The Heroine’s Journey of Tatjana Lackner

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Communication and Behavioral Profiling is a really gripping area of my work and also plays out in the media. Often, I was invited as a TV-profiler to make analyses of: Putin, Obama, Merkel, Trump, Clinton and also of our domestic politicians or the representatives of royal houses. Yes, even murderers were involved – for example, the Norwegian assassin Anders Breivik, the ice-killer Estibaliz C. and many other persons of public interest.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Ouch! Happiness is not really my religion. I’d rather believe in moments. They can change your life. But okay … I feel easy on a day at the beach in West Florida with my children (Christina-Antonia, 1990; Xaver Louis, 2005) talking about aims in life and thinking about questions like these.

What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is to feel unimportant. I know that after my death – which will be a very big day for me – the rest of the world goes on cutting their finger nails and buying everyday things. I really fear to die in pain AND feel hilariously useless.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I hate my immoderateness. For many years, I lived too fast, slept too little, smoked too many cigarettes and ate way too much. On the other hand, I can be very disciplined while I am on a diet or when I successfully gave up smoking years ago. I can be a tough worker to define myself, but immoderateness kills every result. You can look me up on the internet and you will find pictures with 70 pounds more and in the same year they melted away. Two years later my friend Jojo came back again and was defeated. What a waste of energy to live amongst immoderate amplitudes like these.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I started in the radio business as a broadcaster and did a lot of radio shows before I founded the School of Speaking – the training ground for: Career-oriented professionals, leaders, politicians and professional speakers. When I was young I admired a lot of radio stars who finally over the years happened to become lecturers in my institute. On some days when I walk through the classes I can hear their incredible voices and feel very proud. It is so cool to offer our clients a core crew full of big names in the German speaking world.
What is my greatest extravagance? I am a photo addict. I have a collection of more than 120.000 personal stock-photos. Many are trash, but some even made it public. I had 5 multi-year photo exhibitions for UniCredit Bank Austria in Vienna.
On what occasion would I lie? I lie each and every day more than once! Besides, everybody does. I lie when … I tell my fiancé I’ll call him back but never do. … I tell an editor that I think about the idea to publish my next book for their label but have already decided that I won’t. The better question would be: on which occasion would you tell the entire truth? (yes that would definitely be the better question 🙂 Peter)
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I am tired of accounting and financial planning.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Wow, that is hard to say. When I achieved the award Trainer of the year“ in 2014 I was very proud and thankful. On the other hand when I started my business at a very young age (24) and was honored with the award Best Young Entrepreneur 2002“, I was in the pink, as well. On some days I am simply happy because I can work together with my daughter who is he funniest person in my world.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Okay, let’s ask what where my dreams when I was young? First and foremost I always wanted to meet with Elvis Presley. Actually I visited Graceland in 1992 but unfortunately the King was not home ;-). Secondly, I always wanted to run my own business. Today I do. Check! Finally, I always wanted to marry an American and live in the US. In fact I never married but I am still dreaming of building up a business abroad. So here we are, it is still worth it and not too late to give it a try.

What is my greatest achievement in work? After 25 years, establishing School of Speaking as a cultural institution in the German speaking world. Moreover it was a lot of work to write 5 books. 3 of them are bestsellers, 2 are long sellers which we still use at the university.

Where would I most like to live? I love Vienna but I could live in the South of France or Florida and L.A., as well.

                                                                                                                                                                  What is my most treasured possession? I guess it is my ability to read and profile people.

What is my most marked characteristic? They call me the „Queen of words“.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? When you enter a typical old Viennese Café you are surrounded by elegance. You can watch the people or read a paper and you inhale a very specific atmosphere which in my case produces creativity.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I like a small sophisticated place in the 9th district of Vienna called „Rebhuhn. They serve the best apricot duplings there which the Austrians call „Marillenknödel“. In Venice: „Da Ivo“, in Beverly Hills/L.A.:Mastro’s Steakhouse“, in Anna Maria Island/Florida: „The Sandbar“

                                                                                                                                                                          What books influenced my life and how? „Holiday in a Coma & Love lasts three years“, „39,90

Who are my favorite writers? Frédéric Beigbeder, Rainer Maria Rilke, Arthur Schnitzler

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Elvis Presley, what else?

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Alma Mahler Werfel

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I don’t believe in heroes. Moreover, I think being a very real human is hard enough.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? „Wag the dog“

What role does art play in my life and work? I love art, design and I admire powerful photography. My institute is full with contemporary art.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor and partner in crime? Luckily, during the day I sit with really effective designers, directors, bright minds and opinion leaders who are concerned about their impact. It is a privilege to be able to offer them new ideas and challenge them with rhetorical structures. Successful people know, that through our language, we reveal which values and attitudes we surround ourselves with.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would love to cooperate with a university in the US.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I would love to meet with some experts of Paul Elman’s Group.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I recently started „FIRST IMPRESSION PROFILING“: Using a smart phone, simply take a selfie-video of yourself. 1-2 minutes is an optimal length so that the upload does not become a tedious chore for you. As soon as your short selfie-video lands by me, I can set to work. Give me a good week and then you get a link to the analysis video. Why? Because voice and speech are the number one career factors. You never get a second chance for your first impression!

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

What do the words “Passion never retires” mean to me? It is true! As long as we take our own life serious we do and say things with passion. That‘s how we were conceived. The only thing that changes over the years is the temperature of our passion.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Sabine Wiedenhofer: artist

How can you contact me?

Message of the founder of The Heroine’s Journey Project Peter de Kuster

When you want to support The Heroine’s Journey project buy here one of my books about The Heroine’s Journey.   

You can buy Peter’s Books here 


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