Personal Leadership Development Journal

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					Personal Leadership
Development Journal


ME           WE



“Reflection doesn’t take anything away from decisiveness, from being a person of action. In
fact, it generates the inner toughness you need to be an effective person of action ………. to be
a leader” Peter Koestenbaum

Slowing down, taking time out for reflection, are not typically things that busy leaders have an
opportunity to do. We live in a time where the deadlines always loom too large, where the ‘to
do’ list is perpetually being added to and the conflicting demands of work, family, and time for
self seem to be in an unending struggle for one’s time, energy and resources.

So what does this have to do with journaling?

Keeping a journal has been used by people over many centuries as a way of recording what is
happening in their life and their world. Many journals have now become valuable social
commentaries of their day e.g. Samuel Pepys’s diaries that chronicle Victorian England, or those
of the early explorers that give us an idea of what pioneering sea voyages or expeditions into
Antarctica were like. Those are journals that have helped to tell the story of the day. Then there
are the journals like ‘Letters to my unborn child’ that describe the inner landscape of what it
means to be human. They help us to understand our collective and individual madness and
normality, grief and loss, hopes and love and joy. They are the safe place in which to learn
more about ourselves.

I’ve found that keeping a daily journal or writing a daily poem is a wonderful way to stay in
touch with what’s important and who I want to be. Journal and poem writing help me integrate,
rather than shutting off the events in my life from my emotions. I used to be incredulous at
how many gory and heart breaking things I’d see in the hospital every day – and I couldn’t
even remember what they were when I got home at night. Yet I knew they were in me,
because I knew how awful I was feeling. So I began to write about these things, making brief
notes during the day if I needed to. Let’s say I saw a terrible auto accident on the corner. I’d
write a few paragraphs about what happened. Then I’d paint pictures for a couple of hours or
write a poem about the experience, and I‘d come out of that room feeling more at peace. I’ve
begun writing a poem each morning, and the themes that come up tell me what’s going on in
my life at a deep level, what I need to work on. For instance, I wrote a poem recently about
silence. It began, “fax, phone, mail, life – whose home is this? What do we all want?....... I
remember hearing nothing, surrounded by sand dunes and nature. God how beautiful and
deafening is silence….. I need to be silent inside until I can return to the silence outside” I
don’t consider myself a great poet, but these lines express my reaction to coming home from a
restful vacation and finding that the messages and machines and other pressures awaiting me
make me feel as though I am not in charge of my life. I’ve learned from this to turn my fax off
when I go away – I don’t want to come home to 10 feet of paper. And you know the world
doesn’t end. From Handbook for the Soul; Bernie Siegel MD

Journals can serve the purpose of being deeply private and personal or can be written with the
intention of publication to serve a wider audience. So much of our experience as humans is at
once both extraordinarily unique and personal while at the same time also universal.

The way in which I encourage you to use your journal is in the personal sense. (although there
is nothing to stop you from publishing it of course!) To use it as a space in which you can
capture what is happening in your world of leadership, what you are thinking and feeling, what
gremlins you are wrestling with and what questions are besieging you and what triumphs and
successes you are celebrating.

“it always comes back to the same necessity; go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth,
however hard” May Sarton

You don’t need to share your writing with anyone unless you want to. It is a safe place in which
to explore your deepest fears and wildest dreams, your longings, frustrations, rage and
challenges. It is safe because it does not answer back and there are no consequences for
anyone else of saying exactly what you think and feel.

The power of journaling is that through the act of writing you discover what you think. It is in
the process of reflecting on your writing over time that you discover the patterns and trends
that are influencing your thinking, behavior and life. It is in the discovery of answers from
within to the questions that intrigue or maybe trouble you that you discover more about who
you are and the power that lies within your own experience. These types of insights will never
be possible if you just keep your thoughts circulating in your own head

“the events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they
find their own order……… the continuous thread of revelation” Eudora Welty.

So if you have never journalled before give it a try. You will find your own rhythm as to what
works for you, in terms of time of day and place for writing, frequency and length of entries.
There are no rules but to make the journal meaningful you probably need to write at least once
a week. When you write just let your thoughts flow – even if they don’t make too much sense in
the moment, remember the journal is there for you and no-one else.

“Another way I nurture my soul is by keeping a daily journal………..I have searched for my
essence, and I have recorded my terrors, my hopes, my delights in my journal. In doing this I
have affirmed my own feelings and my own values. I have sought to discover my unique
purpose. In this way, I have tried to live my own truth, which often ran counter to the culture.
This is what my two solitary hours in the morning are about - experiencing the core of my soul
and discovering the truth that I have to live” from Handbook for the Soul by Marion Woodman

Remember there are no rights and wrongs, there is only discovering what works for you.
Sometimes you will write a sentence and other times several pages. The important thing is that
you get into the habit of writing down what is happening in your external and internal world.

You may want to keep your journal on-line but I’d like to suggest that if that is your preference
that you supplement it with a book in which you can write. Something different happens when
you write in the old fashioned way. It is also useful to keep it with you so that you can capture
thoughts as they happen.

Some people find that they like to have a specific time of day in which to journal – maybe last
thing at night or first thing in the morning. Others find that writing at different times of the day
produces different kinds of writing. I suggest you experiment until you find what works for you.

It is also useful to also draw, create symbols, shapes, and write poems or songs. It is the place
to bring your creativity to bear and see what happens as you play and experiment on this
journey of discovery.

 You may well find that although this is primarily a journal of your leadership journey that it is
also appropriate to write about things that are happening in the more personal and social
aspects of your life.

“The best, clearest writing is not impersonal. It always sounds like someone talking. Do the
sentences that you have written sound like you or do they sound like someone you are
pretending to be? ……. write to express not to impress.” From John L Beckley – The Power of
Little Words

The King “that was wonderful I will remember it for the rest of my life.

The Queen “no you won’t, not unless you write it down” from Alice in Wonderland

So have fun with your journal, be curious and experiment with it over the next few months and
see what unfolds through the process.

K Sandison 2004

                           A bit about this Journal
This journal is not a traditional one, it is a hybrid. Part journal, part workbook, part
guided reflection, part reminder of work you did on your leadership programme

It is not meant to cover all aspects of the programme nor is it meant to be a definitive
personal leadership reflective journey. What we hope is that it will prove to be a useful
tool along with many others to help deepen your understanding of yourself and the
world in which you are a leader.

In this journal you will find articles, exercises, questions, quotes, frameworks and poems
to stimulate your thinking. You do not have to do or use everything that is suggested.
We encourage you to expand beyond what is here, bring your own creativity to this
process. The challenge is for you to find ways to make this process come alive for you.

The purpose of this journal is to take you deeper into yourself and your leadership
practice. What you capture here will be the source material for writing your personal
case study at the end of the programme. The more you have captured in your journal
the easier that task at the end will be.

This journal is a piece of this leadership journey process. The other pieces are your
experiences during the workshop, your leadership council conversations, your
programme workbook and your practical everyday experiences as a leader.

                                 Journaling Ideas

To date every entry

Have fun, be playful and curious

Draw, doodle, write poems, paste in pictures, photos, cartoons, images, do a collage,
create mindmaps

It is not just a left brain process so treat it as a circular rather than a linear exploration

Capture content, thoughts and feelings

Focus on the essence of the experience

Write as close to the event as possible

Don’t try to censor or edit what you are writing – remember no one else will see your

Write enough to enable you to revisit the experience and hold it in your memory for
future use

There is no right and wrong way to journal

If you choose to do most of your journaling electronically – experiment with also doing
some by hand as different things happen when the computer is not acting as a

                       Despite all the above there are no rules

Possible ways to use your journal

Capture critical incidents – anything that happens that leaves you feeling ‘churned up’
contemplative, wondering what happened and why, or delighted. There are critical
incident log templates at the end of your journal that you can use for this purpose

Write in free flow whatever comes to mind, just flow from one thought to the next – even
if it doesn’t make sense

Use the questions and templates to guide more directed reflection

Have some pages that you capture questions on that you are fascinated by or grappling

Write a letter to someone in which you express everything that you can’t say in person
(you can choose to send it or not)

Reflect on the same question over time ie weeks or months apart

Recreate as best you can a conversation that took place

Keep a daily log for a few weeks to track the movement of your life

Write about work, projects, events, turning points, people

Go back to the workbook that you used on the programme, reread the notes you made
and look at the exercises you did and use this journal to take some of those exercises,
insights and intentions further

Use it as a place to dump feelings when you are feeling troubled, sad, angry, frustrated,
anxious, hopeful, excited etc. Write your way into and through your feelings

Capture ideas and thoughts that you don’t want to lose – those ‘ah-ha’ moments

Raise and explore questions that you are grappling with – it is often interesting to see
how these questions change over time – you may want to write about those questions
– to unpack them as you have a conversation with yourself. But it can also be useful to
just write down the questions that arise. In many ways the questions we grapple with
are more important than the solutions we find. Staying with the questions often creates
eventual insights that would not have been possible if you had rushed to a solution

                                     Critical Leadership Event Review

There are two options to use. Feel free to use them interchangeably or pick one your
more comfortable with and use it. Ideally you should experiment with both.

                                       Cycle of Reflection

                                      Your personal “home movie”
                                      •Statement of experience
                                      •No judgments or conclusions
                                      •No interpretations
                                      •Courageous remembering
                                      and observing

             Resolve:                                                         Reflect:

   •How am I going to grow?                                          •What does this mean to me?
   •How will I monitor it?                                           •How did and does it affect
   •Who will I involve and ask for                                   me?
   feedback?                                                         •What made me “glad, mad,
   •What are my large goals?                                         sad, bad, afrad” about it?

                                     •Who am I? Underdeveloped,
                                      Developed, Highly Developed
                                     •What personal “myths” must
                                      I relinquish or challenge?
                                     •What is my Tyranny of
                                            •What is my Cave of

This first option provides a powerful way of dissecting a specific event and using it to
develop highly personal and authentic leadership lessons. The process is simple:

   1. Record: Merely record the event by describing what occurred. DO not make
      judgements or try to interpret it. Be as detached as possible and simply write
      down what happened, e.g.
         • Our manager called us into a meeting on Monday and told us that costs
            had to be cut by 10%. He did not give any opportunity for questions and
            told us to have a list of suggestions by Wednesday afternoon. He then left
            to go to another meeting.

2. Reflect: Explore how the situation made you feel and how you reacted. Also
   define what implications it held for you, e.g.
      • It immediately struck me that this decision could not have been thought
          through well enough. In my area we had two major contracts going that
          will bring in good margins. To simply say “Cut 10%” is too generic and
          simplistic. I felt angry and abused by this whole process. It immediately
          became clear to all of us that one of the only ways to achieve 10% cuts
          would be to reduce staff, and that only one month before the holidays.
          One of the things that made me think is that all of us just passively
          accepted it. We didn’t want to rock the boat and instead just muttered
          amongst ourselves. None of us were initially willing to confront this issue. I
          decided that instead of reaching a decision on my own I would involve my
          team in finding out what we could do. However, before even going into the
          team meeting I decided that I was not going to merely accept the need to
          cut 10%. The thought of confronting my manager has made me nervous,
          but I need to do it because I believe it’s the right and effective thing to do.

3. (R)evolution: Use this experience to reflect on your personal leadership insights
   and challenges. The challenges may be incremental (evolutionary) or require a
   quantum shift (revolution), e.g.
      • It’s clear that I am still underdeveloped when it comes to facing up to
         conflicting situations in the moment. Even though I have decided to not
         simply adhere to the request, I still joined in with everyone to complain
         about the unfairness, but without raising it automatically with my manager.

          My instinct to involve my team has proved to be very productive. They
          were also initially upset, but we have developed alternatives and are all in
          agreement that this cost issue has to be discussed more thoroughly. It’s
          made me realise that I have well developed capacity to involve people and
          still reach decisions quite quickly. However, my aversion to conflict and
          tough conversations is something to work on.

          This experience has definitely destroyed one of my long held myths. I’ve
          always thought that more senior managers would automatically invest
          much more time in addressing tough issues such as this. I’ve tried to put
          myself in his shoes and wonder whether I would have reacted very

         My Tyranny of Competence is clearly the commitment to involve people,
         and yet I don’t as readily insist on being involved. This is probably linked
         to my conflict aversion. This is perhaps one of my Caves of Incompetence.

4. Resolve: Now define what you will do with these insights, e.g.
     • No matter how uncomfortable it’s going to make me feel, I am going to
        commit myself to responding more quickly when decisions are made or
        statements are made which I sense have not been thought through well

         This has also made me realise that I have never taken negotiation
         seriously and need to find a programme where I can learn how to
         negotiate through tough situations. Someone has recommended Roger
         Fisher’s book “Getting to Yes”, and I’ve ordered it on Amazon. As soon as
         I’ve read it I’m going to apply for a negotiation skills programme.

   •   The personal or internal facets of leadership which largely determine the
       individual’s personal preferences, leadership style and primary point of reference.

   •   This point of reference is made up of one’s worldviews, assumptions, beliefs,
       values and knowledge.

   •   The “ME” space is the starting point of all leadership, and determines the leader’s
       own personal subjective way of interacting with everything occurring external to
       him or her.

My personal capacity as a leader is rooted in my own authentic and inner diversity; the
magnificent construct of my brain; and in the mysterious interplay of my soul, spirit,
mind and body.

My personal success as a leader, and my capacity to enhance the innovative capacity of
organisations, is rooted in my ability to tap into perpetual learning and ongoing personal

“I want to write but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in
my heart” Anne Frank - Diary of a Young Girl

                         Living and Leading Consciously
“We learn to live consciously through becoming aware of our inner and outer events as
they are happening. Building a conscious self means becoming increasingly aware of
inner events, bodily events, and interpersonal events. A conscious self is able to
experience in full awareness all the distinctly different components of the self, including
feelings, needs, drives and values. A conscious self lives consciously” Gershon
Kaufman/Lev Raphael – The Dynamics of Power

Reflection (this is a good exercise to do daily)

Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and as you do
consciously relax your body on the outbreaths.

Then with your closed eyes ‘scan’ your body. Start at your toes and work up through
each area of your body. Go up and down your body a number of times

While you are doing this ‘scan’ of your body notice any places of tension, physical

Notice too, any emotions that surface while you are doing this and any thoughts that get

Open your eyes and spend some time capturing the experience


Reflect on where you are on this bell curve

Are you living up to your potential?

What responsibilities does it present for you?

What opportunities can you live into?

                              ALL THE TRUE VOWS – David Whyte

All the true vows

are secret vows

the ones we speak out loud

are the ones we break.

There is only one life

you can call your own

and a thousand others

you can call by any name you want.

Hold to the truth you make

every day with your own body,

don’t turn your face away.

Hold to your own truth

at the centre of the image

you were born with.

Those who do not understand

their destiny will never understand

the friends they have made

nor the work they have chosen

nor the one life that waits

beyond all the others.

By the lake in the wood

in the shadows

you can

whisper the truth

to the quiet reflection

you see in the water.

Whatever you hear from

the water, remember,

it wants you to carry

the sound of its truth on your lips.

Remember ,

in this place

no one can hear you

and out of the silence

you can make a promise

it will kill you to break,

that way you’ll find

what is real and what is not.

I know what I am saying.

Time almost forsook me

and I looked again.

Seeing my reflection

I broke a promise

and spoke

for the first time

after all these years

in my own voice,

before it was too late

to turn my face again.

“Here where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape which the winds move across
as they come from the seas, here I feel that there is no-one anywhere who can answer
for me these questions and feelings which, in their depths, have a life of their
own………… have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the
questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign
language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because
you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions
now. Perhaps then some day far into the future, you will gradually without even noticing
it, live your way to the answers”. Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet


Capture the questions that you are curious about. Keep adding to this list as new ones

More Questions

                 “Nothing changes, but it can” James Read

                       Personal Attitude Towards Learning                                 Rating
  1.    I have the capacity to learn.

  2.    I have the willingness and openness to learn from theory, articles, books, case
        studies etc.
  3.    I have the willingness and openness to learn from others.

  4.    I have the capacity to give forthright feedback in a constructive manner.

  5.    I have the courage to receive tough feedback.

  6.    I readily recognise and admit areas where I need further development and
  7.    I am healthily aware of my strengths and know how to leverage them.

  8.    I am very good at primarily focusing on and mining the strengths of others.

  9.    I demonstrate the humility to acknowledge where others are more competent
        than I am, and learn from or rely on them to complement my own abilities.
  10.   I have the resolve, eagerness and will to learn, even when it pushes me beyond
        my comfort zones.

           Rating: 0 = Underdeveloped; 1 = Developed; 2 = Highly Developed


Capture your thoughts about your ratings



Finish the following sentences about yourself as a leader:

I used to assume………………………………

I still assume………………………………….

I used to believe ……………………………..

I still believe ……………………………………………..

I am unsure about …………………………………………

I want to believe……………………………………………….

                          VISA to (W)hole Leadership

The jury is back. The verdict is in. There is a distinct difference between leadership and
management. Both are important. But, leadership is the primary driver of superior performance
and sustainable competitiveness. Leadership alone will make the good organisation great.

Since the 1960s, the role of leadership has been identified as a primary factor in determining
organisational performance and competitiveness. Professor Harry Schroder already identified
this truth more than two decades ago. During his 22 years at Princeton, he led some of the most
important research into what it takes to achieve high performance in today’s increasingly
complex and fast-moving environment. As Harry Schroder and his teams studied the
performance of teams and organisations, they found that there is a clearly definable set of high
performance leadership competencies and practices that make the difference between
superior and average performance.

The evidence in favour of leadership does not negate the importance of good old management
excellence. Leadership leverages off managerial excellence to enable an organisation to
become really great.

In his recent book, Good to Great, Jim Collins affirms Schroder’s observations. Collins found
that great companies outperformed good companies by an astonishing seven-fold over a period
of only fifteen years. To his own surprise, Collins found that the only true differential between
the good and great companies is leadership.

The undeniable challenge facing organisations thus appears to be quite simple:

   •   Establish excellent managerial competence and disciplines to lay the foundation.
   •   Develop high performance leadership capacity to make the competitive difference.

One of the problems about leadership is that there are still several views of approaches to what
constitutes leadership. Henry Mintzberg, one of the grand gurus of strategy, has identified a
similar challenge in his book, Strategy Safari. He notes that there is a wide range of diverse
and sometimes even conflicting approaches to strategy. He concludes that the true answer lies
not in one or other approach, but rather in comprehending and valuing the entire “strategy
safari.” The same is true for leadership. Leadership is a bit like the three blind men who were
challenged to describe an elephant. One got hold of the end of the tail and proclaimed that an
elephant resembled a paintbrush. The other embraced the leg and said it was like a tree. And
the third, stroking the belly, proclaimed an elephant to be like a rock. Leadership is the same.
Seen from a particular perspective it resembles only isolated elements of the whole picture –
and none of the elements in their own right are correct. The research on leadership reveals
certain compelling patterns that, when viewed together, enables organisations to become much
more disciplined in identifying and developing leaders.

The emerging framework provides an integrative model of high performance leadership. It is
true, but also not surprising, that the framework contains certain paradoxes. But, as is the case
with strategy, this is because leadership by definition requires the capacity to respond to a wide
array of circumstances and dynamic in authentic ways. This may create the impression that
there are several “models” of leadership. In reality, the research demonstrates that truly
successful leaders have the capacity to:

   •   reflect on their own leadership attributes and shortcomings;
   •   reflect on the nature of a challenge;
   •   select their responses from a definable set of attributes; and
   •   adapt their response to the peculiarities of specific circumstances.
This responsiveness and capacity to remain open to alternative options is one of the core traits
of high performance leadership. It does mean that when we look at several acts of leadership in
isolation it may look as if there are many models of leadership. In reality we are seeing a unified
but diverse framework of leadership being applied to many different circumstances.

Perhaps this is one of the primary challenges facing any aspirant leader. Every individual runs
the risk of modeling his/her leadership behaviours on only certain facets of leadership that have
been demonstrated by someone in particular circumstances. When this occurs, an individual
runs the risk of elevating only those elements of leadership to an absolute position. This

amounts to leadership fundamentalism, while true leadership reflects an intrinsic appreciation of
diversity – both the diversity of circumstances and the rich inner diversity of self and leadership.

High performance leadership is the capacity to develop and apply diverse competencies (with
competencies including knowledge, skills and attitudes). But, because of the rich textures of
high performance leadership, no person can ever be truly superb in everything. As Schroder
has noted, the really good leaders prove capable of developing and demonstrating more of the
traits of leadership, and are capable of harnessing the contributions of others to compensate for
personal shortcomings. So, what does the integrative framework of leadership look like?

                                    VIS to (W)hole Leadership
 The sets of paradoxes that constitute leadership result in four dimensions. Different individuals will develop
 very different profiles. (W)hole Leadership contains four distinct sets of challenges. Every individual has a
 greater or lesser preference for these four sets of High Impact Leadership characteristics.

            Local/ Specific                                                            Internal
             Systematic                                                           Slow/ Measured
               Linear                                                                Integrative
             Structured                                                        Reflective/ Revealing
             Methodical                        Structure                        Inquiry & Involving
              Detailed                                                                 Process

                                   Action                     Inter-

            External                                                            Global & Generic
              Fast                                                                  Systemic
           Outcome                                                                 Non-linear
       Conclusive/ Testing                                                       Unstructured
      Advocacy & Directing                                                          Flexible
              Task                                                                Conceptual


VISA to (W)hole Leadership – no one is Whole

First and foremost, no leader can be truly whole. All have certain holes in their make up. The
true leader is someone who comprehends this. S/he leverages off strengths and compensates
for less developed abilities. This means that that leader needs to possess adequate humility, or
as Charles Handy describes it, decent doubt. By definition every leader is constantly crossing
boundaries and entering unfamiliar terrain. It requires a perpetual state of willingness to
question one’s personal experience and perceptions. This places significant pressures on the
leaders. Peter Senge of MIT states that “To be a real learner is to be ignorant and
incompetent, and not many top executives may be up for that.”                Peter Koestenbaum
reinforces this view when he comments, “Being anxious is what it feels like to grow.” The
leadership quest, we are seeing, is a continuous process of learning and reflection, of personal
expansion and growth towards wholeness, but without ever reaching it.

The good news is that the attributes of great leadership are becoming clearer. This is making it
possible for individuals to identify and develop their own leadership competencies. So, while no
one can ever be truly whole, at least we can be more (w)hole. Great leadership draws on four
sets of attributes:
                       Vision – Interdependence – Structure - Action

VISA to whole leadership fulfills four interrelated challenges:

                                Vision - Make sense of the world:

Explore, make sense of, create and communicate a compelling vision that responds to the
organisation’s external and internal context.

                        Interdependence - Galvanize the collective genius:

Prepare the organisation and gain the commitment of its people, stakeholders, and entire supply
chain to the vision.

                           Structure - Construct liberating structure:

Identify and focus on priorities, and entrench the globally competitive workplace practices,
disciplines and structures that drive performance, service and innovation.

                       Action - Unleash individual potential and delivery:

Define, develop and deliver the personal, team and operational outputs that create and keep
more delighted customers.

These four challenges contain certain paradoxes and may require opposing styles from leaders.
As a consequence no individual can ever be really good at all areas. But the great leader
develops a critical mass of competencies across two to three of these four dimensions, and then
ensures that s/he can rely on the contributions of other individuals to compensate for the areas
s/he is not good at.


The leaders who are strong in this area demonstrate the following traits:

   1. Acknowledge that the environment forms a seamless whole.
   2. Appreciate just how porous the system really is.
   3. Discover the impacts of the whole, larger environment on the system within it.
   4. Think outer-inward, and then act inner-outward.
   5. Remain responsive to unforeseen circumstances and options.
   6. Enter the future with inadequate information and determination.
   7. Embrace and respond to the intrinsic chaos of systems.
   8. Comprehend the order underlying the apparent chaos. Explore the total relevant context

   10.    Challenge the norms
   11.    Explore and remain open to alternatives
   12.    Analyse the context in detail
   13.    Identify shifts in the context

Typical ways of describing leaders who are great in the area of vision include:

•Big Picture Thinking; Expansive; Offer a Compelling Dream; •Inspirational; •Visionary.

They readily exhibit a full range of emotions:

•Joy; •Sorrow; •Outrage; •Ecstasy; •Wildness

The leaders who are strong in this area demonstrate the following traits:

   1. Respect the interconnectedness of all the parts within and outside the system.
   2. Value and harness the diversity and contributions of all.
   3. Know that everyone has a contribution to make at which he/she is better than I am.
   4. Demonstrated the humility to learn from others.
   6. Develop deep knowledge of the interdependence of the entire supply chain (external and
   7. Gain and align the commitment of all stakeholders (direct and indirect).
   8.     Identify and integrate real/possible trends
   9.     Anticipate impact of converging trends
   10.    Identify and focus on priorities
   11.    Address conflict and establish synergies
They sit comfortably with the so-called soft elements of human emotions such as:

•Compassionate; •Caring; •Humility; •Connecting; •Interacting

•Sensitive; •Embracing; •Empathetic; Willing to sacrifice for the common good.

These leaders provide the stability and structure without which disciplines collapse, and so they:

   1. Recognise and submerge narrow interests to the necessity of constraints.
   2. Honour and live agreed “rules of the game.”
   3. Abide by agreements and be willing to confront non-compliance.
   4. Fulfill reciprocal roles and accountabilities.
   5. Entrench popular comprehension and endorsement of parameters and standards.
   6. Ensure compliance to agreed standards and constraints.
   7. Drive the assertive identification of non-compliance.
   8. Set consequences of non-conformance
   9.     Exercise consequences of non-conformance.
   10.    Determine and track essential benchmarks
   11.    Define DO and DON’T obligations
   12.    Monitor performance
   13.    Establish procedures that guide and liberate rather than suffocate actions.

The most common adjectives that are used to describe these leaders include:
•Precision; •Detailed; •Analytical; Set Boundaries; •Methodical. Not surprisingly, organisations
rely on these leaders to reinforce the following:

•Ritual; •Procedure; •Discipline; •Conformance; •Consequences

The fourth type of leader drives the execution of delivery and action because they:

   1. Demonstrate the willingness to take ownership of results and failures.
   2. Accept requisite control and accountabilities.
   3. Recognise and celebrate progress and small wins.
   4. Remain constructively dissatisfied.

   5. Have a propensity for action.
   6. Drive informed risk to maintain innovation and continuous improvement.
   7. Display tolerance for errors in pursuit of innovation.
   8. Rely on short learning and feedback loops to maximise accumulation of knowledge

Common adjectives for this style include:

•Produce; Celebrate; •Risk; Experiment; •Urgency; •Deliver; •Expedite; •Pressure; •Active;

The potential to live out all of these facets of leadership exists within every individual, but every
leader tends to be better at some and struggle with others. The great leaders comprehend their
own VISA strengths and weaknesses. They leverage off their strengths and are humble enough
to rely on the strength of others where they are not as well developed.

One of the challenges facing leaders is that they are often successful during the earlier years of
their careers because they rely on their more natural strengths. But, as they advance in life and
career, they face a major challenge. The strengths that got them to one stage of life and
leadership become inadequate, and their less well-developed traits become more important. In
a sense, every leader at some time faces the truth that that which has made them succeed
initially now become impediments. They have to learn new and often uncomfortable skills to
advance as leaders. In a sense, they need to become incompetent so that they may learn the
new attributes that the next stage of leadership demands of them. This requires deep humility
and yet confidence to learn.

From a VISA perspective, a leader may for instance, have made great strides because of
his/her exceptional VA strengths even though s/he lacked certain of the IS attributes. As s/he
grows, s/he has to learn how to expand his/her ability to also embrace the IS factors. Another
leader may have been exceptionally strong as a SA driver of structured results, but later in life
needs to develop the more expansive and gentle attributes of VI.

Every leader carries within him or her the rich diversity of all other leaders. The really great ones
recognize that there is no perfect or absolute formula. Instead, great leadership resides in the
ongoing capacity of the individual to reflect on his or her own inner profile of leadership, and the
willingness to explore how this personal diversity can be made more potent and expansive.

What thoughts does this article leave you with about your own leadership challenges?

                          Personal VIS Kite



        40        30        20           10             20        30        40
  A                                                                              I




Capture your VISA kite here. If you can’t remember it you will find it in your
leadership programme workbook

                              VISA PROFILE

How have you used your knowledge of VISA and your personal profile since the


VISA is a paradox framework that reflects some of the fundamental work of leadership –
developing the ability to work with dilemmas and paradoxes. Paradoxes create a
wonderful opportunity for you to look at situations from many levels and perspectives.
Paradoxes always invite us into the place of working with uncertainty and ambiguity.
They encourage us to delay making decisions and choices. They require us to be
curious and open to many possibilities that lie in the outer reaches of what is
comfortable, known and familiar for us


Write down some of the paradoxes that you are currently having to ‘dance between’

Then use these questions to reflect on them

What is true here ……..and here …………….and here?

What is happening?

How am I responding to/feeling about what is happening?

How am I being objective?

How am I being subjective?

How am I interacting with the paradox?

How is the paradox interacting with me?

“Listen to the voices of longing in your soul. Listen to your hungers. Give attention to the
   unexpected that lives around the rim of your life. Listen to your memory and to the
onrush of your future, to the voices of those near you and those you have lost. Out of all
that, make a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul, yet tender enough for your shy
   and awkward vulnerability; that has enough healing to gain the ointment of divine
 forgiveness for your wounds; enough truth and vigor to challenge your blindness and
 complacency; enough graciousness and vision to mirror your immortal beauty. Write a
 prayer that is worthy of the destiny to which you have been called.” John O’Donahue

What is it that you long for?

                             Stepping into Silence

  “you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not
 even listen simply wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you
  to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll over in ecstasy at your feet” Franz Kafka


Spend some time in silence.

Notice how easy (or not!) it is for you to just sit in silence, being still. Notice what
feelings surface and what thoughts emerge.

Write about your relationship with silence

                                     Who am I?

 “……………It’s my life I keep thinking. It’s my life” Deborah Keenan – from Happiness


This a useful reflection to do periodically – capture what feels true for you right now and
then return again and again adding, changing, noticing what is shifting and emerging. It
is useful to date each entry so you can notice what happens over time

Who are you?

I am…………………………………………

     Building Sustainable High Performance Teaming: Imagining and Giving Birth to the Dream
           Inner Circle: Leadership Gold & Shadows                Outer Circle: Energising & Suppressive Practices

                                                         •Power of Parameters
                                                        •Liberating Structures &
                                                        •Seeing from the Detail
                     •Common-good Rules                     •Joining the Dots                 •Creating Shared Values
                      •Managing Matrices                                                     •Unleashing Perspectives
                     •Living Shared Values         •Bureaucratisng Procedures                 •Integrating Paradoxes
                  •Compliance & Consequence          •Meaningless Efficiency               •Weaving Together Processes
                                                  •Rigidity of Positions & Beliefs
              •Hamster-cage Indecision                                                               •Politeness Barriers
          •Premeditated Manipulative Intent                 Context of the                       •Splitting to prevent change
                   •Past as Rules                              Dream                                    •Selfish Intent
               •Acquisitive Exchange                        Dreaming by               Guiding
                                         Tracking the        the Rules               the Dream
                                            Dream                                   Aristocratic
                                      Backtracking from                               Dream
      •Power of Presence                                                                                         •Power of Participation
       •Learning by doing
                                          Dreams                  S                                           •Unleashing Collective Genius
   •(R)evolution by marathon                                                                                      •Building Consensus
 •Everything about Some Things      Living the               Leading                       Sharing the
                                                                                                                 •Embracing the Masses
                                  Executing the
                                                        A     Across            I            Dream
     •LELO – Lazy Busyness                                  Boundaries                    the Dream                •Conflict Aversion
  •Something About Everything       Dreamer                                                                     •Chameleon on a Rainbow
        •Activity Myopia                                          V                                                 •Riding the Fence
        •Adrenalin Junky                   Activating                               Collective                 •Smiling, smirking diplomat
                                           the Dream                                Dreaming
                                           Imposing                                 The Needy
                                            the Dream          The Dream
                 •Sniffing out the dream                        Beyond                Dream
             •Revolution of Quantum Leaps                    Day Dreaming                          •Galvanising Engagement
              •Exercising purposeful intent                                                         •Purposeful Interaction
                                                                                                       •Collective Drive
                   •Absentee landlord leaders           •Power of Purpose
                    •Intolerant Salvationists        •Acting within Ambiguity                        •Mass Hysteria
                      •Active prejudice and         •Seeing from Seamlessness                    •Populism over Purpose
                          judgement                •Painting with Global Colours                   •Follow the Saviour
                                                        •Trust & Innocence

                                                          •Tunneling a Vision
                                                           •Mayhem & Chaos
                                                    •Jailed by Personal Scripts


Reflect on this 8 faceted VISA wheel. Use it to expand your understanding of your own
VISA profile.

What do you already do well in terms of your own leadership practice?

What areas do you need to focus on?

What are some specific, practical actions that you can immediately take?

                                 Inner Dialogue


Capture some of the inner conversations that you have with yourself

Are the voices critical or loving and supportive?

What might your inner coach (supportive voice) say to challenge your inner critic?

                             Leadership and Fear

                               Touching your dragons

                    “Only free people can make a free world” Ben Okri


Make a list of the things that create fear and anxiety in your life.

Write a paragraph about each of these fears

What would you do if these fears were not present in your life?

What will it take from you to face fearwards and do the things you want to do, despite
the fear?

What are you able to actually do?

                               Personal Purpose


There is something unique that you have to offer as a leader. Nobody can replace you.

What are you waiting to do?

What is causing you to wait?

What are you ready to do right now?

What do you sense you are ‘meant’ to do before your life is over?



What are the small choices that influence your day?

How do you handle them?

What choices do you want to make differently?

                         Leadership Power and Proportion

The Leadership Challenge

One of the greatest challenges - and tests - that any person can face is to fulfill the role of
leadership. The textures and dimensions of leadership have fascinated humanity throughout the
ages. Every major religion and philosophy has attempted to come to terms with the challenge of
leadership. During the past five decades literally thousands of books and articles have been
written on the subject. The reason is more obvious than the conclusions: Leadership has a
profound impact on the culture and success or failure of communities, societies and

Whenever an organisation decides to explore its culture and to evaluate how it behaves, it
invariably means that its leaders will have to face sometimes tough and even unkind scrutiny.
This is not always easy. It can be incredibly difficult for the leaders who are in senior positions
within the hierarchy.

The leaders of an organisation, no matter how large or small, embody and are expected to
represent what the organisation stands for. The senior leaders represent the organisation's
values, culture and behaviour. They set the tone and establish the rhythm that everyone else
uses to establish their own responses.

Since the 1980s there has been an increasing view that everyone in an organisation is or needs
to be a leader. This is true. The most successful organisations are undoubtedly those that
enable people to uncover and apply their own authentic leadership contributions within the
spheres of their work. But the senior leaders within any organisation have a very specific role.
They represent the overarching ethos, culture and values of the organisation. They also retain
greater power and capacity to determine how resources are allocated; the direction that the
organisation will move into; and how performance will be evaluated and rewarded. This places
significantly greater power in the hands of the more senior leaders within the organisation.

This discussion is about people in more formal and senior positions of leadership and power. It
does not deny that people at every level of an organisation or society should take leadership
accountability in various ways. But, it does explore the fact that the relatively few people who
rise to more senior and powerful positions of leadership have a disproportionate accountability
that they have to come to terms and cope with.

Leadership and creative destruction

Leadership is about discontinuity. Leadership is about using the status quo as the springboard
for exploring the future that is not yet known or well established. If there is no change it is safe
to say that there is no leadership. This does not mean that there are not certain things that
should be maintained and not changed. But that is the role of management. The act of
management seeks to ensure the stability and essential maintenance of core activities.
Leadership on the other hand seeks to destroy the present and replace it with something that
anticipates and co-creates the future.

Any system, such as an organisation or larger society, needs both management and leadership.
Leadership without management causes too much uncoordinated change and can fuel anarchy.
Management without leadership fuels stagnation and the bureaucratisation of the system. An
absence of both virtually assures the accelerating decline and death of the system.

Leadership fulfils the important role of ensuring adequate renewal and appropriate destruction
of the past so that the new foundations for the future can be created. But this task of creative
destruction has to cope with obvious problems. True leadership cannot occur without creating
some uncertainty and even resentment about the things that are being destroyed to make room
for the future. As much as people yearn for leadership, they also prefer stability. This is a
paradox that any leader has to contend with.

Whenever an organisation embarks upon change of any magnitude, or even if it is only
exploring the viability of its prevailing situation, it means that certain things may be subjected to
creative destruction. This is always accompanied by a sense of loss for some people. Cherished
past habits and ways of doing things have to be sacrificed or will at the very least be critically re-
evaluated and criticised. This gives rise to a range of human responses to change. The typical
responses will vary from apathy and cynicism to anger and outright rejection. If nothing else, it
will crate a period of apathy and withdrawal during which the majority of people are likely to
adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Rather than take a risk they will wait to see what the leadership
intends to do and will only respond positively when they feel more certain about what to expect.

The leadership challenge is to recognise that this is a crucial ingredient of change and creative
destruction. In fact, if such experiences are absent then change and progress are also absent.

The task of leadership during such times is to not view the responses to change as negative,
but to instead see it as evidence that progress is being made. This becomes more difficult when
the apparently negative reactions are aimed at the leaders who are initiating and driving the
change. During intense change processes, people will often project their own uncertainty onto
the leaders and blame them for the discomfort that is being experienced.

If leaders become defensive or feel that they are being attacked, the will contribute to the
suppression of the normal and also healthy human responses to change. If leaders are capable
of recognising the apparently negative reactions as inevitable signals of change they can
become strong facilitators of the process and create the space within which the discomfort of
change can unfold and grow into the future.

Leadership power and proportion

Leadership is about power. More significantly it is about proportions of power. Leadership and
perceived power grow in proportion to one another to a certain point. Once people get into
senior leadership positions their power increases disproportionately or exponentially. People
who report to or provide support to the leaders attribute disproportionate power and authority to
them. But it is also true that the vast majority of leaders in senior positions do acquire
disproportionate power. As a consequence, everything that the leader does or says carries
significantly more weight than that the individual may intend or believe.

One of the perpetual dilemmas of leadership is that people often overestimate the capacity of
senior or formal leaders to wield power and get things done as rapidly as they would like. But,
this does not change the fact that people at more operational levels within an organisation tend
to believe that the senior leaders have greater capacity to change things or get things done than
may be true. The same is true for people in the community who often would like to believe that
elected leaders have significantly greater capacity to implement changes and policies than is
true in reality.

This perception of power is one of the primary challenges facing leaders. Senior leaders cannot
readily deny or reject this perception without abdicating their legitimate accountability. Rather
than fight against it or question whether it is fair, leaders need to come to grips with their
disproportionate power and learn how to work with it. To do this, leaders have to accept that
they carry disproportionate power and are perceived as capable of exercising such power. They
need to come to terms with the fact that their deeds are amplified and taken much more

seriously than that of others. As a consequence, people may appear to have exaggerated
appreciation or dislike for the leader. It also lends itself to wide fluctuations in how people feel
towards leaders. At one stage the leader may be praised as a hero of great significance, and
the next moment the leader is ridiculed as someone who has betrayed the loyalty of his or her

In some circumstances different leaders within a system may become the symbols of
exaggerated good or bad attributes. The one leader may be seen as the saint and perpetual
hero while another is seen as the villain and rogue. When a system or organisation is
experiencing difficulty of any nature, or undergoes significant change, it is common for different
leaders to become the symbols of opposing poles. One leader may be seen as the voice of
reason and wisdom while another is branded as being the cause of the trouble and as
untrustworthy. In reality leaders can very seldom be placed in such clearly polarized roles. The
polarities are always potentially present in a system. In other words, the larger system creates
the space for either "good or bad" leadership traits to develop. The personal attributes of one
leader may lend themselves more readily for that individual to be characterised as largely
positive and good of negative and bad. But, experience in many organisations indicates that
there are seldom objectively bad or purely bad leaders. The circumstances at any given time,
and the natural style of an individual, combine to create the perceived good or bad
characteristics of the specific leader.

The easy and unfortunately all too common approach is to look at an individual as if s/he is
predominantly good or bad. The healthy approach is to recognise that the system as a whole
carries the seeds of all polarities and problems within it, and that various individuals will from
time to time represent facets of the system's culture or behaviour. The leaders within the system
are some of the most powerful representatives of its culture and behaviours. They are the
concrete and observable carriers of the system's cultural DNA. But they are not alone in this.
Every individual within the system, regardless of how much power s/he may have, are also the
carriers of the culture.

The problem with leadership and the disproportionate allocation of power is that the "good or
bad" of the system will also be attributed disproportionately to individual leaders. If this is left
unchecked an individual can be "dreamt up" to portray one or other polarity. If the leader
happens to be the fortunate one who is seen as generally good and positive, it is invariably
easier to cope with. An individual who is portrayed as the villain can often become the

scapegoat. Needless to say, this is more difficult to cope with for that individual. However, from
the system's or organisation's perspective, both dynamics are equally unproductive. Turning
one person into a scapegoat without resolving the larger underlying problems offers only short-
term relief. If wide-ranging changes are not brought about, and if the vast majority of the people
within the system do not also change their behaviours, the system will return to its former self -
and new scapegoats will be created to represent the polarities within the system.

Leadership at the Centre

Since the earliest times societies and communities have required and created leadership
positions that "sit at the centre of all activities" or are viewed as "being at the top and in charge."
In the legend of the Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur tries to overcome this dilemma by
creating a round table so that no knight may be seen as superior or owning greater authority
than any other may. The king also relinquishes his role as central controller of power. But even
this attempt proved incapable of altering certain key roles of leadership, power and authority.

Core leadership roles, and the people that fulfill them, tend to reflect elements of that particular
community - both good and bad. The circumstances that prevail at any particular time are often
associated with the leaders. Thus, when elements of German society were perpetrating crimes
against humanity during the Second World War, Hitler became the personification of all that was
bad about Germany, and the leaders at the Nuremberg trial were the ones that were hanged.
The common man could claim that he was following orders or did not know what was
happening. In South Africa's own recent past PW Botha and his predecessors were ultimately
blamed for the excesses of the system. The thousands of people who voted them into power
and kept them there for decades were not expected to share an equal burden of guilt.

History appears to show that leaders are held disproportionately accountable for the deeds of
the community they lead. Fortunately, leaders also appear to receive disproportionate reward
for being at the centre of things. Jack Welch is almost as well known as GE; Bill Gates and
Microsoft are inseparable in the eyes of the public. Both carry disproportionate power and in
exchange receive disproportionate rewards and privileges.

In modern organisations the formal leaders occupy the centre of power and accountability.
When an organisation starts to perform badly, the focus falls on the leader. S/he may get away
with it for a while and even receive large payouts when they are fired, but it is the leader and not
the community of workers that are held up as examples of failure.

A recent book graphically illustrates the leader's central role and symbolic importance. Its title
says it all: The Fish Rots from the Head. The leaders of today's modern organisations are
more exposed and required to be more transparent than ever before. They are central to the
organisation. When they became the leaders they may not have anticipated the power of their
roles and positions. Most probably did not realise or yearn for the bright spotlight that would
highlight every flaw and hopefully strength.

Whether they like it or not, the leaders of organisations inherit the central stage and become the
focus of attention for all others within the organisation.

Leaders in the extreme

These dynamics mean that leaders are held disproportionately accountable for both the good
and bad of a system such as an organisation. People who are in support or followership roles
will see the deeds of the leader in ways that magnify the leader's role. So the leader's "good or
bad" deeds will become exaggerated in the eyes of the followers.

The leaders are a primary symbol of their organisation. Products, services, brands, stock prices,
innovations and profits are also powerful symbols, especially to the external public. But to the
people within the organisation these external symbols often recede into the background when
compared to the importance of the leaders.

The people within the organisation are never the major consumers of the products and services.
They are, however, the primary recipients of the organisation's leadership style and attitudes.
They may be proud of the brand and the organisation's success, but research indicates that
these feelings are closely associated to how the people feel about the leaders with whom they
interact. How they experience and perceive a leader has a powerful impact on how they will
interpret what behaviours and attitudes are appropriate.

It helps to look at leaders in terms of their perceived public profile and impact; and the internal
engagement and respect they generate.

   Positive                     Politician                           Boundary Breaker

  Profile and

                                Parasite                               Servant Leader

                 Low                   Internal Engagement and Respect                         High

There are other equally useful frameworks, but this one demonstrates four of the typical roles
that leaders will fulfill. They represent certain traits of leadership and the culture of a system.
During the earlier years of an organisation it is unlikely that the "politician" or the "parasite" roles
will be very powerful or even present. The "boundary breaker" mode is most often associated
with the earlier entrepreneurial phases of an organisation's development. Over time this may
grow either towards the "politician" or the "servant leader" mode. Research indicates that an
organisation should ideally mature into the "servant leader" mode that, in turn, creates the
opportunity and space for appropriate boundary breaking and necessary politics.

Once an organisation moves predominantly into the "politician mode" it can rapidly deteriorate
into a form of aristocracy until the "parasite" role starts to dominate. The typical characteristics
of each mode help to assess where a particular organisation or system may be finding itself.
The first three have both positive and potentially negative attributes. The last one has few
redeeming features and often requires radical surgery to regain its health.

Boundary Breaker: Positive

   People are energised and driven by a common cause.

   Common commitment and the dedication to achieve results see people making short-term
   sacrifices for the longer-term potential gain.

   People are willing to live with high levels of uncertainty because the promise of the dream is
   so powerful.

   Leaders are viewed as visionary and at the forefront of their area of competence.

   The organisation is seen as innovative and capable of creating break-through products and

Boundary Breaker: Negative

   The system does not settle down and constant change makes it difficult for people to keep
   up with what is happening.

   Early successes make people arrogant and lead them to believe that they can be
   successful at virtually anything.

   Pockets within the system want to claim excessive credit for achievements and forget that
   they are working for the greater good of the system.

   Territorial factions develop and create destructive conflict.

Servant Leader: Positive

   There is a healthy balance between constant renewal and establishing sound procedures.

   People are committed to the organisation because they believe that it provides opportunity
   and will treat them fairly.

   Individuals are willing to take calculated risks because they know that genuine error will not
   be punished.

   The organisation invests in its own growth and that of its people.

   A motto of "you can achieve a great deal if you don't mind who gets the credit" nurtures a
   sense of abundance and willingness to contribute to one another's success and growth.

Servant Leader: Negative

    Consequences of ongoing poor performance are not enforced.

    People become risk-averse and opt for safe options.

    Leaders do not exercise assertive direction where required.

    The system starts to feel as if it is sailing without a rudder.

Politician: Positive

    Power plays are recognised and consciously used to align people to a common purpose.

    The interests of diverse interest groups are well understood and addressed without
    compromising the greater good of the system.

    Conflicts are readily defined and addressed as an inevitable element of growth and change.

    Generally accepted processes exist which enable individuals and groups to identify and
    address the excesses of others - regardless of the role they fulfill.

Politician: Negative

    The interests of a relatively small group gain precedence over that of the larger system.

    Elite networks or people in position of privilege exercise power in ways that benefit them at
    the cost of others and the system.

    Certain people with access to power start to behave in an aristocratic manner and reject
    criticism as malicious or unfounded.

    Influential individuals become arrogant and ignore feedback or target people who they
    believe are negative towards them.


    People do not believe that their own interests are served by the success of the

    People no longer seek ways of fulfilling the interest of the greater system as the way of also
    fulfilling their interests.

    People strive to obtain what is in it for them and are unwilling to tolerate short-term
    sacrifices for longer-term interest.

    The system is abused to fulfill selfish interests of some while others feel that they are being

The roles of the leaders are challenging in each of these situations. People within the system
will often attribute these characteristics of the overall system or organisation to individual
leaders. Leaders are not innocent. They will often collude by behaving in ways that reinforce the
negative elements of any one of the four situations without realizing that they are instrumental in
reinforcing the "bad" characteristics. This is generally a symptom of unaware leadership in
which individuals are not conscious of their leadership accountabilities and the impact of their

The maintenance of the positive elements of boundary breaking, servant leadership and politics
requires conscious and aware leadership. It demands that leaders must constantly assess
where the organisation finds itself; what is necessary for its development; how they as leaders
can reinforce and facilitate its development; and above all else, how the leaders may be
colluding in allowing the organisation to slip into the negative characteristics.

Leadership responses to followers

Leaders and followers are involved in a delicate dance. If things are going well and the
organisation is in a period of positive evolution the majority of people will share in the positive
aspects of boundary breaking, servant leadership and politics. However, when an organisation
enters into a period that requires significant change the likelihood increases that the negative
facets of all four quadrants will become more prevalent. The inevitable tensions and human
responses of change will accompany this. At the same time the focus will shift sharply onto how
the leaders are responding to the challenges.

Followers or supporters will often exhibit some typical characteristics during such times of
change and discomfort. And, leaders will collude to enable them to sustain their responses!

Passivity: People will become passive and wait to see what the leaders intend to do about the
challenges of change. They will often claim that it is not worthwhile "creating waves" and that
the safest option is to watch developments. In effect, they expect leaders to exercise their
perceived disproportionate power to engineer the necessary changes. The leadership dilemma
is that this occurs at precisely the same time as they - as leaders - require optimum support and
widespread energy to drive the change. At this stage leaders collude by shouldering the burden

of change and trying to drive it through the organisation at all costs. The harder the leaders
strive to initiate the change the more it becomes possible for the rest to remain passive.

Victim: People readily adopt a victim mentality. They claim that the leaders have suppressed
and oppressed them, and that it would be a "career limiting move" to openly criticise the leaders
or practices of the organisation. They resort to complaining about the system without necessary
offering any opinions on how to improve it. Leaders collude by getting frustrated; rejecting the
truth of the allegations; and demanding that people must either fit in or get out. This is really an
effective way of increasing fear and reinforcing the sense of being a victim.

Blame and Projection: One of the most important characteristics of a system is that it is a
system. Everyone in it at some level shares and reinforces the attributes of the system. People
join and stay with organisations because they contribute top meeting the individual's own overt
or covert needs. When things go wrong individuals may respond by not immediately recognising
how they also contribute to the problem. Instead, the first response is often to blame the
leaders. People gladly own how they contribute to the positive aspects of the organisation, but
they rarely spontaneously recognise how they contribute to its negative characteristics. Thus
people will project the blame for the negative aspects onto the leaders - thereby absolving
themselves of any major accountability to resolve the problems. Leaders readily collude by
isolating people from the process of resolving the problems.

A common response is for the leaders to become involved in problem-solving processes that
rely on more rational and procedural solutions that then get presented to the rest of the people.
This is great at reinforcing the passivity that already exists; it enables people to claim that they
have not been involved and that, in typical victim mode, the solutions are being imposed; and to
continue to claim that the leaders are at fault. Any self-respecting leader with unaware levels of
disproportionate power accepts this without a second thought and proceeds to try and resolve
the problem on behalf of the system as a whole.

Leaders as lightening rods

The astute leader recognises these important dynamics and how his/her contributions either
reinforce or resolve the challenges. In the final analysis the really good leaders appreciate that
they do stand out far above the surface of the system's day-to-day life. They are the lightening
rods that pick charges and dynamics long before it strikes any other place. To the aware leader
this is a blessing because it enables him/her to anticipate the future with a little bit more clarity

and to respond in ways that are constructive rather than defensive. But, to fulfill role of
leadership the individual needs to be willing to stand upright in the storm and be struck by
lightening from time to time.

Perhaps it is for this reason that there is a saying:

"The great leaders are truly transparent - because they have been struck so full of holes!"


What thoughts does this article leave you with?

          Whole Leadership Power
                    Thinking &
  Acting &                            Feeling &
Experimenting            S           Integrating
                A   Performance I
 Presence           & Live Values     People
Persistence              V          Perspectives
 Produce                            Participation
                     & Daring


                                         Leadership Power for Strategy Execution
                                         1.    Establish the essential constraintswithin which
                                               empowerment operates
                                         2.    Define the critical issues that require compliance
                                         3.    Exercise consequences of non-compliance
                                         4.     et
                                               S stretch objectives – BHAGs – tough facts and
                                               aspirational intent
                                         5.    Apply “rules of the game” with consistency
                                         6.    Expect what you inspect - no measure no get
1.   Interact personally across levels
     and functions                                                                                  1.   Know the critical role playersand
2.   Learn-by-doing: Don’t expect                                                                        trends
     perfection                                                                                     2.   Appreciate stakeholder interestsand
3.   Use success and failure for                                   Parameters                            contributions
     learning                                                       Precision
                                                                                                    3.   Invite in the views of diverse people
4.   Require delivery on top of                                     Priorities
                                                                                                         and perspectives
     process                                                            S                           4.   Display empathy (to change
                                                      Presence                      People
5.   Emphasize outputs, not                                                                              dynamics)
                                                     Persistence    A       I   Perspectives
                                                      Produce                   Participation       5.   Encourage dissidence and search for
6.   Sustain tension between dream                                      V                                the “No”
     and reality                                                    Purpose                         6.   Value diversity and contributionsof
7.   Elicit & energize the                                           Passion                             all
     contributionsof others                                        Pioneering
                                                                                                    7.   Engage diverse and opposing views to
8.   Tough differentiation on                                                                            craft alignment
     performance & learning
9.   State opinion and invite
     pushback                             1.    Comprehension of the strategiccontext
                                          2.    Make sense of chaotic and fuzzy information
                                          3.     ive
                                                L with ambiguity and uncertainty
                                          4.    Challenge the existing frames
                                          5.    Provide the “inner dream” and direction
                                          6.    Demonstrate leadership optimism
                                          7.    Opennessto the unexpected and “unacceptable”
                                          8.    Consistently mould strategy into being

Working with Power and Rank

   Spiritual & Observational Rank


Impact of Power and Rank on “Tribe and Identity”

          Isolated                        Stereotyped

                      Self-selecting Tribe:

  Tokenism                  Identity               Victimised
                  Tacit Rules of Engagement
                   Safety and S ubmergence
                  Acceptance & Expectation
   Perpetual                                         Set up
                       Lobbying – Cabal
                      Endorsed Paradigm
                       Privileged Access

             Marginalised           Scapegoating

                     Good News Brigade

   Impacts of NOT owning and exercising Rank and Power


             Rebel                           Passivity

                         Self-selecting Tribe:
 Passive                                                 Victim
Aggression           Don’t own Rank & Privilege
                          Perpetual Parent
                      Unconscious Diminishing
   Await                   Subtle Control                 ell
                                                         S Out
   Orders                Can’t trust “ them”
                        They’re not capable

            Dependency                 Project Blame
                     Internalised Oppression



What would others say about you in relation to how you use and abuse your power

What brings out the ‘bully’/aggressor in you?

What do you think drives that behaviour (what is really going on below the surface?)

What is the source of your constructive power?

      The Healing Time
         Persha Gertler

   Finally on my way to yes

         I bump into

        all the places

       where I said no

          to my life

   all the untended wounds

   the red and purple scars

  those hieroglyphs of pain

carved into my skin, my bones,

   those coded messages

     that send me down

       the wrong street

       again and again

      where I find them

       the old wounds

     the old misdirections

        and I lift them

         one by one

      close to my heart

          and I say

         Holy Holy.


   •   The interpersonal space where the individual interacts with others; shapes others
       and is shaped by them in return.

   •   This is both a primary space of learning about oneself as well as the space in
       which the learner develops the capacity to value and leverage the rich diversity of
       “the others” who form part of his/her work life.

   •   It is in this dimension of leadership where leaders learn and apply the realization
       that in the

   •   New Economy leadership is per definition a team activity.

(W)holeness and integration is achieved when people - as individuals and groups -
submerge their interests to the (W)hole because they believe it serves their needs as

Transformation, leadership, action and learning are all rooted in the expanse or
limitations of our individual and collective human capacity. It is as big or small as we are.

  “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack” Kipling

                        It takes a Village of Leaders



        40        30        20                       20      30   40
  A                                      10                            I





What does your teams VISA profile look like?

What can you do to unlock more of the energy of your team?

                              Leadership Congruence
The Leadership Challenge:
In today’s competitive and constantly changing environment, the roles and responsibilities of
organizational leadership have become increasingly complex. It is becoming virtually impossible
for senior leaders to offer or rely upon any constant form of certainty. By the time a strategy is
formulated something new or unexpected occurs which requires adjustments. New structures
are hardly in place before the changes themselves create unforeseen new challenges and
problems which demand yet further adjustments. And, to make matters even more challenging,
the successful implementation of any strategy immediately contributes to changing the original
circumstances which the successful strategy was meant to address. Thus, by achieving
strategic success we contribute to changing the environment, thereby becoming the co-creators
of even more change and new challenges!
As Einstein noted several decades ago, by resolving one set of problems and meeting one
generation of challenges we automatically contribute to the creation of a new level of problems
and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure progress. But, the new level of problems or
challenges occurs at a higher and greater level of complexity precisely because they are built
upon the foundations of the earlier generation of issues which have been resolved.
Consequently, it is not possible to address the new level of problems and challenges from the
same perspective or in the same ways as were used to resolve the earlier problems.
All too often the leaders of organisations address one generation of problems successfully only
too fall into the trap of then trying to address the next generation of challenges that emerge as a
consequences of their success in the same ways that were used earlier. When the “tried and
tested methods” fail, as fail they must, leaders regularly place their faith in returning to basics -
which is a pseudonym for doing what we are used to doing and operating within the comfort
zones of past experience and successes. The problem is that the new generation of issues
require very different approaches. The problems and demands of a new type also continuously
make old and tested approaches and competencies redundant.
The leadership challenge is therefore exceptionally demanding:

•   Success changes the environment, and the new conditions demand new approaches. The
    new approaches, in turn, require new competencies which could not have been learnt from
    earlier experiences.

•   The risk every leader runs is to believe that his or her experience and past successes are
    adequate and can be readily transferred to new circumstances.

•   People will often persist with trying to reapply their past experiences which were, after all,
    successful. When it fails they regularly refuse to accept that the old ways are redundant and
    that they have to reinvent themselves and discover new ways of doing things.

•   Leaders continuously have to have the courage to recognise and admit their own relative
    (new) incompetence. They need to continuously develop a range of new skills, knowledge
    and attitudes with which to meet the challenges of the changing environment.

•   Leaders, above all else, have to accept that they are accountable for perpetually stepping
    over known boundaries and entering unfamiliar territory. This makes it impossible to rely
    only upon the past and to preserver with tried and tested approaches of the past.

Einstein also understood this when he warned, “The greatest form of insanity is to try the same
thing over and over and hope for a different result!” The message is simple and clear:
Successful change breeds change, making the methods of achieving earlier success
redundant. Thus, the substance of approaching change has to change to ensure ongoing
and successful future change.
Leaders can no longer live and operate with the comfort of certainty. Leadership is about living
with ambiguity and at the same time demonstrating the personal fortitude to continuously sense
and define the ever-changing organizational landscape. It is about making personal and
organizational adjustments a part of daily work life. Peter Drucker, one of the twentieth century’s
most respected business thinkers, captures the leadership imperative when he defines
leadership as the continuous process of making the present redundant and entering into
unknown territory. Joel Barker, an internationally recognised specialist on change and
leadership, claims that leadership requires the courage to embark upon a new path with
inadequate knowledge. Where ever we look, it is clear that leadership is about coping with
uncertainty; acting without absolute clarity about the future; crossing new boundaries; and
abandoning the well trodden paths in favour of reaching new frontiers.
This image of leadership creates an inevitable sense of uncertainty. If we relied only upon it as
it stands, the practitioners of such a vision of leadership would inevitably create too much
trepidation and confusion amongst their supporters. It offers so little certainty that their
supporters could readily become paralysed by the ever-present inability to rely on any comfort
zones or at least feel that there is some predictability.
This creates another equally important leadership challenge and accountability. Successful
leaders offer enough clear direction and an adequate sense of certainty to satisfy their
supporters that there are clearly anticipated goals and broad paths to follow. The leaders may
thus not be capable of clearly spelling out every detail or describe and anticipate each step
along the way, but they do instil a sense of confidence which encourages all of the relevant
stakeholders to offer sufficient support.
Not surprisingly, the ever-changing environment is making trustworthy and clear leadership an
increasingly important element to drive the growth and success of organisations. A recent
survey of the leadership traits of ten of the world’s most successful, and America’s most
admired companies, (Fortune Magazine, March 2, 1998) defines a set of criteria for successful
leadership as we approach the new millennium:
1. Help people to establish some sensible and understandable direction:
Leaders have to provide a dream which may not be entirely fleshed out but yet is tangible
enough for people to grasp and excited. The direction will change as success demands new
responses. For Jack Welch of General Electric it evolved from “Gotta be No. 1 or No. 2,” into
“Speed, Simplicity, and Self-Confidence,” followed by “Boundarylessness,” and by the late
1990s to “Six Sigma.” Perhaps one of the most important elements of this challenge is that it
has limited capacity to be delegated.
The leaders - and primarily the CEO and top executives - have to carry out the message
personally. They must be seen to be true believers and passionate proponents of the direction
they preach. They cannot rely upon using the chains of communication to cascade the message
though the organization. The messages invariably become diluted and contaminated. By the
time the leadership message reaches the operational layers of the organization it has often
become so warped that it bares no resemblance to the original. Some analysts of exceptional
leaders even conclude that really significant shifts in the organisation’s strategy must be

communicated primarily by the CEO to ensure that a congruent message is conveyed across all
levels and functions.
2. Get relevant partners aligned with, buying into and believing in the direction:
The ultimate capacity of the organization to achieve its direction is dependent upon the
contribution of all relevant stakeholders, and most of the time it is impossible to push, shove
and cajole them to respond in the right ways. There are simply too many people with too many
different and diverse interests to get them “there” at the same time and in a mutually reinforcing
manner. The CEO and executive leaders are generally the only people who possess enough of
a large view of the organization to inform and influence the thinking of diverse stakeholders.
They have to interact with everyone operating within the organisation’s value adding
workstream - suppliers, operational workers, supervisors and middle management, functional
specialists, worker leaders, unions and divisional management - to ensure that their specific
interests do not undermine the overall interests and capacity of the organization to deliver
products and services that delight and create more customers.
3. Create conditions that energise and inspire people to act:
Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, the gurus of the quality movement, insisted that as much
as 90% of the conditions for superior quality and productivity can only be created by executive
management. Workers and managers at more operational levels can work as fast they want to,
but if the circumstances within which they are operating are not conducive to competitive
performance no amount of “speedier work” will deliver quantum leaps in performance. The vast
majority of changes to systems, operating procedures and supply chain problems that inhibit
productivity and quality must be made or at least initiated by the executive leadership.
Executive and senior leadership must therefore remain accountable for the overall
competitiveness of the organization. It is they, and not the operational people, who control the
resources and power to make the necessary changes to policies and procedures which hamper
continuous improvements in performance. The exceptionally successful leaders spend time
interacting with people to help identify and remove bottlenecks to performance.
There is another important executive leadership role: the senior leadership are accountable for
bringing “big picture intelligence and problem solving capacity” to the workplace. Successful
executives possess a deep understanding of the entire productive processes of their
organisations. Over time they are responsible for developing a helicopter view which enables
them to see and comprehend the critical interdependencies and dynamics which drive the
business. They are furthermore generally the only people who have the opportunity to develop
such “big picture intelligence” of the organization. This can only occur if the leaders are in touch
with the demands of the organisation’s entire value adding workstream. People at more
operational levels cannot be expected to make decisions and solve problems in ways which
automatically take the total supply chain into consideration. This is not necessarily because they
don’t have the capacity, but rather because they spend the vast majority of their time
responding to the shorter term demands of day-to-day delivery of services and products.
Executive leadership have an obligation to interact with people to provide the larger context and
organization-wide intelligence without which it is not possible to act in a productive and
responsive manner.
4. Allocate capital appropriately and productively:
Superior performing companies routinely earn real returns in excess of 20% on equity. This
provides the opportunity for the CEO and executive team to, for instance, enable a quarter of
this to be paid back to shareholders and the rest to be reinvested in the company. Over a

period of five years the compound growth means that the executive leadership has allocated
more equity capital than the company had when they started out at the beginning of that period.
The research shows that the executive leaders do not operate from an overly complicated
economic model. The consistently successful leaders establish an economic model that makes
sense, that they can understand, and which they use as a navigational tool. They also do not
rely upon a “whole bunch of measures. They determine what needs to be tracked and set about
making sure that people respond to the messages that the tracking sends back to the
5. Fall in love with the business:
The truly successful leaders may differ in many ways. Some slash costs, others safeguard
essential strengths, and yet others build or fix. But all of them have one thing in common - they
LOVE! They exhibit relentless passion, commitment and ferocity. The superior leaders are all
capable of exuding obvious excitement about being in the business, recognising the competitive
demands it has to meet, and demonstrating a deep faith in its capacity to succeed.
There are clearly two seemingly paradoxical demands which exceptionally successful leaders
   First, they are capable of living with the perpetual ambiguities and continuously
   shifting context within which the organization operates, and they are also capable
   of reinventing their own views of the challenges and the responses that are
   required to meet them;
   Second, they provide a sense of determined leadership and enthusiastic certainty
   to the stakeholders who drive the operational performance of the business, not
   because they are so sure of how they are going to get there, but rather because
   they believe utterly in the capacity to get there.
It is this combination of living with uncertainty and providing direction which sets the true
leaders apart from their less successful counterparts. This capacity is not, however, a stroke of
luck or the result of fortunate optimism. Nor is it founded upon gambling about the future. The
really great leaders spend significant amounts of time in absorbing the facts about the
environment within which they operate. They do not become entrapped in a whirlpool of
paralysis by analysis, but nor do they rely upon their capacity to brainstorm solutions based
primarily upon their existing knowledge. They are avid students of their competitive
environment. They ensure that they are better informed than their competitors. They are
purposeful students of the circumstances within which their organisations have to operate. They
are never gamblers. They are always informed risk takers. This requires a deep discipline of
continuously building and expanding knowledge and perspectives that inform how they should
respond to the continuously changing world within which they operate.

What thoughts has this article triggered for you?

                               Leadership and Love
 “The only way you can love your neighbour is by endless forgiveness” Thomas Hopko
                                  Parabola vol X11 no 3


What do you love about yourself?

What do you love about each one of your staff?

Who is it difficult to love?

What can those you find hard to love teach you?

Write down one thing that you will forgive someone for today

Why you are willing to forgive them for and what action will you take to make peace and
allow change?

                Exploring and Applying the Spectrum of Participative Leadership
                                                 Primary Driver
                Buy-in and Involvement              of Success                       Speed & Execution

Shallow                                                                                                  Poor

                                                                                      Decide and


                                                                     Decide & Tell
    Depth of


                                                                                                          Depth of
                                                     Decide & Tell
                                    Pose challenge
                                     to group and
                   Pose challenge     consensus
                    of group and
                   delegate right
                     to decide –
  Deep                  coach                                                                            Great

                Strong       Required Levels of Trust & Congruence                       Non-essential

                             Spectrum of Involvement and Situational Decision Making
                                                                                                                               Adapted from Victor Vroome

        Delegate                      Consensus                           Consult                      Consult                         Decide
         (Coach)                      (Facilitate)                        (Group)                  (Individually)                    (Tell-Sell)
I have full faith in the       I really do not have a          I will still be making the     I need to get the views of     I have all the information
group to reach the best        specific direction in mind      final decision, but the        individuals and test their     and power I need to make
decision. They are             and believe that the group      group as a whole has           opinions. But, it’s up to me   and ex Execute the decision.
probably better equipped       most capable of reaching a      important contributions to     to make the final decision.    There may be fiduciary
than I am in any event. I      decision. My role is to raise   make. I want to see the        I am engaging them to          Reasons why I can’t involve
will state what I believe      the issue and to facilitate     dynamics and allow the         test my views, and to          Others, in which case I’ll
must be achieved, but how      their discussion. I’ll make     group to voice dissenting      enable them to influence       Have to invest a lot of time
it is done is up to them.      my views known, but only        views and to influence one     my thinking. But the           Getting their buy-In later.
Where needed I’ll act as a     as part of the larger           another. Then I’ll make up     decision is mine alone.
a coach and adviser, but       debate. In the end we’ll        my mind.
they must take                 reach consensus.
accountability for the

Towards this side of the spectrum the leader believes that other                    Towards this side of the spectrum the le ader has access to enough
people possess knowledge that will lead to a better decision than he                information to reach a conclusion by herself. She also does not
can reach by himself. More important perhaps, he realises that it is                need to invest too much time involving others to ensure their
essential to gain the full commitment of diverse people to drive the                commitment. Either the options are self -evident, or she may have
execution of the decision.                                                          enough power to ensure the execution of the decision. She may
                                                                                    find it useful to consult a few people one -on-one, and then reach a
The leader is willing to and capable of living with thee need to invest             decision based on her own conclusions.
adequate time to craft and grow consensus amongst participants.
The execution of the decision requires optimum alignment of a                       She may opt for these options because time is of the essence, or
range of activities. Usually these activities are spread out amongst                perhaps because the values and interests of the various
various team members or stakeholders.                                               stakeholders are so different that it is unlikely that she can achieve
                                                                                    any significant consensus.
There is also essential development and knowledge sharing that has
to take place during the decision making process to ensure that                     The single most important consideration in opting for this side of
people have the capacity and confidence to execute it once                          the spectrum is the belief that the required results can be
agreement has been reached.                                                         achieved with limited involvement of others.


Describe your typical decision- making style

Looking at the above continuum what parts of it are hard for you?

How can you grow into mastery at each level of the continuum?

                          Webs of Relationships


Go back to the web of relationships that you created on the programme.

What progress have you made in transforming every relationship to “green” ie one that
is a pleasure, that makes getting your job done easy?

If you have been procrastinating on any of them – what is holding you back?

What personal edges do you need to cross and with whom?

What are you afraid of?

What role does power play in any difficulties you may be experiencing in transforming
each relationship?

    “Now join your hands and with your hands your hearts” Shakespeare Henry VI


 Go back to your VISA to Lifestyle worksheet (in your programme workbook) and
reflect on the relationships in your personal life.

What changes have you made?

Who do you need to write a letter to/ have a conversation with?

What will it take from you to take these steps?

What assumptions are you making and how do they limit your actions?

How can you change the assumptions to open up new possibilities?

Who are you being that makes them behave as they do?

What outcome do you long for?

              CROSSING A CREEK

                 Crossing a creek
              Requires three things:
            A certain serenity of mind,
                     Bare feet,
                 And a sure trust
that a snake we know slides silently underwater
              just beyond our vision
               will choose to ignore
                      the flesh
          that cuts through its territory,
            And we will pass through.

     Some people think crossing a creek
                 is easy,
             But I say this --

           All crossings are hard,
        Whether creeks or mountains,
              or into other lives
        and we must always believe
          in the snakes at our feet
            just out of our vision

        And we must practice believing
            we will come through.

                 Martha Courtot

Remember to Breathe

   •   High Impact Leaders demonstrate their capacity to have a sustainable and
       constructive impact in their areas of influence.

   •   International and South African studies demonstrate that the effective leaders
       identify and embed a range of integrated workplace practices that, in turn, enable
       the organisation to achieve sustainable competitive performance.

   •   The “WORK” space focuses on a combination of benchmarked Organisational
       Development Best Operating Practices, and industry-specific strategic choices.

Organisations have no objective life or existence of their own. They are the results of
decisions taken and influence applied by leaders.

The success of leadership, the innovative capacity of organisations, and the ability to tap
into perpetual learning is intimately linked to our personal growth.

             VISA to Levels Themes of Work

Vision               CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP   Up to 15 or 20 years

Vision                                       Up to 10 years
                       STRATEGIC INTENT

Inter -                     DEVELOPMENT &
                    STRATEGIC                Up to 5 years
Dependence                EXECUTION

Structure                 PRACTICE           Up to 2 years

Action                     SERVICE           Up to 1 year

Action                    QUALITY            Up to 3 months

                   Levels Of Work:
            Compression, Vacuums, Depression

    Incidental Awareness Input Influence Dominant
6                                                    Ideal

4                          VACUUM



                                               Chaordic Leadership (Experimental Jazz and Avant Garde)
                                          1.        Custodians of long-term sustainability
                                          2.        Leadership of Flow of Consciousness
                                          3.     Leadership of Strategic Intent
                                          4.     Leading Organisational Resilience and HPO Culture
                                          5.     Positioning the organisation as a social entity
                                          6.     Enhancing the larger community
                                                               Peak Leadership (Jazz Band)
                                         1.     Custodians of Integration and Enterprise Wide Leadership
                                         2.     Leadership of HPO Enterprises and Webs of Resilience
                                         3.     Leadership of Strategy Execution
                                         4.     Translating HPO Culture into operational execution
                                         5.     To the HILT: Building High Impact Peer Webs and Teams
                                         6.     Sustaining the Crucible for Leadership of Abundant Talent
                                                         Edge Leadership (Symphony Orchestra)
                                         1.     Custodians of Innovation and Intrapreneurship
                                         2.     Leadership of BOPs and Continuous Improvement
                                         3.     Leadership of HPO People Practices
                                         4.     Adapting and driving HPO Culture to operational realities
                                         5.     To the HILT: Building High Impact Leadership Teams
                                         6.     Mastering the art of being the Leader-Teacher-Learner
                                                          Leadership Leap (Collective Drumming)
                                         1.     Custodians of Fluctuating and Non-Coercive Leadership
                                         2.     Leadership of Self Organising Teams
                                         3.     Leadership of Forthright and Courageous Conversations
                                         4.     Applying Development al Performance Discussions
                                         5.     To the HILT: Valuing and Optimising Team Diversity
                                         6.     Mastering the Art of Participative Leadership
                                                    Leader Within (Personal Harmony and Chanting)
                                         1.    Custodians of Personal Authorisation and Empowerment
                                         2.    Defining and developing Personal Leadership Authenticity
                                         3.    Leadership of Personal Development Journey
                                         4.    Utilising reflection and feedback for personal growth
                                         5.    To the HILT: Exercising Personal Leadership Power
                                         6.    Exercising Personal Rank (Earned, Attributed & Spiritual20
HILT: High Impact Leadership & Teaming         Rank)

                                Themes of Work

How have you applied/ worked with themes of work?

What progress have you made on your Tyranny of Competence?

What is making it hard to let go?

What feelings

Write a piece about letting go as an act of liberation (create your personal freedom

What do you need to step up to and take on?

What does it feel to be ‘at the edge of yourself”?

Strategy Execution:                              S
The primary challenge                              4
is to reach threshold
on all VISA elements.
then, become superior                              3
In one or two areas.



                      4    3       2         1           1       2       3        4
             A                                                                        I





     4: Superior 3: Very Good 2: Average – requires improvement 1: Inadequate – cause of problems

     V                      I                    S                        A

                                                                  •Activity listing
                                                                  •Bite size activities
                                          •Defining targets       •Accountabilities
                    •Identify all         •Establishing           •Specific actions per activity
                     interdependent        parameters &           •Resource needs
                     interests & roles     agree constraints      •Limits of authority
Compelling          •Define clashes       •Feedback loops         •Sources of authorization
End-state           •Agree processes      •Tracking compliance    •Deadlines
•Cohesive context   •Red/Green lights     •Locating bottlenecks   •Real-time problem identification
•Define end state   •Balance objectives   •Disciplined problem    •Small team responsiveness
•& imperative       •Pack attack           solving                •Access power
                      tracking            •Time frames            •Take accountability for
                                          •Detailed reporting      results


                                       • What are the constraints within
                                         which we have to operate?
                                       • What hard boundaries are set?
                                       • What consequences must be defined?
                                       • How will non-compliance be
                                       • What standards must be met?
                                       • What quality requirements guide us?

             Action                                                                     Interdependence
• What outcomes will delight and
                                                                               • Who has vested interests in this?
  surprise the recipients?                                                     • What are their values and worldviews?
• What “eagle and hare” risks exist?                                           • What would unleash their energy and
• How will we pace the race?                        VISA                         commitment?
• What are our milestones?                           to                        • How must they be approached?
• Who will drive execution?                                                    • What resistances must we anticipate
• How will we guide & galvanise the          Strategy Execution                  and overcome?
  change or project?                                                           • How do we tap into their hearts?
• How will we track progress?
                                       • Why bother about this/how does
                                         it enhance strategic intent?
                                       • Why should we NOT do this?
                                       • What possibilities lie beyond our
                                         line of sight?
                                       • How could we break the mould?
                                       • What assumptions must be challenged?
                                       • Where are our blind spots?
                                       • What will the compelling dream
                                         look like in real life?
                                       • What BHAGs should drive us?


How can I enroll my staff more in strategy implementation?

What will excite them?

What excites me about the strategy?

How can I unlock more of my energy and passion for what needs to be done?

“I am because we are “African Aphorism

                                           WILD GEESE

                                               Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

Are moving across the landscapes,

Over the prairies and deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air

Are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

The world offers itself to your imagination,

Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

Over and over announcing your place

In the family of things

   •   Some people call it “The New Economy,” others call it “Post Modern Society,”
       some focus on elements such as globalization, networked environments, the age
       of participation and integration, and some refer to it as the “Third and Fourth
       Waves.” Whatever it is called, the world is undergoing a profound value shift that
       is requiring a quantum shift in how organisations and teams are led.

   •   Certain well-established practices remain as essential as always, but international
       research demonstrates that leadership based on a particular set of values and
       worldviews enables organisations to significantly outperform competitors.

   •   The ‘World’ space refers to this larger socio-economic and political space within
       which the learner and organisation operates, and which s/he has to comprehend.
       This enables her/him to make sense of it and enable others to respond to it in
       ways that enhance the sustainable competitiveness of the organisation.

The complexity of leadership, and how I view the strategic environment, are reflections of
human nature. They have no objective reality. It is a manifestation of my and our
personal values, world views, experience, perceptions, and the subjective human
choices that I and we make.

                        Anatomy and Valuesof Governance : Source of Power
                               Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Focus

        COERCION                COOPTION             CO-DETERMINATION                CO-CREATION

          VIOLENCE                  MONEY AND             KNOWLEDGE AND                 COMMUNITY &
             AND                     CONTROL               PARTICIPATION                IMAGINATION

Overt      Sublimated   Ownership       Patronage   Information   Self-Insight   Environment     Seventh

    Dependence               Co-dependence/                  Independence/
                           Counter-dependence               Interdependence

                                The C hangingWorld of L eadership & HPO
      Characteristicsand Predisposition of Systems: What is your organisation’sstatus quo? What is
       your own “C  entre of Gravity for Values”?Allocate ten points across the four waves with no
                                   wave getting more than four points.

      Org    Self             Org   Self                    Org   Self              Org   Self

    Coercion                 Co-Option                Co-Determination            Co-Creation
 • Power over            • Power to                   Power through            Power By, For, With
 • Leadingservants       • Aristocracy                Democracy                Servant leadership
 • Dictate               • Control                    Guide                    Unleash Energy
 • Privilege             • Patronage                  Performance              Partnership in
 • Demand                                                                         continuous
                         • Exploit/ Entitlement       Productivity and
  Dependence               Co-dependence/                Independence/               Integration
                         Counter-dependence             Interdependence

“Using their collective experience, their moral courage and their ability to rise above
nation, race and creed, they can make our planet a more peaceful and equitable place
to live” Nelson Mandela announcing the creation of a global council of elders

                                 Making Decisions


Thing about a decision you are currently making and write about the process you are
using to make it

Look for compliance and rebellion

What feelings does making this decision generate?

If you don’t like how you are thinking about an aspect of the decision – think how you
might change your approach

What options haven’t you considered?

If you were mentoring someone else what would you advise them to do/say?


What role are you playing to make this world we live in a better place?

Reflect on your contributions at an environmental and social justice level

    “Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible” Albert Einstein

One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one
    should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works”

                       Meister Eckhart – Work and Being


Make a list of the obstacles you are experiencing at work (or generally in your life) at the

Write out all the good things that this obstacle is offering you

                        Stepping into the Future
“The inner eye of vision can see what isn’t yet there, can reach beyond present
circumstances, and can see what, up to that point, has never been there.
It truly is an incredible human faculty that is able to see beyond the present and the
past, and from the unknown conceive something not hitherto in existence” Robert Fritz –
The Path of Least Resistance


Write a piece that starts “where I am in my life right now is……..

Where I long to be

The legacy I would like to leave behind in the world is……………..


Write a journal entry dated one year into the future

Write in detail what you want to have occurring in your life by that date

PS it is good to turn this into an annual ritual – choose a day on which you do this
exercise, your birthday, the last day of the year, the first day of the new year

                          The 10:70:20 of Leadership and Learning

Initiate and            Apprentice and        Team Player and               Virtuoso and                  Artist
  Trainee               Active Learner            Artisan                    Specialist                 and Coach

      C– Underdeveloped                           B- Developed:                           A - Highly Developed:
           Learning                                   Good                                        Great

This individual is aware of the area    This individual has progressed well and   This individual is simply streets ahead of
in which development is required.       can apply the skills in a predictable     anyone else in what she does. There is a
He does not try to hide this. Instead             he
                                        manner. S will seldom let anyone          natural flow and seemingly magical ease
he applies his mind to studying and     down and can deliver consistent           at play when she is working. For her, this
practicing the new skill. He readily    outputs that fulfil the ongoing           part of her work has lost its boundaries
models his nascent skill on others,     demands of the job.                       between art and endeavour.
and seeks advice on how to improve
.                                        he
                                        S may not be independently capable        People sometimes stand a bit in awe of
Research demonstrates that it is        of delivering good results, but           what she does. Where others see
within the grasp of anyone to make      everyone knows that when she works        problems she simply sees an empty
this improvement if they are willing    in and with a team her performance is     canvass that is waiting for her to engage
to put in the effort. They’ll never     valued.                                   with it so that it burst into the colours
become totally comfortable but           he
                                        S is admired for her reliability and                                         he
                                                                                  and shades of a master piece. S is the
they’ll get to the point where they     dogged determination to deliver           first source of reference when someone
can add value, albeit under the         contributions that fulfil expectations.   needs assistance in her area of mastery.
guidance and with the support of
colleagues.                             Metaphorically she is the person who      Metaphorically she is the concert pianist
                                        can provide great entertainment and       who entices goose flesh on our skins as
Metaphorically this is the person       play the piano while everyone joins in    she transports us into the magic of the
who can plonk out Chop S   ticks on     a fun-filled sing-along.                  music.
the piano, but that ’s about it.


                           Personal 10:70:20 of Leadership and Learning
        Initiate and      Apprentice and   Team Player and   Virtuoso and         Artist
          Trainee         Active Learner       Artisan        Specialist        and Coach

             C – Underdeveloped            B - Developed:           A - Highly Developed:
                  Learning                      Good                        Great



Reflect back on your CBA of leadership and learning completed on the programme and
update it based on your experiences and reflections


Do some writing with your non dominant hand ( ie if you are right handed write with your left and
vice versa) don’t give up too soon, try and write at least a page with your ‘opposite’ hand and
see what happens.)


Take a topic or question that intrigues or concerns you at the moment. Now write in a spiral ie
start at the top corner of the page and write in a circle around the edge of the page and keep
writing, turning the page until you have concentric circles of writing. Keep writing until you reach
the centre and see where your thoughts have led you.

Do you love
  to listen
with the ears
of your heart
to the other
 of yourself

 Beno Kennedy

                               Critical Incident Log
Name:                                              Date:

                            Where did the incident occur?

The physical
location in which
the incident

                                 Who was involved?

Your role in the

Names and roles
of others
involved in the
How typical was this incident in your experience?:

…………Typical         …………..Atypical

What Happened?

The situation
itself, including
the activities
conversations of
those involved

And especially
what you did
and said as a

participant in the

What was the
outcome or
result of this
incident in terms
of the decisions
                         What did you think and feel at the time?

What were you
thinking during
the time the
incident was

What did you
feel about the
part you played
in the incident?

What did you
feel about the
parts played by
the others in the

What did you         .
feel about the

outcome of the

What was intended?

Why did you act
as you did in the
incident? What
did you intend to
through your
actions at the

Why do you
think others
acted as they did
in this incident,
and what do you
think they
intended through
their action?

As you look back
on this incident,
why do you think
things happened
the way they

What did you learn?

What do you
think you have
learnt from your
experience in
this incident?

As you look back
on this incident,
do you think you
could have
improved your
performance or


What abilities and ideas were involved?

How did your
ideas or
concepts of how
' guide your
actions in this
incident? How
were they used
or applied in
your actions?

What abilities or
skills are needed
to perform
effectively in
incidents like

Looking back on
incidents like
this one, what
ideas or
concepts seem
to apply best

                               Critical Incident Log
Name:                                              Date:

                            Where did the incident occur?

The physical
location in which
the incident

                                 Who was involved?

Your role in the

Names and roles
of others
involved in the
How typical was this incident in your experience?:

…………Typical         …………..Atypical

What Happened?

The situation
itself, including
the activities
conversations of
those involved

And especially
what you did
and said as a

participant in the

What was the
outcome or
result of this
incident in terms
of the decisions
                         What did you think and feel at the time?

What were you
thinking during
the time the
incident was

What did you
feel about the
part you played
in the incident?

What did you
feel about the
parts played by
the others in the

What did you         .
feel about the

outcome of the

What was intended?

Why did you act
as you did in the
incident? What
did you intend to
through your
actions at the

Why do you
think others
acted as they did
in this incident,
and what do you
think they
intended through
their action?

As you look back
on this incident,
why do you think
things happened
the way they

What did you learn?

What do you
think you have
learnt from your
experience in
this incident?

As you look back
on this incident,
do you think you
could have
improved your
performance or


What abilities and ideas were involved?

How did your
ideas or
concepts of how
' guide your
actions in this
incident? How
were they used
or applied in
your actions?

What abilities or
skills are needed
to perform
effectively in
incidents like

Looking back on
incidents like
this one, what
ideas or
concepts seem
to apply best

                               Critical Incident Log
Name:                                              Date:

                            Where did the incident occur?

The physical
location in which
the incident

                                 Who was involved?

Your role in the

Names and roles
of others
involved in the
How typical was this incident in your experience?:

…………Typical         …………..Atypical

What Happened?

The situation
itself, including
the activities
conversations of
those involved

And especially
what you did
and said as a

participant in the

What was the
outcome or
result of this
incident in terms
of the decisions
                         What did you think and feel at the time?

What were you
thinking during
the time the
incident was

What did you
feel about the
part you played
in the incident?

What did you
feel about the
parts played by
the others in the

What did you         .
feel about the

outcome of the

What was intended?

Why did you act
as you did in the
incident? What
did you intend to
through your
actions at the

Why do you
think others
acted as they did
in this incident,
and what do you
think they
intended through
their action?

As you look back
on this incident,
why do you think
things happened
the way they

What did you learn?

What do you
think you have
learnt from your
experience in
this incident?

As you look back
on this incident,
do you think you
could have
improved your
performance or


What abilities and ideas were involved?

How did your
ideas or
concepts of how
' guide your
actions in this
incident? How
were they used
or applied in
your actions?

What abilities or
skills are needed
to perform
effectively in
incidents like

Looking back on
incidents like
this one, what
ideas or
concepts seem
to apply best


                       (Irish for Blessing) by John O’Donahue

On that day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble,

May the clay dance to balance you.

And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window

And the ghost of lost gets into you,

May a flock of colours – indigo, red, green, and azure blue

Come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays in the cuaroch of thought

And the stain of the ocean blackens beneath you,

May there come across the waters

A path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours.

May the fluency of the ocean be yours.

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you –

An invisible cloak to mind your life