Mid-September 2018

The weekend started and I was at the gym, right next to the beach in Scheveningen (The Hague), The Netherlands. Our CrossFit session finished, with the usual suspects and myself recovering outside – enjoying the sun and a pleasant sea breeze. Someone mentioned that one of the gym members had become a world windsurfing champion. It triggered me: What a woman(!) I remember thinking, and kind of forgot about it quickly after.

 

Mid-November 2018

“It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be”- Paul Arden

Excelerators is doing well with a strong brand and unique value proposition. We work with private equity funds, scale-ups and corporate companies. We cherish long term relationships, with personal connections crucial to the way we do business. We are proud of our customers and highly diversified teams serving them, across Europe and beyond. There is no such thing as gender imbalance in our team, to say the least.

We can be proud of what we have achieved. But our digital identity and exposure are weak. Our company DNA is deeply ingrained in most aspects of our business, but digitally we have failed to meet the same quality standards. We lack an inspiring and sticky narrative. Anything else doesn’t work (to us): People don’t like others bragging about how good they are, nor do they want to read yet another recycled HBR, MIT or Economist article.

It is time to invest in our digital efforts while coming up with something new, something authentic, something inspirational.

While of course, we are not the next Red Bull. Or…could we be? Perhaps not as big, but still….

All of a sudden it all fell in place.

 

Early December 2018

We took the decision to sponsor windsurfing Team de Geus fast. (Meet LilianMeet Esther)

It felt right to be associated with the fast-paced, high performance, output driven and internationally oriented environment the windsurfing team operates in.

The results?

 

The Excelerators team loves it.

There is enormous respect for the de Geus team: For their achievements, relentless focus and drive to deliver nothing less but world-class performance.

In our business people often work too much, too many hours. And it is not needed. The best athletes do not train 16 hours a day and nor should our team, rare peaks left aside. They DO take feedback very seriously and work with it on a daily basis, much like everyone else should do. Top sportsmen and sportswomen make the effort to improve themselves, reaching out for help when they feel the need. Top performers neither need a coach nor a manager telling them what to do. Though they value their experience, outside-in perspective, and complementary skills as they craft their own course.

This is exactly how we want our colleagues to work: take initiative, reach out, ask for advice, craft your own course, be curious, accurate, effective and concise.

Also, ever since we announced the sponsorship deal we have been able to recruit way faster than ever before.

 

Our customers love it.

They value our ability to spot top talent, without the need to throw big money at it.

Mostly in the 40+ age group, the executives we work with often feel the urge to explore and reinvent themselves, both professionally and personally. If it is not for themselves, they love to project the image we deliver onto their children and loved ones.

 

I absolutely love it myself.

It shows, it is important and it is about natural leadership.

It is easy to talk about the need for focus, diversity and a healthy work-life balance. If you are lucky, people listen at best. It is not until the day you practice what you preach that everything changes. Two years ago, I decided to put sports high on my personal agenda. It makes me feel better, more balanced and more successful while working less. Today, half of the team works out regularly, with some participating in running competitions. And even those who don’t, or simply cannot, are always out and about to be part of the experience somehow. With no need to organise for any well-meant offsite, yoga class or tree hugging experience. Leading by example makes all the difference.

So again, why do we sponsor Esther and Lilian de Geus, the world-class surfing twin sisters?

Because it feels naturally good, to our team, our customers, ourselves and our loved ones.

 

February 2019, Brian Bogaerts
Founder of Excelerators
We are hiring!

If you are curious and would like to be informed about our ongoing and future projects empowering international growth or executing commercial due diligence, and how you could strengthen our commercial network of business developers across Europe and beyond, feel free to reach out to  Velina Veleva. velina@excelerators.eu