Gerard van der Made (gerardvandermade.com) is a cheerful and enthusiastic person. All over the world he guides and trains teams and organisations in changing- and growing processes. He coaches management and is known as a top speaker in the field of leadership, inspiration, life planning and innovation. Individuals and audiences experience Gerard as stimulating, inspiring, surprising and many-sided. His slogan is: Keep it clear, make it simple!
In the Financial Industry in the Netherlands Gerard supports and inspires banks, insurance brokers, insurance companies, and branch organisations, in their search for inner renovations in their line of business, during the transformation processes and in the development of new concepts; always from the perspective of humanity, durability and profitability; not only over a short, but especially over a longer period of time. In this field Gerard is well known as a promoter of the Kinder Institute. He delivers the 2-Day, 5-Day and the Mentorship program in Dutch and English and provides all kinds of lectures, workshops and conferences on request on the subject of Money Maturity, Financial Life Planning, Advising from the Within and Life Planning in a wider perspective.
Q: What would you like to say about how life planning has made changes in your personal and professional life?
The simple but meaningful message of the Seven Stages of Money Maturity touched me from the moment I walked into the workshop in London in 2005 and has become one of my major teachings –just for myself and in my work with others- for the last few years. The meaning of money, the spirit in business, the translation from what really matters to the heart into the heart of the matter in our daily world… it’s an inside-out experience I would like to share with everyone.
Q: What helped you to decide to enroll for your first Kinder Life Planning workshop?
I was introduced to the powerful message of Life Planning by my friend and colleague Ivo Valkenburg. The enthusiastic way in which he described what this could mean to man and mankind really inspired me, and many others, to experience George Kinder and his message myself.
Q: How do you see your Life Planning Practice differ from the other Financial Planning Practices in the area?
Life Planning indeed is Financial Planning done well. The focus on the empathic and listening skills of the planner, the simple but strong structured and meaningful EVOKE method, the connection between the logics of the brains and the singing sounds of heart’s desires… all of this makes a Life Planning Practice a real experience. Both for the client and the planner.
Q: What are the top 2 actions you have taken to spread the word about your Life Planning practice?
I stood up to the light. In my business, I’m privileged to be invited on many stages, and therefore to have the opportunity to share some words of wisdom on this new and important way of creating real trust and long time relationships in the practice of financial advice. Creating customers for life by delivering their dreams as real-time opportunities, by combining the words of the heart with the goals of the mind in a financial plan that does the trick in a short and long period of time. This is what the world needs now and for the future. Real advisors, pure advice! I stood up, studied the work of George Kinder, became a certified leader and worked shoulder to shoulder with Ivo Valkenburg, Marcel van Leeuwen, Louis Vollebregt, Richard Boxtart, Ellen te Brake and many other beautiful people in workshops, trainings, 2-day, 5-day and mentorship programs.
A special example is the Worldcafé, a dialogue on the future of finance last September, where over 400 financial advisors really took time to listen to each other. It generated many beautiful plans and activities.
Another top action has been mentioned here before: Allianz Pure Life. In this program, it became real what it means if an insurance company, inspired leaders of the fields of change and life planning and intrigued advisors come together to listen to each other with the heart. A 2-day conference in Markelo started a movement that made it possible that by now over 150 planners have received extensive training of more than 1 year to transform their business into a practice with loyal “Clients for Life” based on a healthy economic business model. The 5 day training and the mentorship are the backbones of this special program started by Paul Versteeg and nowadays heartily embraced by the next generation of innovative leadership, Sjoerd Laarberg and Rolf Nieuwland.
Q: Describe a client situation where LP made a profound difference (for the client and/or for you).
It’s hard to choose. I strongly believe I already was a Life Planner before I ever heard about it. As a business and life coach I’ve witnessed so many important inner and practical transformations. So many tears, so much laughter, such beautiful ways in which pain really can change in the joy of a new beginning. A plan for the future, not primarily based on figures but truly on the voice of the heart, a life empowered by the capability to dream. Wow… where to start? Where to end? The man of eighty who found out, after the EVOKE sessions, that he was lucky to be young enough to finally understand and practice the real meaning of life by remarrying his wife of 73, from whom he had been divorced for more than 20 years? The director of a strong and highly respected firm who decided to start all over again, as a carpenter in the business of his father. The young girl who finally found the reason to stop cheating on her schooldays and study, now she discovered what she really would like to mention to the world? All of them are pearls of the real meaning of the beauty of life and the addition Life Planning can make in the inquiry of the inner self.
Q: What were the most significant challenges you have overcome in your practice and how did you overcome them?
I started to share the inner part of my life (my spiritual and poetic practice) more often ‘on stage’ and in coaching in a practical and earthly way. I introduced Business Meditation to several board rooms. I also discovered that there are many areas and levels in which I like to work and that this shouldn’t be a problem. I love to work with the CEO and the man who cleans his office, so why not work with both of them? (Sometimes even together, very powerful meetings!) I discovered I don’t need to grow in numbers as a company, working together with my beloved Jolande is just everything I need, together with some daily time to grow in inner depth. I found out it does make my heart sing when I deliver programs of hope and change ‘from the inside out’ to this world, and it really brings music to other hearts. Therefore I found out I definitely should fly out of my beloved Holland more often, both for work and for pleasure, and so I did. Now just one more goal to go… the writing of a book. What about: Made for Managers or The Power Within, or…
Q: In what ways is your practice more successful since you have added Life Planning?
Lining up the voice and story of the heart with the power of the silence and the structure of the mind makes moving forward in life easier and satisfying. Living my life, according to my dreams, making them more real, day by day and step by step, gives inner joy and freedom. The more freedom I establish in my heart and mind, my work and life, the more I have to give to the world. The work of ‘let thoughts go, let feelings be’ and the practice of being at ease in the midst of whatever circumstances brings that freedom.