Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief

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Nº 18

Whirling Chief: a great platform for exchanging ideas

I am honored to have been invited to share some of my key learnings from more than 20 years working in the areas of organizational, team and leadership development.

Let me introduce myself: Ever since I was a teenager and was drawn to the business world, my main questions have always been: Who am I, what is my potential, why am I here, and how can I best contribute?

With those questions I started my journey.


Completed my education, worked, and became a mother and housewife. Went to India, lived and worked in a traditional Indian ashram for 6 years with the focus on meditation and self inquiry, traveled throughout the country, learned how to ride a motorbike and came back to the West. India is fantastic in teaching one to stay in the moment. No past, no future — all that exists is the now. I clearly raised my consciousness and had a better understanding of who I am.

Now the challenge was, how to best incorporate that knowledge into the western business world. Working for 7 years in a global HC environment within HR was exciting. I met and worked with a number of colleagues all around the world – recognizing their spirit and their passion on all different levels has been fantastic.

However, one big question arose: Is that it? Do I want to stay safe, secure, recognized, adapted or is there more to explore?

As Eckhart Tolle stated: ”Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

So I took another jump and left a secure job to continue my search. I started my own consulting business 7 years ago, focusing on the work I still love to this day — organizational, team and leadership development. All my years of personal development and getting to know me, beyond social and family conditioning, really helps me meet others in an open way. And yet the same question lingers: Is that it?

I realize the continuous search and widening of my perspective, staying “awake” or not falling asleep, is the journey and a potential answer to my question.

Indeed, staying focused, present and open is the journey, and there is no end to it.

Whenever I walk into a training, whenever I coach or work with teams, do I really, truly come from a space to openly receive whoever is sitting in front of me? That means without any judgment, like or dislike, but with an understanding that we both can learn from each other. We refer to it as ‘mindfulness’ these days.

So, I will use the Whirling Chief platform to share my understanding on topics: Leadership, Team, and what I have learned and observed.

I am truly looking forward to your feedback and comments as well as your experiences and insights.

The next topic I want to share is about TEAM. Sesil often touches upon the importance of trust in team building and Simon Marshall shared recently a wonderful summary on Leading From Heart – so what else is needed? Stay curious… And always ask “Is that it?” or “Can I be doing more?” in the spirit of being in the moment.



  • 20 July 2016

By Friederike Sommer

After a 20-year career in the healthcare industry, Friederike Sommer is now a consultant, focusing on coaching and mentoring, leadership training and development, and strategic project management and communications. She also provides moderation and facilitation for business events around the world. She began her career in India, as a faculty...


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