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Leadership Self-Development Journey
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you.
You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
- James Allen
BEING SERVANT: By choosing to serve and not boss the team, the leader builds them up and collectively they grow to become better leaders in service of the organisation.
SELF-DISCIPLINE: The leader's self-discipline sets the standard and example for others without which consistent performance is not possible.
EMPOWER: The more empowered and free people feel, the more they give to the cause. Rather than trying to control, leaders show trust in people's inherent capabilities.
DECISION MAKING: With firm and apt individual decision making together with skilful facilitation of team decisions the leader ensures momentum and backing for the direction taken.
LIFE-BALANCE/RESILIENCE: To sustain his energy and ability to focus, and to set a credible example, a leader needs to have good balance between the different areas of his life and model resilience.
RECOGNITION: Leaders recognise people privately and publicly out of real appreciation for their contributions as well as personal qualities.
LEADERSHIP STYLE: Different situations require different leadership styles to be effective. Good leaders are flexible and versatile in their style.
TREND/SYSTEMS AWARENESS: A big-picture view to spot trends early on and an understanding of the influences of systems and their relationships is needed for the strategic direction that the leader must give.
BUILDING TRUST: By being honest, open and consistent and by showing the willingness to trust the team, the leader lays a strong team foundation for the good, but especially bad times.
ORGANISATIONAL AWARENESS: Sufficient awareness of different aspects of the organisation, such as the reason for its existence, the history, structure and culture, enables the leader to align himself and his team effectively.
PASSION: The leader does not only have to have a strong sense of responsibility, but passion for the cause.
HONESTY/INTEGRITY: The leader is credible and ethical to the extent that his beliefs, values, attitude and behaviour forms an integrated whole.
BUILDING SUPPORT: A leader must be able to build support for his ideas and direction or else fail as a leader.
COMMUNICATION: The leader's ability and commitment to communicate with clarity and appropriateness is essential to his leadership effectiveness.
SELF-REGARD: Positive self-regard is necessary for a leader in order to accept criticism, learn from it and continue leading with confidence.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: Leadership is by definition action in the context of relationships. To ignore relationships contradicts leadership whereas building them enhances teamwork.
SELF-INITIATIVE: To be a leader is to take the initiative to make a positive difference.
CREATIVITY/INNOVATION: Since leaders focus on potential and imagine the future to be different, they demonstrate and encourage innovative and creative thinking.
VISIONARY THINKING: The mental picture of a desired destination, big or small, sparks focused activities and worthwhile endeavours, which is why leaders' first task is to imagine the ideal future.
CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE: Only by making good heart and mind connections with people can the leader hope to influence them to co-operate enthusiastically.
TECHNOLOGY AWARENESS: Understanding the potential positive and negative effects of technology in the organisation enables the leader to balance human interests with efficiency.
SELF-AWARENESS: Self-awareness opens the door to effective communication and the leader's ability to relate to others.
AUTHENTICITY: A leader cannot help others unless he shares himself openly and honestly.
BUILDING TEAM: It is in the development and performance of the team that the leader's effectiveness can be seen.
SELF-CONFIDENCE: To lead requires the confidence to take the first step and have others follow you.
CULTURAL AWARENESS: In an age of globalisation and culturally diverse workplaces, sensitivity for differences is critical to the leader's success in mobilising people as a community.
STRATEGIC THINKING: With the vision or goal in mind, leaders accept responsibility for the most effective way to achieve the vision or goal.
PERSEVERANCE: Leadership disappears when we give up and emerges when we choose to persevere when others would have given up.
ADAPTABILITY: Effective leadership is more a consequence of the leader's ability to adapt well to changes than a consequence of his knowledge or experience.
CHARACTER: Leadership involves many tests of courage, resilience and morality which make strong character indispensable.
INSPIRING HOPE: Nothing is as damaging to an organisation as the negative attitudes of its people. It is the leader's uppermost responsibility to inspire hope and create a positive climate.
SELF-MOTIVATION: The leader motivates himself with his personal vision, passion, potential and moral convictions.

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Trend/systems awareness
Organisational awareness
Visionary thinking
Strategic thinking
Cultural awareness
Technology awareness


Connecting with people
Building relationships
Being servant
Building support
Building team
Building trust
Leadership style
Decision making
Inspiring hope


Writings by Gerhard

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Constructive conversations

Do you agree with the quote? Thinking is not just a way to pass time. It is the generator of a future state of being. If it is true for an individual, it is also true for a collective of people... 

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Since we have the freedom to choose our actions, even in the worst of situations, we are responsible to ourselves for how we live our lives - and, depending on our beliefs, ultimately responsible to God. To live conscious of one’s responsibility leads to both good and bad feelings...

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The more rushed and individualistic our lives become, the smaller the circle of people we are willing to pay attention to. Of course, we cannot be everything to all people. But I believe we need to pause more often, and ask ourselves if we are not missing the plot when people only have value if they can contribute to our goals and ideals. 

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Action is the antidote to despair

As a nation or as individuals, we sometimes experience feelings of despair. Despair debilitates us and of course doesn’t solve anything. However, once the feeling get a grip on us, no matter what others say or how much we would try telling ourselves differently, it is real and having an impact on us...

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When to hold on and when to let go

It is in our nature to want comfort, stability and security. We sometimes think: If we had the choice, we would have preferred to stay in our mothers’ wombs where ignorance was bliss. But, at some stage, nature wanted it differently. And, as I understand it, when the time is right, unborn babies actively begin to participate in the birth process...

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When to take on and when to let go

We are born with potential and the freedom to make choices. We are also born with limitations - we are human, fallible and mortal. Our freedom invites us to take charge, to follow our dreams and to take things on. Our human limitations remind us that we sometimes have to, and should, let go...

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The need for inclusive thinking

Our ability to deal effectively with all the different situations we face in life depends on the degree to which we are able to appreciate and comprehend the full picture. But there is more to it … 

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From being a problem solver to being a community

Most people associate their work with problem-fixing. Very few people view their work as making a contribution to a stronger and better community. New products are developed to solve problems, small and big. New systems are implemented and services are launched to take care of people’s problems. We extend ourselves, think hard and work late hours to fix the problem. Our work satisfaction is consequently dependent on how well we were able to fix the problem. 

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The scariest and most liberating thing to do

What we share with people of all times, past, present and future, is to plan for what we want, be it our next meal or the next venture on our big-dreams list. And with our modern consciousness of time as limited and divided into fragments, we sense the start of a new year as the (potential) turn of a new page in our life story. The question that looms is: with what purpose in mind do I want to write the next chapter? 

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To follow, not possess, the truth

Since the Christmas and new year period offers us the special opportunity to turn our attention to what is ultimately (beyond time and space) important and meaningful, I want to share with you a single spiritual insight. In our 21st century world many people experience high levels of confusion, ambivalence and doubt.

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Can we be merciful at work?

Do you sometimes at work behave in ways that you later regret, thinking ‘where did that come from’? Is it not true that it is more common to hear unforgiving and unsympathetic remarks about others than forgiving and sympathetic? Are we not often caught up in a spiral of negativity and faultfinding out of our own sense of frustration with life in general? Is it not much easier to join the choir of condemnation of a perceived culprit than it is to reflect on one’s own responsibility and to approach someone personally for better understanding? 

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Our world is changing - are you in or out

It is to state the obvious to say ‘our world is changing’. What is not obvious is how many of the changes we experience in our daily lives link with others to become major forces and trends of change that will determine much of our future. What is also not so obvious is how our thinking and actions are influenced by systemic and cultural changes, and how well or poorly we not only cope with the changes, but learn from them and use them to our advantage. Moreover, for the sake of our sanity, identity and inner security, what do we hold on to as the firm core of our existence?
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Losing weight as an exercise in personal mastery

As body, mind and spirit, how we take care of our bodies is of no less importance than how we think and how we love. After all, we received only one ‘vehicle’ for our life journey here on earth and that is the body that we feel, and later see in the mirror, when we wake up in the morning. All our great mind and spiritual potential depends to some degree on the good condition of our health... Read the full article

Balancing compliance for good order with freedom for commitment
(7 August 2014) (10 July 2014)

Excellence is mostly a matter of balance. As Aristotle said wisely, the challenge is not only to do the right thing, but to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. This is the hallmark of a good leader. A good leader inherently knows what the ‘right thing’ is and how it is to be done, at any point in time, when the situation presents itself. It often requires a balancing act. .. Read the full article

Good governance, good business and good society - where it stands or falls
(23 May 2014)

It is ironic how we all hope to have a good life, good body, good mind, and good spirit and be part of a good society.  And yet we are most of the times so unwilling to honestly look in the mirror and do the needed work on ourselves to improve our body, mind and most of all, spirit... Read the full article

It's time to rethink leadership development
(21 January 2014)
Leadership excellence is fundamental to the health and performance of an organisation. Leadership development, however, in most cases is a costly affair.  It therefore warrants careful consideration of what organisations hope to achieve when they invest in leadership development. Read the full article

A Different Kind of Leader
(29 August 2013)

The modern day worker cannot be deceived with promises of quick and easy solutions and a perfect world. The challenges we face at work are multidimensional. They are complex and demanding of both our cognitive and our emotional and social intelligences. Read the full article

The Leader as Gardener
(31 July 2013)

The art of the good gardener lies in his ability to learn and appreciate natural growth processes. The shift in our understanding of organisations since the days when engineers analyzed organisations as they analyzed machines for their efficiency is to understand that organisations are fundamentally living systems of human beings. - See more at:
The art of the good gardener lies in his ability to learn and appreciate natural growth processes. The shift in our understanding of organisations since the days when engineers analyzed organisations as they analyzed machines for their efficiency is to understand that organisations are fundamentally living systems of human beings. Read the full article

Intent and urgency in leadership
(25 June 2013)

Too often does one find that managers get worked up about the demands of the customer, operational tasks, project deadlines, the boss's or shareholders' expectations, the competition's latest moves and many other typical considerations, but they drag their feet when it comes to leadership. Read the full article

Leadership, the mass man and the desert fathers
(6 June 2013)

The more we hear disappointing news about poor or no service delivery, incompetence, lack of urgency and commitment, corruption and greed, or experience it ourselves, the more we ask: why can't there be better, more responsible and competent leaders? For a moment we might even think: like ourselves? ... Read the full article

You have too much to offer not to persevere with your doals and ideals

Let’s be honest. We face a simple choice from day to day, minute to minute and moment to moment. Are we going to give up on what we see as the ideal, or are we going to persevere with our efforts?

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Leadership and trust (23 May 2013)

It is distressing to see how many different, very costly, systems in the modern organization are designed and implemented as an alternative to human interaction based on trust. - See more at:
It is distressing to see how many different, very costly, systems in the modern organization are designed and implemented as an alternative to human interaction based on trust. - See more at:

It is distressing to see how many different, very costly, systems in the modern organization are designed and implemented as an alternative to human interaction based on trust… Read the full article

Perseverance (30 April 2013)
Let’s be honest. We face a simple choice from day to day, minute to minute and moment to moment. Are we going to give up on what we see as the ideal, or are we going to persevere with our efforts? Read the full article

Your free will and four levels of satisfaction (4 March 2013)

Since we are born with the mental and psychological ability to make choices, our lives will be determined mostly by what we want to do with our freedom of choice. Read the full article

Your aspirations
(28 February 2012)

If we would allow our emotions to take control of us in times of hardship or times of major disappointment, we would never be able to grow into people who can make significant contributions to society – however talented we might be. We would in effect marginalise ourselves. Read the full article

Enthusiasm (4 May 2012)

How much enthusiasm do you have for what you are doing at work today? This week, month and year? Enthusiasm, I believe, is a yardstick for the passion we have for what we do. It is difficult to believe a person who doesn’t show any enthusiasm when he tells you he is passionate about his work. Read the full article

Challenging the satus quo (25 Julie 2012)

So often we hear people say: ‘Sorry, this is just the way things are done around here.’ It is obviously not said with any pride or enthusiasm. But it is said with strong belief and conviction – with a ‘try to proof me wrong’ attitude. We know where that feeling comes from: it comes from shattered hopes. Read the full article

Effective communication (2 Julie 2012)

How do you rate your ability to communicate effectively? I guess it is true for most of us that wehopewe are effective. The thought that we might be much more ineffective than what we are hoping for, is disturbing. After all, who doesn’t want to be taken seriously? Who doesn’t want to feel heard and who doesn’t want to feel respected for his/her thoughts, ideas and conduct? Read the full article

Business and the economy of love (1 February 2012)

Dare I use the word ‘love’ in the context of work and business? If it is not romantic love, which in any case can complicate things in the office, is there a place for love in how we relate to co-workers, how we deal with difficult situations and people, how we think about groups different to us, the social context we work and live in and how we prepare our minds for a day’s work? Read the full article

Lifelong learning (12 Junie 2012)

At times when we find life to be difficult and our thoughts burdensome and muddled, other people’s lives can suddenly seem to be very uncomplicated and sorted out – especially the high-flyers. It is in such times that we tend to talk ourselves down: ‘I will never be able to do that’; ‘I am not as gifted’; ‘I don’t have the same opportunities’; ‘I have reached my limit’; ‘there’s no light in the tunnel’. Read the full article

Defining conversations with ourselves (29 March 2012)
It is the conversations we have with ourselves that determine our actions and choices in life. To raise the quality of our actions and contributions to our families, work organisations, communities and society at large, we need to raise the quality of our conversations with ourselves. Read the full article

Leadership in South Africa (3 December 2012)

As an eighteen year old democracy with eleven official languages, four major race groups and forty six years of apartheid, South Africa today is a complex society in need of a very special brand of leadership. It is a diverse society with many different histories, cultures, customs, beliefs and philosophical frames of reference. Read the full article


The self-development journey
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Leadership coaching
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