Glen De Boeck becomes managing director of Herculean cvba

If you didn’t hear about our major announcement, you must be living on another planet 🙂  On January 13th, an important milestone was  achieved: Glen De Boeck becomes Managing Director of the Herculean coop. We were all over the news and reactions from the business and from the sport world were overwhelmingly positive.

HP_Website_intro_Glen_2

Time to start giving some business background!

4.5 years ago, Inge and me had a crazy dream to take Hercules Trophy global. We quit our corporate jobs and we worked hard, very hard to conquer a lot more than 12 Herculean obstacles. We focused on creating “a solid basis for growth” the first 3 years and then started “expanding the management team” in the next 2 years. Glen is a massive step in that process.

The journey was amazing, we met brilliant people all over the world, we aged at the speed of light, got to know each other extremely well, started building a break-through team, opened offices in Dubai and New York, shared a lot of tears and laughter, learned and innovated constantly, welcomed investors on board of the cooperative holding, started Hercules Academy and Hercules Projects, installed a board of advice etc

For Inge and me it was a very emotional day, as you can imagine. Compare it with that feeling when you bring your child to his first day at school. You know you are doing the right thing and you realise it’s now up to a lot of other people to make your baby grow.

Why this move? 

  • Because we needed a real “team professional” to run the day-to-day business while Inge and me:
    • Focus on growth outside Belgium (Middle East, Europe and USA)
    • Focus on growing the cooperative holding structure with the right corporate governance and the right investors. 
    • Guard the Herculean values, concept and platform and drive innovation
    • Inspire and help the management team to grow the business in our homemarket even further (we’ll probably grow with double digits again this year) 
  • Because Inge and me strongly believe in Glen as a leader and teamplayer with Herculean values. Everything he learned during his professional soccer career as a player, as a captain and as a coach is valuable for Herculean and we believe that Herculean can bring Glen what he’s looking for: an international challenge in a positive atmosphere.

We can’t wait to see our baby grow in the next 5 years! May the force be with Glen and the management team!

For the Belgians amongst us, here are some of the links that mention him:

http://belgs.be/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal-de-morgen/
http://www.demorgen.be/sport/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal-a2179270/
http://www.dhnet.be/dernieres-depeches/belga/glen-de-boeck-quitte-le-monde-du-football-et-se-lance-dans-les-affaires-54b3f667357050c2acd90833
http://www.hln.be/hln/nl/1285/Jupiler-Pro-League/article/detail/2179270/2015/01/12/Glen-De-Boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal.dhtml
http://kvmechelenrss.be/2015/01/12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op/
http://www.lalibre.be/sports/football/glen-de-boeck-du-football-aux-affaires-54b3f89d35709f0c39bf0f52
http://www.lavenir.net/sports/cnt/dmf20150112_00585183
http://www.mijnsportpagina.be/news/show/glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-de-voetbalwereld
http://www.nieuws.be/nieuws/Glen_De_Boeck_stapt_uit_de_voetbalwereld_e23992ab.aspx
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20150112_01469688
http://www.rscanieuws.be/2015/01/12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op/
http://www.rtbf.be/sport/football/belgique/jupilerproleague/detail_glen-de-boeck-quitte-le-monde-du-football-et-se-lance-dans-les-affaires?id=8761167
http://www.sport.be/nl/jupilerproleague/nieuws/article.html?Article_ID=715996
http://m.standaard.be/cnt/DMF20150112_01469688
http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/voetbal/Jupiler_Pro_League/1.2206808
http://www.voetbalkrant.com/nl/nieuws/lees/2015-01-12/glen-de-boeck-geeft-het-voetbal-op
http://www.voetbalnieuws.be/news/161499/De_Boeck_komt_met_zeer_verrassende_boodschap
http://www.walfoot.be/fra/news/lis/2015-01-12/glen-de-boeck-nentrainera-plus
http://www.zita.be/nieuws/kranten/3657063_glen-de-boeck-stapt-uit-het-voetbal.html

Maybe you’re just making excuses

“Focus, Most Important”, wisdom from mister Miyagi. “Your Focus Needs More Focus”, wisdom from mister Han. Thank you Karate Kid!

Focus is one of the 4 things in our mantra that I had to coach the most in all the business I worked. I believe it’s one of the most difficult things to learn because it’s about getting motivation from pain and people tend to avoid that. People like to do things that don’t hurt them. It’s about saying no to the things that take your focus away. It’s about spotting the excuses.

I believe a big dream helps, but it’s much more than that. Surrounding yourself with a great team that aims for world class performance and being supported by a network that wants you to achieve that dream is crucial. Looking at how top athletes did it always helps. Here’s a good one from Michael Jordan.

Me and my hero

You know Nelson Mandela is my number one hero, but Count Jacques Rogge, the eight President of the IOC, is definitely in the top 5. Yesterday I had the chance to meet him briefly in person. He spoke on a Congress about Sport and Diplomacy. Did you know he’s going to be the President of the Honorary Committee of Special Olympics 2014? So proud I will actually get a chance to work with him on the “Games of the Heart”!

Sorry for the bad quality picture. My Samsung Galaxy needs urgent replacement…

Are we cute or what?

We just released the official after movie of Hercules Trophy 2012 in Belgium. Great to see all these happy faces. Soon we will launch the 2013 editions. I promise you: we’ll set the new Olympic record in our industry. You’ll be surprised!

Sports for all: it really works!

A few weeks ago we marked another lifetime event in our young Herculean lives: the inaugural Hercules Trophy in New York was a big hit! Another proof that sports for all really works! We are now in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the US in only 2 years time.

305002_423650324358204_978859210_n[2]Fans from all over the world sent us very sweet personal messages saying they were amazed we pulled this off in only a few months time in one of the most difficult markets in the world. Even my mum was proud for a second Smile

Did we work hard? Oh yes! Is it hard to organize a good Hercules Trophy? Yeps, extremely. Did we have serious setbacks? Daily! Were we challenged by the Gods? O yeah baby. Do we have an awesome team? Yes we have (and Koen Blanquart: you are a rockstar!). Did we have amazing fans believing in us? Yes we did!

I’m always happy to be in the USA for a week. Especially in New York. So much energy, such an entrepreneurial spirit, such hard working people, so extremely hard to reach them, but once you get a chance to talk to them: they open their hearts and love to help you with your dream and make it their dream! In a few months time we made some “new best friends for ever”.

New York is one of those markets where business leaders understand why team sport is such a brilliant metaphor for everything that happens on the corporate work floor. That sport unites people. That sport doesn’t care about who you are. That you can do a lot of good through sports. That it’s a great networking opportunity. That you should bring supporters and kids to join you in all the fun. That it’s an investment and not a cost. In Dubai and Johannesburg we get the same messages. Wonder what the British did to get that message across. That’s probably one of the reasons why London was Olympic host for 3 times already.

A lot of of European business leaders still struggle with these statements, although we host more than 500 Hercules teams a year. In Europe, most people discovered corporate sports for individuals, but corporate teamsport is not generally accepted yet. Some still think that running the Ekiden with a few people or climbing the Mont Ventoux with colleagues is a team thing. No guys, these are corporate sporting events but they are not about teamwork, they are about individual achievements. Once you’ve participated in one of the Hercules Trophies, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Wonder if we will take a break now? Who needs sleep when you are having fun? We are in full preparation mode for 2013. Our US Managing Director is here with us to discuss the future, this week we are in Dubai for the launch, Inge is in India in 2 weeks and I will be in Australia shortly. In the meantime we are working on mind-blowing new plans for Belgium and we’ll soon launch the South African edition. Hope to see you there.

Sometimes a get a good feeling

July 18th was one of those days I’ll never forget. It was one of those days that proves my mantra actually works. Thank you Gerry, Yvonne, Tom, Theo, Leigh, Tilana, the whole Dream Team,… thank you!

Look at the video below and understand why. We made this video during the inaugural Hercules Trophy on International Nelson Mandela Day. The Olympic Team of South Africa joined us. Goosebumps.

 

Mandela was in public service for 67 days. As you know, Nelson Mandela is our hero and we use one of his famous quotes to explain the power of Hercules Trophy: “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” The Mandela Day campaign is calling on people around the world to commit 67 minutes of their time “to make an imprint and help change the world around them.”

The Herculix Foundation, powered by Hercules Trophy South Africa, donated sports gear to 6 underprivileged schools, donated 67.000 Rand to the good cause of the winning team, the Olympic athletes wrote inspirational quotes for the schools and inspired people that doing good can be fun! Imagine what we can do if we have between 500 and 700 teams like in Belgium!?! We hope to inspire all our fans all over the world to do the same.

How the hell did we end up here?

A few years ago I sent an SMS to Inge: “in 4 weeks we’re going on an economic mission to South Africa”. Her answer was a typical one: “owkay”. No questions asked. We share the same dream so no explanation needed.

On the flight to Johannesburg Inge told me: “Next is Dubai”. My answer was a typical one: “owkay” (and indeed it was…).

4 weeks later we had a meeting with Gerry Skerritt, one of the founders of The Dream Team in Johannesburg. It was our very first meeting in Johannesburg, initiated by Flanders Investment and Trade. We came out of that meeting and we immediately knew: these are the ones! During one week we checked out the main players on the market and our initial feeling was right.

We got to know the whole team over the years. What a team! One of the best I ever came across. Divers, passionate, positive, respectful, lots of fun, open, experienced, can do mentality… They didn’t go for Hercules Trophy unless everyone was convinced of the dream. It took some African Time though Smile, but everybody became really passionate about Hercules Trophy. Because make no mistake: if not everyone believes in the dream and focuses on it, it won’t happen no matter what you want!

Ups – downs – hopes – setbacks – worldcup in between – small successes… we experienced all the things that always happen in startups but we never stopped believing.

And then something magical happened: Yvonne joined the team. She was the missing link to bring us the network. You can have a dream and a focused team, but without fans you are nowhere. Teams joined because she said they had to join. People trust her and did it for her. As Yvonne has a long history at Virgin Atlantic, she knew exactly what we are all about and she knew exactly how to get that message across.

The inaugural Hercules Trophy in South Africa was the best ever. Spot on. A massive success. No doubt in my mind that Africa is going to be huge in the years to come. Every single team was inspired and will be back next year with more teams. I’m 300% convinced they will spread the word. In fact, the first teams subscribed the day after!

So you see, going global is really easy Smile

Sports for all

Last week one of the Hercules Trophy contestants told me what she liked the most: “I was so scared before the Trophy, but after half an hour I experienced that anybody could compete! I didn’t need to be scared at all! I joined the competition with people I work with on a daily basis, not a team of top athletes. And you know what: we had a blast and ended higher than expected. However, it was all about having fun! The party and the connection with other contestants was amazing! It was more important to participate than to win.”

I love to hear that, because that’s the whole point!

So now you understand why I’m such a fan of Special Olympics? Because they do exactly the same thing. Sports for all people with an intellectual disability, regardless of “level”. It’s not about cheating. It’s not about egos. It’s about the love for sports. The love for people. It’s about uniting people through sports. It’s about fun. It’s about making people better through sports.

UnifiedLast Saturday we did a great experiment: a Special Olympics Unified Team competed for the first time in the Hercules Trophy. They had a blast and did the most crazy sports!!! And you know what? They never trained with the “partners” who played with them: some fabulous MBA’s from the Antwerp Management School.

Hercules Trophy supports Special Olympics through the Herculix Foundation. On Christmas Evening, we will anounce “The Kindest Team”. That’s the team who raised the most funds through their teampage. Thanks Ammado for the great support!