Today we’d like to introduce you to Isabella Zaczek.
Isabella, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a German native from the great city of Dortmund and found my way to Denver in 2011.
After graduating gymnasium, the highest level of high school in Germany, I moved to Glasgow to study Business Management at the Glasgow College of food technology. While I always wanted to study in an English speaking country, the true reason for me choosing Glasgow was that I was deeply, madly and truly in love with the Scottish pop band Wet Wet Wet, What followed were two of the most brilliant years in a country that became my heartland. Returning to Germany, I did not feel right at home and decided to take a job in a call center for Lufthansa in Dublin, Ireland for a year.
Finally, in 1999, I returned back home to start what I would call my first grown-up job with an American ‘start-up’ company by the name of Level 3 Communications. Truth be told, I could not care less about what Level 3 did back in the day – telecommunication services. Why? Because I thought I would either end up building my own tour operations company or come a travel writer. What happened next is that I stayed with the company for 18 years, doing a variety of jobs, traveling to many great places and finding myself in an area that for an introvert never seemed the right fit – customer-facing operations. Come to find out that I was pretty good at it, I never really saw a reason to leave, and instead working insane hours to climb the career ladder.
That was until December 2016, when, at LaGuardia airport in New York, I broke down and made my way back to Denver while going through a 4-hour panic attack. It became pretty clear that I had to make some serious changes in my life and leave this bubble I created for the past 18 years. Mind you it wasn’t a bubble filled with rainbows and unicorns, more the blood, sweat and tears one and for many years I also enjoyed it. I resigned a month later and ultimately left the company in November 2017. Though it was unbelievably hard to leave my team of absolute rock stars, I felt that I gave it all I had and it was time. After taking some time off, spending time with my parents who visited from Germany, and joining a non profit to visit South Africa and Zimbabwe in June 2018, I set out to start my own thing, testing my own ideas that for whatever reason, right, wrong or indifferent, never or at least not fully came to fruition during my years incorporate.
Over 50,000 hours in the corporate telecoms trenches, having started as a receptionist to leading a global customer operation team and having supported over 200 companies across all continents, made me fall in love with people, processes and metrics. That is why my vision is to create a group of X-men and X-women, who do not match the common stereotype of a consultant to help companies leverage the magic of process to ignite human devotion and performance, using data and science.
I believe that global companies have made an art out of complicating global relationships and workflows. The uncomfortable truth is that they are losing money and talent because they are failing at a human and at a process level.
I want to bring teams together to simplify over-engineered workflows that are a result of multiple mergers, tweaks and changing priorities. I care, so I am on a mission to change this – as a guide on the side.
But fear should not be a company’s driver. It should be a passion and commitment for real change and the uncomfortable analysis it takes.
Because the reward is what greatness and legacy is all about.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The two quotes that probably best describe the challenges I experienced are:
“You want to know who your real friends are? Start your own business, and ask for their support.” — Steve Jobs
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” — Gore Vidal
For me, the biggest challenge was to admit to myself that I fear kept me from using my voice for myself and instead being in a hamster wheel of continuously proving myself to others and needing people to like me.
The past two years have been the best and worst years in my life and I could not be more grateful for experience possibly every fear I made up in my head.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with IZ Consulting – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
What sets me apart is that when I left corporate I promised to myself that I will not abandon my core values again, not for power and not for money.
Respect, fairness and honesty make up my three legged stool.
Here is the quick overview of what IZ Consulting does:
IZ Consulting is closing the strategic disconnects between people, processes and profits through operational efficiency, reimagined lean workflows and KPI optimization.
Our SOAR™ methodology is a proven framework to identify core business challenges and goals, and the areas where a company has gaps or is misaligned with respect to those challenges or goals.
Creating Dynamic and Simplified End-to-End Workflows and Operational Improvement Results:
• Strategic Planning and Roadmap Deep-Dive.
• Global Team Leadership and Client Management.
• KPI and Goal Planning – Design and Implementation.
• Executive and Leadership Coaching.
• Customer Loyalty Strategy.
• Team and Process Optimization.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
A big leap within the next couple of months will be to go live with my podcast – The Uncomfortable Truths – where I will be talking about topics we seem to be sweeping under the rug for many reasons. Whether it is a failure, the non-existent sisterhood incorporates or diversity to please the eye. As a consultant, facilitator and speaker, I want to bring out from under, give it a voice and also offer alternatives or solutions.
And yes, I have always felt good about not having the most or any popular opinion and view around.
- Website: www.izconsultinggroup.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Other: www.linkedin.com/in/isabellazaczek
Nikki Incandela Photography (main pic)