She greets you with a certain stateliness and an irreverent humor to boot. Born Countess Shoya Zichy of Budapest, she descends from generations of statesmen, artists and writers. For example, there was Princess Melanie Zichy Metternich, wife of the famed Austrian Chancellor. Melanie used courier pigeons to warn Hungarian cousins of her husband’s moves against them. To the Chancellor’s dismay he never caught up with noted artist Count Mihaly Zichy who fleeing to Russia was appointed portrait painter to the court of Emperor Alexander II. Today his works hang in numerous European museums. Not to be outdone, cousin Geza one-armed following an early hunting accident went on to a forty year career as a concert pianist and was declared by his teacher, Franz Liszt, to be one of the marvels of modern musical history.
Shoya’s early life was spent in exile after the family fled the political turmoil of Hungary. There she joined her cousin, Queen Geraldine of Albania, the Egyptian royal family and relatives scattered throughout Europe. Educated in the U.S., she went on to become a teacher and journalist. Later as a private banker for Citibank, Merrill and American Express she tapped into her own reservoir of private memories to form powerful connections with politically skittish clients in Asia and the Middle East.
Today, however, as a seminar leader on route to London, she makes a brief stop in Hungary to meet with family and introduce them to her personality model Color Q. Color Q, based on Jungian psychology, serves as the basis of her first book Women and The Leadership Q and the upcoming Career Match: Connecting Who You Are With What You’ll Love To Do. It describes four personality groups and how each approaches life, love and work. The young cousins take the test with enthusiasm and pepper her with questions on ways to find the best career. After all, as one declares, it is a new age in Hungary, and an opportunity to bring a distinguished family back to its former glory.