Bob Van Oosterhout

Concepts, Definitions, and Links re: Effective Leadership over the Long-Term
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Effective Leadership over the Long-Term is a Process of Inclusion and Connection :  Summary of Basic Concepts

-Bob Van Oosterhout, MA. LLP, LMSW


1.  It may be time to rethink how traditional approaches to leadership fit the needs and opportunities of today’s world?

    A.   Politics has become increasingly fragmented and adversarial.

    B.   There is a lack of critical thinking and honest discussion of major issues.

    C.   70% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged in their work.  (Gallup)


2.  Traditional leadership models tend to be based on assumptions that humans are naturally aggressive and competitive and that there are only a few exceptionally gifted persons qualified to lead.  There are good reasons to question these assumptions.


3.  Effective leadership over the long-term is a process (as opposed to a role) of Inclusion and Connection.  It essentially involves seeing clearly with an open heart.


4.  Inclusion and Connection form a “Golden Mean” between rigidity and chaos. They allow us to see a larger picture more clearly, to develop intrinsic motivation, to form shared vision and values, to anticipate problems, recognize opportunities and find creative solutions.


5.  The process of Inclusion and Connection requires Balance and Clear Perception.


6.  Physical, mental, and emotional Balance involves stopping the build-up of tension, accepting and understanding the nature of emotion, and learning to adapt thoughts and perceptions to meet short and long-term needs and opportunities.  Balance takes us out of crisis mode and allows us to see a larger picture more clearly. 


7.  Clear perception is shared perception.  The Components of Clear Perception are Compassion, Personal Responsibility, Hope, and Humility.


8.  Incorporating Balance and Clear Perception into daily interactions facilitates the process of Inclusion and Connection and the evolution of effective leadership over the long-term.


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Effective Leadership  mobilizes people to improve our world.


Long-term  leaves an organization in better condition to improve our world


Compassion  recognizes the dignity and potential of each person.  It involves looking at life from another person’s perspective without judgment and then beginning to understand how circumstances contributed to forming his or her behavior, attitude, and outlook.  True Compassion requires the capacity to briefly experience the immediate and sustained emotions of another.  Compassion connects, includes, and opens.  It allows other people to be fully themselves in our presence.  Compassion is not a concept; it is something to be experienced.  We are touched by compassion and it allows us to be in touch with and touch others.


Personal Responsibility  recognizes that each person (including ourselves) has unique gifts and potential along with the ability to respond and contribute.  Personal Responsibility involves finding balance between the needs of a situation and the capabilities and limitations of participants.  Personal Responsibility rejects the authoritarian term “should” and avoids blame, guilt, and resentment.  It simply looks at what each participant can realistically do to improve work, relationships, communities and organizations.


Hope  realizes that there is an effective way to handle each situation and that every experience presents a learning opportunity.  Hope recognizes the dignity and potential of each person and believes that each one of us has an inborn capacity to improve our lives and our world.  Hope resides in our hearts and in our souls.  It realizes that who we become can be better than who we are. 


Humility  is simply reality.  More than the absence of arrogance and self-centeredness, it involves recognizing our inter-dependence and inter-connectedness along with the effects of our actions on others.  Humility allows us to see ourselves as part of a greater whole, to realize that we have a significant but limited role, and to explore how and where we best fit in contributing to improving our world.



Videos on the balance techniques


Information about online Stress Management at LCC: