‘I like her.’
‘I don’t like her.’
‘I like him.’
‘I can’t stand him.’
What is that?
What is it that you are happy and at ease with some people, but no matter how much you try you just cannot get along with others?
Is there a way that we can make it work together?
Bio Elisabeth M. Waller
Classic education with a practical theme
After her Gymnasium middle school in Amsterdam The Netherlands, Elisabeth M. Waller (formerly known as Ellen Söentken) got a BBA degree from the oldest private university in the Netherlands Nyenrode University, Breukelen, the Netherlands.
To learn more about the social dynamics at work, Elisabeth has an MSc degree in Social Cultural Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, specialized in ‘what works for female leaders’.
As a MSc student eager to learn more about female leadership she themed her dissertation paper from a more practical angle to the topic and she interviewed Dutch famous female leaders Neelie Kroes, Yvonne van Rooy, Cox Habbema and Sylvia Toth for her thesis “The choice between the game and quality”.
Before Elisabeth started with her coaching, trainings, and speeches she used to work in the media as a project manager of multimedia projects for VNU/ilse media (now the company is called Sanoma).
* 52 years young.
* ‘No way ‘there’ yet’
How all this 7 Vices magic got started…
In 2003, I got an email from Hans, an event organizer. He asked me to develop a feisty and innovative workshop for career women.
‘How did you know that I got my master’s degree specializing on the subject?’, I asked him.
‘I don’t’, he replied. ‘I saw your face online and just thought to myself, ‘she’s the one that can do this.’
I had to develop that training from scratch. Write the outline. And at the writing table, I had to make one small decision that, if I stayed true to my gut instinct, it felt like it might have a rippling impact on people for decades, maybe more. Much like the eyes of Argus were upon me. The weight on my shoulders was heavy. I was tired from burnout and with a small 1 person company, but I had a lot of knowledge and luggage on what works and doesn’t work for women. The big training companies would swallow my idea if I remained mainstream with my workshop. And…I would not make a difference talking about political correct but ineffective open doors. I had to take in a niche that 1. worked very well for women and men too 2. established competition would not dare to steal or hurt it.
Which of these four women are you?
The Virgin, the Witch, the Frump or the Wh (oh goodness me, I cannot write this???)
I took a breath. Closed my eyes. And prayed all good things would fall into place. And out of nothing and nowhere like a flower unfolding in my mind. The 7 Vices came from loose stories and experiences into one beautiful training outline. I chose to be loud, clear and effective. Worth the women their money and cool enough to be scaled up to the mainstream audience of men and women later. I must admit, that was the time when I pressed ‘send’ that I did not leave the house with ease or pride. ‘De dood of the gladiolen’, they say in Dutch. Death or glory.
I was waiting how my daring ‘this is not what you like to hear, but what you need to know’ message would be received. My love was standing behind me, believing more in me and the message than I dared to. Telling me to look up and check the email.
Instant glory turns into an evergreen
Fortunately, within 24 hours after the first mailing was sent out it was crystal clear it was an instant glory. Workshops were sold out and a Dutch publisher offered me a contract for the first book (a Dutch bestseller). Interviews with newspapers and magazines and also TV and Radio soon followed. Those female Archetypes from my 7 Vices model have hit a nerve. And in a good way. And what surprised me most was the diversity of support and interesting questions I got. And I still do. Gender, age, religion, politics, level of education, rich or poor. When it comes to people and the 7 Vices, it all does not seem to matter anymore.
It’s now 2022 and I have talked about the good and the tricky things of female leadership and the marvel of the 7 Vices Model with its archetypes to thousands of women and men in Belgium and The Netherlands. The ripple effect is there in the form of clients getting promotions, feeling safer and stronger in office politics, getting hired and personal aha moments that changed lives. There is an online test so people can measure how they score on all 7 male and female Vices. Get coaching and training from one of my licensed practitioners.
It’s been an amazing journey so far. And I am looking forward to what will be next.
Elisabeth M. Waller