Constancee TeamGet to know the people, experience and organizations behind Constancee's Growth Approach
For as long as I can remember I have been curious about what this life is about. As toddlers often do, I incessantly asked "what is that?" and I have continued to do so since. My ongoing inquiry has become my work: helping people individually and collectively to discover what is possible in life and express that authentically and fearlessly, co-creating extraordinary results.
Growing up on a farm in the North of the Netherlands, I was deeply interested in music and ancient wisdom. As a teenager, I played French horn in the Dutch Youth Wind Orchestra and conjugated ancient Greek verbs as a favorite past-time. From there, the adventure led to Nijenrode University, where I earned a Bachelor's in Business degree. My greatest learning there, in retrospect, was about building friendships, some of which continue today. Upon graduating from college, I went to study international relations and economics at Johns Hopkins University, in Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC. There I earned a Masters of Arts degree and learned about the interconnectedness between politics, economics and life mastery and fulfillment.
Upon graduation from Johns Hopkins, my fierce ambition led me to pursue a career strategy consulting in New York City, where I thrived for many years. First I worked at Towers Perrin, then at Strategic Decisions Group, where I became one of the youngest partners elected, doing strategy development for a wide range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, consumer electronics and life sciences companies.
A major shift occurred during this critical phase of my life. I had become the typical, hard-charging, 16-hours-a-day strategy consultant, and was burning out at a rapid clip. I sometimes didn't sleep for an entire week, simply because I was too revved up. When I discovered meditation, everything changed. After one hour of meditation I could sleep again and I rediscovered a peaceful, creative and loving dimension of myself that I had ignored for much of my life. I was so taken by my new discovery that I chose to bring to business what I was learning: that there is a way we can have it all - we can be fulfilled, do work we love, and create extraordinary results with others. I think of it as creating a sense of ease in business.
To become skillful in doing so, I completed numerous coaching and facilitation development programs, one with New Field Network, and many with Axialent, where I worked with and learned culture, coaching and team development from Fred Kofman, author of Conscious Business, and many other talented colleagues.
After a few years, I founded Co-Creation Partners together with four amazing leaders in the field of transformation and personal development. With them, I learned how organizational systems transform alongside individuals and teams. Then, at the beginning of 2014, I sensed it was time to bring into the world a new way to help leaders grow, and Constancee was born.
Constancee was formed to help people grow by creating the conditions where deep personal, interpersonal and organizational shifts happen routinely. We serve Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller startups and non-profits. Regardless of size, I have seen the most exceptional results with organizations and individuals who have a genuine commitment to learning.
In addition to working with organizations, I lead the Growth Leaders Network, a community of leaders committed to self-growth and selfless service. I also teach the Leader as Coach programs atColumbia Business School Executive Education and collaborate with Tuck Professor and Harvard Fellow Vijay Govindarajan in further developing the connection between organizational innovation and personal transformation. Our first joint-articles were published by Harvard Business Review in 2016. My first book "Taming Your Crocodiles: Unlearn Fear and Become A True Leader," has been published by Dover Publications in 2018. Besides helping others grow, I am sing kirtan (East Indian meditative practice) , love to dance, hike and write, am an avid reader, in particular of biographies, and am always in the process of growing myself. I integrate all of what I learn in my work with executives.
My mission is to realize my essence and help others do the same. I aspire to approach every moment as the next step in our endless journey to become more of who we truly are.
Ever since I was little, I felt a deep sense of empathy with my peers. With that developed a desire to comprehend their feelings by naturally positioning myself in their shoes.
It was after reaching adulthood that I saw this desire as an attempt to understand my own feelings. As this progressed, I developed a strong affinity for understanding those around me and matured an aspiration for helping others. Later, I would refine this call for helping others into the precise and purposeful art of serving.
A short time after finding my calling I decided to work in Hospitality Management, from receiving guests, tending to their requests and greeting them as they departed.
After a few years, I recognized that this path was preventing the expansion of my intellectual boundaries. I moved on in search of new means that would let me grow while providing meaningful service.
In this search, my studies about philosophy were rapidly increasing, bringing with them fresh perspective. I began to comprehend my beliefs and my decisions and their impact on my experience. Life began to shift dramatically. I was finally affirming the foundations to a new level in comprehension of who I am and which direction I was to journey in life.
I am inspired by people who achieve their goals by putting all their effort into what they do. I can think of no better way to be constantly inspired than working side by side with those who inspire me. I became a tool, a resource for supporting consultants in achieving the objectives set by the organization.
I am now in charge of managing all logistics for Constancee, inspired by the growth opportunities brought by each and every new interaction.
Every day and every interaction is now an opportunity to put all my effort into cultivating Growth Culture.
I've been fascinated with what makes good leaders for as long as I can remember. I was fascinated by the knights of the round table – that idea of peer leaders collaborating with less hierarchy was compelling to me as a teenager. I was obsessed with the imperative that leadership power be accompanied by a code of conduct that supported the “right use” of privilege and influence to lift up everyone in the team and wider community.
In the last years, Compassion & Mindfulness @ Work have become my leadership passions. Not as a touchy, feely way to cover up the ugliness that may be underneath, but as the only sustainable way to achieve breakthrough performance for individuals and teams.
There is just too much suffering in the workplace. It takes a massive toll on employees and their families. And the cost of lost opportunities for companies and organizations is huge.
There is tremendous upside for organizations that pay attention to workplace culture. I'm continually amazed at how much high-performance teams can accomplish.
Unlocking the potential for both employees and organizations requires two things:
- 1. Individual commitment to awareness and ownership of our own behavior. This is where mindfulness practices are so beneficial.
- 1. Organization commitment to building a positive team culture that encourages healthy employee engagement.
My career has afforded me the privilege to work for some of the largest, most prestigious global companies: AT&T, Digital, EDS, Oracle, Hitachi, Siemens and Wipro. My clients have included a long list of visible, distinctive companies including: Microsoft, HP, AT&T Wireless.
I climbed the corporate ladder to Vice President with responsibility for 750 people in 50 countries. I was a driven, classic workaholic. And like many others, I reached a point where my achievements were no longer rewarding. There had to be something more. So, I took a leap into the unknown with a couple extended sabbaticals.
In the months away from work I explored how I could live and work differently. My sabbatical journeys led me back to what looks - on the surface - like a fairly traditional career, but under the surface, "work" is completely different for me now. What drives me is different and I navigate turbulence and challenge with much greater ease.
I'm honored to work with the Growth Leaders Network to support individuals, teams and organizations on a journey that awakens the next level of more conscious leadership of self and others that is so vital to meeting the unprecedented challenges we face today.
Sharing my journey and learning about yours makes my work fun. Let's talk.