“If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking”

General George Patton Jr

OVERVIEW

MY STORY

From the navy (“shape up or ship out!”) to high
performance mentoring (“shape up and step up!”)

Hi and thanks for stopping by!

I have been very blessed and fortunate in life to have met and directly learned from many great teachers and incredible Masters. Their fields of activity range from business tycoons to spiritual leaders, world class musicians to martial art prodigies, healing wizards to navy commanders to name but a few.

I was raised in a cosmopolitan family in Belgium by a Swedish mother and an English father. As a result I grew up speaking 5 languages.

Today I speak mostly English and French and am now learning Vietnamese, having been married since 2012 to an extraordinary Vietnamese woman.

“ ...from business tycoons to spiritual leaders, world class musicians to martial art prodigies, healing wizards to Navy commanders ”

How my career started
Focus, impeccability, and organisation from the navy

My business career really started in the Belgian Navy where at a young age I was given big responsibilities leading and managing crews on the front decks of river and coastal patrol boats. Impeccability, meticulous planning and “esprit de corps” shaped everything we did.

It became clear to me that when things go wrong in the navy whether at sea or in garrison, the nature and structure of the navy forces one to be held accountable for his or her actions. I learned this fast and was swiftly promoted in rank.

“..the nature and structure of the navy forces one to be held accountable for his or her actions.”

Aggressive growth, situational leadership and strategic thinking from the fast food industry

Ready to step into a full scholarship to officer’s school, I had a change of heart and decided not to invest a full career into preparing for war.

The battle ground of business called me instead!

A desire to travel West combined with an introduction by my father took me to Eugene Oregon and threw me into the fast food industry.

Working for the 450 restaurant strong fast food chain Taco Time International, my navy work ethic, military discipline and leadership ability were rapidly recognised and in 6 months I went from table wiper to management.

At 19 I became the youngest restaurant manager in the Fast Food industry in the USA and excelled in increasing sales, profits and operational standards in all the restaurants I led.
I was thriving, in my element and loving the expanse and beauty of Oregon.

The expiry of my work permit coupled with the tragic untimely death of my twin brother had me return to Belgium 2 years later.

After a period of healing and still imbued with the entrepreneurial freedom of the West Coast, I set my sights on London, the European home of the fast food giants

“...creating and implementing plans and strategies, sharpening up operations, shaping leadership teams and spearheading expansion”

Burger King snapped me up instantly and put me through their fast track systems training program.

I was tasked initially as restaurant manager to turn around some of their most severely underperforming restaurants that were putting at the risk the company reaching its market share, sales and profit targets, brand delivery and reputation.

The problems and challenges were numerous. Demoralised, stressed, understaffed and undertrained management teams, rebellious, corrupt and ineffective staff, filthy dining rooms and kitchens, broken and badly maintained equipment, out of control labour costs, haemorrhaging profits, rapidly declining sales, increasing amounts of customer complaints, painstakingly slow service and squandered marketing budgets.

Successfully turning these crisis ridden restaurants into highly profitable company flagship stores got me promoted on average every 6 months, taking my best people on the journey to the top with me.

The next 5 years saw me operate some of the highest volume fast food restaurants in the world, progress to multi-unit management overseeing the high profile central London district, handle the integration of the Wimpy and Quick Restaurants acquisitions, open up the first drive through restaurant in Europe and set the global record for the most customers served in a month in a fast food restaurant (1/4 of a million!!)

My final role at Burger King had me move from running company owned restaurants to working with the owners of the multiple London franchised groups helping them successfully grow their businesses within the Burger King brand.

“...turning these crisis ridden restaurants into highly profitable company flagship stores”

Business acumen and entrepreneurial savvy from the video industry

I was next head hunted with a promotion into the video rental business as operations director of a newly founded plc called The Video Store plc.

There I reported directly to the chairman, running 140 stores with a rapid expansion plan tasked with re-shaping the organisational structure, driving the nationwide expansion, systemising the operations, developing the management and leadership capability and maximising return to shareholders.

It was a welcomed and well needed change of pace from the extreme pressures, intense workloads and long hours of the fast food industry where I was starting to burn out.

A year later the entire video rental industry hit a wall, the plc’s stock crashed and so I was let go with a golden parachute.

For the first time ever I was unemployed. I took a well deserved vacation!

“...re-shaping the organisational structure, driving the nationwide expansion, systemising the operation, developing the management and leadership capability and maximising return to shareholders”

Business consultant: rescuing “sinking ships” and taking good businesses to exceptional businesses

Upon my return I put pen to paper and created my plan forward: to either contact head-hunters and get snapped up for another ops director role in retail or to set up my own dynamic consultancy. I was undecided.

Two days later I bumped into a good friend who owned and ran a small company manufacturing computer games. He and I had a mutual admiration for each other. I for his rapid entrepreneurial success (they were ‘printing money’!) and he for my leadership strengths and corporate track record.

He asked me what I was up to. When I answered that I was actually out of work and undecided about my plan he asked me if I had any clients yet for the consulting business. I replied that I’d only thought up the idea a few days back over breakfast. He replied “we’d like to be your client; could you come to see us at the office on Monday?”
And thus began the next chapter of my career.

Over the next 10 years I worked with a diverse range of businesses from small family owned companies to large multi-national corporates in a wide variety of sectors.
There I excelled in creating and implementing plans and strategies, sharpening up operations, shaping leadership teams and spearheading expansion.

“...creating and implementing plans and strategies, sharpening up operations, shaping leadership teams and spearheading expansion”

From consultant to peak performance mentor:
taking smart individuals to their greatest success

One summer day a director in a Swedish company I was helping asked me how I became the person I was, referring to my leadership style, high level of motivation, impressive track record of results and effectiveness.

I told him it was the outcome of many years of good training, hard work, dedication and a particular mindset. He replied: “could you please teach me?”

I told him I couldn’t as his boss was not paying me to do that. He replied: “I will pay you out of my own pocket”.

After a few weeks of working together, his commitment, passion and performance soared beyond belief. I got real excited!
It occurred to me that people paying me directly from their own corporate or company budget or paying me from their own pocket generally have greater commitment right from the start and experience powerful results sooner.

They learn faster, produce breakthroughs sooner and transform their circumstances with greater velocity.

Since then over the past 18 years I have worked one on one with more than 125 truly extraordinary individuals not only in the world of business but also in the highly competitive and demanding worlds of top level sports, performing arts and showbiz.

Through my time-tested and experience rich methodology I permanently transform those who work with me to produce unprecedented results and create an extraordinary quality of life.

“They learn faster, produce breakthroughs sooner and transform their circumstances with greater velocity”

In My Time Off

Activities I enjoy during my “off” time are the practice of martial arts, Zen, cooking, photography and travel.

Over the past few years my wife and I have enjoyed some very happy and interesting trips to Vietnam, Malaysia, Belgium, Scotland, Wales and various other scenic regions of the UK.
What a beautiful world we live in!

Her passion for agriculture combined with my love of tea and it’s traditions had us recently purchase a tea plantation in Vietnam where we produce our own organic traditionally hand processed green tea. We also acquired a sizeable plot of land where we have planted 300 exotic fruit trees such as mangos, papayas, durians, jackfruits, mangosteens, custard apples to name but a few.

Our latest current project is a development of a small resort on a paradise island off the southern coast of Vietnam which will become both a holiday resort and a bespoke training centre of excellence.