UPLIFTED after a conversation with a HUMANIST, a leader of to-morrow, who has proved it works today

I spent the evening with a leader. A leader who has had a lot of courage.
A leader who is a Humanist. A leader of tomorrow.
A leader who intimately believes in people, that everyone, no matter where they are today,  can grow, flourish, self-develop.

Not only does he believe so, he also acts accordingly.

It is not without reason that his company is on the path of becoming a truly liberated company (in the sense that Carney & Getz describe in their book “Freedom”, or Steve Denning in “Radical Management”, or Gary Hamel in “The Future of Management”)

This leader has walked a difficult road though, amidst so many fixed mindsets, among so many people still unwilling to admit what is evident and natural to the large majority of young people.

What the majority of young people find natural, I believe the large majority of “normal citizens” feel. It is hidden (repressed) in the depth of their being, but it needs not much for these repressed feelings to be liberated. It needs not much for so many people to shift, to believe that change can come, will come, that positive change is there already, is there, for them to grasp.

And maybe they even believe it a bit more now, having observed how the “ordinary people” in Tunisia and Egypt have suddenly achieved what they themselves deemed impossible only a few days ago.

Anyhow, the leader I met has already done it, already shown the immense potential of liberating the people in his organisation.

The people in his company are indeed free, they speak freely, no subject is taboo, and nothing cannot be talked about. Everyone in this company innovates, everyone takes initiatives, collaborates criss-cross throughout former functional silos and hierarchies. People self-develop, act autonomously, uplift each other, help each other learning and growing, … , and they are all happy and cool. Mind you, happy and cool, and the results are astounding, on all fronts.

This company is the proof that, as the people benefit, flourish and uplift, their families do, their communities do, the regions in which the company operates do … but also, and as significantly, the shareholders get higher returns, the clients better service, products, quality and innovation, the suppliers and all the partners they work with are co-creating with the company and its clients an ecosystem that allows everyone to flourish.

It is uplifting to meet such a leader, who did believe paradigms can be put on their head. I’m proud to be working with him. I’m so happy for his success, for their success, because it is the success of a community, of all the people.

But it takes a leader, not a proud charismatic, individuality, a humble, courageous, persistant, leader. A leader of which the people say “we did it ourselves” (Old Chinese Wisdom)

This leader deserves so much respect.

Because he needed so much courage, he faced so many obstacles…(I can tell you, he could tell much more, certainly, but he will not)

This leader has experienced what Machiavelli meant when he wrote, in “The Prince”:

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”

A precision: I am not drunk, I am not a dreamer, perhaps I am an idealist, I was for sure, but after seeing so many initiatives in the world that work,  I am no more, I am just another observer of people’s inherent humanity and system’s intelligence, because I’ve seen it, and experienced it.

Thank You leader, for uplifting me so much, I needed it.


Helping people and organizations close the gap between their most deeply held human intentions (purpose), and their present possibility. How to do that has everything to do with unleashing the hidden capabilities that lie in every individual and in the collective. The success conditions are courage:

  1. courage to believe that we can all keep growing (humility to admit we are not there yet)

  1. courage to admit the absolute need to grow (change) to accomplish our higher purpose

  1. courage to want to adopt a genuinely developmental (growth) stance.

Read more at charlesvanderhaegen.wordpress.com


About charlesvanderhaegen

I am a grandfather of an immensely inspiring family, thanks to the most incredible wife. To satisfy my family's needs, I was for 30 years business entrepreneur, roller coasting between success and failure. 17 years ago I was forced to stop and reflect. I dug into theory and discovered the World out there, that my involvement in Business had kept hidden to me. I feared that I will not escape remaining amidst my trans-disciplinary quest forever, bouncing back and forth from action to theory, always puzzled by Europe's apparent incapacity to free itself from its Institutional/Technological Lock-ins. My horizon opened up when Gunter Pauly, my intimate friend of 35 years, asked me to join him and take charge ZERI's development in Europe. I am now fully engaged alongside Gunter Pauli in the http://www.zeri.org and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
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2 Responses to UPLIFTED after a conversation with a HUMANIST, a leader of to-morrow, who has proved it works today

  1. Pingback: Charles van der Haegen's Blog

  2. Pingback: What might be the deepest purpose of any business – Starting a dialogue? | Global Guts

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