International Leadership Coach and Best-Selling Author
Isabelle Nuessli was born to business leadership. She grew up in a 600 year old flour mill near Zurich, Switzerland, into a 5-generation family business. From a young age, she was inspired by engaging with people and growing businesses.
In time, Isabelle worked, lived and studied abroad, so much so that she calls herself an international citizen. “I consider myself lucky to have had diverse, unusual and also painful business experiences, which included being a young chairperson at the helm of an international company. They involved leading through the heights but also through change and crisis,” she shares.
As a leadership coach and author, Isabelle brought all these experiences together to help others navigate change and future-proof their business. Speaking about the start of her journey, she says, “I have always wondered what drives people, especially in leadership. As I spoke with others, I learned that most of them had experienced leadership turmoil but never dared to speak about it.”
This is when it clicked: The combination of personal experiences with the one of others, mixed with learning from business, law and social science studies, allowed Isabelle to investigate, understand and simplify the complexity of organisational and relational dynamics and explain them in books and ‘coachsulting’ work. After building her own coaching platform, Isabelle co-founded the ‘Responsible Leadership Institute’, an international training and education platform.
What makes the Responsible Leadership Institute’s approach unique is its focus on holistic, people-centric and integrated solutions while aiming at improving clients’ and partners’ ‘triple bottom line’ (‘people, planet, profit’), adding ‘self-improvement’ to make it the ‘quadruple bottom line’. Isabelle’s unusual, diverse and rich background helps her relate with clients and tackle almost any issue at hand.
The passion that drives Isabelle at a deeper level is to make a lasting, positive impact in people’s lives: “I have come a long way in my own personal and professional development and I would like others to experience the same. Humour is a key ingredient, which includes not always taking oneself too seriously.”
How do you define a perfect work-life balance?. “Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. The key is balancing action and reflection.
I try to find a balance between activities that engage my mind (coaching, researching, writing), those that help order my thoughts (sports) and others that take my mind off (being in nature
and with family, friends and other inspiring people),” answers Isabelle.
How did she navigate the Covid storm? “During the pandemic, my platforms have increased multi-fold and all new business came from word-of-mouth.
Pain and pressure points have pushed individuals and businesses to look for support. My team and I have frequently offered free coaching services to those in need, around the world,” reveals Isabelle
An inspiration to many, Isabelle has been selected as a role model @Rolemodel Rebels – an international, cross-professional platform connecting women with learning resources, coaching opportunities and networks. For years and until recently she was the world’s youngest member of the CEO Chief Executives Organization and has a unique international network that she has built over decades. Dozens of testimonials, feedback and expressed gratitude by clients are proof of her exemplary leadership. In addition, Isabelle has three master’s degrees from distinguished universities and business schools and is a former Swiss state junior champion in tennis.
Yet, one of Isabelle’s most impactful achievements has been her two Amazon best-seller business books reaching #1 in multiple categories. Speaking about her popular publications, she says, “The world needs responsible leadership, now more than ever – in all areas. My books show why many processes are a flawed safety net, and how we can learn to navigate change. These guidebooks are companions for any leader who wants to unpack their full potential and for owners, boards, CEOs and recruiters to understand what true leaders are made of. If I can help one individual that influences another one (or 20,000), think of the ripple effect.”
What message does Isabelle have for our readers? Quoting Gerard Way, she says, “One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching”. She goes on to add, “The future has a way of arriving unannounced. Steve Jobs said that dots can’t be connected in advance. True. Yet dissatisfaction is not rooted in past experiences, but in how we handle them. You alone control your personal balance sheet. Also, sometimes you need to take a step back to see that you’re moving forward and in the right direction. Check and, if necessary, realign your compass.”