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!

 

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.

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

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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If you really want to change the world

This one’s on my wishlist. Did anyone read the book already?

Silicon Valley’s latest trend for creating new ventures is based on trial and error: test market needs with new product concepts and a minimum amount of capital, expect that the product may not meet the market need, so fail fast and try another product with the hope that a product-market fit will eventually emerge.

But this fail fast, step-and-pivot philosophy is like taking a random walk in the forest without a compass. “If You Really Want to Change the World” is about helping entrepreneurs find true north.

Henry Kressel and Norman Winarsky–technologists, inventors, and investors with stellar track records–provide a guide for those who wish to create a market-leading company that will have a real impact: a disciplined and staged approach they have used to launch, invest in, and develop scores of highly successful companies. “If You Really Want to Change the World” leads entrepreneurs through the critical stages of venture development, from concept to acquisition or public offering to maintaining a rich culture of innovation in the company. It is a guide by innovators for innovators, with approaches that are practical and timeless. Drawing on the authors’ experiences as well as those of their partners from around the world, Kressel and Winarsky share the stories of their triumphs and misses, demonstrate their method in action, and inspire their readers in the process. There are more opportunities now than ever before to build breakthrough companies that touch millions of lives. If this is your goal, let this book be your guide to creating world-changing ventures.

Why The Annual Performance Review Is Going Extinct

Employees don’t need annual performance reviews to know how they stack up against their peers says Kris Duggan on FC.com. I couldn’t agree more. At Herculean, we believe in three simple things when it comes to building breakthrough teams. They are based on The Orange Revolution:

  • WOW: go for worldclass
  • Open Communication: no surprise
  • Cheer each other to victory

When you practice open communication, everybody knows at all time how they are performing. They not only know it from their boss, but from all their peers. Read the complete article here.

Shifting from Star Performer to Star Manager

“You’ve always been a high achiever—top of your class, captain of your sports teams, star performer at work. Now, you’re going to be managing a team of high-performers in a division of your company that everyone’s buzzing about. You’re confident that you can navigate this new challenge with characteristic success.”

You’re pumped. You set clear goals for yourself and targets for the division. You’re well aware that you’ll need to rely on your emotional intelligence skills to understand and work through your new team’s dynamics. You’re focused on achieving your goals and getting results… but before long, you’ve got problems. Your team doesn’t seem to be on board with your plan and they’re not delivering. Worse, they seem to be shutting you out. In desperation, you go to a few trusted mentors who tell you:

“You’ve inherited the cream of the crop. I’m not sure they even really need a manager, they’re that good and that motivated.”

“These are our stars. You noticed, I’m sure, that you’re the third new manager appointed in the past two years?”

It turns out it’s not so easy to manage ultra-smart high achievers — especially when you’re one of them.

Awesome read on HBR.com.

Debut in Abu Dhabi

Another milestone achieved: “The most popular Corporate Games event, the Daman Hercules Trophy will now debut in Abu Dhabi at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on 13 February 2016. After a number of successful events in Dubai, the organisers of the event will be launching in Abu Dhabi and this edition promises to be full of exciting, fun and unusual challenges for corporates across Abu Dhabi. The organisers are expecting more than 100 teams to participate at the launch of the Abu Dhabi edition.”

Check out the full press release here

On November 11th 2015, we even organise the first Hercules Projects in the Middle East for 700 employees of one company in Abu Dhabi!

#keepgrowing

Wanna be in my team?

People in my team know what our mantra is to achieve our BHAG: Dream – Team – Focus – Network.

To build a breakthrough TEAM, I keep nagging about three keywords: WOW, Open Communication and Cheer. Three powerful words from The Orange Revolution that I find extremely difficult to implement. Average teams fail in at least one of these areas because:

  • They don’t go for worldclass
  • They talk behind each other’s back
  • They focus on the weak points of the teammembers and don’t cheer each other to victory when a mistake was made. They don’t see a mistake as a learning-opportunity but as a way to “punish” people.

These three words describe the difference between a group of individuals, a team and a breakthrough team.

I constantly look for means to explain to the team and to newbies what these three words actually mean to me. Here’s a great video from Robin Sharma about WOW.

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

Nice post on Harvard Business Review linked with The Happiness Advantage (people who start off happy are more likely to succeed; people who start off unhappy are more likely to fail). Reminder to self: ask Santa Claus to deliver me that book.

Bottom line on how to turn a bad day around:

Do:

    • Think of three things that you’re grateful for
    • Consider what you’ve already accomplished even if it’s minor
    • Reflect on what triggers your bad days and which tactics help to turn them around

Don’t:

    • Believe that you are a victim of your circumstances—you choose whether to be negative or positive
    • Hunker down at your desk—change scenery and take a few deep breaths
    • Set unrealistic expectations for your day

Have a Herculean weekend!