Watch Silvia’s Talk here

Silvia Wiesner delivering her TEDx Talk – Photo Credit: Sebastian Gabsch

What’s your current occupation?
I am a Consultant with the global Leadership Advisory firm Egon Zehnder.

Where are you currently living (city and country)?
Hamburg, Germany.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an Austrian who fell in love with and in Germany. 
I am a social person who loves to share her positive energy with others.
I am driven by purpose and positive impact on others – individually and collectively.
I am the Mum of an almost 4-year old daughter.
I am a former senior leader in the Consumer Goods industry who pivoted to consulting on leadership challenges related to individuals, teams, and whole organizations.

What is the idea of your talk?
It’s never too late to stop sleepwalking into our future and to be intentional about what you are doing or who you are being with. Let’s explore why life pivots make us stronger, also in our leadership roles.

What do you connect with our theme “Bold Choices”?
Bold choices are about doing the difficult right thing instead of the easy wrong thing. If we – collectively – can make more bold choices, we will be able to successfully address all the big challenges in the world, from climate crisis to social inequality. And: Training our boldness muscle in our private life will benefit us in our professional roles – and vice versa.

What is the boldest choice you’ve ever made in your life? And why was this your boldest choice?
The boldest and most beautiful and most meaningful choice clearly was having a child (even if it cannot be called 100% a choice). It’s the opening up to a completely new life.
The second boldest and also very meaningful choice was pivoting in my professional career – from leadership roles in Consumer Goods to advising on human solutions to leadership challenges, which was really choosing for something new, not against something old. However, after 17 years with one company, it is good to make this jump with the confidence in your own strengths, a lot of curiosity, and eagerness for growth.

How do you choose which choice to make if you’re in doubt?
I listen to my heart and my body, who – based on information and experience acquired – tend to know the answer already before I am able to verbalize it. I will also listen to myself explaining the options on the table to close friends. The words I choose and the ease I am displaying when talking about the alternatives also gives a clear hint.

What gives you the strength to make a bold choice?
I do believe that the more often you are getting yourself out of the comfort zone, the easier it gets. You know you can do it. Plus, there is always the opportunity to pivot to something new. You can always course correct. And: Knowing that you are not on your own, but can tap into experienced and supportive resources all around you also helps.

Do you think people should be better at making bold choices? If so, why?
100%. Let’s support each other in training the boldness muscle. I hope my talk will contribute to that confidence needed. Making bold choices will help us choose for happiness and meaningfulness in life. And it will contribute to having positive impact in the world via our ventures, organisations, initiatives.

If you had to choose someone who, in your opinion, has made the most bold choice, who would it be and why?
I believe it’s the aggregation of all the individual bold choices that makes a difference and that inspires and gives confidence to others to attempt the same. Let’s talk about our bold choices because we all need to hear about the positive, uplifting news and the learnings from our journeys.

What is your favorite TED talk?
There are many. I will pick this one – because it’s impressive what we can learn from kids, proven again in this case: