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06. Heart and Soul in Politics, exploring what that means with Sophie Hermans

Updated: May 31

Politics is not necessarily known for soulful leadership....




in this episode Sophie Hermans, chairman in the Parliament of the biggest political party in the Netherlands (VVD), shares with us what it is like to choose authenticity in Politics. What it means to be vulnerable and how ' the area between your stomach and your heart' gives you information that truly connects you to everything you stand for and believe in.


Sophie is one of the leading people in a new generation of politicians committed to create impact in politics by making courageous and different choices in the way they operate. In this episode we explore what this is like and how it can be a struggle too.


Sophie is a Dutch politician, representing the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in the House of Representatives for 5 years now as of the beginning of this year she is the chairman of the VVD in the House of Representatives. She is known for her human and personal style that she brings into Dutch politics. Before being elected into the house of respresentatives she served as assistant to the Prime Minister Mark Rutte and former Minister Stef Blok.

And although politics are something Sophie grew up it has taken quite a while before she fully went for it. After studying Political science in Amsterdam, Sophie worked as a consultant for several years, specialising in transformation and change processes mainly in the public or semi public sector.

She worked for a NGO with the mission to reform the public domain and the ways we work and live together. After that she found her way to The Hague where she soon was being recognised as one of the Political talents and a leader of the new Political generation of the Netherlands. She has been leading one of the most successful campaigns for her Party.


During the latest negotiations Sophie has played a pivotal role. Often behind the scenes, her ego is not the driver for her choices.


Sophie is one of a kind, making very deliberate choices about the way she wants to be in politics. Where data and facts are important for her, she knows as no other politics are about emotions. I am very curious to hear more about that from her.


And what often is forgotten about politicians is the human behind what we see on television. Sophie is a very loyal, warm, extremely smart and fun person. She knows what real connection is about and everybody who works with her or worked with her in the past gets her full attention. Her family and friends are the most important thing in life for her and despite the crazy hours that are required for her position in politics she never misses a thing about the people that are important to her.


I am extremely honoured to have this conversation because I am convinced that for anybody who needs to make choices about authenticity and leadership, hearing Sophie talk about her choices will be inspiring. If she can do it, anybody can do it!


What is there to be remembered about this conversation? My top 3:

  1. Soulful leadership is (also) about acting upon intuition: that often shows up as a feeling between your stomach and your gut. In the moment, following what your body is telling you

  2. Authenticity is about daring to be vulnerable. Daring to stay with what is really important to you, especially in the public eye, can be very uncomfortable yet the only right thing to do if you really want to stay close to yourself.

  3. " know your stuff" ! In order to be able to use intuition, and bring in heart and soul you also just need to know what you are talking about. Do your homework and know your facts: work ethics and discipline are also important elements of Soulful-leadership


You can follow Sophie on Linkedin or Instagram, all in Dutch though....



My hope with this show is that people see the person behind the public figure. Somebody who puts in heart and soul to make the world a little bit better. And I believe that is admirable!


Enjoy the show!








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