Does fear block you from doing what’s right? Or do you simply freeze and can’t make a decision?
In this less than 9-minutes long The Fear Project video, Lilian Bernhardt, former Head of Legal Team in DPDHL, shares her practical advice on how to transform fear into a razor-sharp focus and a way to strengthen your leadership.
Enjoy listening to a role model of a successful businesswoman and a great person, Lilian Bernhardt.
How I know Lilian
Lilian and I met in the office, where we set through many board meetings together. What captivated me about Lilian was her unique ability to command respect and authority while being also empathetic, ethical, and caring.
Being utterly impressed with her executive presence and human approach, little did I know about Lilian’s ability to raise two beautiful children while pushing her career, about her incredible sense of humor and passionate karaoke singing.
I didn’t know, until one night when we sang and danced to the tunes of ABBA (yes, I know, the strangest things happen after board meetings) and followed up with a coffee meet-up a few weeks later. That is when I decided to never lose touch with her again.
Lilian was born in New York City to Italian parents, but they lived in New York only until she was 4. She grew up in California and considers Los Angeles to be her “hometown” in the United States.
Lilian received her Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. She obtained two law degrees, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Laws (LLM), in Transnational Business Practice at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California.
Lilian met her husband in Austria in 1995 during the year-long LLM program, which partially took place at the University of Salzburg. She moved to Germany in 1997, and about a year later, she obtained her first position at Deutsche Post AG.
During the second half of the 1990s, Deutsche Post was going through a major transformation from the German Post Office to a global logistics company through acquisitions around the world. Lilian supported that transformation as a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Department within the Legal Department until 2004.
In 2004 she was given a lead coordinator role for all legal matters related to IT and Telecomm contracts for Deutsche Post DHL, one of the ten biggest global employers in the world.
In 2008, Lilian chose a year-long sabbatical, where she focused on her family and children. She assumed her role in 2009 and developed the legal team focusing on IT and Telecomm contracts into a full-fledged department, which she headed until 2016 when she chose to leave the company to enjoy life.
In March 2020, Lilian had to quickly adjust her family vacation plans due to the emerging COVID challenge and flew to Arizona, US, where her daughters are studying. What was meant to be a 2-week holiday became an indefinite stay. While separated from her husband and the rest of the family, Lilian and her children keep optimistic and adaptive. Her oldest daughter virtually celebrated her high school graduation this past weekend. Congratulations!