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.

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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.

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.