Why is this subject, “Connect Inspire Grow,” important in the world?
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how people’s attitudes toward work have evolved in recent years. We first had the Great Resignation, then came the War for Talent, resulting in a new normal where professionals prioritized work-life balance and alignment with their values. It used to be enough for employers to offer a fair salary, a good benefits package, and a comfortable working environment, but that’s no longer true.
According to a 2022 McKinsey global survey, employees who feel like they don’t have access to avenues for learning, growth, and development are 41% more likely to quit. In addition, 34% of people surveyed mentioned that they quit their jobs because of uncaring and uninspiring leaders. This is a warning signal for team leaders who underestimate the value of connecting with their people and taking ownership of their influence.
What is the pressing issue right and how are you addressing it?
People want better and more meaningful relationships at work, especially with their leaders. While leaders may rely on HR to create talent development programs to try to hire and retain talent, that will not be enough. It’s up to the leaders to shift from more transactional relationships to connecting with the human behind the colleague or team member. The way to build that is what I call creating “professional intimacy.”
These are the kinds of conversations that give leaders insight into what the people they work with desire, what their needs are, what drives them, and what they value. It’s a process of getting to know people for who they truly are. Unfortunately, many leaders have never been taught how to have these conversations and find it challenging to connect and engage with their team members at this level.
I have developed a framework called Connect Inspire Grow that helps leaders build trust and relationships with their team at a more human level.
Liesbeth Van Der Linden Biography
What is your background in this subject?
From a very young age, I have always wanted to work in business and see the world, but I chose an unconventional way to get into leadership. I wanted to be independent at eighteen, skipped college, and started my career in the lower ranks of the corporate ladder in support and junior sales and marketing roles. When I got the first chance to live and work abroad at the age of twenty, I grabbed it with both hands. My career quickly took off, and I started managing teams in my mid-twenties. I thought: “If I can do this without a good education, what would be possible if I went back and studied management at business school? I quit my job, did an MBA, only to find out that they only teach you the technical aspects of leadership. No time was spent on how to inspire and lead a team, how to deal with people, which is what I wanted to learn about.
In the last 20 years, I have held leadership positions in sales and business consulting in Europe and Asia. I was GM of M2Leisure, a Shanghai-based leisure development and consultancy company. Before my move to China, I worked as a business consultant and led process improvement teams at technology corporations such as NXP and ASML which allowed me to look into the kitchens of many different organizations. What fascinates me about leadership and why I have been studying it for years is to find what makes some people achieve extraordinary results and some feel stuck or struggle to make even the slightest bit of progress?
In 2017, I started my executive coaching and consultancy practice GLTD in Hong Kong and have been helping leaders from over 25 countries perform and stay grounded in high-stake environments.
In the conversations that I have with leaders I work with, we look beneath the surface and dive deep into how their minds work, how they think, feel, and interact with others in and outside of their organization. What makes them successful and what are their biggest obstacles, and what helped them overcome them? That’s where we find the key to their leadership success.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I love solo traveling. This year I took a week off and went to a retreat on Koh Samui, an island belonging to Thailand. I was away from my business and family to focus purely on my physical health and mental well-being; No screens, no TV, no WiFi, a complete digital detox. Just sun, a pristine white beach, purely natural food, and self-care. It was amazing, and I plan to do it again this year.
What are your passions outside of your career?
My passion for travel and seeing new places has been challenged because of the strict travel restrictions in Hong Kong that were only lifted at the end of last year. Now that everything is open, I’ve already planned a trip to Italy for the summer, and I’m happy to be able to visit friends and family in the Netherlands and see my son off to college there.
Another passion is nature; I spend time in nature every day. It re-energizes me, and I like outdoor exercise, hiking, playing tennis, and walking our dog.
Are there any social causes that you believe in and support?
Protecting our planet and caring for wildlife. Since childhood, I have supported WWF – World Wide Fund. We have clearly not taken good care of our planet, and the animals are the first to suffer. I believe it’s our duty and priority to stop the destruction and demolition of their natural habitats to increase their chances of survival. I cannot stress enough the importance of WWF and other wilderness conservation organizations’ work to reduce the human impact on the environment.
What is next for you?
After four years, our family will leave Hong Kong and Asia and move to Dubai. I have visited the Middle East several times but have yet to live there.
I have already worked with several clients from Dubai and set up a coaching and consultancy company there, which is exciting. I will keep my business in Hong Kong and continue to serve clients in Asia. Now, I will be more centrally located in the world so that it is easier to work with clients in Europe and the US.
We have planned corporate workshops based on the leadership concepts in the book, and we are starting a new group coaching program in September.
Connect Inspire Grow: The Executive’s Framework for the First 100 Days
Tell me about your book:
My forthcoming book, Connect Inspire Grow: The Executive’s Framework for the First 100 Days, addresses the most significant challenge most leaders face:
“How do I engage my team to achieve the desired results?”
The framework I mentioned helps leaders entering a new role focus on building trust with their stakeholders from day one. This trust forms the foundation for the progress and success of their assignment.
Although it’s written in the context of leaders working in a foreign environment, on assignments that often have to be completed within 2-3 years, who work across different cultures, and who often have to lead virtually, the framework is applicable for most leaders and entrepreneurs who need to engage their teams and achieve results quickly.
The Impact of Clayton Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation Theory(Opens in a new browser tab)
Where can people buy the book?
As of May 9th, the book will be available through my website, https://www.gltd.co/newbook, Amazon, and wherever books are sold.
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