Human Performance Technology: the study and ethical practice of improving productivity in organizations by designing and developing effective interventions that are result-oriented, comprehensive and systemic. (Handbook of Human Performance Technology, James A. Pershing)
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Posted: June 13th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Fitness, Health, Personal Performance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »


How can wheat be the bad ingredient in our today’s diet.  Right or wrong, I haven’t been eating wheat for a couple of months now, and I feel good. Especially, I do not feel so hungry anymore. And when I make a sidestep because the mind is strong but the body is weak, and I eat something with wheat in it, I feel the immediate effect. Upset tummy, and more, I feel tired. Surely, I respond with a insuline peak. Again, we need to be biohackers. We need to test things out and see what effect it has on us. But for me the conclusion is made. I am no more client of the bakery. It not only saves me 30 minutes on Sunday mornings in the cue at the Bakery but it also makes mee feel better, more energetic throughout the day. Try it for yourself and see. And above all, do not belief what the authorities tell you. Read the ingredients labels.

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Why bodybuilding at age 93 is a great idea…

Posted: June 6th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Fitness, From the news, Health, Leadership Performance, Personal Performance | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Nothing to add. Someone walking the talk. With the end in mind, that’s how I would like to age… Further no comments. Work, Diet and exercise in that order.

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If you were to skip one ingredient in your diet…

Posted: June 4th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Fitness, Health, Personal Performance, Uncategorized | No Comments »

what would that be. For me it’s clear, it is SUGAR. It is also the hardest ingredient to eliminate from your diet. Sugar is in nearly everything. It is even worse when you consider that there are even more equivalents of sugar, like corn syrup and all the chemical alternatives like there is aspartam. Just start reading the ingredients lists, and you will see. The more shocking idea is that research is neglected and ignored by the industry. How much longer can the industry go on. Eventually they will run in problems with the governments who need to finance the healthcare. Again, you as a consumer of food are on your own. You need to inform yourself, change you life style in being very selective in what you eat. Good luck with that. You also need to spend more money for this healthier food. Again, health is for the rich and informed.


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And what is your relationship to food?

Posted: May 23rd, 2014 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Fitness, Health | No Comments »

Are you also fighting your food, or are you analysing it’s ingredients and judging the fit in your diet? I am sure the latter… being very analytical about it’s ingredients and trying to maximise the good ingredients. What do you need to spark that loving affair again? We might redo the kitchen to make it more inviting for that love affair…

Watch for yourself this lovely story…

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The Paleo Manifest

Posted: May 16th, 2014 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Fitness, Health | No Comments »

img-paleo-manifesto For this year, I only set one objective for myself. Loosing fat and becoming healthy again. I took a membership at our local gym and started reading books again on healthy eating. Having read diet books for more than 25 years, one book made quiete a difference. It was as if all small bits of knowledge came together in one book when I read it. Impressively with all the knowledge and research around, It is amazing how few real research is done and how little is really known around health and healthy eating. We need to figure it out ourself what’s good for us. We need to be Biohackers… And we are surrounded with the enemy in cheap processed foods and abundant sugary products. Good luck with it. So how do you change your personal habit to become healthy again. No more diets, but living a healty life…

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How to sell almost anything…

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Business Performance | Tags: , | No Comments »

How to sell almost anything

Old wine in new bags. In this article Susan Adams rediscovers the SPIN methodology. I often call it the Pain/Gain methodology. And sure it works. Some principles :

  • Ask more questions than you give information
  • Listen carefully
  • Structure the call with you questions
  • Prepare, prepare and prepare
  • Know their pain
  • Help them define their solution
  • Explain them how your answer matches their wanted solution

and you most definitely increase you chances of success.

Article: How to sell almost anything

Use your hands…

Posted: December 8th, 2010 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Personal Performance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Lloyd Kahn.

We can build a home.

We got hands.

Ten digits.

A hammer. And a nail.

Yup, we got everything we need to build a home.

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDxClaremontCo

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Personal Performance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments » YouTube Preview Image

What can we learn from “SOS Piet”?

Posted: November 26th, 2009 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Business Performance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

SOS Piet

Since a couple of years we have a cooking program on the Belgian TV called “SOS Piet”. Its success is unseen. Piet Huysentruyt, a former chef and owner of a Michelin star restaurant quit his kitchen and went on the road with a little cooking survival kit and a camera crew to help the Belgian TV audience to cook. He also wrote three cooking books which are top selling books in here in Belgium. What are the secrets of his success and why does the concept sell? SOS Piet applies some fundamentals of the successful sale. What are they?



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Put yourself at level with you audience

SOS Piet literally left is kitchen, all his rewards and status signs. This is, as far as I know the first cooking program in the world where a well regarded Michelin Star chef gets in his car and comes to your kitchen. By doing so, he becomes as the expert very accessible and at level with his audience. It will cost you absolutely nothing to have Piet over, you only need to mail him with a real cooking problem and get selected. He is open to anyone and puts himself at level of his customers.

Listen to your audience

Since many years cooking programs are very popular. You can not count how many chefs have their program telling how they do things. SOS Piet reversed the roles. He let you cook in your kitchen. He only observes listens, tastes and sees what goes wrong. Listening is all about the story of the other, noting about your story. And most importantly, Piet does not comment on your problem, he only changes some details in the way you do tings.

Speak their language

In one of the shows the lady is Spanish and speaks a mix of English and Flemish. SOS Piet adapted his language using his best English mixed with some Flemish. The chemistry was not only going in the pan but also in the Kitchen. By copying the same language and wording of your counterpart, you create a connection. The other party feels immediately at level and is motivated to talk.

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Think and go in little logical steps that really help

SOS Piet gives “Tips and Tricks”. No more, no less. At the start of a sales training, I ask the participants about their expectations. And I always get the request for Tips and Tricks. Why? It easier to remember little tricks that work rather than having to remember great theories and complex models. We only want that one trick that does it all. SOS Piet gives us this “Wonder Trick”. It is the trick that sticks and will makes a world of a difference. His audience feels helped. Change and success comes in small steps.

Everyone 15 minutes famous

What happens when someone you know in your town comes on television? You will be watching. The whole town will be watching. Is it not more fun to peep into your neighbour’s kitchen? And that person will be the talk of the day. When Andy Warhol said that in the future everybody will be 15 minutes famous, it sounded unrealistic. Coming on TV was only for celebrities. Now you just send a mail to SOS Piet and chances are big that you end up in his cooking show and become the talk of the day. We all want to feel important and need attention.

Back to basics

Every cookbook should start with “how to cook an egg”. It sounds boring but it is essential. If you are not able to cook a potato properly, why would you bother to make “Gratin Dauphinois”? Often when, I coach experienced Sales, I see them make errors against the basics. Bad habits or good habits never learned? In sales, minimum of skills are required. When those are absent, it is no use to invest in advanced sales training programs.

“What did we learn?”

Every activity can be a learning opportunity. We only have to process our learning. This is reflecting on what we did and what was important to remember and repeat or to do different in the future. The most easy and basic way of processing this learning is by asking: “What did we learn?” This question became SOS Piet’s trade mark. I recognise successful sales agents only by their learning attitude. For them every sales call is a learning opportunity and they actively process their learning again and again. Selling is a continuous learning event. Not one sales call is the same.

And have Fun

When SOS Piet is around, everybody has fun. Last, he was invited on the “De Laatste Show” which is a late evening talk show on the Belgian TV. Piet sat on the bench with Sting and Dennis Rodman and made everybody laugh and joke. There is some saying that “if you can’t tell it on a fun way, it is not the truth”. We are naturally attracted to fun. Laughing is one of the best stress relievers and it relaxes us. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Here are some questions that could help you with your success.

How do you put yourself at level with your customer?

How long do you really listen to the story of your customer?

How much do you use the “exact” wording of your customer?

How do you help your customer with small practical advice?

How do you make your customer feel important?

How well do you practice the communication basics?

What did you learn from your last sales call?

When did you last make your customers smile?

Have Fun, Patrick

What my dog taught me about leadership

Posted: September 14th, 2009 | Author: Patrick Smits | Filed under: Leadership Performance | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


It has been said that dogs are chosen by their owners. And after a while the owners start to look like their dog. Having a puppy means spending a lot of time on its training. But without you realizing it, the dog also trains you. Some owners don’t get along with their dog and need help. This help is given by Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer. It is amazing to see how quickly a dog responds to different behaviour. As a proud dog owner, I have read many books about dog training. But in my view, Cesar’s approach stands out. He is a great teacher even for non dog owners.

The principles of handling dogs, which Cesar explains are also very valid for Leadership. I do not want to compare people with dogs, nor do I want to compare teams or organizations with pack dogs, but there are some commonalities. No wonder that a dog is man’s best friend.

Calm Assertiveness

In dog training the master should always remain calm. The emotions of the master are adopted by the dog. If the master is unsure and nervous, the dog will become unsure and nervous. If the master is calm, the dog will remain calm. The dog synchronizes with the mental and emotional state of the master. He mirrors the masters’ behaviour.

Equally teams are copying the behaviour and attitude of their leader. If the leader is suspicious and not trusting his people, the team will have a hard time with trust. Self discipline is an important virtue of a great leader.

Dogs only understand clear signals or orders. Ambiguous messages are not understood. Sit is sit and down is down. Many organizations and teams lack clear instructions. This brings these teams in a vacuum of dilemma’s and frustration. Leaders need to lead with clear messages.

Exercise, Discipline and Affection

First, there is exercise. If your dog lies in his basket all day, he will be an energy bomb. He needs to release this energy by exercising. Humans are the same. The worst thing you can do with a battalion of Para troopers is to let them wait. In the end they will start killing each other. Running is the easiest way of releasing energy. Dogs need a daily walk, and we need that too.

Dogs need discipline. When there is no discipline, the dog will feel stressed by the absence of clear rules. This will end causing aggression by the dog. Clear and consequent application of rules is the answer to this. When I do projects in organizations, I see many leaders shy away from discipline. There are no clear rules, or the rules are not applied.  Leaders are afraid to give corrective feedback in the form of “I messages” when unacceptable behaviour is exposed.

When the crowd is well exercised, when there is a lot of work and there is discipline, the crowd will be happy. That crowd has also time for affection. A dog without affection will slow down, get sick and eventually die.

We are not different. Even in the best performing team there needs to be an appreciative way of relating between the team members. When there is no appreciation, the team will disintegrate. Leaders should set the example of showing this appreciation. I get often reaction of leaders being afraid that they will look weak, when showing too much appreciation.

Dogs forgive very quickly

Dogs do not get stuck in emotional hick ups. They get the message, adapt and go on. People are different. People can get stuck in emotional ballast from years ago. This emotional ballast hinders them to engage in new contacts.

Leaders learned the discipline to engage in a contact with a new and fresh look. They will not get stuck in the emotional past.

Dogs move on

Yes, shit happens. Sometimes my dog gets into a fight that ends up being rough. But when they are taken apart, they will move on. They will not come back after twenty years blaming that beagle that bit him that other day. Also when a dog gets a tough correction, he will accept it and move on.

Great leaders don’t get stuck in negativity. They move on with the plan. I think is this is the main differentiators between average managers and great leaders.

Gaining respect

It is all about respect in dog world. Giving and getting respect. Dog packs have clear picking orders. The lower dogs will always try to take the place of the Alfa dog. The Alfa dog will defend his place. It gains respect by setting a defined behaviour. The Alfa dog will be the one who eats first. The Alfa dog will always be the first to step on new premises. And he will clearly watch over these things.

Great leaders will also be very careful in gaining respect. In my opinion was Ghandi a great leader who gained his respect through the behaviour he exhibited. Great leaders will in return cherish this respect by giving respect to others of the team.

Emitting and receiving energy

In a dog pack it is all about energy. It is said that animals and also dogs have a sixth sense. This sixth sense is their receptiveness for energy. A dog will know that there is a thunderstorm coming only from the changed energy in the air.

Great leaders are also aware of the energy and they can handle that energy. I remember pope Jean Paul II in front of thousands of youngsters on a world catholic congress. For more than twenty minutes, there was nothing said in the audience. But you could feel the energy. And Pope Johannes II really played with that energy.

Aggression is a no go

Aggression is not acceptable in the dog pack of Cesar. When a new dog enters the pack, he needs to learn that rule. And that is not always easy. Aggression is a sign of weakness. By adapting to the rule of “No aggression” the dog will grow stronger.

Great Leaders will have to use no aggression to lead their teams. Leaders that use aggression will not last. All dictators come to an end one day. Also between the team members aggression should not be allowed.

The master acts, the dog reacts

When Cesar speaks on his video’s he says: “we rehabilitate dogs and we train people”. Dogs are extremely dependant on the behaviour of their master. The right behaviour of their master can make a happy well balanced dog. But that same master can make of his dogs an aggressive “hit man” just by his behaviour.

Leaders have unlimited influence over their teams by their behaviour. It is not their words but their overall behaviour that is important. Especially when the behaviour does not match the words, it is that behaviour that will have the most influence. Therefore, I believe that leaders lead by walking and not so much by the talking. You could wonder that a manager is not better off getting a dog to learn about leadership than going to all this expensive Leadership Development programs. It would surely be cheaper for the training budget.

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