The personal side of communication directors

QUESTIONS TO... Vanya Babanin

How do you explain your job to your friends?
I always say I communicate. Professionally. And since they always laugh, I then talk about the reputation management, media relations, marketing communications and employee branding. And my kids think I organise parties every day.
If heads of corporate communications didn’t exist, what would your profession be?
A negotiator seems to be right. Or maybe a business development consultant.
Who is your favourite character in history?
Two of my favourite characters in history are Buddha and Sun Tzu: controversial characters but both very successful in their teachings.
What is utter happiness for you?
Being content with myself
Who are your present-day heroes/heroines?
The ‘normal’ people in our life: everyone who finds their place, does their job and don’t pretend to be the biggest influencer or decision maker in history
What has been the most emotional moment in your career to date?
Emotions seem to have been stronger years ago: I can still recollect the trembling in my knees when I won at the national debate contest in Bulgaria. Now I find emotions every day (or they find me), but in smaller doses. A huge experience has always been the yearly target agreement negotiation with Daimler.
What is your greatest weakness?
The drive to move things I work on faster often costs me a lot of sleep time.
Which talent would you like to possess?
The management of physical limits.
What do you dislike most?
Irresponsible behaviour.
What book do you have on your bedside-table?
Today, it’s the German edition of Pippi Longstocking!
Would you ever have liked to belong to another nation? If yes, which…?
It would have been interesting to get back in time and wake up as a Scandinavian warrior or an eastern princess