Posted on January 5, 2020

Contemplating endings and new beginnings

It’s the end of the year and it is time to reflect. Yesterday I really started to sink into it. The year 2019 brought me great international clients, I’m very grateful for having worked with them on their change endeavors. I’ve launched the 3rd Systemic Leadership Summit with a huge number of participants, mostly because of the amazing speakers. Five of the speakers and I ended up in, sharing our systemic views about leading change in complex times and about a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion. I am very happy with the small team of professionals who work for and with me, and who are an incredible support in my business. Relationships with those closest to me are strengthening and deepening. Launching two beautiful, completely rebranded and built from scratch websites was amazing, thanks to a great collaboration. I’m thrilled with the courses and masters program I joined to deepen my learning and skills and create new connections. I’ve integrated systemic approaches I know and captured this in a new framework for leaders to shape systemic change & leadership, so they can build strong, viable, healthy organizations. This framework is the backbone of my work, our summits and the book that I desperately need to write.

But 2019 wasn’t all roses. Far from it. Turning around my company’s business model is a slow process and it’s hard to get a return on all the investments I’ve made. I finally found the guts to close down one of my companies: it had been dormant for years. Engagement in the new network for systemic leaders and practitioners that I launched didn’t fly: I’ll have to shut it down completely. I’ve stopped being part of groups and connections that no longer serve others, me or the group purpose. As I’ve been part of quite a few relationship systems for over a decade, that was painful for some, inevitable for other relationships. Then: dealing with the backlash of being visible wasn’t a walk in the park, especially when it came from those who I considered teachers, mentors and supporters of my work. Discovering my old websites got hacked, leading to heavy investments in new websites with firewalls. Finding sponsorships and new partnerships for the 2020 summit is new and hard: somehow it’s not picking up yet. Stepping into my own leadership even more and continuing to walk the path in spite of my fear. And on a personal note: there have been intense ups, downs and shifts in my friendship, family, financial and physical systems.

Why am I doing this again?

Today I’m sitting in my home staring at my laptop. It’s December 29 and I have my work cut out for me: we will kick off the 4th edition of the Systemic Leadership Summit Sunday January 12. My partner headed off for a weekend with his male friends yesterday, leaving me my space to do screen work for the summit. And I wonder. Why am I doing this again?

Finding speakers, doing the interviews, editing it all, creating promo materials, investing in rebranding and upgrading websites, juggling costly software and so many many other moving parts that come with creating a summit that take days, weeks, months to prepare. For the past four years this has meant top season during Christmas holidays and postponing a break until end of January. And I have a business to run on top of it all.

Nobody asked me to do this, nobody is paying me for it. So WHY am I doing all this work?

As I’m contemplating an email comes in. It’s John’s. John Renesch was a speaker at the very first Systemic Leadership Summit back in January 2017. And now he sends me an email with a link to a short video. “You may find it useful for the upcoming summit”, he writes.

With curiosity I click the link and press play. And I hear him say: “Our biggest crisis in our world today is not about global warming, it’s not genocide, it’s not deforestation, it’s not about all the things we read in the newspaper. It is the lack of leadership.” “Not in the traditional linear thinking sense, it’s about more consciousness.” “In order to change the systems you are part of, you need to learn about systems thinking”. “We need more consciousness, and above all more conscious leadership in the world.”

I’m completely stunned at the serendipity and the timing of the video entering my inbox. As I am watching it, I am reminded of why this whole summit thing started. Thank you John. The Systemic Leadership Summit is something that I founded and host, yes. It has the shape and form that I enjoy creating, sharing and experiencing things in. It’s amazing to be connecting with wise individuals, talking to them knowing they hold and want to contribute to a similar vision. To make the delivery of that content beautiful, and indulge in spreading valuable content across social media. And ever since I was a child, working on big adventures and change endeavors has been at the top of my list of the things I love. Over the years it’s been a process of huge learning for me in more ways than one: as a professional, a leader, an entrepreneur, a systems worker and as a person. But then, the summit isn’t about me.

It is not about me. It’s about WE.

The summit and its vision are about creating a shift towards more collective focused and systems thinking based leadership. That’s not about me. It’s about WE. About inspiring others to develop more conscious and systemic leadership in themselves. Actually the summit is there to help grow conscious systems focused leadership in all of us, not just those who hold a leadership role. To help us deal with change, innovation and transformation and create healthier teams, organizations, communities and societies on our planet. As we enter the new decade, things are not getting any easier. We need the right leadership to pull it off.

So that’s why.

I just wanted to say it and speak to you personally.

Have a look at John’s video.

Then ask yourself:

  • When I look back on 2019: do I know why I do the work that I do? Why I lead those I lead?
  • Am I willing to embrace more of the “We” then the “Me” for the benefit of the group I lead and/or that am part of?
  • Do I feel brave enough to learn more and step into my leadership from a place of consciousness and flexibility when dealing with all complexity we face today?
  • Do I see how systemic approaches, collective focused leadership, more consciousness help me cultivate stronger leadership in my organization, in my team and in myself? Or am I at least willing to find out?

If any of these are true for you, then the Systemic Leadership Summit is right for you.

So go ahead and watch John’s video below. If it resonates in any way: join our summit. It’s online: you’ll find many thought leaders, influencers, fellow leaders and practitioners on a similar path as you, sharing about their knowledge and experience. From one human being to another. After your own end of year reflections, you’ll find new inspiration in our summit to shape your leadership in the new decade. More info on the website.

Here is the link:

I look forward to welcoming you there.

Happy end of year contemplations,



Video posted with John Renesch’ permission.