Amrop: thought leadership

Positioning thought leadership for an executive brand veteran

Industry: Executive search, coaching, B2B services

Content type

Thought leadership

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To define positioning

To broaden audience


Great feedback from readership

Brand momentum and a broader audience

An executive search expert with a evolving aim

Eelco Van Eijck is a Managing Partner at Amrop, a global Leadership Advisory and Executive Search partnership.

A veteran in his field, Eelco climbed the corporate ladder for many years. His career took him through management and General Manager roles in several FMCG companies in Europe and later Managing Director of DelMonte, before arriving at Amrop.

By the time he came to RH&Co, Eelco had been leading executive searches for 17 years, and he had sat in thousands of interviews with executive and non-executive board members. He’d realised something crucial through this time: “Leaders are good at leading a business but not at leading their own career.”

To address this problem, Eelco had run a programme named Executive 2.0, in which he coached executives with salaries that ran upwards of £200K, helping them refine their executive branding and find their way forward.

By 2021, however, Eelco had also reached a level of seniority in which he was expected to put thought leadership pieces out into the world. The next step in his own executive branding was about to begin.

“A good external partner will challenge you on what you say, stimulate different views and improve the quality of what you are expressing.”

– Eelco Van Eijck, Managing Partner Amsterdam, Amrop

The challenge

Positioning Eelco as an authority for a wider audience

By 2021, Eelco was looking to broaden his reach. His Executive 2.0 programme had been very well received, and Eelco was keen for his ideas to find an audience with more people.

“People had often recommended that I work with a ghost writer,” says Eelco. “If you offer a premium professional service, it’s important to dare to share views on certain topics.”


Turning expert thoughts into stories

As a non-native-English speaker, Eelco knew he’d need some help to communicate to a global audience. Even if he had been writing in Dutch, however, he knew the value of external help.

“There are some stubborn people in the world who think they can do it themselves, but I don’t think you should,” says Eelco. “I had worked with a ghostwriter before to help me write a book, so I was familiar with why the process was beneficial.”

Going forward, it wouldn’t be enough to work with an editor who only polished Eelco’s own words. To produce thought leadership at the level Eelco was hoping for, he would need to work with a team that understood his context, could help to develop his ideas, and help them to land with a very sophisticated and often executive-level audience.

“I understood it was important to work with someone who could turn my thoughts into stories,” says Eelco. “A good external partner will challenge you on what you say, stimulate different views and improve the quality of what you are expressing.”


The solution

A team that knows how to ask the right questions.

RH&Co were recommended to Eelco by a former colleague who worked at TPC Leadership, a global consultancy for whom we had created thought leadership articles for three years.

Eelco saw the benefit immediately. “Rosie, my account manager, is from an FMCG background and is very familiar with the business I’m in,” he says. “The team knows how to ask the right in-depth questions to stimulate my thinking.

“When it comes to reading the articles, every now and then, I’ll see a sentence which says something different to what I told the team. But I recognise it’s a much better way of expressing what I have in mind.

“The more we work together the better and the quicker the team picks up what I have in mind. For one of the latest articles, I didn’t have any edits to suggest. The first draft was perfect.”

The outcome

A strong readership with great feedback

Eelco shares his thought leadership articles on LinkedIn, using social copy that we craft for him.

“When I post the articles, I get very good reviews, support and feedback. I’ve never had any negative feedback. And I know that’s just a piece of the puzzle – for every person who gives feedback on an article, there’s another hundred who didn’t comment but read it and liked it.”


Defined positioning and a broader audience

Having established Eelco’s take on executive branding and careers, we are now working with him on a NED (non-executive director) series, broadening his audience further and speaking to executives, non-executives, organisations, and aspiring leaders.

“For me the whole goal here was to define my positioning,” says Eelco. “That is the bigger jigsaw that everything else fits into, and I feel we are achieving it.”


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