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Nicolai Tillisch

Nicolai Tillisch

Copenhagen, Denmark

Nicolai sees unique possibilities with every client. The focus is on human beings, including how we engage with each other and get businesses to thrive.

He is Cultivating Leadership’s client lead for several of its global clients within technology, healthcare, and professional services. His personal contributions span coaching top leaders, facilitating executive teams, and designing and delivering organization-wide programs and other large-scale interventions.

Nicolai also leads the Meadow, the firm’s platform for you-come-to-us offerings.

The foundation for his client work 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, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal, and a finalist for the getAbstract International Book Award.

His career bridges 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 five hundred consultants across the globe for telecom vendor Nokia Siemens Networks.

Beyond the joy of working with his extraordinary colleagues and clients, Nicolai’s heart is, foremost, 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