Are you a Connective Leader (compared to HH Dalai Lama)?

Are you a Connective Leader (compared to HH Dalai Lama)?
Cees Hoogendijk, co-creator of flourishing organizations

What is it you would like to see happening around you? I would like to tell you a story about a leadership development instrument that may have been introduced ten years too early. Perhaps, by now, it can serve you, your co-workers and your organization to flourish. The instrument allows you to mirror your leadership profile next to the ideal connective leader – think of His Holiness Dalai Lama or any other great leader. If you can’t wait, just click here for the English version, or here for the Spanish version. You can also keep on reading, and find the same links at the end of this story.

Connectivity is the key to almost everything
Although I became self employed in 2005, it took me some years to understand the art of networking, or better: being a co-maker of various social enterprises. This all thanks to my citizenship of Society 3.0, the community of co-creators who live their professional lives on principles as ‘asynchronous reciprocity’ and ‘right to copy’. Find out all you want to know on For me that journey consciously started in 2008, and connectivity was key in my professional growth.

Are you inspired by the world of connectivity, sharing and caring, often illustrated with “3.0”? Then you will understand that one of my initiatives involved the foundation of the Society for Connected Leadership. Don’t get me wrong: not an institute, but a bunch of good people. We felt it was time for old school management to make room for a leadership style aiming for the wellbeing of all organization’s stakeholders. We started with the following emerging definition.

A Connective Leader…
– considers and develops the organization as a focused and inclusive wholeness of people and activities
– is convinced about the correlation between ‘convenient working’ and ‘well performing’ and acts according to this conviction;
– practises in the organizational diagram a vertical (policy) dialogue and a horizontal (input-output) cooperation and recommends these amongst fellow leaders;
– aims for sustainable improvements that add value
– considers ‘to help’ and ‘to be open for help’ the foundations for effective collaboration;
– see employees as co-workers and enables them to explore and apply their talents
– provides co-workers the information they need to perform well;
– seeks continuously the balance between organisational objectives and the interests of co-workers, customers and society.

Mirroring Leadership Role Models
This ‘job description’ evolved through conversations with inspiring role models. We didn’t actually speak with Ghandi (obvious) or Nelson Mandela or Mother Theresa … but we were proud to have multiple conversations with connective leaders, and especially with Nyenrode University Business Spirituality professor Paul the Blot, in his nineties and still practising singing, to be a clown, doing pastoral services, writing blogs and… being highly connective and connected.

Our ‘bunch’ happened to include a specialist in the value system methodology Spiral Dynamics (SD), and after we combined all inputs and intentions, we ended up with the profile of the “ideal” Connective Leader. On that profile we built a quick scan for managers, leaders and other organization professionals to assess their own “CL-profile”, and to compare their profile with that of the ideal CL. The bigger the gap, the more to reflect upon: food for personal development.

You won’t believe this…
Was it a success? Not really. We organized connective meetings and workshops and met a lot of interested, eh … believers. To be honest: we didn’t connect with the ‘not so connective’ managers, the ones we wanted to reach so eagerly. Our CL Society slowly got into ‘mute’ and all of us proceeded with our other initiatives. We stayed connected.

Starting 2018, and it is still not clear how, why, when and where, the interest for connective leadership began to increase. The now called Connective Leadership Mirror became reactivated, and this process is still going strong. Mind you, it started as a Dutch instrument, and by now you are facing an English and a Spanish version.

Appreciative = Connective
Being a proud and grateful co-creator of Instituto Ideia, it was a pleasure and an honour to apply the ‘right to copy’ principle, because of which the CL Mirror now is entering and conquering ‘the rest of the world’. How connective is that? The world seems to be ready for it. Organizations are in the need of connective leaders. Why? Because all of the stakeholders are already connected. It is the only way to keep up with the emerging reality. And we concluded that the Ideia CL Mirror is the perfect addition to the services that are wrapped around the art and method of Appreciative Inquiry. Would you agree that an Appreciative Leader is also a Connective Leader?

Ready for a bit of mirroring? Are you a leader, manager, organization professional or in the process of becoming one? Are you in for a bit of reflection, self-reflection and challenging competition with the connective giants? Feel welcome to fill out the form (English or Spanish or Dutch), containing all instructions to find yourself soon in a state of reflective mirroring about your whether or more to develop leadership capabilities, in order to contribute to the well being of your organization and all of its stakeholders. The rest is future.