Kraft, DANONE, Komercni banka-SG, Exxon-Mobil, Gillette, Raiffeisen Bank.

I owe coaching a lot. It has enabled me to merge my passion for people, learning, exploration and creation. It gives my life a bigger meaning. In accordance with Gandhi, ‘I want to be the change I wish to see in the world.’