While traveling the world seeking answers on global leadership perspectives, we stopped in the Netherlands. I met with Ronald van Weegen, a seasoned senior executive in both Leadership Development and Human Resources. I asked Ronald to reflect upon his professional development and overall experience in life and provide us the one thing that he would recommend to younger executives on their leadership journey.

Interview Summary

JH: Ronald, what is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self that might help someone in their own leadership journey?

RVW: I would tell myself that being ambitious and working hard at the same time is not the same thing. So my advice would be that it is really about a balance between your mind, the body, your spirit, and overall emotional well-being. So it’s a holistic part of you as a human being and not only about working hard and executing all day.

JH: So hearing you say body mind soul, that’s resilience. Is that what you’re saying?

RVW: It’s all about resilience, yes, however, it is also about your spiritual growth and being conscious that you’re part of a bigger ecosystem. It’s not about your ego but the importance of the systems that interconnect us all. As a young person, I thought it was about to ego, and now I am more aware that we’re all connected through this ecosystem. Businesses are connected and also leaders; there’s nobody who could solve problems alone, and that is why you need others within the ecosystem to be effective in your personal life as well as your career.

Ask yourself, what is more important? My ego or the eco? There is where you will find your path to success.

Key Leadership Takeaways:

  1. Anytime in your career, be self-aware of your personal ambitions. Ensure you look for the bigger picture when it comes to how you succeed.
  2. No one is successful all by themselves. It takes a support system(ecosystem) to create the power of achievement. 

Leader Action Plan:

  1. Identify what your ecosystem is. Become self-aware of the many partners around you (business or individuals).
  2. To ensure ACTION, take this as a challenge, once you have identified your ecosystem, write a thank-you note to the top 3 influencers within your eco and tell them why they are essential to you and your success. 

What are your thoughts on Ego vs. Eco? Post your comments below and let us begin building a tribe of people who have a passion for followership, mentorship, and leading!