“When they go low, we go high”

My Third lady (Inge Van Belle is my First and my mum Second :-)) gave an epic speech about values and beliefs. I couldn’t agree more and thought it was more than appropriate to store it as “one of those moments”.

The more perceived “success” you have, the more people will “go low” on you. Don’t fall into the trap and just ignore the hateful. Go high instead! Stay true to your values and beliefs. Lead your Herculean life, don’t sit back, make a difference and never ever quit.

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2016: Freedom it is!

Every year, we discuss our NY resolutions and pick a word that describes the whole theme.

2015 was all about “ambition”. Looking back at our initial plan and the experiences we had, the word was spot on. The song that influenced us the most was The Nights from Avicii.

For 2016, Inge came up with “Freedom” as it sums up all of our plans. I wanted to share Pharrell’s performance on the roof of the Tonight Show because that describes very accurately. However, it was nowhere to be found. The official version will do just fine. Have a Herculean one and let your firstname be Free lastname be Dom!

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If Belgium is a failed stated, the US would be Afghanistan

The former American Ambassador to Belgium made my weekend with a great interview. “The biggest risk in Belgium is cholesterol” and “It’s failed journalism, not failed state.” Hilarious that he was talking to a typical example of negative journalism. In the same weekend we lost the finals of the Davis Cup which would be celebrated in any other country. In this country the reporter said: “Tomorrow we will wake up with a bad hangover”. Seriously???

29/11/15 – Speaking in the VRT’s Sunday’s TV show “De Zevende Dag”, the former American ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, discussed the issue about whether or not Belgium could be called “a failed state” as some foreign media are doing. “Belgium is the 14th safest country in the world. If it would be a failed state, then the U.S. would be Afghanistan”, Gutman said. Still, it seems Belgium’s image abroad has been seriously dented in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks: “The only failure Belgium has had, is that it let others control the message.” (interview Tim Pauwels)

http://deredactie.be/static/embed/?permalink=1.2509777

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Successful vs Unsuccessful people

Many people or even other companies believe that they will become successful by hitching their wagon to a successful company. That’s the worst nightmare of any company as I believe nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe that success highly depends on yourself and that successful companies are created by successful people who create a culture for success together, based on believes and common values. So in fact, it’s the other way around. You need successful people to create amazing customer experiences and build successful companies.

Just like any other company, we constantly struggle with “how to know if somebody’s going to be successful?”. In fact, as we have cool products, it’s even more difficult because people really believe Herculean’s success is “easy” to achieve. They don’t grasp how much hard work and suffering is required to be part of our team.

Nobody wants to hire people who will run into a brick wall eventually. It’s a waste of energy and if you hire too many unsuccessful people, it can even jeopardise a successful company. Believe me, I had my share too over the past 20 years.

So, can you know? We now use techniques like personality types and core talents and interviews with our core team and coaches to reduce the risk, but even then you can’t be 100% sure of a person because a lot depends on the person himself every single day. Unsuccessful people are pretty good in covering up for their bad habits. However, successful people have a great radar to discover the frauds out there (they just have to trust their radar, but that’s another topic). So my believe is:

  • test enough before you start
  • build in a trial and make it clear it’s a trial with clear personal objectives
  • follow them closely, get them out of their comfort zone to see how they react, go through a crisis together and nurture open communication
  • hire them when you are 200% sure they are successful people
  • if you see during the process they are unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to say goodbye or even better: let them make their own conclusion (increasing pressure usually does the trick). You are doing yourself and them a big favor. For sure, they will complain, hold grudges and speak bad about you, but the longer you wait the more they actually will. Don’t worry about the grudges and gossip. Just worry if successful people do that.
Can unsuccessful people be coached into success? Probably, but as Georges Anthoon would say:
I recently saw a post from my dear friend Bev Mileham, which is a pretty good comparison to help you discover who is successful and who isn’t:

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So, are you successful? Have a Herculean day!

 

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Speed as a habit

People who work with me on a daily basis know one of my firm believes: “the need for speed“. I can become quite “passionate” when things don’t go faster than I expected or when people don’t understand they can do things a lot faster than they think. Every day I make it my mission to speed up the way things go in my daily tasks, but also within our team.

I know…it can feel like a lot of pressure, but if I don’t give you pressure, I probably don’t believe you can grow any further, so stop complaining and deal with it. You would be surprised about the speed you can reach.

Here’s a very nice article that illustrates why speed is a great weapon in business.

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Make Yourself Immune to Secondhand Stress

Great article by Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan in HBR.org on how to deal with secondhand stress. Observing someone who is stressed — especially a coworker or family member — can have an immediate effect upon our own nervous systems. Here are some remedies to improve your emotional immune system:

  • Change your response
  • Create positive antibodies
  • Build natural immunity
  • Inoculate yourself
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Meditation doesn’t only reduce stress, it also literally changes your brain

Nice post from our Hercules Academy guru

HERCULEAN, that's how I feel today

meditation

Scientists gradually begin to understand the wholesomeness of meditation: more compassion, better quality of life and reduced levels of stress, depression, anxiety, pain or insomnia. The American neuroscientist Sara Lazar spent the past years doing elaborate research on the effect. The most striking finding was that the brain actually changes after 8 weeks of meditating, as new grey matter arises.

The Washington Post had a fascinating interview with Dr. Lazar.

Dr. Lazar came to the conclusion that meditating can literally change your brain. Long-term meditators have an increased amount of grey matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex compared to a control group.

Empathy and compassion

It’s well-documented that our cortex shrinks as we get older – it’s harder to figure things out and remember things. But in this one region of the prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter as…

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