Discover Benelux | Special Guide | Top Coaching Experts
Elsbeth van Lienden.
Unleash the great leader within you TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: ALEXANDRA STRZELCZYK / PIXABAY
Leaders are successful people, by definition. With hard work and a clear vision, they have managed to climb up the ladder. Unfortunately, that isn’t always enough to reach the top or stay ahead at the top, however. A lot of leaders are held back by their – mostly subconscious – flaws and weaknesses, which may prevent them from living up to their potential. Coaching boutique The Pink Walnut helps people to overcome these obstacles, allowing you to keep improving your company, as well as yourself. “To break through your own barricades, you need a brutally honest outsider’s look on your work and on you as a person.” And that is exactly what Elsbeth van Lienden offers. As the founder of The Pink Walnut, she is specialised in helping leaders to live up to their potential. To her, every business is a people’s business. “When things go wrong in a company, most leaders blame the systems they use, whereas they should look at themselves first. Business structures and methods usually work, 50 | Issue 73 | January 2020
it is the people who don’t.” And those human flaws can come in a myriad of forms: a lack of deep listening skills, conversational skills or eye for detail, to name a few. “People are creators. Our decisions determine our future, not the methods we use or structures we work in.” The first important lesson that The Pink Walnut teaches is that one’s decisions are driven by thoughts, feelings and emotions, which mostly originate from a subconscious level, so one believes them to be true. To make wise and conscious decisions, you must be able to distinguish the fact that you have thoughts and beliefs, yet you are not those thoughts and beliefs. Context is key. “As a child, you absorb plenty of impulses which influence your decisions for the rest of your life. They brought you to where you are at today, but oftentimes withhold you from creating exponentially or stepping out of your comfort zone.” To help create the required small internal shifts necessary for exponential growth,
Van Lienden works through private sessions, group dynamics or a combination of both. “One-on-one sit-downs are great to talk about you; group sessions are better to reflect and inspire. That’s why I prefer combining them and coach C-suite executives both separately and together,” van Lienden reveals. How long a coaching cycle takes depends from person to person. “After one hour already, you will have more valuable and practical insights into what your obstacles are. Putting this knowledge to use will cost you more time; a few months, half a year perhaps. Our brain sabotages this self-improvement; that is the main hindrance to overcome.” By combining this ‘down-to-earth spirituality’ with result-driven actions in the present moment, The Pink Walnut creates tomorrow’s leaders. “I don’t improve businesses. I improve humans. The rest follows automatically.”