The other day I was reading the hobbies of several C-level executives. And once again I found the usual suspects: cooking, history, art, classical music, old-timers, wine, golf, walking in the mountains … I’ve always wondered, do they do this because it is just part of the social class they belong to (cf. Bourdieu)? Or do they really enjoy it?  And why have these hobbies…
The other day I was reading the hobbies of several C-level executives. And once again I found the usual suspects: cooking, history, art, classical music, old-timers, wine, golf, walking in the mountains … I’ve always wondered, do they do this because it is just part of the social class they belong to (cf. Bourdieu)? Or do they really enjoy it?  And why have these hobbies never…
Recently I realized that a lot of people are embracing authenticity out of a need for simplicity or transparency.  Maybe this is a response to a (perceived) increased complexity. Maybe it is linked to the first level of adult development: socialized mind. I don’t know. But what hit me next, was that this need is also underlying the embracement of authentic leadership for many.…
All through history, stories have been a powerful way to build communities, to give meaning to the often tragic ‘nonsense’ of life and to inspire for action. As the beautiful quote, attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry goes: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and…
“Walk the talk” is one of the most used clichés on leadership. And the importance of role modeling is undoubted. Transformational leadership theorists [i] call it ‘idealized influence’ and it is a core element in all positive leadership theories [ii]: giving the example is an effective way to influence people in the right direction. As Cialdini [iii] quotes Cavett Robert…
Values play an important role in leadership in two ways. First of all, because leadership is a personal choice, the strength of the personal convictions and values will decide how far the leadership will reach. Values are the main stronghold when difficult choices have to be made. Without these clear values, we lose our compass to lead. Badaracco beautifully explores this dimension…
Leadership is personal and contextual. Leadership is a personal choice in a certain situation to take up an uneasy challenge. This explains why ‘awareness’ is at the heart of leadership. Awareness of the reality, also the reality of own’s own self. Self awareness is the basis of self-regulation. And self-regulation is essential to stay flexible in different circumstances. Goffee…
We easily associate leadership with personal courage. Why is that? Why is leadership personal at all? The answer lies in the definition of leadership. Setting the agenda for change is a personal choice. As Heifetz quotes Max Weber: "Here I stand, I can do no other.' Leadership provokes stress and loss  because it's necessary. And the leadership role remains dangerous and heavy…
Leadership is often defined as social influence. That makes leadership trivial and instrumental: people using their influence to reach group goals. At the same time we all associate leadership with 'making the difference', 'realizing breakthroughs', 'transformation'. Heifetz shows the way out of this confusion by differentiating authority, leadership and power. Authority is the…
"How can we understand and define leadership, not only in its effectivity, but also in its morality?" "Did Hitler show great leadership?" It's an easy question to provoke a debate on leadership. The answer to that question is not easy. I read already some books on leadership and most of them are prescriptive: "do this, do that and be successful." Some of the books inspired me.…
“It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Cfr. Geert Noels – Econoshock: shift to the east, demographics, end of fossil fuels, IT & technology, the new capitalism, green economy. Cfr. Peter Hinssen The NewNormal: we’re entering the digital world and it affects our ‘limits’. Attention span goes to zero (twitter). We have endless possibilities to seek information…