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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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Communication Conflict Conversations Dialogue Productivity

What would it look like if you did win?

There’s a commercial on Dutch TV about the risk of polarization. It’s short, cute, and full of great intentions.

You witness friends and a father and daughter argue over climate and immigrant issues. A voiceover enters the scene and states:

“What will it look like when you win this argument?”

It was followed by making the point that our world is becoming increasingly polarized and that it’s really up to us to do something about it.… Read the rest

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Behavior Discipline Growth Mindset Productivity

30 minutes

Are you a procrastinator?

Do you have days that go by without accomplishing anything? Days that you just looked at the work you needed to do, but in the end, you didn’t do anything?

You’re not alone.

The Google term ‘what is procrastination’ results in over 43 million hits. Procrastination is something that has always been there and always will be there.
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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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Change Culture Human Resources Impact Strategy

Corporate Considerations

I got some direct feedback recently that I was not always nice and nuanced for the corporate world. A world that has given me a lot in my life.

Both statements are true.

I’m grateful for my corporate time, and I’ve always said, ‘Never say never’ because I miss the team aspect of my work. … 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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Behavior Choices Growth Mindset Values

Upset to Setup

All of us are dealing with upsets in our lives.

Moments when our values, beliefs, norms, or safety are in danger. These can be real threats that might cause any harm or perceived threats that won’t physically harm us. Unfortunately, the amygdala, part of our brain, can not distinguish between real and perceived threats.… Read the rest

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Culture Curiosity Human Resources Performance Productivity

The trucks running through your head

Do you have, get, make time to think?

Or is your head mainly a six-lane highway full of traffic and trucks trying to make their way through day in and day out?

The highway metaphor and the cultural components from the book More Time to Think by Nancy Kline.

Proverbial highways with trucks that create a constant noise always seem distracting, preventing you from focusing. … Read the rest

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Beliefs Culture Execution Purpose Simplicity

Buzzword Bingo

What category do you belong to?

Are you a trendsetter or a follower when it comes to work-related innovation?

Were you one of the first to jump on the agile train, one of the last, or do you still have to start?

And what about building a hybrid workforce culture?

Early adopter, mainstream, or laggard?… 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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Choices Leading Self Life Productivity Purpose

The illusion of busyness

Recently I had to say goodbye to a family member.

Relatively sudden. 

I won’t write about the circumstances, no worries. I’ll just write about a sudden shift in priorities when something like this happens to you.

From one moment to the other, things change dramatically. What mattered yesterday is suddenly not that important anymore. … Read the rest

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Courage Culture Leadership Mindset Qualities

Whose sandbox is it anyway?

Did you play as a kid in a sandbox?

Was it your sandbox, the sandbox of a neighborhood kid, or perhaps a public sandbox?

What do you remember about your sandbox adventures?

Was there ever a territorial fight about the best part of the sandbox? Or perhaps some kid entered your sandbox, and you were not pleased with the uninvited intruder.… Read the rest

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Coaching Growth Helping others Leadership Mindset

Making people around you better

You’re number one responsibility as a leader is to make people around you better.

Much of your time at work should be dedicated to dialogue with people who will benefit and grow from your leadership.

There are companies where this is the case. One of the largest beer brewers in the world swears by the principle that leaders need to help their people develop.… Read the rest

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Choices Courage Dreams Life Purpose

Carpe Diem

Who doesn’t remember John Keating?

The famous English teacher from the movie Dead Poet’s Society, played by the late Robin Williams, and recorded over thirty years ago.

While writing this story, I reminded myself to watch the movie again. It’s a classic.

John Keating is a man of my heart.

He stands on tables to demonstrate to his students that the world looks different when you stand on a table and look from above.… 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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Authenticity Courage Life Purpose Team effectiveness

What’s your story?

We all have a story.

A story that shows who we are, where we come from, what we value, what gives us energy, and what stops us from being ourselves.

A story that we bring with us every day.

In every conversation we have. 

With family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.

Some of us are an open book of hundreds of pages.
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Coaching Human Resources Leadership Performance Vision

How to set people up for success?

Over the past weeks, I’ve had three conversations where my conversation partner mentioned the phrase: 

“We’ve set this person up for failure.”

Hiring manager

Otherwise said, we’ve failed ourselves to set this person up for success.

But that sentence you won’t hear very often. Both sentences imply the same, but only one puts the blame directly on the people responsible for this person’s success.… Read the rest

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Beliefs Belonging Courage Diversity of Thought Thinking

Stop glorifying sameness

Yes, diversity is improving.

Yes, inclusion is improving.

And also, the optics are improving.

What I mean with optics is that when I listen to (predominantly white, middle-aged, male) managers, it still sounds to me that they’re becoming more diverse and inclusive because they have to.

Because they’re forced by government regulations, public opinion, by younger generations, by the times that are changing.… 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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Beliefs Courage Mindset Purpose Vision

Can you cause an earthquake?

If you have been driving through the Netherlands recently, you had time to look around you.

For sure.

Perhaps you’ve never driven through the Netherlands, but the story still matters to you.

For a few years now, you can’t drive faster than 100 kilometers per hour on Dutch highways.

Try to do this yourself.
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