Reputatiecoach Jeroen Wils: “Ik was verslaafd geworden aan het applaus en de waardering van anderen”

“I had become addicted to the applause and appreciation of others”

(©Sixshooter for FF Rustig podcast)

Communication specialist Jeroen Wils has already swam through many waters. After a rich journalistic career spanning 30 years, he founded the PR and strategic communication agency Bepublic Group together with Dajo Hermans in 2012, which was sold many years later to Mediafin. At the beginning of 2021, a professional break followed, slowing down, a welcome moment of introspection. After that enriching sabbatical, Wils wrote a book about reputation and today he guides people to their authentic selves. But even a reputation coach can get ahead of himself sometimes….

Depending on the outside world

Jeroen Wils has always had the commitment to reach a large audience. Especially if he could inform people about deviant behavior in our society. That is why he took a step into the media after his criminology degree. Much later in his career, Wils came to the realization that his choice for the media partly and unconsciously also stemmed from a need for applause, appreciation and recognition. “It is a dynamic that I have become very aware of in recent years, which is also not wrong because it has made me a driven person. But you can’t always depend only on the applause of others”, he says about it.

Occasionally reflecting on why you do something has become an important motivation for him. “I spent the first 20 years of my career mainly living on the outside, to meet the expectations of others and to constantly push myself against the limit,” says Wils. “In recent years I have realized how important it is to turn inward again and do things that are close to me. And then the work does not cost energy, but gives a lot of energy.”

In recent years I have realized how important it is to turn inward again and do things that are close to me. And then the work does not cost energy, but gives a lot of energy

Springboard to his mission

After a first break, Wils started a PR and strategic communication agency together with Dajo Hermans, to help companies to do PR in a journalistic way. So he took his knowledge and experience as a journalist with him in the communication world. With his new company, Bepublic, he gave companies the right advice: how do you approach an editor to send out your messages, with more impact than a commercial message?

PR uses the expertise present in a company to generate social impact for a wide audience. “Many companies pretend to have a higher purpose, but actually it is just a means of communication to show themselves in a certain way and in reality they do not do what they promise.”

Afterwards, Wils became interested in everything that has to do with reputation. He explains that reputation is a consequence of the behavior that is performed. When the behavior is in line with the core you stand for, you will always be strong in your shoes. In his book ‘De Reputatiecoach’, which was recently published, he discusses this in more detail.

How his mission became his core value

After the search for his personal core, Wils has finally tackled his mission: guiding executives and public figures to become the most authentic version of themselves. This means that they are better equipped to deal with the challenges in their job and society. “I have learned that I get much more energy from one-to-one contacts, purely coaching and mentoring, than managing a team of thirty people to do as much as possible. billable hours to do. That is no longer who I am today, I think.”

Someone who is in reality as he appears will be able to overcome an obstacle more quickly

“I help executives to have a more sustainable reputation, namely a reputation based on behavior that is very close to their core, which also makes them stronger when they encounter something that is less good. Someone who is in reality as he comes across will be able to overcome an obstacle more quickly,” says Wils.

(©Sixshooter for FF Rustig podcast)

The advice Jeroen Wils would give to his 20-year-old self? “I would advise him to do that ‘reset’ exercise much sooner in his career to take a look inside. That doesn’t have to be every week, every month or every year, but a major maintenance should be done every five years. In other words, is it important to occasionally do the exercise of: am I still the one I want to be here or do I need to make some adjustments?”

You can listen to the full podcast episode with Jeroen Wils below:

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