Kees van der Graaf on What Makes a Leader

Kees van der Graaf, former executive with Unilever on honesty, clarity and transparency in leadership.

This blog is part of our Inspired Ethonomics series. Pierre is an Investor, Director, and VP of Marketing for Guayaki Yerba Mate and will be profiling businesses with a triple-bottom line agenda.


I recently had the opportunity to interview Kees van der Graaf.  Kees
retired from Unilever a couple of years ago having served that company
in many positions, including their most senior
management and governance positions, their board and Executive
Committee. His experience and knowledge of business practices is
exceptionally deep, spans decades and touches markets all over the
world. He is now the Executive in Residence at IMD business school
working on uncovering the leadership requirements for future
generations. This is a man who is in full flight working on the
generative phase of his life. Consistent with our theme of the
importance of transparency, I asked him to discuss the importance of
honesty, clarity and transparency in the conduct of tomorrow’s leaders.
Here he is:


Pierre holds a Masters degree in Economics from The University of Cambridge and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He has two sons, married to Kimberly, in awe of two stepdaughters, reads voraciously, and enjoys golf.