On the third episode of We All Make Mistakes, our podcast host Professor Ben Voyer speaks with one of the most influential CEOs in the cleantech industry right now: Lubomila Jordanova. Because “climate change is everyone’s business”, Lubomila Jordanova created Plan A, an award-winning platform for business carbon accounting, decarbonisation and ESG reporting. She is also the co-founder of the Greentech Alliance and was selected as Obama Leader for Europe 2022 by the Obama Foundation.
“Plan A. Because there is no Planet B”
When reflecting on her journey as a London School of Economics student and young professional, Lubomila Jordanova admits to having multiple breakthroughs around climate change as she dove deeper into the matter: ”What really triggered me to feel confident and comfortable enough to kick off the building of Plan A was the overwhelming amount of information and data that I had gathered within the first twelve months of educating myself. […] It felt like society was in front of this existential issue that was not being tackled — even though we had all the data for that.”
And at first, it was not easy convincing investors that climate change issues need to be addressed by businesses. Something Plan A was created to do. “I’ve been told thousands of times by investors that I was building an NGO. They told me no business model can make money while doing something good for the planet because this was for tree huggers — and these stigmas still linger.”
I think people need to be in a positive mindset in order to deliver the best results. So I lead by example by always being this person that comes into the office with a big smile on their face.
The subtle art of leading by example, even when it comes to self-care
To deal with possibly anxiety-inducing topics such as climate change requires broad shoulders. As Lubomila puts it: “Decarbonizing industries is not an easy job”. A particularity of her business she takes into account when meeting with her teams: “My most important attribute as a leader is my sense of humour […] I think people need to be in a positive mindset in order to deliver the best results. So I lead by example by always being this person that comes into the office with a big smile on their face”.
In her personal life as well, Lubomila sticks to her values, but how does one who admits to working 12 to 14 hours a day keep their life healthily balanced? Lubomila attributes her success in this to discipline and remaining kind towards herself: “I’ve learned how to make sure that I don’t exhaust myself. I’m just incredibly disciplined. I keep track of the amount of meditation that I do. I listen to my mind when I’m tired. I allow myself to switch off even if I’m halfway through a task because I know that this can trigger other negative impacts”.
I think we just don’t have time to feel powerless. Every single one of us is actually a powerhouse and I truly believe in the power of people.
Could not prioritising self-care be the one overlooked mistake other CEOs should consider? Lubomila Jordanova seems to think so, and the success she has encountered with Plan A, and as a person, seems to give her good reason. “Mental health is the most important KPI for actual productivity or time management. I think we just don’t have time to feel powerless. Every single one of us is actually a powerhouse and I truly believe in the power of people.”
To hear more about Lubomila Jordanova’s journey to becoming the leader of the innovative cleantech company, Plan A, have a listen to WAMM’s latest episode, available on all your favourite podcast apps.