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Asking Questions Mindset Presence Purpose Reflection

Smelling the roses

I went out of my car to smell the roses.

The sight of those roses and the smell I know I would experience soon were just too tempting to pass by.

I don’t remember the exact date and time, but I do remember I was in a hurry going somewhere when I got struck by this beautiful sight and decided to stop.… Read the rest

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Culture Execution Freedom Productivity Self awareness

Good busy

Last week I asked a business partner how he was doing. 

His answer was, ‘I’m good busy.’

I asked him what that meant.

He explained that he was almost always busy, ranging from extremely busy to good busy.

Good busy meant that work was not crazy but did not allow much thinking or reflection time.… Read the rest

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Learning Presence Purpose Reflection Self awareness

Are you a myth?

What do you want to be known for?

That’s how I ended my previous post, which addressed the legacy of the late Queen of England.

I argued that it’s worthwhile to think through how you come across it.

The Queen was known for never elaborating on the conversations she was having with all sorts of influential people around the world.… Read the rest

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Belonging Impact Kindness Purpose Vision

Walk of Life

The Queen of England has died.

I wrote this piece the morning after her death was announced.

Seventy years she devoted her life to serving her country.

Suddenly I’m reminded of a song by Dire Straits called ‘Walk of Life.’

The tune enters my head. 

“Dedication. Devotion.”

A ninety-six years’ Walk of Life’ of which seventy years were dedicated and devoted to being the Queen of England.… Read the rest

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Culture Freedom Human Resources Leadership Vision

One size fits all; part II

For visionary leaders, one size fits all is over.

These leaders understand that people are different, with different needs, different contexts, and different aspirations for the future.

You can’t lead these people as if they’re all the same.

Erikjan Lantink

Last Tuesday, I wrote to you about my regret for not pursuing opportunities to exploit this model.… Read the rest

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Culture Freedom Human Resources Leadership

One size fits all; part I

My biggest regret is something I did not do nearly fifteen years ago.

I was working in food retail and was part of a group of talents asked to define the organization’s future work strategy.

We did brilliant work.

I had that feeling then, but now fifteen years later, I’m sure.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Authenticity Diversity of Thought Self awareness

“You can’t handle the truth.”

Remember this legendary line from the movie a Few Good Men?

Jack Nicholson’s character is questioned by a young and inexperienced lawyer (Tom Cruise) trying to uncover unethical practices within the US Marine Corps.

The truth is that besides the regular code of conduct, an alternative set of rules exists to facilitate hierarchy to execute ‘what’s needed to protect the country.’… Read the rest

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Belonging Execution Performance Purpose

Everyone is an alien somewhere

Everyone is an alien somewhere.

And sometimes those aliens come together in a football stadium to be entertained for two + hours by a rock band.

That happened to my wife and me a few weeks ago in Frankfurt, Germany. A Santa gift that still needed to be redeemed.

The band is Coldplay, and the tour name is “Music of the Spheres.”… Read the rest

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Discipline Dreams Experimentation Purpose Writing

200+ thought-provoking stories and counting.

Eight powerful lessons.

Over the past two years, I have written 200+ stories. 

I email my subscribers twice a week my stories on Tuesday and Friday. I post them on the same day on Medium, and when time is on my side, I add them to my website.

Here’s what  I learned along the way.… Read the rest

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Conversations Helping others Human Resources Team effectiveness Values

Team Help

I wonder what percentage of companies have some version of teamwork in their values.

All the companies I was employed by had some form of teamwork in their values. 

Teamwork, like integrity, is the value almost every company posts on its walls.

That last part of the sentence was intentional — ‘the posting on the walls’ part.… Read the rest

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Care Execution Freedom Mindset Team effectiveness

Travel is not a team sport

“But we’re fourteen!”

That was the argument from a traveler last Friday morning at 5.18 am when I was in a massive security line at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The lady was talking to a security assistant and making her case that she was about to miss her flight with her group if she would not be allowed to get to the front of the line.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Culture Execution Kindness Values

Spirit to Serve

Some people have it by nature; others get it by training. Some never do.

Some people have a serving mentality just by being who they are.

Erikjan Lantink

This story is about them and to honor them.

Concretely, it is about two people working in the bar of the hotel I’m staying in while working in Ljubljana, Slovenia.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Communication Conversations Culture Leadership

The Heart of your Business

Last week I conducted my training called “Growing Leaders and Culture.”

Its principles are based on effective dialogue.

Why?

Because dialogue is what makes people grow and deliver on their dreams.

You’ve done half the work if you understand that running a successful business is an accumulation of constructive, forward-looking, and growth-focused dialogues.… Read the rest

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Change Discipline Growth Mindset Performance

You’re not a tree

“If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree.”

Jim Rohn

I took a liking recently to the quotes from Jim Rohn. At the risk of offending someone, I had never heard of Jim until a few months ago.

Thanks to the algorithm of Instagram, one of his quotes showed up, which was enough reason to do a little more research.… Read the rest

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Choices Disruption Execution Mindset Reflection

Sense of urgency

When are you typically confronted with the term “sense of urgency”?

Most likely, when you, or the person or team you’re in conversation with, do not demonstrate a sense of urgency.

I’ve heard the term many times in my life.

In non-urgent situations, when I was confronted that my conversation partner(s) thought that I was not showing a sense of urgency.… Read the rest

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Disruption Dreams Execution Purpose Vision

Obsessed

What’s your first thought when you read the word obsessed?

It’s probably negative, right?

Usually, not many good things come from obsessive behavior.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with collecting Panini football cards. I did everything possible to get my book completed.

Including the chores I most resented, only to get a little bit of cash to buy cards and complete my album.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Growth Leadership Purpose Self awareness

Three surprising questions to figure out what you want

What pisses you off?

I’ll make sure to clarify first at the start of this insight. I’m just asking this question about the work you do.

I’m not asking you about things in your personal life that piss you off. So if your spouse never cleans out the dishwasher, sorry for you, but that’s not the stuff I’m interested in.… Read the rest

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Choices Discipline Execution Simplicity

Business is simple. That’s why we love to make it complex

“Challenge the status quo with innovative and beautiful designed products.”

Apple

Which company do I refer to here?

Big chance you have one of their products, be it a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop, and use one of their services.

I’m not planning to have a love fest about Apple here and its products or services.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Conversations Feedback Productivity Team effectiveness

Seven do-or-die questions to run a great meeting

I thought I would never write this insight.

Frankly, I still can’t believe that I do. 

If there’s one thing I would expect that any team leader knows how to do well, it’s to run a meeting.

But unfortunately, running an effective meeting is in the top two underdeveloped skills for leaders.
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Leadership Qualities Team effectiveness Vision

Qualities of Visionaries

Recently I spent a few hours in one room with a highly visionary entrepreneur.

Frequently, I seek the company of visionary leaders because they’re a breath of fresh air in a world where target-driven managers dominate.

A visionary’s biggest asset is the belief that the world can be manufactured. Visionaries often see a new reality right before them like it’s already there.
Read the rest