15 Nov My story to purpose
Hello and welcome to the blogs section!
In the many conversations I have with clients, we often talk about the power of purpose and how that drives organisational behaviour and engagement. It is an amazing motivational force. In fact, according to decades of research, there are few things more important to mental stamina and motivation than having a sense of purpose. So during the conversations -not surprisingly- I get the question what my own purpose is; why I do what I do. And just as a definition, I believe purpose is simply about doing something meaningful that truly matters that you want to act upon. So here is my journey that got me into working from my purpose.
Back in 2007 some 12 years into a career in ICT at Shell, Siemens and the Royal KPN, I didn’t feel the motivation I used to have. I felt the environment had become limiting and realised it was time for a change. My first coaching experience helped me open my eyes, putting me on a new path forward. I resigned and joined a consulting firm where we started a practice in sustainable development and CSR. I was inspired by the idea of ‘Business as a force for good’ and met the most amazing people all working towards a more inclusive and just society. By 2009, we moved to Cairo, Egypt as a family where I was given the opportunity to start a Middle East operation. We took off, but on January 25th 2011, our business collapsed as the Arab Spring unfolded in front of us.
A few months and some disillusions later, an Egyptian social entrepreneur and co-founder of Masterpeace Foundation popped the idea of organising a peace dialogue event in the heart of Cairo. Since I had always enjoyed having a good conversation, this first event that I hosted took place in the summer of that year. It was about Truth & Reconciliation in sprit of South Africa’s peaceful transformation in the 1990’s. With some previous moderating experience at the annual Tällberg Forum in Sweden, I got a taste for it and hosted many subsequent conferences, events and team retreats. In the years that followed, I got further educated and certified in behavioural analysis, deception detection and expanded my work as organisational trainer in the field of team coaching and leadership development.
A medical set-back following a complex, erratic and lengthy diagnostics process in 2013 put me to the test. After my recovery 12 months later, I had to start all over. Because my body had failed me, learning to trust again became a critical part of my recovery process. And that trust thing is strongly rooted at the core of my work.
Having lived in different countries and cultures, I learned that people are not all that different, but that sometimes we need to better listen to their stories, get out of our echo-chambers to understand their views and needs. Especially in this day and age there is massive opportunity and need to improve the social contract. By fostering awareness of self and the world we live and work in, we can build more inclusive organisations of dignity and purpose and be a force for good. My purpose is rooted in helping people and organisations achieving that.