YOU are the company! - Patrick Vergult - ebook

Go to work on Monday in a good mood and full of positive expectations, relax with colleagues, write success stories and feel that you help make the difference - this should be more than just a dream. Patrick Vergult guides you through ten key questions on a voyage of discovery to your 'why'.Find out the true reason you work. Thanks to immediately applicable, practical tips, you can experience more work satisfaction starting from today. Among other things you'll discover: · What three fundamental values are important to your success. · Which three secrets help you to reap lasting success. · Which two skills will open all doors to you. · How you can motivate yourself (and others). · And much more! Because ... YOU are the company! Get your copy of YOU are the company now!

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Table of Contents



Why you should read this book

Everyone has the right to shape his or her life as they wish

Is this book for you?

“YOU are the company!” - the employee as ‘co-entrepreneur’

How will you get the most out of this book?

Chapter 1 – Foundations for your success

You see what you think and feel - you are who you think you are

The power of your own decision

Foundation 1: The secret of thoughts and feelings

Foundation 2: Use the secret of sincere appreciation

You get what you give

Foundation 3: Replace gossip and back-biting with motivation and praise

To avoid gossip, I recommend the following four steps

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 2 – The secret to your sustainable success

But what if the success is not achieved so quickly, or does not happen at all at the outset?

The strength of the mission

Use the strength of the mission

Your vision and that of your employer

Create perspectives through retrospection and prospection

Benefits on many levels

Perspectives, also for your clients

By creating perspectives for our clients, we indirectly create perspectives for ourselves.

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 3 – Two skills that will open up your world

Skill 1: Soft Skills

Can Soft Skills be measured?

Self-reflection exercise

Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Skill 2: Networking

The true added value for you

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 4 – Practicing team spirit and getting to know yourself better

Teamworking” - “Nice, Another Manager”, or “Together Everyone Achieves More”?

Use your talents and unique strengths to benefit team performance

Engage and communicate!

How can you detect a non-functional team?

What should you do when you come across intrigues?

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 5 – how do you become a motivated employee?

You are the company!” - the employee as ‘co-entrepreneur’

Employee engagement

Thinking about the basic foundation: people

Think about the core issues: vision, goal and mission

Thinking about differentiation: the USP


Do it like Jean-Claude!

How to distinguish between “being effective” and “being efficient”


ectiveness means: doing the right things

Efficiency means: doing things right

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 6 – Your personal biorhythm and your performance curve

How can your performance be the highest and sustained for a longer period of time?

Do you know your personal biorhythm and your performance curve yet?

Follow your performance curve

Is Work-Life Balance outdated?

The naturalness of the wave

Forced breaks

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 7 – Satisfied customers lead to success

Why your employer’s customers are the source of your success

If we take our customers into account, they will come back. If we only take ourselves into account, they will never return.

“Surely I’m not the company!?”

Thinking for others

Sustainable customer satisfaction

What does carnival have to do with business?

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 8 – Strengthen your safety and balance

Safety first!

Three steps to reduce the risk of accidents and to recognize ‘hidden’ hazards

What terrorist attacks, war and emotional traumas teach us

What can we learn from this for our daily work?

Criticizing without hurting anyone

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 9 – Consciously learn from other generations

Generation Y

What’s different about Generation Y?

Long-term and loyal employees

Summary and Action Steps

Chapter 10 – Stay on course

Afterword – a message of courage







Reader’s lounge

Links to recommended books

About the author


An idea alone isn’t enough for a book. Experiences, memories and energy are also required. As with any other project, it further calls upon sparring partners, people who think along, inspire, innovate and challenge. People with whom you can have good conversations, build relationships and create enriching collaborations.

In that context, I would like to sincerely thank the following people in my immediate environment:

My family: for their unconditional support and love:

my wife Carine Van Laecke, who provided the basic idea for the title of the book;

my daughter Melissa Vergult.

My parents, Richard Vergult and Lucie Pauwels.

My father-in-law Jacques Van Laecke.

Chantal Perriniaquet, experienced Business Coach, female entrepreneur and author. Important partner in the creation of this book.

My co-entrepreneur and sparring partner, Thomas Hungerbühler.

My former electrical engineering teachers Carlos Verwee and Etienne Gernaey.

Pierre Clausen, former entrepreneur in management advice.

Roel Verschueren, author, ex-CEO and kindred spirit. Author of the preface of this book and translator of the original German version to Dutch.

Christian Wenk, GP and former duathlon top athlete, founder of the Christian Wenk foundation, talented pianist, wheelchair athlete. Author of the afterword of this book.

All these people added color to my life experiences. They inspired and supported me, each in their own way. They positively influenced my life and taught me the importance of a fighting spirit and endurance. Their capacity to deal with setbacks made a strong impression on me.

They are partners for life. They have always made me intensely happy and have taught me to consciously deal with success. All these elements and the energy they generated, are the basis of my decision to write a book with passion, conviction and confidence!

I have a powerful desire to pass on my accumulated life experiences and share them with anyone interested.

I therefore dedicate this book to all people who understand and acknowledge that they can take their lives into their own hands and shape their own happiness.


By Roel Verschueren

It happens too rarely. But when it happens, you instinctively know it’s ‘right’.

Roughly twenty years ago, after I had just sold three companies to a NYSE-listed multinational, I came to the author of this book with a new plan. An idea for a new company, not yet fully developed, but already supported by figures and a successful test.

The conversation with Patrick quickly evolved in a direction that surpassed the project. It almost immediately turned to something that both of us - unconsciously - had been very fond of for a long time and which still holds true to date. This conversation was decisive on my decision to either continue together, or to leave everything as it was. A conversation that clearly exceeded pure entrepreneurship.

We talked mainly about how differently people approach what they enjoy doing and what they have to do. And about how important it is to be able to focus on what we really enjoy doing in life. We further noted that we should leave tasks that ‘we don’t particularly enjoy doing’ to others. We quickly reached the following conclusion: ‘An individual truly excels in what he does when he enjoys what he does and that it makes him happy”. That is why I entrusted the entire administrative and financial aspects of my new project to Patrick’s newly launched accounting firm. He understood from our first conversation how he, like me, in both different positions and in new relationships, was able to get the best out of each of us, and thus develop the project into a successful business. All of that with fewer words and fewer meetings than I had known in my entire previous international life of entrepreneurship.

In addition to being a renowned engineer, Patrick Vergult is also a self-made man in all the areas he needs to master in order to perfectly coordinate his chosen assignments. And, I could identify with him. I’m talking about entrepreneurs who have always taken the other, often alternative, path that no others have followed. Often for fear of the unknown, or in order to protect what they already have, or from believing themselves to be cleverer, until that too reaches its limit. The author of this book has - for as long as I’ve known him - better understood and respected his staff, his fellow ‘stakeholders’, his ‘compagnons de route’ than anyone and always ensured that communication and openness were guaranteed.

In doing so he rarely put himself first. He is an unambiguous man, straightforward and direct; he’ll sooner surprise with his versatility, his keen eye for opportunities, his own management style, than with his actual training.

He wants to thoroughly know those people with whom he collaborates. He wants to understand what motivates them, what they are truly ‘good’ at and he wants to encourage them to do even better. He is a man for whom ‘success’ is impossible without the word ‘happiness’ attached to it. Someone who wants to ensure that whoever works for him and with him toward the same goal, can at minimum count on being fully recognized, respected and correctly assessed. Patrick knows that he would never be who he is without the colleagues, employees, project managers, and friends with whom he has surrounded himself for many years.

The author of this book has ample experience with ‘sharing’. He is an ‘Analytical Harmonizer’, a rare point on the scale of life, because analytical people can only satisfy their hunger with pure facts, short messages and numbers. This does not apply to the author of this book. Behind the analytic mind hides a warm person, someone who understands that no one can bring something to conclusion on his own, and a man who wants to ensure that those who follow his path - a path he prefers travelling together with them - experience the same happiness, as this will lead to success, both for the company and for the individual employees.

In the years preceding this book, Patrick Vergult mainly learned how he does NOT want to do business, neither as an employee nor as an employer. Because he understands, knows, and has experienced the various forms of ‘entrepreneurship’. This book contains an inestimable world of insights, directly based on his experience, and the enthusiasm that resulted from sharing it with others.

His book discusses what we can learn from others about emotional stability, biorhythm, motivation, networking, recognition, success and so much more.

The true value of this book is plain to see:

If you’re ready for it, each chapter and discussed item will help you further, not only to be satisfied in your job, but also in your life.

If you’re only half ready, this book will take you further, until you’re ready to take the next step.

And if you’re not (yet) ready for it, then it’s the start of a new beginning.

A book that can achieve this, is the book that the author wanted to share with its readers.

Happy reading!

Roel Verschueren

Ex-CEO and author

Vienna, May 2017

Why you should read this book

Why do you work?

Is it important to you to get an answer to this?

Don’t we work to make a living and perhaps to afford some luxury? Or is the question rather what we should be able to afford? For many of us there is a question about the ‘why’, a question that we don’t (or too rarely) allow to ask ourselves.

Working requires multiple stimuli. How we feel about doing it, however, is too often ignored. Yet it is useful for everyone to consciously take into account feelings and emotions. Emotions are more important than money. This conclusion was reached by psychologists Edward L. Deci, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer (see reader’s lounge). According to their research, there are three reasons why we go to work every day:


Our desire to shape and organize our own life exactly as we want.


The need to constantly improve our own abilities, to make progress and to experience small or bigger successes.

Meaning and purpose

The feeling that we can contribute through our work and make a difference in this world

I can confirm today that I actually know why I work and what motivates me. Of course money is also important. My actual motivation to work, however, is the combination of the three reasons mentioned above, which have always driven me, for more than 30 years of work experience. Regardless of my income. There were periods in my life during which I earned more than during others. And yet I sometimes noticed that I was less motivated and creative and was less satisfied, because the aforementioned factors were lacking. During these difficult periods, I didn’t actually know why I was working, although I was earning more than before.

When I was much younger and more naive due to less experience, I worked for a construction company to pay for my studies. My boss’s management style was not only popular at the time but was also considered as the most successful.

My only job was to hand him tools on command, which made me feel truly dumb or incompetent. He introduced me to his customers as ‘boy’ on the shop floor, which made me feel small. I was often overwhelmed by boredom, which made me begin to wonder how I could handle things differently. But as soon as I undertook something, I was called back; I was only allowed to do something following an order from the ‘boss’. My kindly formulated proposals on what other activities I could possibly undertake, were not tolerated. I felt totally useless, as if I didn’t exist. Time went by unbearably slowly, sometimes I almost fell asleep. I felt worthless because I felt I couldn’t contribute. I increasingly began to wonder why I worked there, why he needed me, and what the purpose of my presence was.

In short:

a patriarchal, stern, strict and emotionless

leadership was the law.

As an employee, I felt like a cog in a machine: impersonal, nameless and above all unmotivated. I simply carried out orders. This directive style of leadership did not suit my personality, and I couldn’t understand how firms like this could be successful. Today, however, I know that there are indeed companies that are successful and profitable (and even grow) through this way of working.

Although I feigned strength, I had already given up on the inside. I realized that the only solution to escape this miserable work situation was to finish my studies as quickly as possible so that I could explore new avenues. I figured the (non) experiences that I gained there would generally be good in the construction sector. Fortunately, my experiences later on were completely different.

After this first negative experience on the labor market, I was delighted to be able to start in a completely different work environment: in the construction company of my future father-in-law. As I initially saw too many parallels with my first job, I still had my doubts. But because I myself had asked to work there, I suppressed these doubts. I was soon rewarded for that. I could hardly believe it when they gave me a larger assignment, which they explained to me step by step. They let me carry out this assignment in complete confidence and completely independently, although I knew very little about the construction industry. I ultimately felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction. It felt like I had finished the assignment all by myself. It was clear that I had to go outside my comfort zone, but I was rewarded with small things again and again. This had a positive effect on my self-confidence. Instead of a feeling of inferiority, a ‘feeling of superiority’ grew within me. I was extremely happy. I was also allowed to make mistakes, and it was fantastic to experience to what extent I could learn and grow from these. Instead of scolding me, I received advice on how I could do things even better. It gave me a sense of security, and I felt better, happier and in balance with myself.

I felt free, appreciated and in the right place. I also enjoyed the opportunity offered to me to be and develop myself. I understood the meaning of my work and, with the agreement of the boss, I set clear goals that I wanted to achieve.

The result was that I discovered an infinite source of creativity and motivation within myself which I could activate. Only then did I feel important as an employee! For the company, this clearly resulted in more input from me and a better conversion of new ideas.

It was extremely satisfying for me to be able to pay my studies like this. Furthermore, I also got a different picture of the construction industry and I realized that the whole world does not operate like the place where I gained my first, and unfortunately negative, work experience.

However, both experiences with different management styles were important to me, and I remain grateful for them. They gave me my first a-ha moment with regard to the different ways a person can experience a company. This taught me that multiple forms of management are possible. I couldn’t identify with the first management style, but was extremely satisfied with the second.

My reservations gave me the impetus - many years later - to use a participative and coaching method of management with my business partners and employees in our own company. I used the opportunity to use the skills that I had developed as an employee in this new role. I had unconsciously prepared myself for an entrepreneurial culture that focused on the self-development of my employees.

Everyone has the right to shape his or her life as they wish

This book aims to demonstrate to you - as an employee at a medium-sized or large company - the extent to which you can influence your position within, or the way you are regarded in, the company. There are indeed a lot more opportunities for action available than you might think at first sight.

Unfortunately, all too often I have to conclude that in many companies, quite a few employees ensconce themselves and allow themselves to be underestimated. They communicate little or not at all about how and what they think or feel. In other words, they do not share their valuable experiences and get involved too little, usually because of undeserved modesty.

Yet every individual is valuable and important! A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Everyone ensures in their own field that the company can serve clients correctly and properly. After all, a company can’t survive without satisfied clients, and thus your job will also disappear, after which you’ll have to look for another job.

Which is why everyone has the right to give his or her own input and to shape his or her life differently. And that is the main reason for this book. It has to be an appeal to everyone, regardless of their job, to show that they can change their own world in a positive way at any time.

“Man is good by nature”,

and possesses an endless potential for self-development

and is unique in his ‘being’”.

(Carl Ransom Rogers, former American psychologist and psychotherapist)

Is this book for you?

This book is ideal for you if you want to find out why you work and if you want to significantly improve your quality of life through this awareness.

This book will help you if you:

want to feel satisfaction and joy in your work;

want to wake up in the morning with a smile and go to work enthusiastically;

are striving for a relaxed and natural approach to colleagues, clients and superiors;

want to be successful in order to go through life with motivation and enthusiasm;

want to be an example to others;

want to be a winner without feeling that life is a struggle;

want that money should not be a leitmotif, and that you are paid enough to enjoy a good life;

want to experience your job as a ‘mission’, something that keeps you constantly excited;

want to make a difference in the company and want to be appreciated for it;

want to be proud of what you create and your commitment to it;

want to work both creatively and constructively.

But also: you want to identify yourself with the company you work for to the extent that you would recommend the company to others, both to other employees and to customers.

“Leading people means taking them by the hand,

without holding them -

and letting them go without dropping them”

(Wilma Thomalla, German publicist)

The management style of a ‘boss’ reflects only one side of a thriving business culture. The other side is the personal attitude of the employees, the openness and willingness of everyone to commit themselves, to communicate and to develop further. You too can do more than seems possible at first glance.

My own motivation to be involved and to work every day in a stimulating working environment was behind my drive for personal development. Besides always being concerned with the interests of the company, I also wanted to consciously engage myself, as well as I could. To me this was always a more important incentive than how much I earned.

A Gallup study showed that about 84% of employees in Germany do not really feel engaged in their work. The economic costs incurred by unmotivated employees are between 75 and 99 billion euros (Gallup 2016). A Mercer-Delta study confirmed these figures after finding that truly engaged employees contribute fourfold to the success of a company.

If you are still not convinced that this book was written for you, then ask yourself the following questions:

Are you the type of employee who already feels bad on Sunday evening about having to go back to work the next morning?

Are you one of those people who constantly complain about your company, job, boss or other colleagues?

Are you familiar with the frustration that comes with putting forward ideas and proposals that are not taken into consideration or even heard?

Are you familiar with the daily pressure of having to perform even better, to achieve results even faster while you are well aware of how unrealistic these demands are and that they benefit neither the quality nor the customer service?

Are you familiar with the unpleasant stressful feeling that precedes a performance evaluation?

Are you one of those people who only took the job for the money?