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Interview with Sandja Brügmann

Sandja Brügmann is a leading strategist and speaker on authentic leadership and sustainable business whose vibrant and passionate commitment to inspiring positive planetary change shows in her work. In this fascinating interview with A-Speakers, she reveals where she finds her inspiration and gives her best tips for entrepreneurial spirits looking to create authentic and meaningful brands.

Who or what inspires you most?

What inspires me most is to help others gain inner awareness and insight to take their dreams and make them reality focused on 5Ps – passion, purpose, people, planet and profits. I’m specifically focused on business and career fulfillment. The way we have learned to do business and the way we look at work is one that’s not conducive to being a whole human being. It’s often one driven to strive for money, foregoing our own inner passion and purpose. When people work and do business this way, what we most often see is that IF you are successful at making the money you desire, you often are still not feeling fulfilled on the inside. And IF you don’t have success with accumulating wealth, then you are unfulfilled on the inside AND poor. It’s a lose-lose scenario regardless of how we look at the old business paradigm. It inspires me to help people, society, leaders and businesses wake up to a more fulfilling and sustainable way of doing business. Both for the individual, for the businesses and for our sustained inhabitability of this incredible planet.


Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

I love it when people come up to me after a speaking engagement and tell me how it makes a difference in their lives. An example is from Social Media Week in Copenhagen, where I spoke about how to create follow-worthy brands and rather than speaking about external business, marketing and branding skills, I spoke about the kind of leader you need to become to be able to have the skills, depth of purpose and sensuous connection of aliveness needed to create a magnetic brand people want to follow.

Some people just stared into space and were visibly uncomfortable – I think this is good as it shakes their foundation of reality (as long as not everyone in your audience looks like that. Chuckle!). A woman in a VP of Marketing position at a leading Danish chocolate manufacturer came up to me after the talk and told me how inspiring and reassuring it was to hear me say those things out loud. That it reinforced her beliefs and thoughts. She proceeded to ask me ‘how do I get the more conservative leadership team in the business along on this journey?’  I know she most wanted to hear oh, easy peasy, you do x, y and z. Instead, I was real and honest with her and told her – you cannot change anyone. You can continue to do and be the leader you are. Infuse an atmosphere of inspiration, yet you cannot expect them to change. Change takes place when people want to change. It’s an inner journey.

And why is this one of my favorite experiences? Because by being real with her, I give her the biggest gift of all. I help her stand more by herself as a leader. I help her realize that it’s ultimately her choice to stay in a company where she is surrounded by people who drag the organization in a conservative or less progressive direction than her vision for how business and leadership can be done. In this situation she really has two choices – lower her expectations, or make a better choice for herself that matches what she wants to create. This is where conscious leadership power comes into play. Be real with what is. Be real with your expectations of what might be possible in terms of change. And free yourself of carrying the burden of trying to change someone, who is unwilling to change, to fit your needs.


What types of results do clients experience after your consultations and keynotes?

My clients and people attending my speaks and workshops typically experience increased understanding of their own limiting beliefs and behaviors, and both inspiration, motivation and know-how of tools, techniques and next steps to implement new tactics in their own businesses and careers. I infuse a large dose of both inspirations, motivation, positive and hopeful attitudes and worldviews that both inspire and open people’s minds. I talk straight and real, which can be provocative for some. My intention is always the same – to uplift, increase awareness and help people increase their own knowledge and tools (an increased awareness of context) so they can create the business and life they want.


What does conscious leadership entail, and how can businesses benefit from it?

Business takes place on the relational level between people. Each and every day we make decisions regarding where to spend our time and energy, how to communicate, respond and decide – be it how to best communicate a product or service to a customer group, be it how we ensure internal team culture and communication or which packaging material we choose to use, raw materials in our products etc.  The more aware and conscious a leader is, the better their decisions in terms of a larger context of people, planet and profit. If a business wants to be here tomorrow, they need to get focused on building increased conscious leadership skills. Consumers are in increased proportions supporting businesses and purchasing products that are good for them, bettering their health and lives and considering the planet’s resources.

It requires REAL strength to stand up against convention, societal expectations and norms. There’s an unwritten rule that states I shut up about your toxicity, and you shut up about mine. This is co-dependency and extremely toxic for all of us. We can stay silent and see the human collective continue writing the human race out of history with the current trajectory, or we can speak up. The human race needs conscious leaders – and business and the capitalist system are the most important places we can enact change and re-direct our way of living and working to one of supportive conscious living humans and planetary resources.


Can you give 3 tips for budding entrepreneurs wishing to create an authentic and meaningful brand?

1) Be committed to do your inner work always. The more you authentically know yourself the more authentic and magnetic of a brand you can create.

2) Be your full self in your business, if you start a business just with the goal to make money, you’ll end up disconnected from the source inside yourself where you experience true contentment. Just don’t buy into that old business premise. It’s an illusion.

3) Follow your passion and aliveness, add your keen business skills in the mix. Be and communicate your key values and *why*.


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