Helping executives and high-performing leaders
find the courage and wisdom to maximize growth in new and challenging situations

Like many high-performing leaders I scaled the corporate ladder quickly

Trained as a lawyer, I spent six years honing my craft in a top legal firm in Mexico before moving to the Gillette Company. There, I progressed through positions that increased both my responsibility and authority, and it presented me with invaluable leadership experience at every level. It was here that I developed an interest in HR, after being the youngest Legal Manager in the company’s history, and gained international leadership experience in Mexico, the US and Turkey.

In 2001 I joined the International Paper Company as the head of Human Resources for Latin America, and just three years later I moved to the US to assume the role of Director of International Human Resources. I spent the next 15 years continuing to climb the corporate ladder, gaining even more leadership experience and taking on more responsibilities. In 2016 I was appointed Director of Human Resources IP Latin America, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I had spent years of my life working my way to the top and was at the peak of my professional career.

But in my mid-40s I found myself at a crossroads

My career to that point had been exciting, challenging, and rewarding. I’d had the opportunity to travel, to work with people across the globe, and – being trilingual (Spanish, English, and Portuguese) – I discovered many different facets of leadership, both on the job and in the classroom. I became certified in a range of leadership and intercultural proficiency assessment tools.

My interest in leadership had helped me achieve everything I had wanted professionally, but despite my success I felt a growing disconnect between my personal and professional life. I started to see that in order to be truly fulfilled I would need to integrate elements of my personal life into my work – I just had no idea where to start.

I contacted a coach to help me reconnect with myself and help me find purpose. With her support I began focusing more of my energy on family, friends, personal growth, coaching, and giving back to the community.

I found meaning in helping others to grow, develop, and find meaning themselves

Finding fulfillment in my personal life helped me recognize that my passion is supporting leaders so that they can develop and grow. In-depth introspection led me to identify coaching as a vehicle to fulfill my purpose and help others find meaning.

Now with direction and purpose, I went on to study the top research and evidence-based coaching program in the US at Columbia University.

In 2019 I retired from the corporate world to concentrate on my Coaching and HR Consulting business. I now use my years of corporate experience and effective, evidence-based principles to help leaders find meaning, maximize performance and become more courageous leaders.

Let’s explore what courageous leadership means for you

Schedule a complementary, one-hour, virtual discovery meeting.


Rafael Durand is a Leadership Coach & HR Consultant that specializes in helping individuals and organizations maximize their leadership performance and development.

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