What is your consulting expertise?
I have been active in the field of project management as a project manager, coach, trainer and consultant since 1992. I have experience in a wide variety of projects, both in the public and the private sector. In my latest long-term assignment I was responsible for the improvement of the project management profession within ASML, a Dutch high-tech company. Recently, I finished writing a book on project management for Noordhoff Publishers, the largest Dutch educational publisher.
What motivates you to do extreme sports?
In the summer of 2016, I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw: an aging workaholic with an aging body, too. I realised that something had to change, so I decided to start running. But the decision itself wasn’t enough. The only way to really change the status quo was with a strong focus. So I needed a goal and decided to run a marathon. I chose the Rotterdam marathon, which took place nine months later. I quit drinking, ate fewer carbs, and hired a coach and a physiotherapist. I ran 728km, lost 10kg, recuperated from three injuries, and ran the marathon in 5 hours 22 minutes. Something that seemed nearly impossible in July was accomplished in April. Somehow I was not satisfied enough, and decided to run another marathon, and be faster. I signed up for the Berlin marathon in September 2018. But for some reason, another marathon didn’t seem to be such an interesting challenge anymore. I was watching an Ironman because I knew one of the participants, and I realised I had found my next ultimate challenge. I started training for the full triathlon in 2020. I started without any swimming or cycling experience, so there is some work to do. I train 10-12 hours per week now and I love it (though not always).
How does this relate to the consulting world?
Both a marathon and a triathlon can be seen as projects. Focus on the objective is crucial. Without dedication and discipline, nothing can be accomplished. Along the way, things happen, injuries and time-issues, like risks in any project… and in the end, it is all about the right mindset. For each project, the right mindset is the vaguest yet most important success factor.