#ldsummit2017 We ask, speakers answer!

By March 24, 2017Blog

We asked our guest speakers at Leaders Development Summit VIII: Democracy@Work, Happiness@Work three BIG questions about the subject, to start the conversation about democracy today. Here are the questions:

  1. Why do people need freedom / freedom at work?
  2. What do you think is the best proportion liberty/equality in a democracy?
  3. How is your role enabling happiness at work?


Cristina Țirulnic, Senior Trainer @ EVOLUTIV answers:

  1. why do people need freedom / freedom at work?

Freedom just like happiness are two beautiful yet very broad and generous concepts. This is why I feel like taking specific small bits out of them and nail them down.

So, I believe some people feel free if they love their job. They think of it most of the time and while they do so they come up with ever more ideas around how to improve and/or innovate what they do. However, this works to a certain extent unless you are an entrepreneur. Why would I say that? Because as an employee one works in an environment that may unleash one full’ s freedom to express professionally or just mar one’s talent and potential. Having said that, I believe people would feel more free and happier if: they feel their organization is a good place to work, they feel the organization has a clear strategy, which is explained so that people can see how their talent fits and where they should focus, top management act in a way that is congruent with people’s values and people trust that management are leading in the right direction, people feel that their direct boss acts in a way that takes into account their interests and worries and they know they will be supported in need, people feel good with their colleagues and they are willing to share and learn together, people know they are valued for their contribution and have opportunities to grow if they wish so, people feel they are rewarded fairly for their effort and output of their contribution. Last but not least some of us are just happy to help other people. It would be a great thing for those people to find that their organization gives back to the community.

  1. what do you think is the best proportion liberty/equality in a democracy?

In a democracy, there are clear rights and obligations. The maturity of a democracy may be given by the extent to which citizens understand that democracy means to comply with rules to benefit the related rights. In organizations, I think the proportion of rights and obligations depends on the industry and the wisdom of people inside to create the right balance of the factors I mentioned in my previous answer.

  1. how is your role enabling happiness at work?

Our role is to help people understand that learning is one of that profound things that happens to us in life. Some people come in the training class without knowing what to expect and without clear objectives. They are just sent there. What we do is help them discover for themselves that learning is a competence for a life which gives them more freedom. Business simulations are a fun method to do so. They are engaging, full of “aha” moments and people learn without knowing that.

Marius Istrate, Chief People Officer @ UiPath answers

  1. why do people need freedom / freedom at work?

I think the right question is: what do we lose if we don’t provide people the freedom they need at work? Simply put, we lose an important intellectual asset, the reason for which we have hired them in the first place: to contribute in a meaningful way the continuous learning & growth process, to complement the skills of the existing team. Lack of freedom means lack of trust and lack of trust gets us nowhere.

  1. what do you think is the best proportion liberty/equality in a democracy?

It is not a question of proportion. We are free to be equal. I believe that when trust is consolidated in an organization, equality is just one of the ways that freedom manifests itself.

  1. how is your role enabling happiness at work?

My role is to make sure people keep questioning themselves and others, kindly and humbly. I’m not sure whether that enables happiness at work, but id does enable a sort of candor and serenity in dealing with complex or difficult problems. People thrive in environments where they feel they are empowered to make mistakes, learn from these mistakes and move forward. An important part of my role is to make sure such an environment exists and that we all nurture it.

Armina Dobrică, Senior Trainer @ The Romanian Corporate Wellness Association

1. why do people need freedom / freedom at work?

To me, freedom is the highest form of respect – allowing others to be who they want to be and do what they feel it’s right for them. We are unique human beings, each of us a different mix of thoughts, feelings and actions. As we move up Maslow’s pyramid, focusing our energy on reaching the peak, we strive for a sense of acknowledgement, self-esteem and a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals. How can we do that with our hands tied behind our backs, blindfolded or unable to speak our minds? One can reach his highest potential only by allowing himself, and others for that matter, to experiment freely, knowing without a doubt that there is no right or wrong, only feedback. There’s a story that goes like this. An investment broker lost 2 million dollars in one day. He went to tell his boss, expecting to be thrown out the door for his mistake. The boss’s response is brilliant: “I can’t fire you. I’ve just invested 2 million in you”. So ask yourself every day: What am I giving to my employees today? What are they giving me? Could they perform better? Is there something I’m not seeing in them? A hidden skill, a new found ability, a different way of thinking, a more effective way of acting? Communicate your expectations as clearly as you can and then just let them…be. You might find out for yourself that “working better under pressure or stress” is a myth and that happy, motivated people actually achieve higher results.

  1. how is your role enabling happiness at work?

Corporate wellness is not just something you do because it sounds nice. Keeping 50, 500, 5000 employees happy is a difficult task. Sometimes you even have to work on luring people to the happy side. They should just want to be there, right? What a paradox! Well, my job is to teach people, mostly HR professionals, how to successfully implement wellness programs, how to overcome obstacles and get the best results possible. Each company is different and deals with a particular employee population, but the dos and don’ts are basically the same. So I do my best to pass on that information, to offer some structure to an otherwise flexible environment and to provide program managers with a set of guidelines and easy to follow steps in implementing wellness. The final goal is choosing the right mix of activities and incentives that drives participation and maximizes engagement.


Roxana Mocanu, Learning Game Changer @ HR Enterprise & ITOL SoL answers

  1. why do people need freedom / freedom at work?

My answer consists in few other questions:

1) Are people free when their actions are regulated by law or coercion?

2) Does liberty consist in doing whatever one pleases or whatever one has to do, or is one required by justice from injury to others?

3) Can be freedom apart from equality?

4) Is not (modern) slavery the condition of those who are ruled tyrannically or law-less?

5) What is concience and the perception of right and wrong in actions that follow from the consciousness of freedom?

  1. what do you think is the best proportion liberty/equality in a democracy?

Democratic people like equality, but there are times when their passion for it turns to delirium. If given choice between liberty and equality, how many of us will always choose equality? There is ONE condition of equality I would never give up: EDUCATIONAL opportunity. A self-evident axiom is that the State should require and compel the education, up to a certian standars, of every human being who is born its citizen. All people may not be endowed with the same native abilities or talents, but all born with enough intelligence to become citizens deserve the sort of education which fits them for the life of (political) freedom.  Quantitatively, this means a system of education as universal as the franchise; and as much for every individual as he can take, both in youth and adult life. The way in which it recognize its educational responsibility tests the  sincerity of modern democracy. The whole power of education is required.

  1. how is your role enabling happiness at work? 

People wishes to be happy, and only wishes to be happy, and cannot wish not to be so. On the other hand, happiness at work is not something as one size fits all and there is no thing such a perfect workplace. It’s about building trust, and for this you need to learn how to ask for help; for my colleagues happiness at work is about getting things done properly, develop your ideas, change the game and shape the world! Even so, we’re not perfect.

Leave a Reply