“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.

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.

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.

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!

20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions

You make thousands of rational decisions every day — or so you think. From what you’ll eat throughout the day to whether you should make a big career move, research suggests that there are a number of cognitive stumbling blocks that affect your behavior, and they can prevent you from acting in your own best interests. Business Insider had an interesting article on the 20 most common biases that screw up your decisions (thanks for the tip Peter Hinsen)

BI_graphics_20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions

Dealing with opposition

The closer you get to realising your dream, the more you expose yourself to opposition from the universe. You need to know who you are before you know how to handle opposition and who’s on your side.

I’m an Achiever, personality type 3. I love opposition and competition, as long as it helps me achieve my goal. I listen easily to good feedback and adapt if I feel it will make me reach my goal in a more effective way.

However, if if feel that opposition blocks me from reaching my goal, I have to be very aware of what could happen to me (and the opposition too by the way). If I don’t handle it in the right way, I will try to convince the opposition that they are wrong and this is what happens to me:

  • I work even harder until I’m exhausted
  • I detach from people that love me the most

Authenticity, honesty, optimism, ambition and self-confidence stop that negative spiral, but you will need a lot of it. And you will need support.

I’m lucky that my best buddy in life is an 8, because she’s the one who gives me forthrightness in expression, fearlessness, physical vigor, and determination to achieve my personal vision. So whenever something or someone blocks me from reaching my goal, she jumps in.

I’m lucky that my three kids are the best. My two girls and boy share so much wisdom from very different perspectives, that I just have to listen to them to know my priorities again. It’s as easy as that.

I’m lucky that my parents are the best. After 43 years, they start to understand what my goal in life is. They’ve been there, supporting and challenging me, ever since I was a little boy. Talking to them always reassures me that they’ve got my back.

So if I handle it the right way, this is what I say to myself

Now, let’s call my gang to see how they are doing in Belgium and then go for brunch at Petite Abeille in NYC!

On a separate note: if you want to know more about your core values or personality type, ping me. The Hercules Academy has great coaches to help you. I know, because I work with them every day.

Hire and fire…by values

“Values are fluffy, weak, tacky. Success is all about mission, strategy and execution.” At Herculean, we don’t agree with that statement at all. In fact, looking at the past years, we only hired and fired by values, never by skills.

Values define how you expect to regard your customers, community and suppliers, how you want to behave toward each other; and what will have priority, as well as the lines you will and will not cross.

If values of the organisation match the values of the individuals, chances for a successful collaboration increase. We have experienced that if just one of those values doesn’t match, chances for failure increase even more.

Within the Hercules Academy, we even experience that when values do not match well, chances for individual burnout increase. In our burn-out recovery and prevention programs, we often come across these issues. We also help organisations embed their values within the organisation.

Values reflect our assumptions and beliefs. Values serve as a decision-making guide and a source of energy for the organization. Values shape the behavior of the people in an organization. They determine how people treat each other, how they approach their work and how they interact with others.

Recruiting people who already have values that are in alignment with the organization’s core values is important to actualize the mission and vision. You can easily train a person on how to do a job, but it becomes much harder to train a person to have the same values as your organization so pick wisely.

Likewise, when it comes to firing someone usually it is a value-related decision.  “They’re just not the right fit,” you hear often.  What they mean is that the organization has a set of values and beliefs and the person being let go doesn’t align with those values. It doesn’t mean the person of the organisation are “bad” or that the values are “bad”, it just means that the magic wasn’t there given the circumstances and that the relationship isn’t meant to be.

When people look at Herculean they easily associate us with “wow”, “fun”, “great”, “yeah”, “cool”, “wanna be part of this” but 99% of the people forget the hard work, the struggle, the suffering… behind the scenes. It’s not because we run a very cool company, that we don’t face the same challenges as any other company. We try to repeat our mantra, values and believes as much as we can:

  • Our Mantra: Dream – Team – Focus – Network
  • Our believes: WOW – Open Communication – Cheer
  • Our values: find them here

As you can see they are totally different from our mission and our strategy.

So we believe that values are not some mushy, feel-good literature we put around our organizations.  They are the determining factor of who gets on our bus, who needs to get off our bus and where we plan to head once the bus is going full steam ahead.

Need some help on those values? Contact the Hercules Academy.