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Nicolai Tillisch

Nicolai Tillisch

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nicolai believes that leadership is pivotal to good business and the greater good.

He supports capable leaders who face complex challenges. That implies identifying and addressing opportunities in close collaboration with each client.

His work consists of coaching individual leaders and executive teams, as well as designing and facilitating development programs and organization-wide initiatives. His clients are large international corporations and fast-growing ventures in Europe, North America, and Asia.

The foundation is a broad toolbox, personal experience, and plenty of compassion and curiosity. Nicolai first trained as a coach in 1997, and this has been his profession since 2011. He has completed a range of certifications, including Growth Edge Coaching and Leadership Circle Profile. He has also been a faculty member for both.

His most recent book Return on Ambition: A Radical Approach to Your Achievement, Growth, and Well-Being (Fast Company Press), co-authored with Nicolai Chen Nielsen, is a bestseller, the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal, and a finalist for the getAbstract International Book Award.

His career spans the traditional left-brain and right-brain spheres. Nicolai holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Copenhagen and started as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. He left for executive roles in corporate ventures, which included serving as managing director of a branding agency within the advertising network DDB Worldwide, being responsible for the launch of Hutchison’s mobile operator 3 in Denmark, and leading more than 500 consultants across the globe for Nokia Siemens Networks, the telecom vendor.

Beyond the joy of working with his extraordinary colleagues and clients, Nicolai’s heart is, first of all, with his family. They have recently moved to his native Copenhagen, after living in London and Dubai for 16 years.


I would never like to be without my conversations with Nicolai. He has helped me to understand new dimensions in myself. It's great that he has such a good sense of my world. His wise questions help me to step up both as a leader and a person.

The founder and CEO of a fast-growing, international tech venture