Dragon Tamer – is how Dr. Leigh De Bruin is better known across the globe. Explaining how that came to be, she reveals, “I have always been fascinated with Dragons and I love the Dragon metaphor as a way of describing the ‘unseen’ blocks and limitations that are holding individuals and organizations back from realizing their full potential and achieving success.” Dr. Bruin’s genius lies in making the unseen ‘seen’ in order to unlock internal power and potential and elevate individuals and organizations which in turn elevates communities, countries and the world at large.
As the founder of Elite Dragon Taming and Managing Partner and Principal Consultant at Palmyra Business Consulting, Leigh has over 2 decades of experience in Strategy, Culture Transformation, Operational Excellence, Leadership Development and Executive Coaching. She has worked with elite global business leaders, organisations, politicians, royalty, celebrities and individuals to bring about massive transformation and impact.
Leigh spends her time between Oman and UAE. She holds a PhD in business. In addition, she’s a certified change manager, Master NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner, accredited Master coach, Six Sigma greenbelt, and practices Tai Chi and Chi Kung at the most advanced levels having trained with Grand Master Sifu Wong Kiew-Kit. “My main passions are mythology or fables, transformation, Tai Chi and having fun. I now combine all three into what I do!” she says with contentment.
Leigh began her career in the financial services industry. It was when she moved into change management to lead the change of a Lean six sigma implementation across a retail bank, that she discovered her true passion and purpose: transforming hearts, minds and behavior. Through driving transformational projects, she spent most of her time coaching the leadership team on how to manage change, thereby carving her own journey into coaching.
“I am fascinated with neuroscience and behavioral science and realized that transformation can happen quickly if you are effective in changing mindsets, emotions and behavioral templates. I’m a true advocate of employee engagement and happiness. I have spent most of my time working with organizations on culture change using my unique and powerful framework to help them create a vision of their ideal culture aligned with their purpose and identify the main cultural enablers of
employee satisfaction, service quality and customer satisfaction. Through the process, I empower my clients to focus their attention and resources on the things that really matter, resulting in massive impact.”
Leigh has worked across a range of industries including financial services, telecommunication, oil and gas, construction, automotive and logistics, and her work has taken her all over South Africa, Europe, GCC, among others.
In 2020, Leigh founded Elite Dragon Taming, a firm in UAE with global operations. ETD is a boutique consultancy that specializes in transformation and the development of high-performing people and cultures. “Customers, employees and shareholders are all people, so understanding people and behavior is essential for business success. Organizations grow and achieve extraordinary results when their people are growing and stepping into extraordinary behavior. Getting to the heart of helping people understand why they do the things they do is one of our core strengths,” shares Leigh.
Her business consists of 3 main areas: personal, business and digital.
Taming personal Dragons: We recognise that C-suite leaders and High Net worth individuals have unique needs. They have not only already exhibited exceptional skills to hold the positions they have, their time and the visibility of their positions and mindsets requires extraordinary care, thoughtfulness and discretion. We empower high net worth individuals – to tame their personal dragons with our unique and potent 1:1 coaching journey.
Dragon taming app: We have developed a self-coaching app for those Dragon warriors who may not have the time or resources to go through a coaching program.
Taming Culture Dragons: Culture is often difficult to define, it’s intangible in nature and appears elusive. We make the unseen ‘seen’ through our powerful 12p framework which assists in employee satisfaction and happiness, service quality, customer satisfaction and improved profitability.
Taming leadership and team Dragons: Part of culture program is our powerful conscious leadership and team coaching program – Our ‘Leading with heart and courage program’ enables leaders to see their Dragons (their defense mechanisms and blind spots) and better understand their mindsets and why they behave the way they do. We guide them to move beyond the ineffective ‘below the line’ behaviors and step into extraordinary ‘above the line’ behaviors so that they are able to live, lead and perform at their best. Our clients often refer to this as a game changer.
A leader in her own right, Leigh’s clientele today comes from all corners of the world. Yet when she set up her first business in Oman a few years ago, establishing a company as a western woman in the Middle East was not easy. Speaking about the challenges, she says, “Setting up and running your own business is not for the faint hearted. It requires dedication and commitment, a very positive mindset and resilience, and the will to keep pushing forward, even when it feels as though you are pushing a mountain. Making mistakes is also essential, it’s the best way to learn. In the end, success is a combination of hard work and luck. I’ve received some amazing opportunities purely by luck and being in the right place at the right time. Having the right opportunity present itself is one thing, turning it into something magical is entirely up to you.”
When things get tough, Leigh finds inspiration in a higher purpose: “I believe we are all here to serve the world in our unique way, my purpose being a force of transformation and healing. As part of our CSR, we invest in small businesses in vulnerable communities and focus on the development of these businesses in order to strengthen communities, countries and in turn the world. One of my major goals is to continue to grow spiritually. My talents are not mine, they come from God and when we’re aligned with Divine intelligence, the impact we have is so much greater. I also feel inspired when I work with Elite people – they have a different mindset. I love working at this level – transformation happens really quickly because they take action even in the face of fear and the impact they have on the world when they step into their happiest and best self is astounding. I love being part of this journey.”
For Leigh, her greatest achievement has been taking down her own Dragons and moving away from feeling deeply inadequate to a place where she truly loves and values herself. Her next biggest achievement is being a mom of 2 amazing boys who also double up as 2 of her greatest teachers.
Her professional accomplishments are no less impressive: She was identified as one of the Top Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Herald; one of the Top Life Coaches by NYC journal; has had papers published in credible journals; and successfully developed an app which will launch soon. Above all, she has a great track record and beautiful long-term relationships with all her clients, which make Dr. Leigh De Bruin the best Dragon Tamer we know.