Partner with a career & leadership coach who truly gets you
My journey from a lost gay boy to a serial entrepreneur and leading teams at corporates
If anyone knows how it feels not to be your true whole self – it’s me.
And not just from my experience of being too afraid to show up who I really am to the world.
Even when I finally mustered up the courage to get out of the closet, to my surprise, I was still hiding a big chunk of me and who I truly was.
Do you feel like you need to leave an important part of yourself at the entrance, so you can successfully play your managerial role?
Are you struggling to show up with your full self towards your team, stakeholders or your manager?
Are you struggling to connect with your team?
I definitely know how this feels and have been there way too many times.
There is no such thing as leading teams?!
I used to manage a team at Philips.
I thought I knew what building and managing teams was from my startup experience. But managing in a highly complex corporate a totally different ballgame.
I had to re-learn how to lead with and without authority in different contexts.
Dealing with team members I did not hire myself and in complex structures.
The biggest learning was that there is no leading teams. There is only leading individuals. I had to understand that individual relationships are at the heart of leading teams.
And the hardest thing was letting go. Letting go of control. Letting go of trying to understand every piece of the complex machine. Letting go doing it all by myself. Once I let some of my control go, things became easier. I had time for actual leadership, vision and strategy work. Pushing the limits a little further.
And paving the way for my team to do what they are best at.
Disrupting status quo through my Startups
I naturally and constantly question the status quo – and that is sometimes exhausting.
When my first startup failed, I was heartbroken. I tried to ignore the feelings that came with it. I thought I could process my emotions in one afternoon, identify the learnings and done.
I had to learn takes so much more to really integrate the learnings. To let go of the ego. To rebuild confidence.
To get back in the game with everything you are is hard. But it’s the only way to grow and change the world for the better.
Transformative 1:1 coaching
I know how difficult it is to be your true self everywhere you go. Especially at corporates it might feel you need to leave something at the entrance, something that feels so important to you. And sometimes you lose your sense of direction, miss that piece of confidence to take the daunting next step in your leadership development and stand up for yourself.
Through my coaching you get:
My personal story
Today I am a loving, curious and engaged discoverer that challenges people to be their full selves. I always have been this person, but I did not dare to show it. I was – and sometimes still feel like – a lost boy searching for myself and the place in the world I am supposed to fit into.
Searching began early in my life. Adapting and fitting in was a matter of literal survival for me. I got perfect at assessing each situation for my biggest fear: People seeing who I really am. A queer boy. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted or where I should go, so all I was back then was a gay boy. I didn’t see myself as more than just that and it wasn’t something I wanted to show to the world or be proud of. I was hiding most of the time. Crying in private, smiling in public. I followed other people’s paths, I was lying to myself, and I was trying very hard to be something I was not.
“Crying in private, smiling in public”
I thought my world would change when I came out at the age of 19. I still remember that moment as if it was today. I was shaking to the bone, sweating and unable to think or speak. At this moment of coming out, I didn’t find what I was looking for. And yet, I got so much more that I didn’t understand at the time.
The following weeks were tough, but I knew I did the right thing of showing the world a bit more of who I am. I felt lonely. I felt lost. I felt insecure about literally every step. It wasn’t all misery though, I met beautiful friends that supported me through all of this. And still – or especially because of me being gay – I tried to be something else than myself. I worked hard to be the perfect son, the perfect friend, the perfect student, the best employee. I tried to be so much, except to be myself. I did not dare to be myself. I was afraid people would not like me anymore when they would see my true self, my feelings and my insecurities. And at the same time, I was hiding so much more: My love. My endless curiosity. My laugh. My joy and my hunger for life. My quirkiness and creativity. My ability to make a real difference to the world. The connection to other human beings I so longed for.
Today, I am truly happy where I stand and proud of who I am and have become. I stand on my own two strong feet. Me. Imperfect, yet beautiful. I am still discovering myself daily. I let myself out a little more and try to be a bit more crazy and daring every day. Sometimes I still feel lost and insecure. I learned how to recover, get out of the swamp and get dancing again. I enjoy the journey, the road and the view, the bumps, the people that join me and support me and the people I join and support.
By showing the world who I really am I learned that I can fully trust myself to make the best of life and grow along the way. This deep trust in myself and my own abilities is the most powerful weapon I have. Today I use this experience, together with my professional education in coaching, to challenge others to find their own voice to come out as whoever they are deep inside. Together, we look at the dark, the beautiful, the hidden, the lost and discover how you can be YOU with pride. My life purpose is to challenge you to be your pure self.
“My life purpose is to challenge you to be your pure self ”