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Choices Courage Dreams Purpose Self awareness

How do you know if you’re winning?

I love winning, and I hate losing.

Big words. Love and hate.

As usual, it triggers a memory. 

In this case of a great song by Michael Kiwanuka that I listen to frequently.

Worth taking a short break and listening to the song.

Great voice.

“You can’t take me down.”

Michael Kiwanuka

Winning, to me, is related to sports and only sports. … 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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Growth Leading Self Mindset Self awareness Vision

You can be more

Start by leaving your past behind you

Recently I shared an insight about my love for writing and how it helps me to grow myself and others.

I’m 54 years old and still with a life ahead of me. Growing is part of me every single day. A day without learning is a day not lived.… Read the rest

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Disruption Mindset Qualities Self awareness Vision

From failure to genius in 90 minutes

Some years ago, Microsoft claimed that the attention span of a human being had evolved so dramatically that it was now shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.

Eight seconds for us human beings.

Nine seconds for the average goldfish.

I added the average word.

Why average?

Because I can’t imagine that every single goldfish is the same.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Leadership Social Media Values

Sanna in Suomi

By the time you read this story, the topic of my story is probably old news. 

For most of the news outlets, that is. I hope.

For us rational human beings, it should never be old news. And we should continue to ‘fight’ our blind spots forever.

I write my stories approximately a week ahead.… 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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Change Culture Transformation Values

Culture Transformation? Yeah right!

Most leaders have no clue about culture.

No clue. Nada. Nic (Czech). Nothing.

Oh yes, they talk about culture. They convey a belief that they actually don’t understand, but they don’t.

In fact,

Those leaders that talk most about culture probably understand the least.

It’s all talking but no action.

The leaders I know who are good at culture transformation do quietly what needs to get done.… Read the rest

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Choices Courage Leadership Vision

No! Simple.

I’ve said ‘Yes’ way too many times in my life.

For the record, I’m not talking here about getting married multiple times.

I mean saying Yes to projects, jobs, activities, fun suggestions, and things others thought I should be doing.

Initiatives that sounded good, were proposed by well-intended people and would undoubtedly create some good experiences and learning.… 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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Authenticity Coaching Marketing Mindset Social Media

Na-apen (copycatting)

“You’re not going to like me now.”

What was considered normal twenty years ago is unacceptable these days.

I grew up knowing that my country, the Netherlands, had a colonial history, but we were taught in school more or less matter of fact. It was a part of our history, and we didn’t consider the implications deeply.… 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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Choices Differentiation Disruption Mindset Strategy

It’s your job

Question.

Have you ever been disrupted to the extent that you were not sure your business (or any other example) would survive?

Your life was good until the moment this competitor suddenly appeared with significantly more money than you have to lure your people away, offer a different product, and shake you to your core.… 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