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Authenticity Dialogue Leadership Reflection Self awareness

How authentic are you?

workers, or friends how authentic you are? If so, what did they tell you? If not, why not? Are you an open book or a mystery? Do people really know you and what you stand for?

This is the last Insight of chapter two in my book. For now, the working title of the chapter is BE yourself first.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Clarity Design Life Reflection

Whose life is it?

Does life happen to us, or do we make life happen? Do we work to live, or do we live to work? Are you living your own life or the life of somebody else? Are you chasing your dream or the dream of someone else?

What is a good life for you? 
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Growth Leadership Mindset Reflection Self awareness

Why better starts with who

I write about business. I write for leaders who are in business, leading teams to do business. I love conversations with leaders and understanding how they think, act, and lead. One of my favorite questions to ask leaders to get to know them is the question:

What is your business about?

Is it about making money?… 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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Communication Growth Leadership Reflection Self awareness

Jump over your shadow

How often do you jump over your shadow to get what you want done?

How often do you have to compromise some of your values, principles, or beliefs to make progress on your ambitions? 

Your shadow reveals who you really are. Your shadow is the perfect reflection.

And sometimes, you need to let go of that perfect reflection to move forward.
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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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Discipline Growth Habits Reflection Self awareness

Are your habits working for you?

Last year in December, my headspace meditation streak that lasted for over 250 days got interrupted because I did not meditate for a day.

I’ll admit that I had set a goal of reaching 365 days of uninterrupted meditation, so when I skipped a day and saw the counter going back to zero, I had a slight moment of sadness.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Design Leadership Reflection

Hate the game. Not the player.

I listened recently to a podcast where high-net-worth individuals and tax-avoiding companies were the subjects of the discussion.

Or perhaps the subject of their rage is a better expression of the dynamics of the conversation.

Then a politician, known for progressive and more left of the political spectrum beliefs, joined the conversation.… Read the rest

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Culture Discipline Purpose Reflection Strategy

It’s in your DNA

Have you ever heard of the term ‘it’s in our DNA?’

Of course, you did.

Whatever language you master and speak, I’m sure there’s also a version in your culture.

It’s the translation of the scientific meaning of DNA as your genetic code into a real-life application, such as running a business.… Read the rest

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Life Mental health Purpose Reflection Self awareness

The undeniable and magnificent power of now

Losing a loved one is the most significant test for embracing the now.

I lost my mother recently. Unexpected.

I won’t elaborate more on that event itself, but more about my experience from when it happened until a few days after.

It has everything to do with the power of now. … Read the rest

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Communication Feedback Life Reflection Self awareness

The brutal truth about Intention and Impact

Nearly twenty years ago, I had my first conversation with a mentor who helped me shape who I am today.

I was running supermarket operations at that time, working for a CEO who, in my eyes, was not meant to be CEO. 

He was a former CFO who never transitioned from being a CFO to become a CEO.… Read the rest

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Growth Humanity Life Reflection Self awareness

Are you an exceptional human being?

Let’s start with a disclaimer about the word exceptional.

It’s connected to the two words human and being.

I’m not discussing in this insight whether you are an exceptional manager or leader.

No, I mean here how you live your life, interact with others, and make a difference daily.

For yourself and others.… Read the rest

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Books Life Mindset Reflection Time

Really? 2.0 Speed – What is your hurry?

At what speed do you listen to audiobooks or podcasts?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re one of my kind. You’re unaware you can playback your favorite media at a different speed.

Frankly, until recently, I didn’t know either.

Until a client of mine, who I had given a tip for an audiobook in the morning, came back to me the next day stating:

“Done.
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Gratitude Life Reflection Time Vision

Blue Sky

No matter what, the blue sky is always there.

It’s a great metaphor for seeing through difficult situations and times. 

No matter how heavy the storm, how thick the layer of clouds, or how heavy the precipitation is, the blue sky is always there.

How do I know?

A matter of experience.… Read the rest

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Feedback Leadership Presence Reflection Self awareness

How authentic are you?

Have you ever asked your close family, coworkers, or friends how authentic you are? If so, what did they tell you? If not, why not? Are you an open book or a mystery? Do people really know you and what you stand for?

This is the last Insight of chapter two in my book.… 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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Change Humanity Mindset Reflection

Rubber Tile Paradise

I had a great lunch with a good friend the other week.

What made the lunch great was the conversation, the food, the atmosphere, and the fact I didn’t see him for a while. 

He’s an opinionated person. 

He’s a successful entrepreneur who works for fun. 

That’s how I see him.… Read the rest