Siiri is CEO & Founder of the Future of Work consulting start-up Elewus GmbH and an Impact Investor based in Switzerland. She is a frequent speaker at Future of Work conferences and events.
In her corporate career, she has worked at a BIG4 consulting firm and held management positions in Global HR and Leadership Development at a global Pharmaceutical company. Siiri is following her purpose to accelerate human transformation and sustainable growth in business by designing future-fit leadership and organizational development experiences.
She holds an MSc in International Management from the University of Southern Denmark and the Edinburgh University. Siiri is a certified Neuroleadership and Generative Change Coach. She is a truly global citizen and has studied and worked in eight different countries.
Thinking back, I was actually lucky to experience physical and mental burn-out when I was a super-perfectionistic teenager at the age of 13. Yes, I wanted to be the best in school, in sports, in friendships…in everything I did. And mostly, I succeeded. Until I got to a point where I could no longer cope with the lack of night-time sleep, despite my strong willpower. I started fainting on the way from school to home. The following three summer months in the children’s hospital under strong medications and blood transfusions felt like forever.
I fought and regained my health and energy. Some children in my hospital room suffering from leukemia, however, passed away. I believe, unconsciously I deleted this “war” episode from my life. I didn’t start noticing the real impact of it until a decade later.
I was always driven to learn and explore; so I ended up studying and working in seven different countries. No matter in which country, culture, or team I found myself, I realized that I somehow “operated” differently. When others got stressed and anxious, I mostly stayed calm and focused on looking for the solution. When others centered on the annoying details, I looked at the big picture. This realization triggered for me a deep interest in the human mind and what is possible in terms of personal growth and vertical development.
Until the end of 2018, I followed a typical societal success model and career track in a corporate environment. I worked in various business consulting, Global HR, and leadership roles in globally recognized and financially successful multinational companies. My life was basically split between the transformation work I was doing outside of my employment and the old paradigm, profit-driven, “command and control” based world of the companies in which I worked.
My colleagues told that I had an uplifting presence and brought positivity and joy to the workplace. I empowered my team members and encouraged them to be who they were. No matter what was going on, I tried not to pass on the negativity, ego-driven values, culture, and politics that mostly came from the top down. At my last employer, I was leading a Balance Workstream of the corporate wellbeing program. After some resistance, we got the buy-in to bring in Yoga and Tai Chi teachers, and I started facilitating weekly Mindful MeetUps at the European HQs. Nevertheless, it remained a difficult daily exercise to stay in a balanced state and to not be influenced by the rigid, punishment and profit-driven corporate culture. I found it very slow and challenging to create any meaningful change.
In summer 2018, I finally had the courage to break away from this financially safe but severely limiting corporate environment and to start following my heart and purpose. I have never felt so fulfilled and happy in my career as I do NOW – waking up free and thankful every morning, excited to create my day. Now I can say: I live one integrated life – my work is my passion.