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Recap ELP Annual Leadership Conference 2023 “True Leadership”

October 18, 2023 by

The ELP Conference 2023 was a wonderful day with thought-provoking keynotes, inspiring Roundtable Dialogues and enjoyable networking at the beautiful location of Headfirst Group in Hoofddorp. You can watch a short video about the Conference at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLHagBFZSB0

Simon Sebag Montefiore, a British historian, shared some examples of world leaders from his book The World. A Family History, including Catherine the Great and Prince Potemkin who aroused the curiosity of President Putin because of their involvement in Ukraine and the Crimea. Leaders need four characteristics to be effective, Simon said:

– Vision

– Acumen, the ability to get it done

– Resources

– Circumstances/chance.

Twan van de Kerkhof, ELP’s founder and director, shared the lessons that he took from the 40 answers to two questions that were asked in this anniversary year of ELP.

Key insights from the answers to “What has been the most important leadership lesson you ever got?” were:

– Leadership is personal

– Leadership is about connecting with people

– Leaders are idiosyncratic.

Key insights from the answers to “What is in your view the biggest misconception about leadership?” were:

– Leadership is only for bosses

– Leaders are almighty

– Leadership is a gift.

ELP Members can find Twan’s presentation on the ELP-website.

Laura Storm, founder or Regenerators and co-author of Regenerative Leadership, showed many figures that demonstrate that the world is in trouble. She suggested that Regenerative Leadership is the solution. This is based on living systems; some of its elements are: purpose-led, always developing, self-organized, diverse and inclusive.

ELP Members can find Laura’s presentation on the ELP-website.

The CEO Panel of Resi Becker (Essent), Han Kolff (Headfirst) and Laura van Geest (AFM) applied the insights from the keynotes to the practice of large organizations in an interactives session with the participants.

At the end of the evening participants wrote down their key takeaways. You will find those below this news item.



* You can never be successful in a world that fails

* Leadership is powerful. Listen, be willing to discuss and ready to change

* It takes courage to change the world. Let’s be courageous

* True leadership is serving your team as if it were a human being: serving the mind, body, soul as an ecosystem and make it flourish or bloom

* Leadership is personal

* Leadership can be learned

* Laura Storm for president!

* We have only five years left to save nature and ourselves. Improve step by step, together

* Take a small step, and then another one

* Improve on events

* We are all in the dark, be the light

* Experiment, feel/fail, learn

* You can inspire other people by doing good

* Inspire to motivate and empower change

* Never underestimate the influence you can have

* Change starts with you/me

* Mobilize yourself and your organization

* How can we onboard others/more sceptic individuals on the train?

* To transform a system, we need to act/collaborate as one

* What is my own contribution in shaping our future?

* How can we a commercial business, I as a leader, contribute to a better world tomorrow whilst maintaining the commercial goals?

* Embrace different perspectives, unexpected. Create environment to shape the future

* Co-operate, explain, don’t preach

* How can I be on the good side of history?

* Are we on the right side of history?

* No easy answers, but moving on in my learning cure in leadership for a better world

* Normal disorder is reinstated after 70 years of peace

* People are not polarized, they just don’t feel heard. The closer you get to people, the less polarization

* Also lazy democracies may need a push

* War democracy is still democracy

* From comfort democracy to intentional democracy

* In a comfort economy we can’t save the planet

* Radical dilemmas arise in these radical and uncertain times. They are not addressed sufficiently in the summary of lessons and misconceptions

* Social media got out of control and is polarizing us, but this will solve itself after all

* A leader should focus on what he or she can control: corporate culture, telling stories

* How to organize for good across organizational systems?

* Are we ready to work on a world transformation? Are we able to see further than the self and work on a common goal?

* I’ve learned to take more time to reflect and connect with others in order to be a good leader

* Corporate retreats for everyone. Slow down, connect to world problems, purpose of the organization and personal purpose. And innovate collectively

* Organizations are led by teams. Teams are the leader

* More time for reflection with your team

* Not only Summer, also time for Winter

* I love to learn from colleagues from other areas with different insights

* New perspective on our current system

* First ask more questions before allowing a judgment in your mind

* We, as a society and as individuals, need to think long-term

* Individualism versus collectivism

* Let go of the individualistic and start working as an inexhaustible organic system with each other

* Positive examples: HVC, DSM, Triodos Bank, Youbedo. React not positive

* Nature is a great mental journey

* How can we ensure all parts of the body of the world stay interconnected and functioning well?

* How to implement lessons from nature into organizations?

* Live more with the seasons. I am nature and transformation runs through me

* Include the upcoming generation in the creation of vision and strategy

* Book 3, 4, 5, 8

* Very inspiring for a call to action discussion at our table