The strength of the soul is the foundation of successful leadership, concluded the first "Leader with Soul" conference held on Zlatibor on December 22nd and 23rd. Harmony in leadership, the balance of freedom in business structure, the attractiveness and competitiveness of the tourist destination, and the soul of leaders were the most important topics at this gathering of distinguished speakers, including leaders from the business, educational, medical, and sports sectors. The conference was organized by the Municipality of Čajetina, the Public Enterprise "Gold Gondola Zlatibor," the Tourist Organization of Zlatibor, the Tourist-Recreational Complex Zlatibor, and the Association of Business Women "Zlata."
The central day's program on December 23rd included inspirational speakers, deep thematic lectures, interactive workshops, and networking among leaders in similar fields. Panelists agreed that leaders with a soul emphasize the importance of building a community of leaders committed to balancing professional and personal life.
"The focus is on people who are leaders and work with leaders to showcase the challenges on a mental, emotional, and physical level, how they solve problems with teams, and why they are leaders with a soul. The uniqueness of this conference is the connection of Zlatibor's potential with partners from Dubai because our desire is to attract new guests from the world who have significant financial potential and who will spend their money here with pleasure," said business mentor Marina Lazarević.
"The first day of the conference was dedicated to women entrepreneurs and the challenges they face, and according to their impressions, it was inspiring and encouraging. We are all kinds of leaders here: in business, in the family, in the local community... We have gathered people with visions, and caring for every employee and the community contributes to them being leaders with a soul. My mission as the director of Public Enterprise “Gold Gondola Zlatibor”, together with colleagues from other public institutions and companies, is to encourage our colleagues to grow and become leaders. We strive to gather, organize education, training, workshops, and team-building, thereby developing a spirit of togetherness. I am guided by the belief that if an employee is satisfied, then clients will be satisfied. I think we are on the right path because our results also show that," said the director of Gold Gondola, Bojana Božanić, and founder of the Association of Citizens "Zlata."
Participants learned how to become a "leader with soul," possessing the subtle art of leadership based on a deep understanding of their own soul and its connection to leadership. Experiences and advice were shared by speakers on panels covering topics such as the Attractiveness and Competitiveness of the Tourist Destination, Leadership in Sports; Harmony of Team Values and Individual Excellence, Soul of Leaders, and Money Is Not a Problem.
"In every business, it is important to have good intentions and love what you do, and even more, if you love the place where you were born, then that sets you apart from a classic manager in a private company and politician. When you are at the helm of the municipality, you must have organizational abilities in various aspects such as social issues, economy, agriculture, modern tendencies, and so on. This conference was a good opportunity to showcase what we have done so far, our visions and ideas for the new Zlatibor, but also to hear criticisms. We are completing one stage of Zlatibor's development after twenty years, and we now want to present something new in line with world tourist centers," said the president of the Municipality of Čajetina, Milan Stamatović.
The conference presented a new dimension of Zlatibor that sets high standards in elite tourism while launching the promotion of its exceptional experience on international markets. The key strength lies in development projects shaping the destination's future, while elite hospitality boldly opens doors to new destinations, aligning with top trends and bringing Zlatibor closer to renowned world tourist centers.
"We had the pleasure of being one of the organizers of this conference. We compared Zlatibor with other tourist destinations worldwide, analyzing strengths and weaknesses. I believe that such gatherings contribute to improving business but also to exchanging experiences between organizers and participants. This year is historical for tourism in Zlatibor. We have achieved over a million registered nights, and after Belgrade, we are the only place that has managed to reach that number. If we consider the significant number of unregistered tourist traffic, that is more than two and a half million nights at the destination. We are developing a city on a mountain with all the amenities that a modern tourist city offers. This statistic obliges us to implement additional projects in the coming period to ensure that tourists are satisfied," said the director of the Tourist Organization of Zlatibor, Vladimir Živanović.
The central day of the conference, among other things, was an opportunity for women entrepreneurs from the Association of Citizens “Zlata” to showcase their products at the New Year's Bazaar at Hotel Zlatibor. Conference participants and visitors got acquainted with their work, which includes handicrafts and authentic products: handmade jewelry, woolen carpets, glass ornaments, stained glass, and other items characteristic of the Zlatibor region. Books by lecturers and panelists enriched this colorful holiday offer.
The conference goes beyond the traditional framework of business leadership, exploring how to best integrate spiritual values, empathy, and awareness into the corporate world. This was a unique opportunity for business mentor Marina Lazarević, business expert Luli Miloš, business expert Vladimir Veličković, HR expert Sonja Čuljak, energy therapist Anita Jakovljević, motivational speaker Vesna Danilovac, quantum medicine doctor Ljudmila Vukosavljević, sports medicine doctor Dušan Vešović, ABA League communication director Aleksandar Todorović, Sun Beach Club Dubai director Darko Subotić, Municipality of Čajetina president Milan Stamatović, Gold Gondola director Bojana Božanić, Tourist Organization of Zlatibor director Vladimir Živanović, and Tourist-Recreational Complex director Nikola Novaković to share their experiences in one place.
The "Leader with Soul" conference is organized with the support of the Municipality of Čajetina, Public Enterprise "Gold Gondola Zlatibor," the Tourist Organization of Zlatibor, the Tourist-Recreational Complex Zlatibor, and the Association of Business Women "Zlata." The primary goal of this association is to actively encourage the improvement of women's entrepreneurship in the Municipality of Čajetina through various initiatives and support. Continuous efforts stimulate the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs through education, mentorship, and providing resources that enable sustainable growth and success in business. By promoting the development of women's entrepreneurship, "Zlata" aims to raise public awareness of the importance of women's contributions to the business sector, creating an environment that nurtures inclusivity and equality in the business world.
"There is only one true leader: one who supports others.
He leads people, doesn't push them; involves them, doesn't force them.
Never lose sight of the most important principle behind any human project: people are more important than things,"
said the renowned guru and yoga teacher Swami Kriyananda.