In this chapter of Viccarbe Talks, Victor Carrasco interviews the ex-football player Pedja Mijatovic. Mijatovic and Carrasco have known each other for years and they feel a deep admiration for each other, which has grown thanks to the ex-footballer’s wife Aneta, a brilliant interior designer who has brought him closer to the world of design. As an elite sportsman and worldwide football icon, we are happy to learn more about his point of view on a few matters such as collaboration and teamwork.
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What do you think it takes nowadays to differentiate yourself in any professional area?
In my opinion, the most important thing is to know yourself and how far you can go. Once you have identified your abilities and virtues, you start setting your own goals. When I say, “know yourself”, I am referring to the talent, determination, and ambition that each of us possesses. Starting from this approach and, obviously, with a good working team, the objectives you set for yourself become achievable.
What would you say is your greatest strength in adapting flexibly to every facet of your life, as you have always managed to do?
I think my best virtues are my leadership skills and my ability to detect the possibilities that the people around me can offer, while remaining attentive to their opinions and thoughts. That is something that allows me to convey a lot of confidence to others.
As you know, Viccarbe has grown a lot over the years by exporting its Mediterranean concept of fostering collaboration, balance, and optimism. What do you think makes our firm special?
Viccarbe has grown thanks to your vision and, as we have known each other for a long time, I have been able to observe the ambition and strategy you have established to always prioritize quality over quantity. This has allowed you to take the company to the highest level of the collaborative design furniture industry. Your ability to adapt to the demands of such a competitive environment and your perseverance has led you to international recognition, not only in Europe, but also around the world. I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your achievements.
Pedja, what does teamwork mean to you and what lessons could you share with the business world?
Teamwork is fundamental to achieve your objectives. The most difficult thing is to find capable people to follow you and help you reach your goals. The people chosen must be given autonomy so that they can express their ideas without fear and feel as important as the leader of the project. In this competitive world, having a good team is priceless. As a professional player of a team sport, such as football, I am aware of the importance of the role of your teammates. A clear example for me was the Champions League final in 1998. We won that game 1-0 with my own goal, but I truly believe it would not have happened if we had not worked well as a team. And when I say “team” I don’t just mean the eleven pitch players, who take the field from the start, but also all those who remain on the bench during the game. Not forgetting, of course, the technical staff. And this team spirit can be transferred to all aspects of the business world.