Slow Leadership

Coaching the Counter Culture

An overview of the type of leaders I work with

You’re a leader in a social change organization

Our world currently faces many challenges. I could name a few, but I’m sure I’d never be able to name all and I’m sure you’ll have your own list. You are leading an organization that wants to bring change and has been created with the intention to change our world for the better.

I believe all the solutions for our problems are already out there. We don’t need another discovery or even AI to further our lives on this planet. However, the sustainable, long term solutions are seldomly to be found in the mainstream corporations or even non-profits that currently have leading roles in communities, economies, politics and countries.

I believe many if not most of the solutions we need are hovering at the fringe. A flock of birds can only change direction if one bird starts to change direction and bit by bit other birds follow. Otherwise the flock just keeps following it’s track. Nobody will deny the track our world is currently on isn’t the right one. Changing that track will happen from the margins, through the organizations that bring difference, that are bold enough to insist on their diversity and innovation and that represent minority ideas and methods.

If you’re still reading, you’re probably leading one of those organizations. Being a leader in such an organization, be it a small business, a non-profit or a larger organization, requires a deep understanding of your leadership. After all, you’re not supported by mainstream thinking, ideas, structures or institutions, you’re operating in ways that are new, developing and edgy.

So, you might need to understand how to give feedback, how to properly convene a meeting, how to set up a strategy. Sure, those are skills any leader needs. But when you lead an organization that wants to bring about change from the fringes, you resonate with the need to go a step further and develop your leadership presence through deep personal development.
Your leadership needs an embodied understanding of why you are the one leading it. You need to feel day in day out how your mission as a leader is intimately entwined with the people you lead and the organization as a whole. Representing this type of social change organization means you’ll be faced with scepticism, resistance and critical questions. To stay centered in these moments you need to have a solid understanding of your call to this leading position and how your own mission matches with your role. You need to know how you can have more of the impact only you can have and how you can use your experience in the moment to lead. The deeper you can root in your mission and power as a leader, the better you can weather the adversity you face coming from mainstream voices.

It’s challenging to bring ideas, methods or products to the world that aren’t part of the mainstream, so your people need to get the right support to keep doing their work even during hard times. You know this and you’d want to get better at connecting with your people and supporting them to connect with each other, since that’s where your organization finds its power to pursue your mission.

Bringing change only really works if you also know what it is that your are changing and if you keep engaging with it. Otherwise your impact as an organization will happen in isolated pockets. This starts with deeply knowing and understanding the ‘why’ of your organization, the reason it has been created in the first place. However, your vision as a leader doesn’t stop there, it needs to include the larger ecosystem your organization is a part of to understand the part it plays in that bigger picture.

You’re a new or newly promoted leader.

Either it’s your first leadership position or it’s a promotion, but you’re excited and grateful for this new step in your career. You feel the opportunities this meaningful role can offer and the potential for growth. You also know it’s a transition that will be smoother when you get the right support and want to go a step deeper than the soft skills you already master.

In this new position you’ll have to level up your leadership performance, but you’re commited to combine that with a focus on the people in your organization. You strongly believe treating people as the number one asset makes your organization and your leadership thrive.

You feel this new position challenges you to stay aware of the impact of the power that comes with it. You know how power can get the best of people and you know you’re not immune to that. Nonetheless, you feel you’ve done a good job in the past and are looking for some extra support to keep your awareness sharp and in tune.

You’re a man in a leadership position.

As a man in a leadership position you’ve learned through trial and error that a lot of your success is dependent on your presence as a leader. How you bring yourself as a male leader is equally if not more important as what you bring. You’ve started to listen more to your embodied awareness as a way to find the right style and pace in your leading. You want to learn better how to use that awareness to inform your leadership in the moment.

You’ve experienced first hand how the interpersonal challenges men struggle with get amplified when they are in a leading position. The leader is such a classic archetype for men that it makes it even harder to ask for support, to stay connected with your people, to slow down when needed, etc. On top of that, you can’t help but notice how often the leaders that get into trouble are men. You don’t want to end up in these statistics yourself and want support to stay on top of how you have impact, in a good way and certainly in a bad way.

You understand that leading an organization as a man nowadays requires an intimate understanding of how your rank and power works, certainly if on top of your gender you might also be white, hetero and/or cis. The privileges you have brought you were you are, but might as well become an obstacle if you don’t keep track of how you use them. People with less fortunate demographics are righteously demanding change, you want to support that and you’re aware your lack of a similar lived experience makes it harder to be the thoughtful leader you want to be. From inside of your organization you don’t always get the feedback you need, so you want help from an external person to keep you accountable.

If you’re a social change leader, you might be interested in what I offer and I’d recommend reading more about my philosophy.
If you’re also a new or newly promoted leader and/or you’re male, we might even be more of a fit.

Click below to read more about my approach.

‘What truly stood out was Thomas' astute recognition of the power dynamics inherent in my role. I gained a much deeper awareness of the influence and authority I possess and how it can be harnessed effectively to support and contribute to the success of my team.’

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Thomas Ameel

+32 (0)486 17 24 92

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