Milda Dzidolikiene graduated from LCC International University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Administration. During those four years, Milda engaged in various activities and enrolled in different development programs. She refers to LCC as the institution which broadened her horizons and encouraged her to adopt critical thinking in all of her endeavors. After finishing LCC, her eagerness for developing and enhancing her skills led Milda to the United Kingdom, where she graduated from the University of Manchester with a Master’s degree in Science in Management of Projects. After working as a Project Manager, Milda returned to Vilnius, Lithuania where she started working at Barclays IT center. In 2018, Milda joined Danske Bank, where she is currently working as an IT Lead for People Tribe, heading global HR IT.
Milda unravels what it means to be a courageous leader in some of today’s challenging and leading companies. She refers to courageous leadership as the skill of discerning what decision to make at the very moment. “Should I speak up? Should I present my initiative or not?” In those situations, Milda advises taking a critical approach and critical thinking. “Does it align with my values and resonate with my passion? If yes - then go for it!” She explains that values are the basis of all the choices and should therefore always be taken into consideration when making decisions. Milda explains that courageous leadership is about being vulnerable and accepting that it is okay to make mistakes. In addition, she acknowledges that professionals should always strive to be better and should constantly seek to make the place around them better than it was yesterday.
Instead of taking an authoritative approach, Milda explains, professionals and top managers should empathize with their teams. They should understand that once the mistake has been made, it is more efficient to think of strategic ways to move forward than to criticize and call out the employee. Milda recalled a story when she was working in the UK. While working on a very important project, Milda realized that she had supplied the company with the wrong data. She was afraid that her mistake would get her manager into trouble. Instead, her manager said, “Don’t worry, let’s resend the data. I would be in much bigger trouble if I did not have you.” This one phrase when making a mistake has stayed with her ever since and she is now applying the same approach to her own team.
Milda never sat down to plan what step to take next and to plan her career. Instead, Milda’s career path has been spontaneous. Nevertheless, when making professional decisions, she always catches herself thinking and debating, “Does it correlate with what I believe and align with my values?” These two questions have led Milda to make some very good decisions regarding her professional development and career.
Milda shared a few tips that can help leaders to be more courageous in their workplaces and beyond. First, she advises everyone to spend time getting to know themselves and then make decisions based on who they are and what they believe to be true. Second, Milda explained to start small while being aware and conscious of what decisions will need to be made along the way. Third, she suggests evaluating the context. She added, “Don’t jump right into the task because you think you are right. Evaluate the situation. Is it the right timing, the right situation? Do I have the right supporters?”
Lastly, Milda advises everyone not to be afraid of making mistakes as they create the ground for growth and learning. LCC was the right environment to prepare her for academic and professional growth as it laid the ground for her to learn to ask questions and think critically. Her rapid growth of professional development and career has allowed her to work in multiple workplaces, exposing her to various work cultures, where she has learned how to cope with the unknown and uncomfortable. This is where she has learned to be vulnerable and not be afraid to fail in order to take a courageous path.