Nicolai Tillisch

Dubai, UAE


After just one workshop, we as management became a true team, a team that quicker understands difficult issues and how to more effectively address them.

CEO of an environmental service company based in Scandinavia

Nicolai is a coach and facilitator working with executives, leadership teams, and boards. This includes engagements in most major industries across four continents. He is from Denmark and does currently live in Dubai.

It took Nicolai three startups and a consulting career to realize that his vocation is to help others to grow and flourish. His curiosity has taken him far since he first attended training in coaching in the mid-1990s and at the beginning of the 2010s made leadership development his professional focus. Adult development is at the core of his work. Nicolai believes in the power of this, and is also open about the possible limitations. He takes both sides into account when designing interventions together with clients.

Besides serving clients, Nicolai started and remains involved with The Leadership Circle (an adult development-related assessment provider) in the Middle East and North Africa and is a co-founder of Deliberate Development (a Stockholm-based software venture). He is co-authoring a book entitled Return on Ambition, which has necessitated extensive studies and research. In the recent past, Nicolai has been a senior advisor to McKinsey & Company and a faculty member at the Institute of Directors (IoD). His earlier book, Effective Business in the Gulf, addresses how to lead a business in a dynamic and diverse environment. It led to guest lectures at INSEAD and HEC Paris, amongst others.

Nicolai has been a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and an executive at startups within DDB Worldwide, Hutchison, and Nokia Siemens Networks. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Copenhagen, where he specialized in game theory and behavioral economics, and has since gained several certifications accredited by the International Coach Federation.

Nicolai is married to Ida, and together they are parents to Margaux and Axel.