In the “Meet the Board Member” we profile a member of our ScaleUpBoard alumni community. Today we are speaking with Class 8 alumni, Michiel Reith!

Meet… Michiel Reith!

An ex-Marine and a former Fitness Instructor, turned Sales Director, Strategic Advisor and now Chief Wellbeing officer, Michiel has had a colorful career working for the likes of Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Sciolab, Oy, Bringly and GRRR to name a few.

Michiel describes himself as an entrepreneurial yet socially caring, analytical, creative and commercially-driven go-getter and giver. One who thrives at challenging the status quo with the sole purpose to learn, and growing as a team and as an individual. He is currently looking for a People, Tech, Health and Well-Being potential scale-up to help create and accelerate recurring impact. In his free time Michiel enjoys reading, cooking, dancing, laughing and spending time with his daughters. Check out his interview below!

Meet… Michiel Reith


What is your headline? 

People-first should be {y}our default mindset always!

What are you passionate about professionally?

Helping potential scale-ups to become a Homerun Venture. For us a homerun venture is a resilient, thriving, people-first venture focused on {y}our well-being! In order to become one founding teams should laser focus on non-biased DEI hiring, a welcoming onboarding, inspiring learning & development experience, and intrinsically motivated care for well.

Being! I believe that people and progress first should be the default mindset always.

We urgently need more DEI in our board rooms! Homogeneous decision making doesn’t reflect the psyche and demographics anymore. Tech scale-ups are getting younger and Generation Z is more diverse than ever. Therefore boards should move past “white old men smoking cigars”, be more diverse and reflect society more.

The world is changing into a more fluid world and rigidity and authority is becoming outdated, especially when dealing with each other. We need to humanize the board rooms and humanize the world. It is not masculine or feminine or black or white, we are the world. I hope that within this decade we don’t have discussions about pay inequality or the gender gap anymore. We have to end that and that is what I am striving for in my work as well.

What are your insights on board effectiveness that you received from going through the program? 

My main takeaway from ScaleUpBoard was the importance of transforming the necessary evil of governance into a valuable culture of guidance. That is the way that I would love to see change in the culture of boards. 

The “Is your scale-up really a scale-up?” session with Gijs van de Molengraft was really helpful because it went into depth about the difference between a start-up and a scale-up and the stages of growth. This is important to know as a scale-up board member because you can’t help a company if you don’t know what stage the company is in.

I also really enjoyed the learning circle element of the program. I am still very close with my learning circle from my program. We thoroughly enjoyed working together as a team and really bonded. The atmosphere was great and it was all about learning from each other. We created a safe environment for learning and growing.

How do you want to add value to a board?

The combination of commercial experience (it runs through my veins) and tech savvy. People-first is my default mindset always. When it comes to the personal side, I bring a growth mindset, enthusiasm and drive to create a sustainable impact. What kind of impact are we trying to achieve? What is the customer value and the impact because it’s not about you. Helping the management team and CEO of scale-ups grow and  succeed should be the goal of every board member. That is what it is all about in my opinion.

If you are on or have been on a board? Are you open to a board member role at the moment?

At this point I am not actively looking for a board position as I am really focused on being in the business. In the future I would be open to taking on a board role in the future, preferably in tech and focused on HR Tech and or well being Tech.

What is the best piece of advice some gave to you?

“Progress over perfection!” and “Be yourself, and the rest will follow naturally.” I gave myself the second one as a piece of advice when I realized that living a life that wasn’t really me, brought me a lot of material things but didn’t align me with my purpose. At this point in my life, being myself and living my truth has allowed the things that I want to gravitate towards me. Through this I can do the work that I was meant to do and make the world a better place.

What do you want your impact to be through your work?

I was left at an orphanage in Mumbai (Bombay) when I was a newborn. Eighty percent of babies didn’t make it due to malnourishment, but I was and am a survivor. When I was 6 months old I was adopted by a Dutch family and I was given the chance to live a better life by my birth mother.

This has inspired me to give back in some way. Therefore, my BHAG (Big Humble Audacious Goal) became to empower at least one million Indian Mothers improving their well-being before 2040. My middle daughter has encouraged me to push the number to one billion! For now we will start small and then find out what is scalable and go from there.

Want to learn more about Michiel? Connect here!

Be sure to check out Michiel’s article on creating a culture of guidance in boards here!

Scale your impact as a board member

The next ScaleUpBoard class is kicking off on September 2023 in Amsterdam. You can find all of the details here. Get in touch with Jacqueline to save your seat:

Jacqueline van der Heijden

+31 6 55212519

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