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Growth Leadership Learning Life Self awareness

No regrets. Really?

It’s good to have regrets. Regrets are part of life. The ambition to live without any mistakes and corresponding regrets is close to the definition of insanity. 

Therefore, I doubt people who walk around with tattoos, stating ‘no regrets.’

We all have regrets, moments when we wish to turn back time a little.… Read the rest

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Growth Leadership Learning Mental health Purpose

[First] Invest in Yourself

Remember I mentioned last week that I was not much of a dancer?

I may be a dancer one day, or in a future life. But today, I’m not a dancer, and I haven’t been one. Nevertheless, I danced last Friday evening around 1 am (so technically Saturday morning).

Before I tell you what happened, I’d like to refresh your memory with the main points of the previous two weeks:

  1. Is work just about the transaction, or is it about fun and fulfillment?
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Alignment Growth Learning Team effectiveness Trust

Grow in Concert

How aligned are you?

How aligned are you with the people you love and work with? How aligned are you with your purpose and goals in life? How aligned are you in your head?

One of the critical success factors in life and work is your degree of alignment. Without alignment, things derail.… Read the rest

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Change Learning Reflection Strategy Transformation

The Great Pause. How to reinvent yourself.

It’s May 2020. The city is completely deserted. I’ve been unable to take such beautiful pictures of Prague since I first visited it in 1995, and tourism was significantly less than it is today.

It’s a bizarre dual feeling. 

From one perspective, the joy of the silence, the empty streets, and the city’s beauty in the sun.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Learning Life Reflection Self awareness

What’s your word?

Italy. India. Indonesia (Bali).

No, those are not my holiday destinations for 2024. They’re also not countries where my latest clients have their headquarters (I wish).

Do you know what these three have in common, except that all three start with the letter I?

Hint: all three countries play a role in one movie.… Read the rest

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Behavior Habits Learning Mental health Social Media

You need a social media detox! I had one. Here’s what I learned.

Algorithms are addictive.

We live in a wonderfully dangerous world. A world that confronts us daily with multiple realities.

On the good side, the world we live in is developing so that more and more opportunity is available to us.

With the right mindset, an inspiring dose of creativity, and a healthy level of determination and discipline can turn into significant levels of achievement.… Read the rest

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Beliefs Learning Life Mindset Self awareness

You’re not your Thoughts. You’re not your Feelings.

One of the more complex concepts to grasp is that who we are is not defined by our thoughts or feelings.

Thoughts and feelings come and go. They’re as fluid as the water coming out of your faucet. You turn it on, and it’s there. You turn it off, and it’s gone.… Read the rest

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Choices Growth Growth Learning Life

Are you leaving something on the table?

In one of my earlier posts, I spoke about organizational pain. 

Companies and leaders that can create organizational pain leave nothing on the table. 

I wrote this story to give you food for thought and to help you decide whether you’re leaving anything on the table in your life.

It’s a story with multiple realities and a bit of self-reflection. 
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Goals Growth Learning Life Purpose Reflection

Extended Summer Pause

A few months have passed since my last post, “Maktub” in the middle of July.

It was time to pause. It was time for a break and to practice what I preach. In every profession, it’s important to rest, reflect, and recharge your batteries every once in a while.

Just ask any high-performing athlete.
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Feedback Leadership Learning Qualities Reflection Self awareness

Why should anyone be led by you?

I recently got reminded of this book again.

I was part of an inspiring conversation with a group of senior leaders discussing talent growth inside their organization.

We talked about the mindset to disrupt yourself, ask yourself and others the hard questions, leaving your comfort zone frequently to learn and expect the same from others.… Read the rest

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Behavior Culture Leadership Learning Mindset Qualities

Are you a spark?

To light a fire, you need a spark. 

To let a fire go out, you need to kill the oxygen. Or just stop feeding the fire with more supplies of wood. It will eventually dim and then die.

Some people are sparks. Some people suck oxygen. Some people are passive and do nothing.… Read the rest

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Communication Leadership Learning Qualities Self awareness

Simplifier or Complexifier?

I’m not a finance guy.

But I’ve done enough finance in my life to understand the principles when I put my mind to it. My brain can build many connections fast, but when it comes to finance, I need to think.

That’s why I’ve always admired people who can make complex stuff easy to understand. … Read the rest

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Change Curiosity Growth Learning Life

How do you stay hungry?

Two weeks ago, I ran through the countryside of Belgium.

I am still amazed by the patchwork of houses that do not reveal any vision of creative unity or aesthetic pleasing. What’s worse, I noticed very little progress.

We lived in Belgium from 2005 through 2007, and it felt like nothing had changed.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Humanity Learning Life Self awareness

What you can learn from snowflakes

It’s March.

The Maldives are long gone and a distant but unforgettable memory.

Spring seems to be in the air. The weather is not precisely spring-like.

I’m traveling to Belgium for a meeting, and our plane needs to be de-iced. 

Wind and snow circle the plane as I deliberate what I will write about on my way to Brussels.… Read the rest

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Courage Experimentation Growth Learning Life

Why life is an Unforgiving Laboratory

“Life is an unforgiving laboratory.”

Interesting quote from the book “Be Exceptional” by Joe Navarro.

He mentions it tongue and cheek as he talks passionately about self-mastery. No further elaboration on why he thinks so, but I picked up on the term, and I love it.

My ‘curious and observational me’ did its job (again).
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Asking Questions Curiosity Learning Qualities Self awareness

Curiosity is a superpower. 18 qualities of curious leaders.

Should I ask this as a question or make a statement out of it?

That’s the question I’m asking myself, pondering the title for this insight. 

If I’m true to my point about curiosity, I should write it as a question. 

Why is curiosity a superpower?

But today, I prefer a statement.… Read the rest

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Curiosity Feedback Learning Reflection Self awareness

What are you pretending not to know?

We all have blind spots.

Blind spots are gaps in awareness we have about ourselves that other people are aware of.

Let me give you an example.

When I was younger and had just started my career, I thought it was cool, appropriate, and necessary to voice my opinion regularly. 

I was proud of my Dutch ‘directness.’
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Curiosity Learning Life Reflection Trust

No title! Here’s why.

It’s a Thursday, shortly after noon.

I planned to write for one hour before I headed out for a massage.

I’m now thirty-six minutes into my hour of writing, and these are the first sentences I’m writing.

The words are not coming to me.

I scanned through my list of open topics, I have about twenty available at any time, but none inspires me.… Read the rest

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Discipline Execution Growth Learning Writing

Learn from the best!

Consistency is key.

When you want to progress in life, you need to show up and deliver what you set out to deliver.

That’s what I’ve shown with my writing in 2022. 

52 weeks. Two stories per week, every Tuesday and Friday morning. One hundred four accomplished. 

Not a single week was missed. 
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Growth Habits Learning Mindset Purpose

Five Years! Really?

A friend of mine asked me recently whether I was happy with my progress over the past five years. 

For some weird reason, my mind went to Lenin and his New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921.

I don’t remember many things from my primary education, but I remember the NEP from Lenin.… Read the rest