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Excerpt from "Leadership: Exploring the Essence of Leadership Dynamics"

Extract From Introduction

by Arnold Timmerman


The word ‘leadingship’ is not new. It was just new in 2009 to this leadership seeker. After two decades of trying out highly recommended and researched versions of leadership, I started exploring what personal leadership qualities were already available within me. In all honesty, I was hoping to come across a unique selling point, something that would make me stand out as a leader amongst many people. Instead, this ego-driven treasure hunt led me to the experience of leadingship - non-personal, bigger than me, neutral, very dynamic, outrageously inspiring.

This seemed to leave no space for the known vertical, rigid, hierarchical versions of any controlling or serving leadership. A horizontal, fluid dynamic of leading and following could take its place. Wow! It ‘had’ to be tested, it ‘had’ to be shared!

Even though life seemed to ‘pull’ me into a new and very exciting direction, I was still too much in love with some perceived comfort and security. So instead of surrendering to that pull, I found myself complying with the structures of the known. It felt safer to go with other people’s ideas on leadership and organizational structures – for they seemed to be refreshing and paradigm breaking enough themselves. A time of compromise started. I worked with a new yet conformational form of leadership; it was exciting because of the platform it created and the response it received, but it still felt somewhat half-baked.

It was time to get real. I could feel it and it was as if I could hear it loud and clear: ‘Compliance is false. Settling for the pseudocomforts of the known just delays what wants to be born anyway.

It is time to surrender to the wish of the true and authentic self. Only that can add growth to this planet, its people, organizations… life itself. Only that will be worth following.’ The little voice in the back of my mind was blessed with a clear whisper.

And this is what the voice (and pen) started adding to it: ‘Nothing out there can change politics, people’s way of thinking or behaving. No books, ideologies, leadership seminars, master coaches… The real solutions to radical change are within each and every one of us. They are within you. It’s you that you have been waiting for. It always has been you. This is not a concept. It becomes real when you have the courage to pause, look within and find the passionate fire that wants to burn away the shackles from your imprisoned authentic you. Take down your masks of belonging, pleasing, controlling. Address the fears that keep any masks in place, the fears that keep you encaged in your comfort zone. Then inquire what makes your heart tick, what gives you that childlike excitement.

That which feels alive is the door to true passion and purpose. Anything less is a compromise, a settling for ways of the known. This is dead. Live and experience the passion, and leadership comes alive. People ”have to” follow.

Passionate expression of the true authentic self is contagious.’ There was no way around it. I just ‘had to’ stop, listen, and take action. It was time to explore leadingship.

Netherlands born UK resident Arnold Timmerman is a well-loved international public speaker, trainer, coach and mentor to both individuals and organzations. His main passion: people! His main focus: translating personal growth and self-inquiry to professional development!

Leadingship - Exploring the Essence of Leadership Dynamics, 978-1-78099-861-9, $14.95/£8.88, paperback, 105pp - published by Business Books an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, http://www.jhpbusiness-books.com/


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