Defining Your Success | A Conversation with Author and Former IKEA Leader, Pernille Spiers-Lopez

Today, Chalene speaks with Pernille Spiers-Lopez, the former President and CEO for IKEA North America and the author of the book, “Design Your Life”. She talks about balancing home life and work life all while defining success on your own terms. Pernille worked her way up through the ranks at IKEA and became the leader of one of the most visible brands in the world. Her story and honesty are captivating, so press play and listen now – no additional assembly required.

Pernille Spiers-Lopez is an international business leader and author with more than 20 years of executive experience. She has served as President and CEO for IKEA North America, as well as the company’s global Chief HR Officer, and also was a member of the executive management team of the IKEA Group for a decade.

Originally from Denmark, Pernille left for the United States as a young, naïve entrepreneur. 14 years later, she was a top executive for one of the world’s most well known brands in the world, empowering others to unleash their potential and advocating for improved diversity and gender equality in the workplace. But as she soon learned – staring at the roof of the ambulance rushing her to the ER – her dream job had a price. In 2014, she and her daughter Sine co-founded Good Life Designed, an organization that focuses on helping women develop both personally and professionally. She now travels the world speaking on the topic of leadership and sharing what it means to “design your life.”

Pernille has just released her first book Design Your Life, a practical guide to taking on leadership opportunities and creating a more balanced paradigm of living. Rather than pushing women to pursue an unattainable idea of perfection, Pernille’s unique take on leadership is all about discovering your own definition of success and building a life guided by your personal values. Pernille also serves as a coach and mentor for executives and entrepreneurs of all ages.

In addition to her work with Good Life Designed, Pernille is a corporate and non-profit director in the United States and Europe, representing organizations such as Save the Children, Meijer Corporation, and Coop DK. Pernille lives with her husband in California and has two adult children.

Pernille has two adult children and lives with her husband in Belmont Shore, California.



Video Introduction (for reference):

Five Tips for Achieving Work/Life Balance:
1) There is no such thing as complete work/life balance. We have one life and you achieve balance by consciously prioritizing and making decisions each day.
2) Yes, you can have it all—just not all at the same time. You can’t run on all cylinders constantly with the same level on perfection. You have your whole life ahead of you. What is the hurry?
3) The quicker you embrace your own imperfection (in all aspects of your life!) the more freedom and happiness you will feel. We know nobody is perfect, so why are you the last one to accept it?
4)Take a time out. Pause, reflect, take time for your self and hit the reset button. It doesn’t need to be 6 months off. It can be a couple hours at a coffee shop, a day at the spa, or a long walk in nature.
5) Create a life support team. You wouldn’t think of running a successful business without a strong team around you, and you can’t run a successful life without a team.

Five Steps to Design Your Life:
“ Don’t spend your whole life searching for the right job- make it the most important job to design the right life”
1) It’s your life. Own it and accept full responsibility for it.
2) Designing your life is a process which needs your full commitment. It takes time to create the life you want, and it’s hard work! Be ready to roll up your sleeves and to be courageously honest with yourself and others. Real change is hard work, and nothing worthwhile comes without struggle.
3) Start with the big picture. What is your life vision? What are your core values and your passion? Then you can plan the next steps to getting there.
4) Create a supportive network and select a mentor. You need people to give you honest feedback along the way.
5) Get into the routine of journaling and buy a beautiful, inspiring journal. You will look at it everyday and it will be your best friend.


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Helpful Resources:

Chalene’s Courageous Confidence Club:

This program gives you the tools you need to build confidence in every area of your life. You are supported by a group of people who are going through the program with you and are a sounding board for decisions and opportunities. This program will get you unstuck from your current situation and will teach you the steps needed to get your life in the direction you want!

For help with goal setting and determining your life’s priorities, check out Chalene’s 30 Day Push Program:

For health and fitness advice from Chalene, head to to download her FREE program with complementary workout videos!

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