Gert-Jan van Schaik


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Bringing positive movement to existing systems

Changing carefully and with commitment, that's what I stand for. 

I work on three levels: with individuals (coaching), with teams and with organizational units as a whole. I prefer to work with all three at the same time. For example, in the case of network organization for primary schools, where I support the board meeting (all school principals) in their intention to place educational leadership in the hands of the teachers. It has consequences in both structure and culture. In addition, I was asked to coach a number of young managers on a one-to-one basis. I like to bridge the gap between hard and soft, and connect people and resources with the context.
 
My job is often to help to have the right conversation. What is uncomfortable, but needs to be faced? What information is available in the ‘undercurrent’ but not yet shared? What does this mean for goals, tasks, and work processes?
 
If the conversation is not relevant, we are not doing the right things. Sometimes a dialogue gets bogged down in old patterns. I enjoy working with the dynamics so that the system starts to move.

 

Leadership

If you want to excel, or want to be truly innovative, you have to pay attention to what you stand for, what your passion is and what you are good at, your talent. You can only inspire others if you are inspired. Are you able to be a contribution all the time?
 
My vision on leadership has been sharpened in my work at Nyenrode Business University. I am involved in the Senior Leadership programmes as a program manager, teacher and coach.

Presence

My professional love is to uncover practical wisdom out of the old traditions. I experienced this myself in an intensive way during a fulltime Buddhist retreat of 3 years and 3 months that I did between 2006 and 2009. Study and contemplation were alternated with months of silence in a profound exploration of the essence of consciousness.
 
Since then I have been motivated to translate my insights and experiences to people in organizations. I find it a challenge to connect instead of being repelled by people because of being ‘vague' or ‘light & love’. There is still a lot to be done in this area, which is why I regularly publish and talk about themes such as presence, awareness and 'radical trust'. For example in the form of the book ‘Excelling at Work. The Difference Between Being Good and Extraordinarily Good'.

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