Meet Ingun Bol – de Bock, the founder of Female Wave of Change which aims to connect women, share knowledge, and experience, and create new opportunities together, she is also Founder and CEO of Move in2 the Future, a connector, a community builder, an entrepreneur, an authentic feminine leader.
Who is Ingun Bol? Define yourself.
I am an entrepreneurial woman, always aware of new opportunities and acting on it. I am a connector, love building bridges between people and organizations. I am a community builder; think together we can accomplish more than alone, and people need a safe space to go through a transformation journey to be able to take the next step.
I am a strong believer that everyone is responsible for their own future, the future of their family, the community and for the future of the next generations. I have a clear direction that I want to contribute to make this world a better place. I believe authentic feminine leadership is the way to move forward and to drive change in the world. I am also a strong believer that we need to tap into the knowledge, experience and wisdom of the older generation; we need it to build a better future.
I love spending time with my family, travel and take long walks at the beach with my husband and dog. I have 2 beautiful daughters with great partners, am a very proud grandmother of my grandson and one more grandbaby on the way. Love to see the next generation grow into parenthood and making their choices in life.
Their future is what drives me! How is the world going to look like in 25, 50, 100 years. Will the next generations have an opportunity to live a life filled with happiness, joy, love, in good health and abundance?
“Always be you, always be your authentic self. Then work does not feel like work, and you will attract the right people”
Your name is not common, where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Netherlands. The name is not Dutch but my parents new someone with that name. The name originally is old Finnish or more the Balkan area (Hungary). In an old finish saga Ingun has a heroin role.
How were you as a kid?
I am the middle child of a family with 3 daughters. I had a father who thought he was the center of the universe. As a child it was my focus to make him proud and keep him happy…wanted to be seen especially by him. A lot of the choices I made as a child and a young adult were focused on doing the things as I thought he would like it. Later in life I became aware that narcissists will never really see you for who you are unless it puts them in the spotlight.
As a child I already was the one who was the more creative one in doing things differently, trying to come with new solutions, having different opinions, etc. Since different meant that it was not in line with what was expected of me, it was more experienced as difficult.
You are an entrepreneurial woman who is always looking for new challenges. You have a wide experience in the corporate world (IT industry) mostly in change management, education, sales, and marketing. After a career of almost 20 years, you founded your own company, why did you jump from that point to be an entrepreneur?
For way too long I have made choices thinking what my father, my friends, society etc. expected me to do. I was expected to make a career and when I ended up in the IT industry, I really tried to fit in. I did the glass ceiling thing, climbed the corporate ladder but more and more I became aware it was not going to make me happy. The environment was very masculine and I as only one of the few women, was not going to change it. Trying to fit in and not being able to be who you really are, your authentic you, takes a lot of energy and it resulted several times in a burn out. Especially because after I had my two daughters and tried to find that balance between work and family it became more stressful. When I took a day of because one of my children was sick, I was judged. When one of my male colleagues did it, he was a great parent!
At a certain point I knew I had to choose for myself, that I had to change and that was the moment I quit my job and started my first business. I wanted freedom, I wanted to be able to be me, and I wanted to guide people who were in a similar situation.
“I do have a “strategic plan” for 2 years but there are no hard goals. I know where I am going but if I find lemons, I need to be able to be flexible enough to make lemonade”
You are the founder of Female Wave of Change which aims to connect women, share knowledge, and experience, and create new opportunities together, tell us more about the services you provide and what did it drive you?
Female Wave of Change is a global organization that aims to create a better world for all, a more humane, more connected, more conscious, more sustainable world for all.
We live in a world of change, exponential change. Change is good, rapid change is good, but I felt we were not heading in the right direction. The world we live in right now is not something to be proud of to leave to the next generations. To change the direction, I believe we need the more feminine approach, the feminine values, the feminine energy. We need authentic feminine leaders at all levels of society in all corners of the world. With our leadership program “Women Leading in Change; a Female Wave of Change Transformation Journey” we guide women to step into their authentic feminine leadership and be the change, whatever the challenges we are facing.
Our local organizations in the countries are more focused on the local challenges and guide women to take the next step and be the change. We provide knowledge, education, support, mentorship and are mostly focused on the 5 pillars education, health, economy, environment, and humanity.
Also, you are the Founder and CEO of Move in2 the Future, what is the difference between Female Wave of Change and this new one?
Looking at both organizations there is more the same than there is difference because it is all part of who I am and my purpose; to contribute to build a better world for us now but also for the next generations.
Move in2 the Future is completely focused on the 50plus generation. This is a group that is growing because we on average live a lot longer than 50 years ago and we also are active longer. After the war it was normal to retire and live another 10 years, but this generation will on average live into their nineties. That is almost 20 years longer on the same retirement plan; that is only for the happy few, so people need to work longer, stay active longer. This 50plus generation also is a great source of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. We need to tap into that wisdom while creating the future.
On the other hand, we see a lot of ageism, discrimination on age. We need to realize that for many different reasons we want to keep this generation active, contribute to society and the economy and in a way that is more related to their age.
Move in2 the Future has launched on May 1st, 2021, the online community for the 50plus generation Wize Move Society. In this community we focus on health, on mindset, on finding new friends and a tribe of like-minded people, on getting up to date on more tech related subjects, on learning new skills and in the end finding solutions for new challenges we are facing and starting new businesses. Really exciting what is happening on the Wize Move Society.
“My direction is clear, my purpose is clear and I act now; I make mistakes, I fall, get up and start all over”
For the past 18 years you have been an entrepreneur and advisor in different industries, you run 2 companies, you are a Mentor at Inspired Women Lead, you are part of Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA), What´s the recipe for your success?
Having a strong purpose, a drive to make change happen, and always be you, always be your authentic self. Then work does not feel like work, and you will attract the right people.
What is success? For me it is all about working on my purpose, happiness, joy, wellbeing, about sharing with and uplifting others. This is what keeps me going and not stopping until I get there. I am just that drop in the ocean, the causes a ripple and creates a wave…a wave of positive change creating a better world for all.
What does a normal workday look like for you?
I am a very hands-on person and love to do many things myself, love to learn and know how things work. Before I get up in the morning I check the social media, my mail, and the news. The. After breakfast I take the dog for a long walk and when I come back, I do my Qi gong. These physical activities help me to ground, to meditate, to relax and to think.
During the day there mostly are a lot of meetings scheduled and need to spend time on my to do list behind my desk. I have total control over my own agenda so not from one meeting to the next. Especially because both organizations work global, I could easily be online 24/7. My dog really helps me to spend not too much time sitting!
I miss right now the moments I can spend with people just to have lunch or a walk at the beach to talk about what they see happening in the world and how we can solve it. I am sure that will happen again.
What do you love most about your job? & What is the most difficult part?
I love most about my role/position is the interaction with people from all over the world, to see them grow, to step into their leadership and drive change. To see the impact, we are creating. However big or small we are contributing to a better world!
The most difficult part is to work with volunteers. Especially now in the time of (post) COVID our volunteers are of course still very overwhelmed by the health and financial situation in their family, their community, and the world at large. This comes first so we need to support them as well with the challenges they are facing; they need to fill their cup first before they will be able to support others.
There is absolutely a difference with my position as CEO of Move in2 the Future. We pay everyone who becomes involved and that is important. You need to be aware though if they join because they need the extra income stream or because their heart is really in it! If their heart is in it, then they are more committed to make it happen and feel and act on their responsibility.
What is one strategy that has helped you to grow your business?
Especially now in this ever-changing world, it has always been very important for me to have a direction. I always call it my feminine way to build my business. I do have a “strategic plan” for 2 years but there are no hard goals. I know where I am going but if I find lemons, I need to be able to be flexible enough to make lemonade. COVID showed us that nothing is sure, that we need to be able to act on what is happening.
I also learned most from starting now, to act! You can wait for your plan to be perfect, the website to be perfect, the look, the feel, etc or you can act now. I have learned not to wait for perfection. There is no real perfection and what you experience as perfect today, will keep you from acting tomorrow. So, my direction is clear, my purpose is clear and I act now; I make mistakes, I fall, get up and start all over.
“The world right now needs authentic feminine leaders to drive change. This is a heartfelt and value driven leadership. Conscious leaders who lead with compassion and empathy”
What are the Do and Don’ts in female leadership?
The world right now needs authentic feminine leaders to drive change. This is a heartfelt and value driven leadership. Conscious leaders who lead with compassion and empathy, who are eager to create a positive, meaningful, and sustainable impact.
I rather call it a feminine or humane leadership then a female leadership. More men are making that transformation: moving away from that career ladder focused on power and money but instead choosing the more humane form of leadership and being aware of their role in the company or society.
It is very important to be authentic: it is not about fitting in, not about trying to be one of the guys in how you look, talk, act. You are enough! As your authentic feminine self, you can make a difference and start belonging instead of fitting in
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
I try to read, listen, and talk to a very diverse group of people but real authentic feminine leaders like Jacinda Ardern, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama inspire me a lot. But I also love to listen to the wise words of the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and many others.
But since I founded Female Wave of Change, I realize more and more that we can learn as much from grass roots women as from those who have achieved a lot and perform on the world stage. They have a wisdom that is rooted in the basic needs of life. We as society have drifted away from the basic things why are we here, how can we serve others, we are all one, etc.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
The thing I love most is making long walks on the beach with my dog, husband, or good friends. I love to spend time with my family; especially right now my grandson and looking forward to welcoming our second grandbaby this month. The next generation drives me every day to do what I am doing. We are only the keepers of the planet that belongs to the next generation; we have a responsibility to take of it. But I also love to spend time with my friends, meet new people and travel.
“Let us create new organizations, new companies, new institutions based on the feminine or more humane values on our feminine energy and be those authentic feminine leaders that will drive positive change”
Many authors say women can and must strive to have everything – a shining career, a blossoming family life and a perfectly balanced lifestyle all at once, others point out that– then women are placing unrealistic expectations on themselves if they believe they can have it all, I don´t know you are married and have kids, so according to your experience, what do you think about these statements?
I have learned the hard way: I had my years of taking care of my family and trying to fit in, work on my career, go through the glass ceiling etc. it has resulted many times in a burn out. Fitting in takes a lot of your time and energy.I became a lot happier after I choose me and my family. Started my own company and working when and where I could work.
We must realize first what we believe is important in life for us. If you choose a high-level career, you have some issues to deal with at home. If you choose a career that you can build around everything you feel is important in life, you will be able to create that balance and be a lot happier.
What are your plans for the future?
For the years to come I see a special focus on creating new opportunities, start-ups as well in Female Wave of Change as in Move in2 the Future. Opportunities created with people from all over the globe, finding solutions for new challenges we are facing. Opportunities creating a positive, sustainable impact and providing financial independence and stability for women and for people over 50. Building a legacy to be proud of for the next generations. Although I am now in my 60’s I do not intend to retire any time soon but want to contribute to a better, more humane, more sustainable, more connected and more conscious world for all.
There is still the glass ceiling for women in the world: Fewer opportunities, jobs underpaid just for that fact of being a woman, etc. Have you experimented with the glass ceiling? If yes, what are the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
One of my mantras is to stop fighting the old but creating the new. If we as women focus on organizations still based on that very masculine way of thinking, we always start from a position that is already 10 steps behind. You will have to fight your way to the top, that is negative energy. Let us create new organizations, new companies, new institutions based on the feminine or more humane values on our feminine energy and be those authentic feminine leaders that will drive positive change.
What tips, can you give to young girls who want to become an entrepreneur like you?
My tips for young girls:
- Find your purpose and your passion: this is where your journey starts; do something you love
- Define your direction
- Create a positive sustainable impact
- Be YOU! You are enough
- Find a mentor
- Find your tribe of likeminded entrepreneurial people
- There is no perfect
I think in your position, many people may have the wrong idea of who you are, and what do you (professionally), with this idea in mind, what is being Ingun and what´s not?
Ingun is a connector, a community builder, an entrepreneur, an authentic feminine leader, a builder, a creator. I am NOT one of the guys, I am not a corporate career woman, not a follower.
Who is the woman you admire the most and why?
See question before Jacinda Ardern, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey because they are authentic feminine leaders
Name: Ingun Bol – de Bock
Sector: Women Empowerment / 50plus empowerment
Company: Female Wave of Change / Move in2 the Future
Designation: Founder & President/ Founder and CEO