14 October 2019 ... min. read Listen

Ingrid van den Brink

If you’re guided by your purpose, it becomes about “wanting to” instead of “having to”

Ingrid van den Brink’s purpose can be summed up in one simple sentence: ‘Building the mountain lodge, my way.’ This metaphor embodies her preferred approach: simplifying complexity. Eliminate everything you don’t need and then just go for it.


“The thing that made the biggest impression on me during my purpose training is how quickly you can create trust within a group when you share truly personal details with one another. The purpose training kicks off pretty much right away with you telling your story. Everyone is hesitant at first. I just started talking – first about my professional experience and then more about my private life. You work in small groups which makes it easier, and the training is so well designed that you soon feel in safe hands.”

A short, simple sentence

“I hit on the right words for my purpose when my group told me how my eyes lit up while I was talking about my leadership roles in my private life. That’s when I discovered the core message and the metaphor. I wanted to simplify complexity in that situation too, but keep it strong and personal. It resulted in a short but very appropriate sentence: ‘Building the mountain lodge, my way.’”

Common thread

“Simplifying complexity is the common thread running through my approach, both professionally and personally. To me, ‘Building the mountain lodge’ captures that perfectly. Building a lodge on top of a mountain requires organisation, planning and structure. It’s a complex project, but the end result is simple and hopefully durable. And I build that lodge ‘my way’. There are countless perfectly fine project management methodologies, but I extract just the bits I find useful and then do things in my own pragmatic way, based on common sense.”


“I chose the mountain lodge metaphor because I love the mountains. I’ve regularly been skiing since I was little and we often used to spend our summer vacations in the mountains too. I have lots of special memories of those times.”

Building on the foundations

“At work, I’m now above all more conscious of how I can add value to a meeting or a project, particularly because of having a non-finance background unlike most of my colleagues. Thanks to my purpose, I’ve now also realised that ultimately I’d like to go back into project management. But first I want to keep building on the foundations I’ve laid here and gain a few more years of management experience. I try to combine my day-to-day work with projects, and I really enjoy that combination right now.”

Clearer choices

“When you know what your purpose is, you make clearer choices. You’re less influenced by what other people expect of you. It becomes about ‘wanting to’ instead of ‘having to’. Since discovering my purpose, I also find it easier to get on with the less enjoyable tasks by seeing them in the context of the end goal: the mountain lodge that I’m building, whether at work or in my home life.”

About Ingrid

Ingrid is Lead of the junior account managers within Private Wealth and Asset Management. She first joined ING as an HR intern, then worked in various HR roles before moving across to the business three years ago. She facilitates the Purpose to Impact workshops.

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