Topsport community diner

The Topsport Community is a community of Top athletes, Executives from multinationals and scientists. The goal of this community is to learn from each other, to strengthen leadership and to create an inspirational network of excellence.

Yesterday evening we had a very inspiring diner with about 40 well known Dutch people. Among them were top athletes like: Pieter van den Hoogenband, Esther Vergeer, Peter Blangé (all Olympic gold medalists) Louis van Gaal (coach of the Dutch National Football team), Hans van Breukelen, Ruud van Nistelrooy (former national soccer players), her royal majesty Princess Laurentien der Nederlanden (member of the Dutch Royal Family), Andre Kuipers (Dutch astronaut), Jan Peter Balkenende (former prime minister).

The theme of the evening was inspiration:  who is/was the personal coach in your live and how do you use what you have learned from him/her in your own leadership style. Many personal stories have been shared in the group. A personal coach can be an inspirational person but also a story / phrase that has triggered you to execute extraordinary activities. At the age of 12 Andre Kuipers dreamed of reaching his goal to travel trough space. Books from Carl Segan about the cosmos have created his vision.

My personal story: As I stammered when I was young, I envisaged myself speaking freely for large groups.  In 2012 I was a keynote speaker in Boston at an international social business congress for over 1700 people.

We all enjoyed a fantastic evening. Key messages were:

  • Never stop learning
  • Keep on wondering and never stop asking questions
  • Keep on exploring the universe and your mind


I would sincerely like to thank Pieter van der Hoogenband for starting this community. Please see the Topsport community website (in Dutch)  here.  Next to Pieter I would also like to thank e-Office, as they allowed me to be part of this network with a very inspirational group of people.

P.s. a personal story from me has been published in the Topsport annual book of 2013. I will have this story translated in English and share it later this month.