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Better starts with who

The path to sustainably better is straightforward and simple. So simple that most people and companies don’t accept its simplicity and do not invest the time to explore. Simple can be scary. Because it starts with us.

How do we live our lives to the fullest?
How do we keep our teams loyal and engaged?
How do we keep our customers happy?
How do we maximize the potential of our companies?
How do we adapt and get better?

In the past two years, I’ve been on a journey to find the answers to these questions. I had many wonderful conversations. I read many good and not so good books and articles. I listened to hundreds of podcasts and TED talks. I studied the journals I had been writing over the past 25 years of my career. I traveled, walked around, and observed people.

I signed up for a co-working place to experience the energy of future success. I did projects to fill my basket of thoughts further. I collected my thoughts in over 10.000 notes. I tagged all of them with themes.

My goal? To collect enough data and insights to ultimately fulfill my dream of writing blogs and a book about leaders, teams, culture, and other drivers of continued business success.

Here are some initial considerations.

We’ve become human doings.
People prefer doing over thinking. We only stop doing what we’re doing when there’s a crisis. The current COVID-19 pandemic proves this point. Unfortunately.

Only when we are confronted with adversity in our lives, such as death, illness, catastrophe, or other events that shake us to our core, we stop, think, and realize what we have and what our priorities are in life. Anything less than those events, and we maintain the status quo of ‘doing’ in our lives. We have become human doings instead of human beings.

Only disruption makes us stop.
Companies operate the same way. Only when they’re disrupted by competitors or threatened in another way that jeopardizes their existence, they wake up and prioritize what needs to be done. COVID-19 is forcing us now to stop and think. But will it fundamentally change us? I hope so. But, I’m not optimistic.

Always-ON
We are terrible at pausing and reflecting on what we’re doing. We do not want to push the brakes on our lives or our business, afraid of missing out, fearful of what may happen when we interrupt what we currently have.

We are always pushed to speed up, consciously, and unconsciously. The entire world around us is designed to speed up. We’re constantly reminded we’re 24/7 ON. Many will feel they need to be ON 25/7 when the pandemic is over, and life ‘gets back to normal.’

Will the rat race continue?
I’m sure some of us will reflect on this period and change the way they live. But most of us won’t. And so, the rat race continues, until someone else or something else forces us to stop and prioritize. Again. Like COVID-19 is forcing us to do at the moment.

The challenge
Unless we manage to stop ourselves and find a better way. That’s the challenge we have. Because this is not the definition of living better lives. This not living our lives to the fullest. It’s also not the path to better leadership, more engagement, happier customers, and sustainable growth. It may be the path to higher profitability, but only short term and not through better leadership, more engagement, and happier customers.

The path to better
The path to sustainably better is straightforward and simple. So simple that most people and companies don’t accept its simplicity and do not invest the time to explore. They don’t believe it because how would it make them look if they tried and it worked? They don’t have time because they’re busy doing what they’re supposed to be doing to keep the rat race going.

Here’s the path:

Better people are better leaders.
Better leaders grow better associates.
Better associates make customers happy.
Happy customers generate more business.

Better starts with who

To be a better leader, you need to be a better person.
To be a better person, you need to know who you are first.
Better starts with who.

That’s the path we will explore in these blog posts.

QUESTION: Who are you? And what does better mean to you?

I hope you’ll enjoy my blog. It’s a journey and a learning process. I write daily and I post weekly. Get my weekly newsletter with my insights and curated resources I learn from sent to your inbox every Tuesday. Let me know what you think. Good and bad. That’s how I will get better.

I appreciate it.

Thank you!
Erikjan

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