You have worked in leading positions at digital agencies. Now you founded your own company. Can you explain to us what "SoulWorx" does?
I see today's disruptive change and our emerging future requiring us to rethink and reinvent how organizations are 'run'. As we collectively move in to a deeper level of consciousness, I believe leaders and their organizations face the need to suspend, redirect, let-go of the past, lean into the future and let transformation emerge. Transformational journeys that bring purpose, humanity and care in organizations and has leaders be more soulful and purposeful in their actions, so as to create a far more diverse, equitable and sustainable world.
As change-makers and consultants, SOULWORX advises and accompanies leaders and their organizations through transformational journeys and emerging future possibilities, bringing purpose and humanity to the forefront, and delivering a more effective and meaningful path to high performance and happiness.
SOULWORX absolutely values creativity, focus, quality, inclusion and free expression, and live these values when embracing every transformational journey we accompany. Each journey is it's own story, hence we like to work with leaders and organizations from the present moment, sensing, engaging and creating future possibilities, while also bringing back more heart and soul into each leader and into the work space overall.
SOULWORX has three service offerings:
1. 'Transformational Journeys' – where SOULWORX accompanies and consults leaders and their organizations through transformation design challenges
2. 'Transformational Experiences' – where SOULWORX creates and offers immersive leadership programs, focusing on the female qualities of leadership for navigating transformation
3. 'Transformational Exchanges' – where SOULWORX educates and discusses via events and speaking engagements the need to reinvent how organizations are run, bringing purpose and humanity to the forefront
How was the change from being employed to self-employed for you? Which hurdles where you confronted with and which advantages did you notice?
Impatience! I would love to have everything ready immediately! However, with so many small things to pay attention to, kick-starting your own business does not happen overnight! As an example: finding a trustworthy financial accountant, creating your own website (mine is still not up an running!) etc. It is definitely good to get help, and put some tasks out to others. You just can't do everything yourself! Plus. I learned, it is really important to take time out. Consciously. Yes, you are running your own business, but you need some downtime as well! Nonetheless, it is your own business and there is nothing more satisfying than doing what you love doing! It is enormously freeing to spend time with things that truly make you happy. At least I think so!
As a self-employed person one of the biggest challenges is structure and self-management. Do you have tips?
My biggest tip is to truly take the time to really understand yourself. What is your potential and what is your intent! Are you ready to out all of yourself against the intent and if so, what is it you are good at and where will you need help! If you are more self aware of yourself and your strengths, you'll know where you need help.
You are a passionate Yogi – how did that happen and what does Yoga mean to you. And most importantly how do you manage to integrate Yoga into your stressful day?
True. I love yoga. Yoga, for me, is an opportunity to be continuously in sync with my environment and myself. I meditate daily for at least 10 minutes every day. Meditation allows me to practice no thought and provide myself with a new perspective, or non-attachment perspective on things that are going through my mind. My mother was one of the first Yoga teachers in Germany, and hence I grew up with yoga! When I was young no one even knew what Yoga was. My mother, though, would continually travel to India. When she was out traveling, I would have to act as Yoga teacher and give her lessons in her absence. Which went like this: My mom recorded the lessons on cassettes (!) and I would do the Asanas in front of the class. In 2008 I did my own Yoga training in New York, at a wonderful school ISHTA Yoga. Three years later with my 500hr Yoga license, I was giving my first classes in London galleries! I am very thankful to my mother and to all my Yoga and Yoga of Silence teachers, as I have learned so much from them at a body, mind and soul level.
Your focus is on “Female Leadership”. What exactly does that mean?
I love the topic of 'Leadership'. Although 'Female Leadership' is a topic, I actually like to talk about the feminine qualities in leadership, which both male and female leaders carry. I am convinced that today organizations need to lead with a stronger focus on feminine qualities. As we delve deeper into the world of digitization, automation, robotization, generational changes, new work modes etc., the feminine qualities in leaders need to become more apparent: intuition, collaborative and collective thinking, integration and creativity. These are qualities that we all need to display in today's zeitgeist.
Which differences did you discover between female and male managers?
I believe, female leaders do not tap into or trust their feminine qualities; instead they aim to compete with their male leaders and take on more masculine qualities. It is a real shame, as women should be women, and not have to think they need to take up all the qualities of their fellow male peers. It sounds so silly, and I am embarrassed to bring up the topic, but it happens again and again. Female leaders should show themselves from a female angle. Overall though, I would just like to see every leader self reflect, remain authentic and ultimately be inspired to provide meaningful solutions, and not be driven by shareholder value at all times.
Did you ever feel neglected or being female as an advantage?
No, I cannot say I ever felt neglected. In fact, I don't think the thought even ever crossed my mind 'am I being neglected or not?'! Maybe that's my secret! I never worried where I was heading, I just got on with doing my absolute best with passion and dedication. What I did do, and I believe was my advantage, was to sought out mentors! I had great mentors at my side. Each supported and challenged my personal and professional development. I loved the fact that I was always able to easily ask for advice and guidance. My mantra to young leaders today would be 'get a mentor, now'!
Would you call yourself a feminist?
Yes, and that is because I am convinced that men and women need to be equal.
Emma Watson just founded the Feminist Book Club. Do you see a way to make the topic even more interesting?
With the SOULWORX service offering 'transformational exchanges', I am in the midst of setting up a “Salon” in Berlin, and hopefully in Hamburg, where matters of transformation will be discussed. Sociopolitical, cultural or economical – everything is changing! Which is why we need to place an emphasis on these topics and educate ourselves or rather ensure continual discussion!
Who is your biggest role model?
I love David Bowie! He always knew how to re-invent himself, and never fall for conventions or strive for social acceptance. But if there is a historic figure I favour, I would have to say Jean D'arc. For me, she embodies love, in every possible way - not in a romantic way, how we often like to define love. Plus, she was brave and active at all times, with a clear intent! I believe we should all act with intent and execute our intentions with love. That is a topic, for a whole further interview!