I mean, what’s the point?

Hercules Trophy Dubai experienced the perfect restart last Friday. 300 people in the desert, reconnecting with their colleagues. It took a lot of hard work to convince the first companies again. The positive reactions were overwhelming and that’s what keeps me going. The team felt alive and tanked a lot of good energy. I’m convinced that Hercules Trophy will grow again in the region in the years to come. The great resignation, the new way of working, the war on talent, web3.0… will force all leaders to focus more on employee engagement. Because engaged employees drive customer delight. Herculean Alliance MEA has the experts, the solutions, the references and the technology.

Next on our radar for our team in the UAE: starting the Employee Engagement Awards Dubai, the Pink Ladies Games and running employee engagement programs and private events based on the Hercules Trophy format. Because it works.

In the meanwhile I’m redefining my direction. Thinking about “what’s the point”? As announced in my great resignation blog, I would keep you posted about my personal progress with all ups and downs. Maybe it can help some of you too.

Scoring high on the stress index

A lot has changed for me in only one year’s time.

  • I was frustrated about the mass hysteria.
  • We sold the home we loved so much in Belgium.
  • We silently moved to Dubai a few days before Christmas, with a bag full of dreams.
  • We reignited 2 demotivated kids here and one in Belgium.
  • I didn’t connect enough with my wife, my parents and the rest of my family.
  • I rebooted the business in Dubai and Belgium under harsh circumstances with a completely new team. Once again I felt that patience is not my middle name.
  • I rebooted my body with healthy food, mind, stretching and sports.
  • I ended my operational role in Herculean Alliance on Jan 1st, working on the next phase.
  • I am mentally preparing to turn 50 this year.

Every challenge felt like a thousand small obstacles to conquer. You won’t hear me complaining, but any psychologist will tell you it’s way too many changes that each score high on the stress index. So if you combine them in one year, a lot of people would jump from the nearest skyscraper. I nearly did. 😵‍💫

Thrive under pressure

The current global circumstances made me reflect more than usual on who I am and who I’m not. I see people crash, and I see people thrive. I tend to focus more under stress, shutting down emotions, going on willpower, drinking coffee, reaching goals, inspiring people to do the same, working harder, no matter what. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it works for me as long as I have enough sleep.

  • What’s my superpower: having a dream, taking immediate action, gathering amazing people who complement me around the idea, and persevering to make it happen, against all odds and with a lot of obstacles.
  • What consumes my energy: my thinking brain and my willpower need gallons of fuel.
  • What gives me energy: social contacts with many different souls – including my family – through sports, social events and parties. I surround myself with people who make me laugh and I can’t stop being curious about what drives them.
  • What drains me: I can be surrounded by many people, but still feel lonely, frustrated and misunderstood. Especially when things go “slowly” or other people don’t “see it” yet. Ridiculous, I know, but it is what it is. I’ve learned to use it as fuel, and it can become negative when I didn’t get enough sleep or movement. It’s my biggest pitfall which can push me in a dark spiral where I can ponder about the whole point of being alive. When I’m in that place, I don’t want to bother people with my thoughts, but I always think about what my wife once told me: “On n’a que soi.“(Fernand Khnopff) The interview with Stromae also helps.

Leaving a legacy, that’s the point!

When I do my daily meditations, I often visualise my own funeral. It should be my last Herculean performance. The full run down is not ready yet, but here are a few snippets, in case I don’t make it in the next days.💀

Stabat Mater plays. My wife and kids are there. Kris, my brother from another mother, and his family too. I also visualise my parents have outlived me. They are strong and proud. The whole family in law is there. Our core team is sitting in the front rows. Everybody is dressed in white. They look beautiful. It’s packed with people from all over the world. People I’ve touched through the years and vice versa. By working with them or for them. Our ecosystem of colleagues, crew, fans of Hercules Trophy, Pink Ladies, customers, experts, nextgens, interns, suppliers, sponsors, investors…

Carlito and Tom start Viva la Vida and everyone raises a glass of champagne. Everyone smiles.

I see a lot of people giving a great speech. They laugh at my mistakes. They remember all the heroic moments we experienced together. My life was pretty intense, so most of those moments were near death experiences, but somehow we always managed to survive and jump higher. Because we worked with an ecosystem of amazing people.

My favorite music plays before and after every speech. Sometimes Carlito pumps up the atmosphere with Le Lac, I love it(Icona), the crew song, Carmina, Gigi, a Viking Clap, Links Rechts…

The church is filled with white balloons and roses. Sound, light, projection, smell, food, organisation are perfect. Our camera team captures my last moments on this planet and interviews people for the final after-movie. Imagine I would have had such a video from the grandfather I never met!

So no, the point is not about how much money I have on my bank account…it’s about leaving a legacy, a bit of my energy, in many people. e=mc2

What’s next for me?

Maybe this post sounds unusually dark compared to other posts, but it isn’t. You can only be happy if your learn to be unhappy. Out of frustration comes a new story. A rebirth. I promised myself I would think and listen for 3 months. One thing is certain: I will stay in the Board of the Alliance as I think I can add some value when it comes to business development, technology and vision. However, I want to give Inge and the leadership team all the space they need.

The attentive reader knows that I’m very interested in Web3.0, DAO’s, Blockchain, DeFi, Smart Contracts, NFT’s and their impact on society and in particular the new way of working…so who knows? Your vibe attracts your tribe.

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