I was still a child, when I saw my grandfather dry a tear: another coal miner had desperately come to our estate, hoping to get a job, as “they” had closed the mine. Both were in a state of shock, as they had been led to believe that the coal mines would provide work forever in my native town of Charleroi (Belgium). It was my first exposure to the “Disruption Economy!
Standing next to my grandfather, I promised myself I would eradicate unemployment. Today it seems that my modest legacy will rather be to have acted upon a friend’s quote, Belgian strategist Nick van Heck: “Disruption is what happens to the unprepared!” My “Deep Intent” is to help leaders navigate in the uncertain seas of the Disruption Economy.
I hold the conviction that leaders must invest in the development of their people if they do not wish to soon “have to close their own coal mines”. As an individual, I invest considerable amounts of time and money into the education of my children but also on people who fate has placed on my way. As a professional, my passion is to develop strong and visionary leaders.
The inheritance I got from my grandfather is a bed’s foot of a concentration camp. It represents the sacrifice he made to stand up against the unacceptable, even if it would have been easier to pretend he hadn’t seen it. This “family tradition” gave birth to my free-spirit, idealist and provocative side. I do not work for egocentric leaders: I challenge and support those who believe in “teaching their people to yearn for the vast and endless sea”, as St-Exupery said.
I have accomplished two out of three of my childhood’s dream: to live in several places (Villars/Switzerland, my native Belgium, my wife’s country, Cameroon, and the country of our hearts, Brazil) and getting married on an island. The third dream is to be part of the team that will win a Football/Soccer World Cup. The jury is out but my sports coaching activity may get me there!