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IMG_4856Female leadership. I need to confess that I didn’t have the idea that it was much different from male leadership. Yesterday I was proven wrong, attending my wife’s farewell party. My personal experience with bosses is limited anyway. I only had one 25 years ago. That happened to be a female and we were fighting for over a year. Then she asked me to become her business partner. What? Yes, I became her business partner. What man would ask someone he is fighting with to become his partner? We worked together for 20 years, continued having fights occasionally but were mainly very successful as consultants and stimulated each other to grow.

Yesterdays party was special. Over 100 of my wife’s co-workers came to say her farewell and to celebrate the past 14.5 years of her leadership. I’ve never experienced so much love and appreciation for any leader. It made me feel proud and it made me think, in between the tears that I shed. Peter Senge shares in an interview with us that there is a Chinese proverb: to become a leader you first must become a human being. That showed. Her love for her patients (she is a child psychiatrist), staff, colleagues was mentioned in every speech and not many people could keep it dry. Next to that people danced all evening and were proud to have treated over 15,000 children the past years. The organization is now in difficult weather due to the financial restructuring of the youth healthcare system in the Netherlands. She was the last one to leave the party after thanking the kitchen staff.

And the Lucia Marthas Institute of Performing Arts send the ‘Flashmob Kids’ to add even more energy to the party, click the link for video IMG_4854


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