A Book with a Mission: an inspiration and an incentive for us to change organizations together.

Sonja Klopčič, the developer of new era leadership, describes real business stories with a personal touch. The book provides the necessary knowledge for successful leadership and a vision of collaborative leadership. Attractive reading for all leaders and leaders to-be.

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Sometimes lucid, other times painful, always personal. An interweaving of logical and intuitive. A story about leadership, change, and innovation.

A book with a mission.

Internet of Leaders: True Stories of Collaborative Leadership form in Heart of Europe


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Sonja Klopčič

Sonja Klopčič

entrepreneur, manager and leader

I am interested in people, their potentials and developing new strategies and business models for creative, successful and effective work. I have gained valuable experience in a variety of organizations at different stages of their life cycles, from inception, rapid growth, transformation, crisis, resurgence, I also experienced the bankruptcy of the company. I worked as the head leader with the highest executive power and as a subordinate without executive powers, so I fully understand the needs, situations and the objectives of both sides.

The first part of the book titled The transformation from engineer to leader represents the career path of the author from developer of electrotechnical products to the chairman of the board and crisis manager. The entire path is attractively presented with a personal touch and draws the reader into the dynamic business events. In the second part of the book, Insights and developments that shaped who I am, the author describes interesting business stories and in an inspiring way gives key messages for leadership. The third part, Collaborative leadership, talks about leadership for a new era based on collaboration, trust, internal and external strength and responsibility. This part is an excellent guide for all who wish to develop into a leader for a new age.

Table of contents for the third part of the book – Collaborative Leadership

  • My Vision of Collaborative Leadership
  • A Manager or a Leader?
  • Leadership Happens in Relationships
  • Trust Connects
  • Where Are We Going to Direct Our Energy and Attention?
  • People’s Motives Change
  • The Challenges of Organizations
  • Conscious Environments
  • Leading in Order to Empower Others
  • Collaborative Leadership in Practice
  • Environments for Collaborative Leadership Development
  • Leadership Is a Path of Personal Develpment
  • Universal Spiritual Truths Have Their Place in Business
  • Connecting Ljubljana and Belgrade with a Stand-Up Paddleboard and an Open Heart
  • Energy Exchange Platform
  • Youthful Energy Drives Social Change

From the foreword

Today, it is modern to talk about social capital, good relations, and mutual trust. But it would be even more important to act in such a manner. Here, we can benefit from the concept of collaborative leadership that Sonja presents in the book. Collaborative leadership transcends leadership, as we commonly perceive it and, at the same time differs from it. Its essence lies in fulfilling our calling and vision. Not in just any way, however, but rather by connecting leading and cooperating as well as power and responsibility. There is a chronic lack of leadership, as Sonja describes it in our environment. In every field, not only in the business world. Even though the book recounts various success stories, it is not a story of success. It is rather a book about development, when the biggest leaps forward perhaps happen as a result of failures if we regard them as an opportunity to learn.

The book The Energy Inside Leadership also confirms the exhilarating power of the written word. To be able to write something one needs to clear their mind, dive deep, and grasp the essence. And when what has been written is read by others, they open the door to their mind and let the words trickle in. If the messages are strong enough, reading them can also inspire different actions. Such messages abound in this book and some of them are highlighted perhaps for this very reason. That is why I am convinced that the book will further the validation of collaborative leadership and thus fulfill its purpose. Everyone who wishes to develop the leader within will find it very useful. Finally, this book also greatly contributes to the development of the field and I believe that by writing it Sonja has merely laid the foundation of her calling, thus I look forward to her future works.

Nada Zupan, PhD

What the readers say

Many business books today provide high-level abstract views of management or leadership, and they offer memorable recipes to try in one’s own context. This is not such a book. It is instead a welcome addition to the emerging conversation around business and organizational design, full of flesh and blood stories, successes and failures, and pointers to many profound seeds of thought and inspiration.

The English edition is thoughtfully rendered and Sonja’s metaphors shine through – “People are the heart of a company, and money is its blood”. When she tells the Svea story and describes the final days, “it was like watching a sinking ship and waiting for it to sink deeper, until it completely submerged…[until] it was too late to to launch a rescure mission”, you feel your heart sinking with hers and the employees. You too are drawn into The Energy Inside Leadership.

As a U.S. based reader, this book was for me timely and poignant, as we on the left side of the Atlantic at this political moment, find ourselves looking to Europe for new inspiration as American leadership steps off the world stage. Above all, I feel this work is a deep invitation for all global practitioners of business change to enter, or re-enter, the conversation of collaborative leadership.

Curtis Michelson

Founder & Principal, Minds Alert, Florida, USA

Honest stories with many details, a lot to learn. Reading the book, I was able to put my self in the story and think, learn and ask myself what I can do, or I did on my path in similar situations. The book is perfect for entrepreneurs who are starting their journeys and want to know what to expect, no makeup just true reality.

Darko Marjanović

CEO, Things Solver, Serbia

What a heart-warming story – a transparent account of the trials of entrepreneurship, the challenges of ethical leadership and the continuous search for meaning in whatever you do. An inspiring work based on leadership lessons and practical insights learnt over decades of sincere efforts and honest work. The book deserves to be widely read by every young person embarking upon a new career and every manger aspiring to become a better leader.

Ravi Chaudhry

Founder & Chairman, CeNext, India

Leadership stories usually portray people that seem larger than life – men and women that have become Gods of Business – yet not many of us mere mortals can identify with such figures. Sonja brings a different kind of storytelling – stories from the battlefield of reality, where not all battles are won. What counts most in leadership is the willpower to persist, learn, and continuously develop into a person that is able and deserves to lead an organization. It takes a great deal of commitment and energy to be the best you can be. And with that comes the realization that being at the top also entails that one is concurrently at the bottom – in the sense of being a humble and yet proud servant of the entire organization and the people therein.

Sonja Šmuc

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

Book is a powerful inspiration to the young women of the 21st century to succeed in career, while combining that with having a family.  Slovenia is the 4th best country for women to live and there are a lot of successful women leaders and managers, which should serve as inspiration for women in other countries to perceive their goals and be equal to male colleagues and not lose this competitive edge as they get children.

Book is very personal and shows both ups and down of the career path, which I believe is brave and beautiful and show the determination that it takes for one to succeed in life and understand that not always success is a victory, but the ability to go through the difficult moments in career and learn from them to become better, wiser and evermore open.

For me personally, book gives courage to excel and fight natural self-doubt that we as female will always have more than men. Living away from home where I was raised to have equal chances in life, I now know how much more a women needs to perform, deliver and prove to be perceived and accepted as successful manager. Sonja clearly had it from the beginning, and nothing has stopped her on her way. I only wish there would be more inspiring women like her.

Ieva Baradouska

Studio Moderna

I read The Energy Inside Leadership with pleasure, especially the open, personal, and very direct presentation of important topics that are otherwise too frequently wrapped up in academic terms, which the author did very well to avoid.

Gregor Macedoni

Municipality of Novo mesto

One must have not only knowledge and wisdom but also courage to write such a personal confession. At times it reads like a thriller that unveils the reality of a manager’s life and provides an excellent opportunity for retrospection and introspection. When reading, I realized where I am on my path and what I need in order to progress. I highly recommend this work to anyone who wishes to become a true leader.

Maja Golob


A way to gain business insights through life; an exciting and interesting read. The story is like a novel, a good illustration of what leadership looks like in practice.

Urška Lan

Sun of Art

I read The Energy Inside Leadership in one sitting and found that the author and I had done similar things in different places, moved on to new challenges, even though we could have rested on our laurels … I really understood what kind of situation she was in at Svea and that everything that could have gone wrong went wrong on that project. Perhaps it had to end like that in Zagorje so that this book could be written. This is a book about leadership, a guide to the challenges of leadership, but also a document of the times and all the nonsense that we must struggle against.

Andrej Božič

Steklarna Hrastnik

It was interesting to read how the author followed different paths in her career and went through her own internal transformation, maturation, and understanding of universal truths. Bravo! I hope The Energy Inside Leadership will inspire others in management to embark upon an exploration of their true essence and work with it. While reading the book I was inspired by the realization that the Slovenian business environment is slowly becoming open and mature enough to raise consciousness.

Urška Henigman

The content and manner of telling the stories quickly assure the reader that The Energy Inside Leadership is a book worth reading. I was especially impressed with the third part, in which the author moves from personal, experiential storytelling to more theoretical visionary thinking as to where and how to implement collaborative leadership.

Marko Kostelec

In the third part of The Energy Inside Leadership the author reveals a model of collaborative leadership that is still in its infancy here in Slovenia. Its essence lies in the fact that a leader is no longer the only person who creates a vision, but rather that everyone creates one and that it is this collection of visions that represents the vision of the given enterprise or organization. Thus, collaborative leadership represents the evolution of management and leads to the evolution of mankind itself.

This work by Sonja Klopčič is not just another book on successful management, it is a book about evolution that reveals a demanding and responsible form of leadership, where not everything goes onwards and upwards – sometimes it can also go downwards or sideways. That is why I recommend this book to anyone starting on the path of leadership, as well as to all of you on this path already.

Danijela Brečko, PhD

Planet GV

What the readers say

The book The Energy Inside Leadership proves that Slovenian business environments are maturing: through experience, knowledge, personality development and appreciation of leadership at its finest. In her book, Sonja lays before us, in her sincere and logical manner, the subtly interconnected experiences and decisions of people whose stories come alive in full color, presenting a crucial period of Slovenian entrepreneurship, management and leadership. The path she has walked for all the co-creators of entrepreneurship in Slovenia will enable them, through the simple act of reading this book, to work at a much higher level of consciousness, self-confidence and creativity: with and for the people.

Violeta Bulc, MSc

EU Commissioner for Transport

Sonja is a person with a growth mindset. Allow in for action and ready to jump even from the sun under the pouring rain when she thinks it is for the greater good. Sonja is a Human with a warm heart. Also fallible – as the rest of us. However, there are not many so courageous and truthful to be willing to share own stories in such an open manner as she did. To hear and behold. Sometimes lucid, other times painful, always personal. An interweaving of logical and intuitive. A story about leadership, change, and innovation.

A book with a mission.

Miha Škerlavaj, PhD

BI Norwegian Business School

The book The Energy Inside Leadership is sincere, personal, factual and comforting – it talks about being human.

Ajša Vodnik, MSc

AmCham Slovenia

People who are placed in leading and managerial places, are in most cases unaware of the importance of a human being. We are trained in business and technical know-how, which is a necessary condition for good organization management, but it is by no means sufficient, since everything that is happening to the organization is done by people, and only our interactions and achievements ensure the success and existence of the company.

The author Sonja Klopčič shows the importance of leadership through her rich experiences in very different circumstances. I was especially inspired by the way she shows her perception of the difficult environment, how she accepts it as a fact, and in a given situation, in a positive spirit, encourages her employees and seeks the best possible way for the continued operation of the organization, and not for the excuses and accusations.

The book “The Energy Inside Leadership” is a pleasant reading and I highly recommend it to all who would like to create or co-create a creative and stimulating working environment, especially those who are just beginning on the path of leadership and will find many useful information in the book.

Aleš Bizjak

General Manager, Poclain Hydraulics d.o.o.

I love Sonja’s commitment to the development of people. Her proactive intelligence enables her to see what it needs to support big potential and possibilities within both people and processes.

To point out the necessity for taking big steps in the area of leadership her book encourages each individual to leave the comfort zone and put their fixed concepts about how things and also how a leader should be on stake.

She also describes that challenge by telling the story about the invitation of our circle of visionaries a few years ago.

The idea showed up for me after we had had the honor to work with our Five Steps Team to facilitate, coach and train an extraordinary leadership development process with Tatjana Fink and the 60 key leaders of Trimo in Slovenia.

My invitation for circle of visionaries is still open and Sonja is probably the best one to make that circle of visionaries on a very practical level happen, because – as her book shows – she really understands the big possibility and potential which is waiting to unfold.

Aja Imlintz-Appel

CEO, Five Steps, Germany

I met Sonja at a business meeting on human resources and management. Because I wanted to learn more about her, I started to read The Energy Inside Leadership.

The book reads like a thriller, with plenty of twists and turns. The only constant in the stories is Sonja herself, including her corporate vision and mission in life. She is uncompromising, inspiring, and motivates staff by example, with what she does and how she works. Some important questions are posed at the end of the book: How great is the sacrifice paid by a leader even before they start and while leading? And: Is it worth it?

When I see her today, the clear answer is YES. Let this book be a great motivator for all of us, leaders in various positions and industries, to do what we do with heart, because it is only with heart that one can work with such commitment, responsibility, and conscience. Thank you, Sonja.

Damijan Andjelković


The story is told honestly with interesting details that paint a revealing portrait of the various situations the author and her companies and colleagues found themselves in. I read The Energy Inside Leadership with great interest and had a hard time putting it down. I relived the situations, thinking about the root causes, what decision I would have made, and what I could learn from her story. I was inspired by the courage and tenacity with which Sonja Klopčič struggled for the survival of the company in the local environment and how she honorably concluded matters when there was nothing more she could do. The importance of ensuring respect for employees, introducing changes, constantly searching for new solutions, and continuous learning are valuable lessons every reader can take away from this book.

Jožica Rejec, PhD


The Energy Inside Leadership, based on personal experience, casts a spotlight on collaborative leadership. It states that with good leadership and cooperation, based on mutual respect and the personal maturity of managers and employees, we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves. The author addresses a wide range of issues that we encounter as managers, and also offers helpful answers and advice to managers and employees.

Andrej Kohont, PhD

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

The author talks openly about the management challenges she has faced and the obstacles she has overcome. She draws the reader in with vivid presentation of her inner experience and strong dramatic inserts. An invigorating read.

Melita Balas Rant, PhD

Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana

The Energy Inside Leadership is written in an American style – it is readable, fluent, exciting, and so intense that one cannot put it down until the very end. Through the author’s self-expression we learn about the dilemmas and obstacles – as well as the challenges and opportunities – that she faced in her professional as well as personal development. Readers can apply her experiences in their own areas of interest, pose their own questions while reading, or learn from the presented examples of the best leaders she has encountered.

The book can be read according to the topics that interest one. Each chapter is a treasure trove in itself – through practical Slovenian examples we can easily see parallels in other business environments. At the same time, it is a textbook on business and managerial life, which is not necessary to learn by heart, but should be imitated. And finally, while reading we are presented with a number of interesting and employee-friendly approaches that can contribute to a better organizational atmosphere and, more importantly, to the success of the organization.

Eva Boštjančič, PhD

Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana

I read The Energy Inside Leadership in one sitting. It started my transformation of thinking and it gave me a strong impulse and tools that are effective and tested in practice, which allow me to build an even better working team. The author in the book somehow “exposes” herself, describes in detail the process of “growing up” from an inexperienced leader to an expert in this field and with that brings the function of a leader closer to us, young managers. Book gave me a lot of zeal and inspiration for the way forward.

Bernarda Škrabar

Detective-Security agency

Sonja Klopčič is an entrepreneur, manager, and most of all a successful leader. In The Energy Inside Leadership she, among other things, writes that “Food is energy for the body, relations are energy for emotions, values are spiritual energy.” I would like to add that a good book is energy for an individual’s mind. I gained a great deal of energy for my mind just through this book. It came to me during my studies, and I am glad that it did. Probably for a reason, as with most things in our lives. As part of a contest, I formulated the following motivational message: “The end of the glass-ceiling era.” – as I advocate for gender equality in the distribution of economic power. And that is exactly what Sonja Klopčič achieved in practice. How? Everything is carefully – with sincerity and great understanding of the various facets – written in the book.

Kornelija Kamenik


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