Winning teams – “the Fist”

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Leadership tims by Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils.

Teamwork is the foundation of Coach K’s success. The topic is something he’s studied closely, beginning with his education at West Point. It’s no coincidence that he delivers one of his most famous strategies in the form of an analogy.

“I look at the members of our team like the five fingers of a hand. Individually, the fingers aren’t as powerful as all of them coming together into a fist.” Kryzyzewski writes in his book, Leading with the Heart (a metaphor for leadership). The fact that a basketball team has five players on the court makes the analogy even more perfect.

Coach K extends the analogy further: “There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable.”

click here for the full Inc. article


SalaryBar – work hard, play hard, get paid

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Money is not the most important thing in the world. But a solid #salary sure as hell helps, and you deserve a fair compensation for your efforts.

SalaryBar offers a detailed, unbiased salary benchmark. We combine the most extensive algorithm in the market, with the human touch of our SalaryBar tenders. The only data we’ll never enter into the equation is gender. Oh yeah, we also aim to add a bit of fun to the process…


Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable… Erik Hiep

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Last summer my son graduated at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He went to Johannesburg for an internship at a big corporation, came back and told me:

“Dad, I am 21 and I am not going to sit in an office behind a screen for the rest of my life… “ “I need a real challenge!”

He signed up at the ‘Korps Mariniers’ which is the elite amphibious infantry component of the Royal Netherlands Navy. A rapid reaction force that can be deployed to any location in the world within 48 hours.

An intensive year of practical marine officer’s training has started, and they need to learn how to get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable. Over the last couple of months he shared some ‘lessons learned’ with me on how to do this. Success isn’t promised to any single one of us. But the awesome thing is that it is available to all of us. And it is not enough to know something – you need to apply…

Putting it into perspective, I think his leadership lessons are perfectly applicable in today’s volatile, uncertain & chaotic business environment:

1.     Push. Work hard, push through and do not give up. This means training yourself to take setbacks and keep on going.

2.     Focus. What needs to be done? Create clarity, have high energy and a laser focus. Get things done.

3.    Power. Be strong, have power & strengthen the body. The body is the temple of your soul. Work out, exercise and make it happen every day, consistency is key.

4.    Mind. Be always ready for anything.Every day feed, condition and strengthen your mind. Your performance is a reflection of your belief system.

5.    Time. Work quickly, especially if not in a hurry so you have time left when you are in a hurry… Create space and have more bandwidth.

6.    Pressure. Having a capacity for humor, fun and creativity in a stressful environment will define how well you do in times of pressure.

7.    Grow. Understand your limitations and use this to challenge yourself to grow. Deal with criticism and setbacks.

8.    Results. Get more out of the same hours or minutes, cut the crap and work yourself through the clutter of details and get the results you are after.

9.    Team. Nobody is more important than the team. Give more than you expect to receive and add lots of value to others.

10.  Lead. Lead by example & get proximity to amazing people. Put yourself in the game with people that constantly stretch you.

Winning is about getting culture right. These lessons learned that I derived from my son’s weekly feedback on his Marine training are all about installing a Winning Culture.

US Secretary of Defense & retired Marine General James Mattis: “There are many challenges organizations can overcome, but having a bad culture is not one of them. Culture starts at the top, and a good or a bad leader sets the tone for how the organization does business.”

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Published by Erik W. Hiep, MBA

Erik has extensive consulting experience with international management teamsand boards. He has worked on a wide variety of change assignments in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Erik is also an Associate Professor at IE Business School in Madrid. He holds an MBA degree of the University of Glasgow and graduated at the Royal Military Academy in the Netherlands (Infantry & Faculty of Social Sciences and Psychology) www.thenextlevelnow.com


Erik is a member of the hero network.


“do you love your wife?”

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Simon Sinek does it again, explaining one of the most difficult concepts in a few simple yet rock solid strong messages; leadership is like brushing your teeth every day, what matters is the repetition of small meaningful actions, an executive is not a dentist – making impact on a stage at a leadership event twice a year.

#leadership #trust #execution


Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn – awareness, synthesis, inspiration

Effective leaders possess at least three qualities:

1. Awareness (e.g., global & industry trends, company performance, team/others, self),

2. Synthesis (ability to separate signal from noise, connect dots, generate insights, develop a plan),

3. Inspiration (clarity of vision, courage of conviction, ability to communicate both).

According to Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn


Microsoft’s Satya Nadella focuses on these three traits

In this QZ article Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft shares what he looks for in leadership talent:

#1: The ability to create clarity when none exists

This is “the most important attribute that any leader needs to have—and it is often underestimated,” said Nadella. “You don’t need a leader when everything is well defined and it’s easy, and all you have got to do is follow a well-written plan. But in an ambiguous situation, where there cannot be complete information, that is when leadership will matter.”

#2: A knack for sparking energy

Along with clarity, a leader needs to bring sincere enthusiasm, Nadella argued. “One of the classic things you face as a leader is, you will have someone walk into your office and say, ‘Hey you know what, I’m very good, my team is very good, but everything around me is terrible,’” he said. “That’s not creating energy.”

“It’s insufficient to focus exclusively on your own unit. Leaders need to inspire optimism, creativity, shared commitment and growth through times good and bad.”

#3: An ability to succeed in “an over-constrained space”

His advice for cultivating a third trait feels applicable to anyone, not only those who are ambitious in business. “When leaders come in and say, ‘I’m not able to do this or I’m not able to drive success or achieve success because of all these exogenous factors.’ Guess what? Everything is exogenous,” he said. “Life is an over-constraint problem. So you can’t say, ‘You know what, I’m just waiting for you to remove all the constraints, and I’ll be perfect.’

Additional to the last trait we promote everyone and every organization to take on more than can be managed, but then to apply a smart filter to select the most valuable actions, customer, projects… We are living in a time where not being fully loaded means certain decline.