Giving thanks

Moving to Dubai with the family and selling our home in Belgium during probably the most significant crisis I experienced in my life, was impactful. Not only in my life but in other people’s lives as well.

It’s time to look back, thank people, and begin the next phase of my journey.

People sometimes ask me: ”How do you do it?”, and I always say it’s by connecting with various people, listening and learning from one another. If you have a strong sense of purpose, you will attract the right people onto your path. They will help you. It’s all about energy and resonance.

Moreover, at dawn and dusk, I thank those special people during my meditations. Count your blessings. These meditations supply the peace and strength to keep accelerating, even when my journey has many obstacles. Some people stay for a while, others leave, and some willingly come back.

Of course, it’s impossible to praise everyone, but here’s a special “thank you note” for those who brought me particular blessings this year.

Inge, obviously, for being my muse and business partner in Herculean Alliance. We didn’t see each other a lot this year, had a different approach on the situation, but we never gave up and always came back together! Thank you for writing your phenomenal book with Klaus, translating it to English and Arabic, and reminding me that quality of service and customer-centricity are vital.

My three children, Julietta, Amaury, and Maximme, for being the young adults who dared to jump into the unexplored. It was a true delight to see how fast you grew into the best version of yourselves. I hope you will always remember you are the captain of your soul.

Kris, for being like a brother to me and bringing Misha and your kids into my life. Glad to help you become who you are: a smart investor.

My parents, although you certainly didn’t like our decision, for letting go and understanding.

Sigrid, for being the sister I never had.

My parents-in-law, for teaching me a bit of French philosophy.

Ronald, for being my mentor. Once again.

Koen, for coming back and for being limitless during our weekly chats. I can’t wait to see you here to be inspired by Expo!

Marc, for being a smart and trusted friend.

Klaus, for smiling so often and for writing “Employee Engagement, what else?” with Inge.

Bram, for presumably being the first-ever Herculean who’s able to take over the Hercules Trophy from me. In the worst possible year for us, but also for you. Respect! Let’s confirm in 2022.

Laura, Frederik, and Paulien, for allowing me to bring the best out of you this year. I believe you will develop your full Herculean potential.

Denis, for showing me that some event professionals, like yourself, understand the power of employee engagement. Every event, every gathering should become a moment that matters. Especially today.

Sverre, for daring to come to Dubai. And for keeping me nerdy enough with the much-needed help of Werner.

Maha, for putting us back on the map here in the Middle East. I’m convinced that we can build a legacy together, with Dubai in the centre of it.

Kristina, Aysha, Victoria, and Noura, for your unconditional positive energy and support to start the Employee Engagement Awards in Dubai. We’re not there yet, but I’m sure all our efforts will form a firm basis for growth.

Thank you Herculean crew in Belgium. You showed up to support us in the most difficult circumstances ever. Together we united over 5000 people in +20 events in only one month time.

Awatif, for your trust in us. We will never forget it.

Inge T, for gently walking into our Belgian team, creating a team of experts. From the first moment we met, we’ve always known.

Jef, Anna, Hella and the inventors of the virus in Wuhan, for helping me understand my body a lot better. As a result, my flexibility, restoration, immunity, and my ea ting habits, have improved. Body and mind are more in balance. I’m ready to restart my passion for squash without anger or fear.

Johan, dude, I love you too- let’s do something together. What are we waiting for, right?

Olaf, for being the first academic who succeeded in baffling me on a regular basis.

Christophe, for adding the data science layer to our offering.

Conny, Pia, Veerle, Nathalie, Bob, Geert, Sofie, Katrien, Luka, Marie, Jeroen, Wendy, Catherine, and so many other passionate people, for your support in the employee engagement awards in Belgium.

Owen, for reminding me that we have the Herculean power to bring out the best in people.

Dado, for your book on Metasystems. I’m building one myself to solve a wicked problem.

Jo, for your book “The Earth is Round”. I’m trying to live like it.

Another Jo, for starting the Engaged Digital Workplace with us.

Katleen and Geoff, for doing the same as we did. The best is yet to come.

Michel, for giving me the book “Beyonders”. It became one of my bibles.

Olivier, Ines, and Pilar, for helping me understand impact investing and funds.

Jurgen, for uniting Think Pink with Pink Ladies Games. Time to roll out all over Europe!

René, my secret guru. Thank you for your guidance.

Decision-makers in over 200 companies, for uniting with us and for believing in the power of employee engagement to boost customer excellence. Thank you for all your kind messages during the busiest months ever. It means a lot to feel your support.

Strangers who turned into friends on social media like Steven, Dirk, Hilde, Luc, Greet, Raf, and others who supported “Tegenwind”. Bless you, for bringing balance, curiosity and antithesis. And also Rik, for making me laugh non-stop. And also the more than 50K people who walked in peace for our freedom through the streets of Brussels.

Moreover, praise all the Belgian government leaders, experts, and journalists for providing daily examples of how poor leadership affects engagement (spoiler: it kills it, and it will take ages to recover with new leaders and hopefully new systems).

Neom, for inspiring me. The Middle East and the region around the Indian Ocean is becoming the centre of the world. Inshallah.

My buddies from the Belgian pétanque association in Dubai, for making me laugh out loud with your witty humour.

Alain Coumont, for one of the most inspirational dinners ever. You can count on me for not making the same errors you made. I hope I can motivate and warn other pioneers in the similar way you did.

Last but not least, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for creating a true purpose, for bringing talented people together from all over the world, for building a legacy in only 50 years time. You are my biggest inspiration, and I hope we can share a ginger tea one day.

So what’s next in my “great regeneration”?

As many of you know, I’m a fan of Theory U. In the next month, I will “let go” to start “letting come” the day after I turn 49. Then, in 2022, I’m ready to resonate with even more high-frequency people.

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