Written by Anouk Schaap – Conscious Leadership expert

Why working on your leadership is just as important as working in your leadership and how to approach it

Leadership is a profession in itself. It’s a job next to your job. Leadership comes with great responsibility; everything you think, do or say has an impact with a ‘ripple’ effect. In both a positive and negative sense. Working on your leadership is crucial to ensure that you create a positive ‘ripple’ effect among the people you work with every day. As an expert in your field, working on your leadership will most likely not be a priority. In this blog we share the most important reason to work on your leadership and what the next steps are. Legal for tomorrow!

“You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it”

95% of the time your life is controlled by beliefs and habits programmed into the subconscious mind. The beliefs you have learned lead to daily thoughts from which your words and actions flow. Without having bad intentions, your belief system can have a negative impact on the people in your team or organization. You cannot change what you are not aware of, so it is very important to make the unconscious conscious and make changes from there. Holding a mirror up to yourself (or having it held up) is crucial for future-proof leaders. Don’t take your leadership lightly and make room for self-reflection and growth in self-knowledge.

Radical responsibility

The biggest shortcoming in leadership these days is a lack of taking full responsibility. “I regularly see leaders who do not take responsibility for things where they unknowingly cause damage.” Anouk Schaap is a Conscious Leadership Expert and works with high-level leaders on their leadership. “A lot of attention is paid to circumstances that seem to lie outside the leader, while the leader almost always has influence on a situation. I hold up an honest mirror to leaders and invite them to take responsibility.” Investigate for yourself what you are inclined to accuse someone else or a situation of something. Take an honest look at what responsibility you have neglected and decide today to take full responsibility for your (unconscious) impact. The full 100%, no more, but certainly no less.


Step one towards future-proof leadership is awareness. Step two is taking full responsibility. Step three is not entirely unimportant; the translation. By growing daily in self-knowledge and taking full responsibility, you will want to take new steps that translate into words, behavior and perhaps even strategy or policy. Vulnerability is a theme you will encounter here. Vulnerability in admitting mistakes or even asking forgiveness for the impact you have unknowingly had on someone else (forgiveness is extremely powerful so do not skip the step if necessary).

You can absolutely take these steps yourself without outside help. However, at House – Legal for tomorrow we believe in the power of a mentor for legal professionals and therefore decided at the beginning of this year to offer General Counsel Mentoring for Heads of Legal, General Counsels and Legal Directors, who want to grow as leaders and people. You will work with our mentor Anouk Schaap for a period of one year. Anouk is a Conscious Leadership expert, works as an executive mentor and is the founder of Home of Conscious Leadership. Curious? Send us a message (info@house-legal.nl) and we will tell you everything about the program.