The Essence of Leadership

Core principles of effective leadership

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The development of yourself and your leadership go
hand in hand

How do you create a strong team?
How do you motivate your team to work together?
What are the conditions for pleasant and efficient team collaboration?
Shared responsibility – sounds good, but how?
As a leader, how do you provide space while maintaining leadership?

These (and many others) are the questions we will dwell on in the leadership program 'The Essence of Leadership', an inspirational and hands-on program to support your development of leadership and team building skills.

Regardless of whether you have an education team, research team or other team.

The program focuses on the combination of personal leadership and team leadership development.


Current leadership topics

Guided by topics that stimulate efficacy and engagement within a team, participants develop and apply knowledge and create further awareness. Topics to be discussed are (amongst others): Motivation, Meaningfulness, Safety, Recognition & Appreciation, Autonomy, Development, and Connection. These topics have emerged in current literature about leadership, such as ‘Care to dare’ by prof. dr. George Kohlrieser and ‘Servant Leadership’ by dr. Inge Nuijten.

Versie 2

Jelle Tichelaar about
the Essence of Leadership

Lector at Hogeschool InHolland and head of a large teaching team Amsterdam UMC

“This leadership program that I completed at the end of last year worked like a pause button for me and felt like a gift to myself. This was mainly due to the design of the program. All meetings took place at external locations, which gave you the feeling of getting away from it all."

Surprising insights
“During the substantive modules of the program, we discussed the five building blocks of (team) leadership. These subjects provided me with beautiful, sometimes surprising insights...|"

Read futher down below

7 concise and powerful sessions

After the intake session, the program consists of 7 short & powerful half-day sessions that take place in an external venue. By providing literal distance and space, this external location helps participants learn about and reflect on their teams and their (future) role as team leaders. The program is spread over 8 months, thus granting participants the time and space to apply insights and learnings into practice despite their full calendars.

Bouwen aan sterke onderwijsteams 2022
Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam - AHK

"It's nice to see that even small changes can make big differences!"

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For whom ?

This In-company program is for anyone who plays a leading role in a school or educational institution. From directors in primary education, to school- or department heads in secondary education, to Education- and program directors or leaders of a research group or other teams in higher education.

Would you like to see more effective leadership in your organization?
Would you like to further develop your leadership? Or do you wish the managers in your organization this program?
Please contact us!



In short, an opportunity to achieve the following results:

Find more rest and effectiveness as a leader

More aware of yourself and your leadershipqualities

Insight and inspiration about how you can contribute to others

An optimal work climate in your team

To collaborate effectively to increase quality

Participants about the Essence of Leadership


"We learn from each other's experiences and support each other in matters that are not going as well. The program provides clear starting points for learning about, with and from the team."

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Madeleine Brouns ~ Program coordinator BSc Health & Life Sciences, VU


"Each session I learn substantively about the subject, reflect on my own situation and am invited to think about how I can improve this in my team."

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Bella van Erp ~ Bachelor Coördinator Pedagogische Wetenschappen, VU

"The evidence-based sessions  gave me insights that I have been able to use to strengthen both my teaching team and my research team. Thank you for creating this inspiring course!"

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Jurgen Haanstra ~ Managing director of the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences


'The Essence of Leadership' program is preferably provided at a location outside the organization. Our experience is that being literally at a distance from the working environment promotes the process of reflection and development of the participants. We have good relationships with affordable locations and can help you find a suitable location if desired.

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Coordination Team

This program is facilitated by Vivianne Tolen and Alies Zijlstra. They are both highly experienced leadership coaches with a broad experience in different educational organizations. They are involved in several leadership programs, such as the Senior Teaching Qualification and the Educational Leadership Course, and provide leadership coaching and guidance for management teams in education.

Alies rond

Alies Zijlstra

Founder and Leadershipcoach

Vivianne rond

Vivianne Tolen

Leadershipcoach and Facilitator

"I can now fulfill my role more remotely, without losing connection with my team."

Evaluation score

All our support programs and coaching sessions are evaluated by both the participants and the clients. What they appreciate in particular is: "The expertise and personal involvement of the coaches", "the open and inspring atmosphere" and "the attention for both professional ánd personal development".

The average final score for this program is:


BASOT in Online Magazine VU

About the leadership programme ‘Building strong teams in education

Interview with Jelle Tichelaar, lecturer at Hogeschool InHolland and head of a large teaching team Amsterdam UMC):

Pause button
"The program 'Building strong teams in education' that I completed at the end of last year worked for me as a pause button and felt like a gift to myself. This was mainly because of the format of the program. All the meetings took place at external locations, giving you the feeling of being away from it all."

Surprising insights
"During the content modules of the program, we dealt with the five building blocks of (team) leadership. These topics provided beautiful, sometimes surprising insights for me....

Read the entire interview


What is your next step in development?
Please contact us!