15 June 2024 Last updated at 03:25 GMT

Go Beyond MBA

Go-beyond-mba"Companies exist to solve problems in the world, not to make money…"

The Go Beyond MBA event started as an idea or wish to inspire people to think differently. To become aware of what’s going on in the world (in terms of crisis on economy, poverty, climate and energy) and to challenge them to not only work for themselves but also for a higher purpose. We invented speakers that are actually ‘normal’ people that really make a difference.

One of them for instance is the Fair Food initatior, another one set up a training company (ex-VDS’er) in Argentina to develop leadership and entrepreneurship in  rural areas of Argentina so that they have a chance on the labour market, another one is a modern times monk helping us to practice spirituality in daily life. And then of course there is attention for social media development and the consequences that has for organisational structures and leadership. I relate to that inmy speech about future leadership that should be more serving and inspiring than be about ‘command and control’.

Go Beyond MBA aims to hand over insights that literally go beyond what’s being taught in MBA’s. MBA is fine, you need some of the stuff in order to run a company (processes, systems, structures, strategy), but it’s no longer enough as companies won’t be about making as much money as possible in the future. Or at least, that’s my belief.

In stead of an event, Go Beyond MBA already is developing into a series of seminars and workshops where likeminded people are being inspired, challenged and helped to think through their own ambitions in life. As we speak, I’ll have to run for a meeting with the chief editor of NL’s biggest business magazine, so it obviously triggers attention to the people we like to attend our events.

"I believe that businesses that will remain successful in the future will have to find a better balance between profit and purpose."

There are many leadership styles that people talk about, but how should an entrepreneur decide what is best for them?
I fully agree that there are about one million books that would tell you how you should behave as a leader. I think that’s nonsense and believe that a leader should first and foremost be true to him/herself. That  means that every leader (and in fact, everyone is a leader) should primarily know his purpose in life, know what this passions and talents are, search for the higher good or meaning that justifies being a leader, handle  with integrity, care for others, be emotionally intelligent and leverage upon his talents as much as possible so that he can contribute to his purpose in life.

What are the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make in their leadership styles?
This may not specifically be true to entrepreneurs only. Generally speaking, a lot of leaders become leaders because they were promoted as such without knowing what leadership is all about in the first place. The best salesman becomes sales manager, the best professional becomes a team leader. And that’s where it all goes wrong. Our ‘up or out’ system forces people to move up in the hierarchy because that’s supposed to be cool and rewarded more than being the best professional. Entrepreneurs tend to make the mistakes that being passionate about their businessand growing the business, they suddenly are being confronted that they can’t do all the work themselves anymore. And being the owner, they believe they have to be the CEO as well. An EO taught many of us, we’d better be working ON the company than IN it. That could very well mean that the entrepreneur is not the best manager or CEO in which case they should be true to themselves as well. I made the same mistake, having become a manager for too long which totally burned out my energy, passion and drive for growing the company. It took me a couple of years to understand that I had gone ‘off track’ with myself. For more than one year now, I hired a CEO and got back to what I wanted to do most, visioning, presenting, writing and creating.

There are many leadership styles that people talk about, but how should an entrepreneur decide what is best for them?
Don’t send sales people into training. That’s one of the mistakes most companies make. Instead go and sit together as a team including the manager) and work out the common goals and objectives and make sure everyone agrees to them. Next, start identifying everyone’s unique talents and passions and connect those to the objectives and work that has to be done by the team. This could very well mean that some people move into cold calling, networking or lead generation whereas others are more into working out solutions, presenting and negotiating the contents. Others would be best in monitoring projects and serving clients 24/7.

Sales is never one size fits all. Also, make sure you create a culture of openness, trust, respect for each other’s qualities (instead of shortcomings), celebrate together and have fun!

"We help people to be the best ‘themselves’."

Is there any such thing as an ‘ideal sales person’?
No. Don’t think so. Every sales person brings in himself; that makes it unique and authentic. If there are any common characteristcs from a client’s perspective (what they need) it would be authenticity, caring for the client, really trying to understand behind the lines what it is that the client really needs and being genuine in what the sales person can contribute to the client’s needs. Sales is about helping the client to buy. No one wants to be ‘sold too’.

What are five tips on how an entrepreneur can develop their sales team?
  1. Spend an awful lot of time to really understand each others dreams, ambitions, values and drives. That will build a true connection.
  2. Be very clear on what you expect to be the output of everyone’s work and then empower them to find their own way of achieving it.
  3. Spend time sharing experiences, learning from each other, share worst and best practices in a culture of openness.
  4. Find each person’s unique talents and leverage upon those as much as you can (in stead of trying to overcome weaknesses).
  5. Reward, recognise, celebrate individual and group progress IN the moment that they are realised (not at the end of the year).
What is your business philosophy?
I believe that businesses that will remain successful in the future will have to find a better balance between profit and purpose. It is not profit but purpose that energises people in the company. So what we basically do is help to get people and companies to get ‘in sync’. That means we encourage people to find out their passions, dreams and goals in life. We help the organsation to identify theirs as well. Next we connect people to the organisation in such a way that their work has a direct contribution to their goals in life whereas at the same time their performance increases. This in the end leads to a win-win for both individual and the company (and the society).

How do you motivate your team?
We help them to find out what they are really good at and connect that to our purpose as a company.

What books help entrepreneurs better understand leadership and building teams (based on your experience)?
There are a million books about this. Besides the Covey’s and Ken Blanchard’s of this world (although really good stuff ) I would recommend people to get in-depth about their own process and find out all about themselves. We call this personal leadership development which is the common thread in all the work we do. Many people are not too conscious about themselves, leading them to be a victim of their boss, company, clients, whoever. This results in negative energy, gossip, intransparency and in the end sort of ‘sabotaging’ themselves and the work they are doing. Can you believe it’s only about 25% of employees that are engaged to their work? Imagine the potential many companies leave untouched whilst at the same time complaining that progress is so slow? A good book in this respect is First, break all the rules from Marcus Buckingham. And obviously everyone should read the 5 frustrations of teamwork from Patrick Lencioni.

Besides that, I would suggest that people read more about the ‘non-mechanical’, ‘step 1-2-3’ books and learn more about themselves, how the universe works and how to get more in peace with yourself and the life you are living. Read books like Deepak Chopra’s The soul of leadership, Robin Sharma’s The leader who had no title’ and Joseph Jarworski’s Synchronicity. Furthermore Eckart Tolle would really help people to take more responsibility for themselves and to live in the present. And to get a grasp of how the universe may work, I loved the series of books that Neale Donald Walsch wrote.

What do VDS Training Consultants do? How is this different from other similar businesses?
Well basically we help people to be the best ‘themselves’. That gives them energy from within, brings positivity, drive and flow leading to more happiness, more fun and better performance. We always do this in the context of work and company objectives in such a way that both individual and company improve. What we bring to the table is more consciousness and the focus on personal leadership so that people take responsibility for their own lives, behaviour and are better able with all the ups and downs that simply come across everyone’s path from time to time.

What drives you?
Personally, I believe it to be my mission to help people to become more aware of who they are bring consciousness in such a way that people and companies will strive to make a difference in the lives they are touching. More purpose and profit in the end. More contribution to someting ‘above’ themselves. Dr Yunus stated it briefly: companies exist to solve problems in the world, not to make money..

If you are interested in updates from Go Beyond MBA, follow them on Twitter @gobeyondmba , LinkedIn or visit their website at http://www.gobeyondmba.nl/


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