Born and raised in a small coastal town, Gil spent much of his childhood in the protected natural park, bird spotting with his binoculars, in the tennis club nearby, on the court, or behind the bar. When the time came to fly out of the nest to study, he chose to immerse himself in Brussels's cultural melting pot. The vibrant city opened his eyes and gave a whole new meaning to the word self-reflection. Gil fell in love with our capital. So much as he is a country boy, he is as much a city person.
Gil hikes, runs, rides a bike, and plays tennis to keep a sane mind in a sane body. Curious by nature, he listens to podcasts of in-depth interviews and about food & agronomy. Currently on his nightstand lies the book 'Het Grote Gevecht' by journalist Jeroen Smit about the journey and fight for sustainability by Unilever and its former CEO Polman. Gil actively supports the Re-story movement, believing that a new positive story of hope and connection leads to a better world for all.
"Collaborating, partnering, co-creating gives us novel insights, different perspectives and is an opportunity for growth," Gil says. How can small companies make a difference? "We need to assemble the like-minded and create strengthening networks and, if possible, ecosystems."
No idols for Gil. Volunteers and emergency services receive his admiration, the Covid & climate crisis that impacts the world in mind. Such solidarity is heroism and puts everything in perspective.
His motto is 'Plus est en Vous.' Provide the proper framework, and people can rise above themselves. Dare to stretch yourself, step out of your comfort zone. Live your life to the fullest. There is so much to learn and discover.
Young Gil, he'd advise working, studying, or traveling abroad. Immersion in other cultures is necessary.
One of his first informal mentors, when he started his career in retail, taught him three things: self-discipline, customer centricity, and lifelong learning. Gil was always on the lookout for learning opportunities and discovered a sounding board in a 75-year-old widow of an artist. The hamster wheel he regularly finds himself caught in she challenges by emphasizing his responsibility for his happiness.
Daring to speak about his failures, inspiring with success stories, and digging deep into the heart of the matter, asking difficult questions in combination with his experience in various types of organizations will help many mentees take the next step to great leadership guided by mentor Gil.
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