Aspire is about contributions

Any meaningful contribution is the result of personal leadership and management. Achieving a goal you had in mind, based on your own effort, gives a feeling of satisfaction. Equally important, it increases your level of self-confidence. Aspirations together with self-confidence gives you the motivation to get going but is, till realization, just a thought. It is what you believe that drives you, if what you think is true or not doesn’t matter. New goals require new skills. Therefore, going from one goal to another, and that is what life is about, requires continuous personal growth.

After a lot of thinking what to write about personal development, I came to the conclusion that anything will be incomplete. Therefore, I decided to mention only a few topics out of a long list, from several authors. Every model or approach has its limitation, there is no single truth. In the lectures and workshops I discuss topics from several viewpoints to give you a broader insight.

Topic Author Description

Stephen Covey This model describes the "whole person paradigm". A human is four dimensional, that are all equally important. This explains for example why money (body) cannot compensate for another dimension. This model is similar to the well know pyramid of Maslow but simpler and more accurate. Stephen Covey wrote "The seven habits of highly effective people" that I explain in the lectures. Later he came with the eight habit "Find your Voice". The thoughts behind that are extremely useful. Since principles are always valid he advocates principle-centered values and principle-centered leadership. I like his academic approach.

Logo therapy Victor Frankl Victor Frankl survived four concentration camps in World-War II. After liberation he wrote the book "Man's search for meaning" and developed Logo therapy, based on the folowing statements:
• Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
• Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
• We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience.
It is amazing how he analyzed people's behavior in the camps while he was more dead than alive himself. At that time he was in his mid 20-ties. The learning's are very interesting and connect closely to the Body-Mind-Heart-Spirit model.

The ultimate
goal setting
Brian Tracy The main problem in goals setting is self-limiting believes "I am not good enough". This usually withholds people to start and consequently, never become any better. Brian Tracy gives a lot of practical and hands-on advice. For example, invest 3% of your income in self-development, each month. In a few years you accumulated so much knowledge and skills that your goals will come in reach. He also wrote the 21 series, that he calls "laws". These laws are nice examples of principles. Many laws sound trivial but are still eye-openers. "The ultimate goal setting program" is one of the seventy books he wrote.

Biggest change
is choice
Peter Drucker Peter Drucker was seen as the founder of modern management. On the question "What changed the world the most?" One might think of the Internet but he came with the answer "The biggest change is choice". Thanks to the Internet, ease of travel, good healthcare and so on, we have more and more choices. But it also means that we have to make choices, and that asks for a strong character. Elderly sometimes say "the world is asking so much from the youth". I think it is not more than in earlier days but personal leadership becomes very important. It is a challenge for parents to prepare children for that.

Good to Great Jim Collins Jim Collins researched the question "Why some companies make the leap, and others don't." One of the conclusions is that great companies have the right people on the bus, in the right seats. The "right people on the bus" are people that are committed to the company. They want to make the company a success and are flexible in what needs to be done. Therefore his saying "First who then what". The next challenge "in the right seats" means to have the people in position where they flourish best. Coming back to personal development, a company can only put you in the right seat when you, yourself, know what your strength and values are and where you want to grow.

When is self-development for you?

When you feel you want to make a change and want to get grip on how to realize. Then it is useful to get more insight in human needs, be able to translate aspirations into goals and to learn about effective cooperation with others. The lectures can be helpful for any human organizations, e.g. a company. Before an organizational change makes sense, the employee should first learn about him- or herself. How else to determine whether the right people are on the bus, in the right seats? Presentations can be tailored on request.

Sometimes, I get the feedback that self-development is carrier focused. Self-development is meant to reach goals you desire. It can be any goal, also losing weight or building a relationship. Such goals require leadership and management skills as well.

Workshop ESD

Personal development is a lifelong journey. It is useful for everybody to think about ones values and goals. What is it that you like to accomplish, what gives you most satisfaction and meaningful life? We organize a series of three workshops again this year, ESD 2021 will be after the summertime. Submit if you would like to attend. On the ESD 2019 page you can see the program of that year.

Here you can find the ESD page of 2018.


Lectures can be given in English and Dutch. The first lectures are a series of three successive presentations, each takes about 30 to 45 minutes. As guest lecturer at of the University of Twente, where I have a couple of hours time, I combine these three presentation into one lecture. However, then the amount of information is quite dense.

[1/3] Fundamentals of human needs

As from our birth the journey of personal development begins. We grow up, discover our own values and develop our interests. Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right way to go. In all of us is a need to contribute and have a meaningful life with the intention to be appreciated and ultimately to be happy. What does it take? This presentation addresses the fundamentals of human life, what is it that we need? Understanding these fundaments makes it easier to stay balanced and you will be able to identify what is missing. It will help you to enhance your life and that of others. The four dimensions will be discussed and conceptions such as "what is happiness?", "what makes you unique?".

[2/3] The power of Goals

Everyone wants to achieve certain goals in life. These can be small things as well as big dreams, which you could call a life purpose. Often, we only have a feeling or a mental image of a desired result but not a clear picture of the path that leads us there. This presentation addresses how to translate your values and aspirations into goals and to stay focused, even when goals become obsolete and new opportunities arise in this fast changing world. Once you know what you want, the only thing left is execution and to stay on track.

[3/3] Execution, no excuses

Understanding human needs and knowing our values and goals is great but only through execution we can reach fulfilment. Furthermore, in everything we do other people will be involved. Consequently, execution is about self-management and working with others. Stephen Covey wrote “The 7 habits of highly effective people”, this not about prestige but about reaching goals with others. This model, combined with other techniques, is presented. It puts you in motion towards your own ambitions. Do something, learn from your actions and persist whatever it takes. Giving up is always possible, you could keep this option for the future.

In a student assignment, Bart Sprenkels, Kristine Bardsen, Piet van Tiggelen, Puck Kemper and Rasha Hamza applied the 7 habits of effective execution to increase the effectiveness of meetings. They made a great movie of their work.

Design your own life

It is our duty to get the most out of our life’s. Knowing what we don't want and seeing what others do wrong is usually not so difficult, but don't get stuck there. The challenge is to discover our own strengths and to contribute the best we can. When someone moves in the direction of his or her interests, that person will be inherently motivated and work feels effortless. Of course, the effort costs a lot of energy but it doesn't feel that way. This presentation gives guidelines how to discover what you interests are, what are important factors, how to get started and how to persist. When you get going in the direction of your aspirations, you will gain little by little successes.

Is success really a choice?

Can you always be successful if you want? It implies many underlying questions, such as; “When is someone successful?”, “What are you willing to pay?”, “Do you have the knowhow and skills?”. These are only personal factors. Next to this you have external factors. You will be quite dependent on others and on the environment you are living in, which is constantly changing. One can control his or her actions but not the results. I will explain what I do to go after my goals, not always being successful. For me, it is worse not to try then to fail, even if it goes with doubts and uncertainties.

Axiom IC and me, the whole story

In 2007, at the age of 40, I started, together with a few others, my own company in electronic chip design. In 2013 we sold the company. This presentation is meant for ambitious people, also called entrepreneurs. It addresses the company culture, values and motivators, often referred to as; mission and vision. In addition, I also like to share with you successes and problems we faced. For me, starting a company was not a coincidence. It took many years in advance of personal preparation. Therefore the phrase “the whole story”.

Humans and Physics; principles always apply

Principles always apply, they are timeless and independent on implementation or technology. In a sense, people follow principles as well similar as physics such as; cause and effect “out=f(in)”, work requires power “W=P∙t”. A hilarious comparison is made between human behavior and mechanical-electrical effects. This presentation is particular meant for nerds. Those be blessed, understanding the essence of concepts makes the world so much more interesting and is an absolute "must" to be creative.