When I was asked a couple of years ago to participate in an FNL trail, my reaction was: "I doubt whether it will make sense to me. Because I don't have any real issues." The facilitator replied: "Just experience Nature and the impact it will have. You’ll be surprised." And I was. Connected with Nature, with a small group of special people, all making their own journey of personal growth, and yes: with myself. What particularly attracts me about the programme is the concept of silence and the lessons we can learn from Nature and the wildlife, rather than from the exercises and interventions in well-known, traditional, MBA-type leadership courses.
I have been facilitating trail groups in South Africa (Umfolozi and Marataba) and Botswana (Okavango delta) every year ever since. A great gift. And every time I get new insights, I see new opportunities, both on a personal and business level. Experiencing the happiness and the opening up of participants provides huge gratitude. New, intensive friendships occur.
I try to apply FNL's principles, such as simplicity, servicing and sensing, in my work as an employment and corporate lawyer and partner with Ekelmans & Meijer. In my capacity as professional business mediator, I’m happy to make use of my experiences as FNL facilitator and vice versa. Those principles are also present when I’m with my family, with my wife Annelies, and my grown up kids Okke (23), Mees (21) and Fien (20). I feel that it works, but it's an ongoing journey. And the journey itself makes me happy.
Finally: being a board member of the FNL and responsible for the Wilderness Leadership Programme, together with the Programme Committee, provides inspiration and energy for expanding FNL's concept.