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Design Your Life

Former Ikea Executive Shares Her Tools for Personal Success

Don't spend your whole life searching for the right job; make it the most important job to design the right life.

Pernille Spiers-Lopez left Denmark for the United States as a young, naïve entrepreneur. Years later, she became CEO of IKEA North America and then Global HR manager for 130,000 employees. But she soon learned—staring at the roof of the ambulance that was rushing her to the ER—that the job had a price.

So this is success. I am away from my family, my children, and my life. This can’t really be success...

In Design Your Life, follow Pernille on her journey of personal struggle and triumph. Be with her as she climbs out of her own self-denial and darkest day. Watch her summon the focus and strength within to carve out a life by design and discover a more balanced paradigm of living, one in which success is defined not by how much money we make but by our personal leadership and commitment to ourselves and others.

Pernille Spiers-Lopez is an international business leader with over twenty years executive experience with a unique focus on developing both business and personal growth. Among several top executive positions, Pernille has held the position as president and CEO for IKEA North America, global chief HR officer, and was a member of the executive management team of the IKEA Group for ten years. Pernille left IKEA in 2011 after commuting between Chicago and Europe for more than two years. Without a plan B, she then took a year off to learn to “do nothing” and take the time to figure out what was next. Today, Pernille is a corporate and nonprofit director in both the United States and Europe, including Save the Children, Meijer Corporation, and Coop DK, as well as a coach and mentor of executives and entrepreneurs of all ages.