Born in the African colonies, Nicole was spoonfed to be fascinated by different cultures. She travels to create new experiences and learn how people live in other cultures. Bike trekking through Mongolia, discovering North Korea, or an expedition to Spitsbergen, Nicole is fearless in her pursuit to still her interest in foreign cultures and breathtaking nature. Riding her bike to Compostella is next on her bucket list. On top of the many travel books she devours, she mentions authors like Murakami and Lessing ("modern fairy tales for grown-ups"). Currently, Nicole is reading 'Congo' by David Van Reybroeck.
As Nicole finds it essential to connect with people and do good for others to make meaningful contributions, it shouldn't be a surprise that much of her free time is spent on volunteer work.
A hero sounds like someone you worship, a bridge too far for Nicole since no one is perfect. If she had to pick a person who'd come close to being a hero, it would be her mother. She was a strong woman who had many setbacks, and yet at the end of her life, she was grateful and concluded she'd lived a good life. Handling setbacks as something positive is a sure manifestation of heroism.
Young Nicole she'd advise that "nothing is perfect, and it is not expected of you to be perfect. Don't set the bar too high because you will get in the way of your development. Dare to scrutinize your hindering thoughts and look at your possibilities, not your limitations. You can not NOT choose. Even if you don't choose, you have chosen not to choose. Dare to make your own choice."
Nicole believes one is never too old to learn or change something. You can constantly learn. There is something positive and valuable in almost everything. Never give up: put your head up, stand straight and carry on.
Her mentor early in her career had a significant impact for many years. He paid attention to her way of working and her approach, and he asked pertinent confronting questions. That is what Nicole as mentor aims for too: letting people grow, helping them to see possibilities, and gain new insights. Through personal development, leadership enhances, which improves people's performance and, therefore, companies.
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