My fascination for humanity’s challenges, complexities and volatility started long before I was working in Rio de Janeiro and met with gun-holding youngsters in Rocinha – Rio’s largest favela – as they’re about to ‘take care of business’.
Yet, this experience engrained a deep respect and affinity for leaders who dedicate their life to working with complexities, diversity and a wide range of stakeholders wanting to create extraordinary impact – making this world the best place to live in.
Fast-forward, I went from the Dutch Embassy in Panama, where I linked international businesses and NGOs with Panama’s maritime and logistics sector to UNHCR Quito, Ecuador. Here I worked in protection interviewing refugees and implementing humanitarian aid. This showed me the support needed for top-level leaders to help them play full out – so their teams can be at their best – and solve life’s challenges.
Meanwhile, Canada has become my 10th country to call home. Here I got to co-lead a large scale system of interconnected One-Health teams and where I took a turn to start coaching leaders professionally.
Sounds like a smooth journey, right?
Truth was…most of my life I’d been chasing a dream version of myself who would only exist if I spoke just one more language, know just one more culture, one more history lesson – as if I could collect all the answers and words to never be wrong, weak or uncertain. And then, when you supposedly reach what you always wanted you still feel empty – lost – on the inside. That something is missing.
And that missing piece, for me, was a place to stand within myself.
A place of peace, confidence, and trust with which to navigate diversity, contrast and tensions that’d led me to have a more positive (and powerful) impact in this world.
This translated to a desire to help leaders, teams and organizations create a more peaceful, loving world in which we can each find our place to stand and lift each other up. To help all of us to get along. (yes, what I wish for others reflects a deep need within myself). So, I embarked on this big journey towards a better peace.
A better peace – a world in which we bring out the best of each other – requires awareness and compassion and resiliency. It asks for an acknowledgement of our differences and a skill-full embrace of uncertainty and healthy conflict; the driver for innovation, efficiency and greatness.
I know that being ‘successful’ is worlds apart from thriving and from creating environments for others to thrive in, like true leaders do.
That’s why I coach around insight and skill. As a life-long student of mindset and human behaviour (and having seen and experienced extraordinary resilience in some of humanities cruelest moments) I know that even a slight shift in perspective and skill makes the biggest impact for those who have the desire to create their biggest legacy.
All my transformational engagement are based in the latest neuroscience, Interpersonal Neurobiology and Relationship Systems Coaching.
My clients are extraordinary people, often at the forefront of change to make this world a better place. They are passionate and successful, yet moving towards what’s coming next still looks “impossible” for them.
If this sounds like you, let’s talk and see if working together would be a good fit.
Most people think…when they travel the world, are successful and make enough money, they’ll finally be happy. Truth is…you can achieve the dream and still feel empty inside.
Most people think…visionaries naturally bring others along on their mission. Truth is…people often get disconnected by how far and fast you want to move.
Most people think…making a successful impact means you secretly juggle being an imposter or fraud. The truth is…successful people don’t miss out on their own greatness.
Most people think…solving people’s needs and keeping the peace, makes them a respected leader. The truth is…making space for others, you learn to hold yourself back.
“I help leaders create extraordinary positive impact”
Other things you might like to know about me:
- I was born in The Netherlands, where I was spoon fed with a “sobering directness”.
- Growing up, I lived spread over 4 different households. This meant I never was committed to a defined absolute version of myself. I continuously experienced different perspectives of reality and belief systems.
- In elementary school I got diagnosed with dyslexia. I didn’t agree to anything being wrong, yet over-compensated in understanding what people meant beyond words.
- I speak 6 languages, and lived and worked in 10 countries.
- I’m a poet.
- I’m the creator of Influity. Influence + Unity = Influity (More on this coming soon!)
- I have a BA in Language and Culture studies. Yes, I essentially studied words and I continue to be deeply fascinated by how they shape our world.
- I have a Masters Degree in International Professional Communication and an Advanced Masters Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. For my thesis on economic inequality in Panama, I deciphered tons of financial statements of multinational corporations and helped expose the non-linkages between high economic growth and economic development.
- I lived through thousands of earthquakes and tremors in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
- Working with refugees I experienced vicarious trauma – just like many others humanitarians working at the front lines – and experienced burn out.
- I started and dissolved a non-profit in the same year in order to fully dedicate myself to coaching leaders.
- I am the North-American Consultant for UNUM, a NGO with projects in El Salvador and Costa Rica that works towards personal-development in an international development setting.
- My deepest understanding on the power of imagination arose when I full-time babysat two incredible Spanish-speaking kids, right in between careers.
- If I could only teach you one thing, it’d be how to talk to strangers (and become friends with them).
- I love to combine beautiful diverse beads into unique jewelry pieces and disperse them all over the world.