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Madeleine van der Steege

“Never Say Never”

Madeleine (“Mads”) van der Steege, is an award winning entrepreneur, business coach and author. She is also a researcher and lecturer on entrepreneurship, leadership, culture and gender issues. Madeleine has either owned or been in a leadership role in several successful enterprises and since 2001 has been actively involved in Coaching and Training; Corporate Leadership.

Her early involvement in the field of mediating disputes within a difficult environment in South Africa later inspired her approach in the Coaching industry which resulted in her being the proud recipient of the ‘Woman of the Year Regional Entrepreneur’ (2004).

“Leadership… the quest to understand the context in uncertainty, the quest to create clarity in complexity, and the quest to be agile amidst ambiguity…”

Having relocated to The Netherlands in 2007 she established the European operations and virtual warehousing for her sister’s Vancouver based, organic pet food company, Cranimals.com

In 2013 Madeleine founded Synquity, which delivers systems corporate coaching services both face-to-face and virtual communication, in the (corporate) organizational and human development industry.

Through Synquity, Madeleine and her team of Coaches deliver holistic Corporate Coaching services, from Executive to shop-floor teams with systems training (including Change Management) and Leadership development.

Madeleine is a member of the management board of The Bijlmerproject.com, Bridge2Hope a partnership between Webster University and other organizations to empower sexually exploited trafficked women.

Total Years of Coaching
Business Coach
Executive Coach
Life Coach
Corporate Coaching
International Coach
Philosophical Based Coaching
Evidence Based Coaching


Madeleine van der Steege, completed her Masters MA (Soc. Sc.) of Social Sciences, graduating with Cum Laude.

She writes and conducts research on entrepreneurship, leadership, culture and gender issues. She is the managing editor and a co-author of the book ‘Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World’ soon to be published by Emerald Publishing.

She trained with the International Mentor and Coaching Federation and has gone as far as developing and presenting in-house training courses for systems coaches.

Madeleine has a successful track record of over 15 years working primarily in leadership coaching culminating in her current business entity, Synquity. With her specialised fellow Coaches, she has successfully provided corporate and strategic systems coaching to mid-sized companies and has a particular passion for companies that are experiencing high levels of organisational change due to fast growth, mergers and/or decline.


Having blended her entrepreneurship, business and coaching expertise Madeleine refined a strategic systems coaching method focused on connecting leadership with every level of the organization. The means the organization can function better as a whole system, key to this systems are:
Vision-Strategy-Priorities-Productive relationships

Strategic systems coaching combines various coaching processes and combines this with methodologies for achieving lasting change.

Although the coaching processes vary dependent on client and context to support self-efficacy, organizational integration and growth, Madeleine delivers one-on-one leadership coaching, executive team coaching and cross-organizational coaching in combination or where applicable.


"We needed to change their vision and their culture to strengthen their position in the highly competitive pharmaceutical environment.

To be able to realize this change, we sought the support from a company that could not only help us in defining the direction, but also could guide us in the process of making it happen.

In Madeleine we found a partner, who turned out to be so much more than a consultant, and who helped us in every step of a long and challenging process." Ben Haneveld, CEO Apotex NL.

An Interview with me

ETIMY:    “How would you like to be perceived by your clients”

Madeleine:  “I aim to be someone who is as dedicated to a client organization as they (client) are. Their success and distress really matter to me. I’d like to be seen as someone who has faith in a business and the team leader’s capacity to do things better. I understand the other side of the coin – leadership is thrilling and deeply satisfying but it often has a price, complex at times, a huge responsibility, entails hardship and loneliness. Some decisions or dilemmas cannot immediately be solved or shared with your board or team or family. I love helping business leaders to become more intentional and conscious of the impact and power of their leadership behaviour. And to make that shift to see the organization as one engine, one system. Rather than being there to show and tell, my role is to outline the process, provide those rare opportunities for reflection, to monitor consistency; to provide some training; to ask challenging questions; and to point out what a leader may have failed to see because one gets too close to the activities.”

ETIMY:    “What makes you good at what you do?”

Madeleine:   ““The fact that I come from a family of entrepreneurs makes me comfortable in business and I can be pretty bold and creative. It helps enormously that I have broad based experience in many industries. I have real faith in people. I can be irritatingly positive at times because I don’t easily give up. We have worked for many corporates but my heart lies with the mid-size enterprises. I like becoming part of the ‘family’ in the board room and also down to shopfloor.”
I suppose – basically I really care about leaders and companies overcoming their growing pains. I have experienced the pain of CEO’s who sacrificed everything for a business but the toll it took on a personal level is something they can’t always put right. Developing their skills makes a huge difference to them. I also know how frustrating it is when a parent company make top down decisions that destroy the value of a medium-sized or local entity. – I wouldn’t want that for anyone. It is such a privilege to see a company become more profitable because they became more wholesome and connected as an entire system – a place where the vibe is just naturally good because key things are in place (purpose, strategies, priorities, resources…) and people treat each other respectfully and as equals.”

ETIMY:    “Whats really fun to do in your job as a Coach?”

Madeleine: “Standing back and watching how much leaders (or people) can step up ! How much they can do with a little bit of coaching. I enjoy some chaos – you know stepping into a business that is a bit of a mess because its growing too fast or in crisis trying to survive. Then seeing how they shift, do things better. Watching their annual general staff meetings from one year to another – enjoying and celebrating with them as the effort they put in (and it is hard work) finally pays off, what a thrill it is for them!” I love working with a team of innovative coaches – it is very stimulating to apply new things.”

You can read additional information regarding Madeleine van der Steege's unique profile:


Madeleine comes from a family of all entrepreneurs. She first dedicated her career to running a NGO in the field of mediation. In her Master’s degree she developed a Mediation Training Programme which inevitably earned her Cum Laude.

In her current role as head of her organisation she delivers niche Coaching services aligning all layers of the organisation to foster strategic productivity and communication.

In addition to Synquity, Madeleine is a part time lecturer for Webster University and a partner in GLI (Global Leadership Initiatives), an international organization that develops leadership globally with over a hundred leadership related seminars, three University Certificates, coaching of Executive Leadership.


Systems coaching is a comprehensive, deep-rooted process that represents a significant opportunity for leaders and organizations to engage in the ongoing learning and change they need if they are to lead their organizations along a path of future sustainability and purposeful wealth creation. Strategic systems coaching combines various coaching processes and combines this with (pre-defined) methodologies for achieving change.

Madeleine (having blended her entrepreneurship, business and coaching expertise) has refined a strategic systems coaching method focused on connecting leadership on every level with the organization (vision, strategy, priorities, productive relationships) as a whole. The means the organization can function better as a whole system.


My thoughts

As O’Conner says, your capacity to lead is enhanced seeing leadership as a phenomenon that is a feature of the whole system and that creates opportunities for connection rather seeing it as a trait or personal characteristic, or as a position of power.

I have worked for many corporate entities but my heart lies with the mid-size organisations. I like becoming part of the ‘family’ in the board room but also down on the shop-floor.

Have personally started and led various businesses and initiatives. I get very energized by taking a business idea and putting the systems and structures behind it for it to grow and succeed.

Gosh I have worked with many different kinds of industries and leaders and never stop learning and loving working with them especially when they create those ‘aha’ moment and remain committed to real change.

Your future

Madeleine approaches life and people with warmth and a quiet passion; with a focus, sensitivity and sincerity that uplifts.

At the same time, she is a Master on the topic of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour. As a result, leadership development that takes into account all of the corporate intertwined processes.

Since many organizations still operate in fairly hierarchical structures, the first element of strategic systems coaching is usually executive coaching of the organization’s leadership, only then can real change be possible, and I am delighted to help you get there.