Niseth Boerrigter is currently the Director of Fairs, Events & Special Logistics at DB Schenker for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. She previously spent 10 years at RAI Amsterdam and represented the Netherlands’ Consulate in Cape Town as Policy Advisor in Economic and Cultural Affairs and Technical Advisor for the Namibia Community Based Tourism Association, based in Namibia.
I had the honour of asking this dynamic go-getter 5 Questions.
You featured as one of my inspirational women in 2017 and the quote which has the most impact on your life is “The world is my oyster”. Looking at your bio, it surely does seem so! What does this quote mean for you?
For me, it describes best the inspiration I get from the different cultures I work with and the people that surround me. In a global, multi-cultural environment, there is never a dull moment and I learn something every day.
I never want to lose my curiosity for the unknown and the drive to become a better person by absorbing as much as I can. I believe that I am where I am today because I opened myself to the world, with an open mind and a lot of drive.
Your career is based on relationship building, networking and connecting people. What would you say are the fundamentals of being successful in building lasting, successful relationships?
I believe there are three key fundamentals you should embrace to build a relationship. These are:
● respect for the other person,
● an open mind and
● a sincere interest.
With these essentials in place, I have experienced that I could really connect. Often, when I’m speaking to someone, I’m learning new things about the person, the industry they work in or their personal interest.
It has become second nature to me to think of linking people up and helping them. Whenever I know of someone or something that might be of interest to the person I’m in contact with, I will not hesitate to reach out and connect them.
Once you start helping people without expecting something in return, you will find out that the favour is returned in the most unexpected ways. People have helped me in this way and continue to do so. Apparently, it comes naturally to pay that forward.
You grew up in Friesland, a region of the Netherlands. Tell me a little about your childhood and what you think were some of the major values which formed the way you approach life and assisted in the formation of who you are today.
What really helped me in life was growing up in a small village with only 700 inhabitants. It meant that there were not many children to play with, and as a result everyone had to be friends – you could not pick and choose. Back then, this was very natural, but I realise now that it taught to me adapt and look for common ground at a very young age. Needless to say, this is still something I’m still benefiting from today.
Also, being raised by parents who installed self-confidence and who had an unconditional belief in me, was fundamental. They had an incredible open view to the world and I am fortunate that it was passed on to me.
Strategic thinking and working towards change are two of your great strengths. What do you believe are the core principles of being a good strategist and do you believe it’s something you are born with or can it be taught?
It all starts with a clear view of what the end result should be. You need to put the dot on the horizon and figure out the route to get there. But do not keep this to yourself. Be open about what you want to achieve and how you feel you can get there and ask people’s opinions. Take their advice into consideration and when the time comes to then act on it, do so without hesitation.
It all boils down to combining curiosity and a constant urge to improve – applying it in my personal and professional life. Only when you have set your goals, with an open mind throughout on how to get there, unforeseen opportunities and insights will come along to assist and accelerate the achievement of your goal.
With your days filled with getting the job done, managing teams and remaining energized through it all, can you share some of secrets of your daily success?
I enjoy and embrace life and don’t worry too much.
Once you enjoy what you do and don’t over analyse, you will get so much more energy out of everything you do. It helps to not take situations or yourself too seriously.
Of course, you must remain critical, but there is a fine line between being self-critical and worrying that what you do and who you are might not be good enough. The first helps to reflect on your personal growth and drives you forward, while the latter blocks your creativity and development.
Making mistakes is human, nobody is perfect and retaining a sense of humour always helps me to lighten whatever situation I face.
Copyright © 2018 by Natalie du Preez.
This interview was conceptualised, conducted and authored by Natalie du Preez and is original content, which is property of the author, all rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be copied, shared or reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the owner.