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Cornelis Tanis

Cornelis Tanis

Utrecht, Netherlands

Cornelis enjoys supporting senior leaders and teams to make swift progress with their complex challenges. This regularly includes helping them to effectively navigate organizational tensions between, for example, autonomy & coordination, structure & flexibility, or change & stability.  At the individual level, this can entail learning to better balance tensions between direct & empower, speed & inclusion, or challenge & support.

In these collaborations Cornelis aims to cultivate ways of seeing and being that may supplement – and sometimes even need to replace – leaders’ habitual reflexes of knowing and showing.  He uses simple practices that increase awareness, enable powerful conversations, and generate concrete experiments that are more fit for their contexts. What inspires him deeply in all these pursuits is the ‘sacred’ art of creating and holding spaces over time where people feel seen, safe, and challenged.

His personal values are independent thinking, curiosity, creativity, innovation, development, and connection. He also believes that a good sense of humor helps to keep him and those around him sane. Someone close recently attributed him ‘one of the most original combinations of seriousness and hilariousness that are always present at the same time’.

He has worked as a qualitative researcher in his early career, and then moved into the field of consulting, serving clients in Europe, the Middle East and North America. After various roles in this field – often working with technology, science, pharma, and professional services organisations – he specialized in developmental (team) coaching and facilitation.

His coaching credentials include Immunity to Change, Leadership Circle Profile, Growth Edge Coaching, and Key Polarity Indicator.  In working with clients his intention is to show up as a fellow learner, holding his expertise lightly.

Cornelis holds a BSc in Agro Engineering obtained in the Netherlands and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Kent, UK. He is fluent in English, Dutch and continues to be almost fluent in Spanish. Cornelis lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands with his wife and teenage daughter and son. When time (and wind) permits, he enjoys kite surfing on the North Sea. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Cultivating Leadership.

Cornelis helped me get unstuck and grow into the leadership role I aspired. His listening and questioning were invaluable during my on-the-job experiments. He was very good in making me actually wanting to do the hard but rewarding work of thinking and feeling things through. He was always there for me, engaged, not opinionated.

Country Director, Pharmaceutical Company