Leadership back to its’ core: The first of the Seven Hermetic Principles

20171019_Henri Nestlé

Nestlé’s founder, German-born pharmacist Henri Nestlé, launches his ‘farine lactée’ [Photo credit: Nestlé S.A.]

Executive leaders are struggling. The world is breaking open[1] on all different levels. When we look at what is happening in the structures we are used to, whether it is the company we work in, the country we live in, on a global scale, or in our private lives, change is happening on every level. Moreover, this change is not going to stop until the message that wants to come through is heard. Until the pain and sorrow the world is suffering from, is healed. The world is evolving. One of my favourite quotes is this one, describing a different perspective on where we are in the world right now:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who does not understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.
—Cynthia Occelli, author

The volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous world where we find ourselves is a world nobody can close his or her eyes from. As it vibrates on every level. It took me back to the Seven Hermetic Principles. The answer in how to show true leadership in our vuca world might be there. This is the first of seven explorations of the way we are doing business and how we might use universal laws in our advantage. We might be able to navigate our leadership better when becoming more familiar with them.

The Seven Hermetic Principles’ are ancient writings, bundled in The Kybalion, by Hermes Trismegistus[2]. The first principle is the principle of Mentalism, in which is stated:

“The All is mind; the universe is mental” – The Kybalion.

It is the greatest of all seven laws and shows us that our manifestation on earth, the physical, tangible world we live in, is a manifestation of the mind. All that has ever been thought of by people, creates the world we find ourselves in right now. The phenomenal world is simply a mental creation and spirit lives in every single creation of our phenomenal world. It is a two way street. It brings us to the fact that whatever we create in our minds, either conscious or subconscious manifests through time. In short: Whatever you give attention to, grows. And this growth is, whether we are aware of that or not, on three planes: the mental, physical and spiritual.

Knowing this, how can we use it in our daily business? What is the invitation to the leaders of today? From this perspective, it is essential to act from an intentional place of creating value for everybody you connect with. Not just for you, your company, its’ stakeholders and employees, but on an even larger scale: for society, for the planet. Leaders have the possibility to give direction to large groups of people in a positive way. In politics as well as in business. Setting the intention to work from a place of bringing growth. Not just for shareholders, but for their employees as well as for the communities linked to them in the complete value chain, from source to consumer.

Nestlé is a great example for this. The company has this already centered in its DNA, Nestlé calls this Creating Shared Value. Values rooted in respect, they work alongside partners to create shared value – contributing to society while ensuring the long-term success of their business. It is embedded in everything they do. It is the companies fundamental belief that the business will be successful in the long term by creating shared value for both its’ shareholders and for society as a whole. What it creates for the worlds’ largest food company, is to work in a playing field that is always rooted in respect. Respect for the people they work with, for whom they engage with and therewith taking integrity as a central point.

This important basis, the companies DNA, surprised me in a positive way when I started working as an interim in their Dutch corporate communications department. Nestlé is a company that is open to learn, embrace challenges and keeps on working from a place of choice and opportunity. Embracing challenges while not being afraid to be with the not knowing, the uncomfortable, gives clarity underneath the drama and facts. It takes you back to the intentional place of creating shared value over and over again.

Now going back to the first Hermetic Principle of Mentalism, Nestlé’s raison d’être, her reason of existence, was founded 150 years ago by Henri Nestlé. He was a pioneer and an entrepreneur, motivated by the challenges and the needs of the society he was living in. He invented farine lactée and saved the life of a child. His mission was to reduce the high mortality rate amongst children due to hunger. Today, a century and a half later, this vision and pioneering spirit still define the companies’ impact area Individuals and families, in which they are committed to helping 50 million children lead healthier lives, as well its’ purpose: Nestlé. Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. 344.000 people all over the world, are working on a daily basis to contribute to their purpose with this intention. With the intention to create shared value.

When we make ourselves go back there every time with intention, we find ourselves manifesting a world that allows growth in a positive way and that is exactly what leaders are asked to do in these challenging times. It means telling stories of the good things happening, although there is a lot of criticism. It opens up a dialogue with people. It means showing vulnerability and honesty, the fact that the company is on a journey, just like we all are. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes, as ‘perfect’ does not exist. It means becoming aware of what you are creating while thinking. Just that. Become aware of what you create while thinking. What you are creating while giving attention to something. Thoughts build things, a tangible world. The secret of growth is rooted in stepping forward with intention from a place of integrity. It comes from a pure place. That is the first thing leaders should become aware of.

[1] Alan Seale, Center for Transformational Presence, http://www.transformationalpresencebook.com

[2] Hermes Trismegistus (three times Great) is a representation of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, bringing astrology, alchemy and theurgy together. His ancient writings were first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society. 


About Boundaries & Ferocious love

Ferocious love. An incredibly powerful word that spoke to me the first time I heard about it. Is it possible to love ferociously? It means loving with the utmost power, in the most powerful way possible. Brene Brown shares it in this video in a beautiful way. And with that comes setting boundaries for what is ok and what is not. What you do and do not allow people to do. Be compassionate with people where they are, where they come from AND put boundaries to what is and is not ok. To lead them in love. Boundaries are rooted in love. Boundaries create respect AND boundaries are loving.

Loving ferociously is not about smothering someone in your love. It is about setting people free, making them find their own way in life. Standing next to someone and walk beside them in hard or dark times, without judgement. Touching people who are not supposed to be touched. Asking ‘how are you?’ to someone who you feel is in need of connecting. Ferocious love is about so much more than relationships. It is about the core of our being and screaming to be out there. A well known quote I’ve used in an earlier blog is: “Don’t walk behind me, I might not lead, don’t walk in front of me, I might not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

It is this years’ theme of the Transformational Presence Global Leadership Gathering: “Leading with fierce gentleness and ferocious love”. It couldn’t have been chosen better. Because that is what we need right now, leaders who set boundaries, rooted in love. So they create a safe space for you to built upon and become the best version of you. Enjoy the video!



A new Deepening: Sit down, stand up and show up

foto-leadershipA new year, a fresh start! A perfect moment for some reflection. Because our fast changing world requests a different kind of leader. Because in this vuca world circumstances change in a split second and leaders need to work with that. Because the challenges we face are sometimes to big to have an answer to. Because a linear approach doesn’t suit an exponential world anymore. That is why we need leaders who do things differently. Who don’t operate from ratio, but from their intuition and feeling. Who are able to embrace the ‘not knowing’. And we will only be able to this when we first know how to lead ourselves personally. That is why I invite you to have a closer look and what better moment to do so in the silence of the winter?

This Deepening is about Transformational Presence, based on the work of Alan Seale. In three nights you’ll learn to use certain instruments to expand your awareness, expand your knowledge of Transformational Presence and widen your horizon in your personal life and the role you play in that. Of course we can’t all start a restaurant at the beach,  but if you dare to look further to what life has in store for you, your personal journey can start!

Deepening Transformational Presence
Workshop 1: Sit down
The universe offers us ongoing possibilities to learn in life. Everyday again. How can you read those signals? Do you believe in coincidence? What would be an easier way to make decisions?

Workshop 2: Stand up
Do you fit in a box? In which box do you spend most of your days? Do you ever ask yourself why you are here? What does it mean to be alive?

Workshop 3: Show up
Have you ever met yourself? Your most successful self? Your most peaceful self? Who are you in your greatest strength? What can be one step in the direction of your greatest happiness?

Participating in the Series costs 150 euros (incl. VAT), participating in one single workshop 75 euros (incl. VAT). The Deepening starts on Tuesday 31st of January, with following evenings on the 7th and the 14th of February in Eemnes from 20.00 to 22.00 hrs. Let me know if you’d like to join us via judy@madepublic.nl

“Do you have a vision or a dream that won’t let go of you? 
Do you want to play a greater role in creating a world that works? 
Whatever your vision or dream, do it now. 
The world can’t afford for you to wait any longer.”
-Alan Seale

Who’s at the table? – The launch video

On the 25th of September the launch of ‘Who’s at the table’, a series of interviews with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs by The Round Table of Life, took place. We’ve had a wonderful afternoon, starting with lunch at Restaurant Fleurie and an interview with Alan Seale at the 17th century church in the heart of Bloemendaal. If you weren’t able to join us, but are interested in the main part of the interview, you can find it here. A big thank you to everyone who joined and especially to Guy Kerstens who created these beautiful videos!

The next WATT is coming Wednesday November 23rd where I will be interviewing Josine Peters, General Manager of The School of Life on Culture within organisations. Let me know if you would like to join us!