Archive for the ‘Transformational Leadership’ Category

Who's helping Who?

Who’s helping Who?

Yesterday we had ‘packed packets evening’ in the Netherlands, also know as Saint Nicolas‘ evening. At the end of the evening we are used to sing: Thank you ‘Saint Nicolas’ and ‘Goodbye Saint Nicolas, goodbye Black Pete’. Rumors go Nicolas freed Ethiopian Boutros from slavery, back in the 3th century. He died 6 December 342.

After our children went to bed, I played one of their new videogames. Cleaning up the livingroom, I turn on the news and found out another Saint had left us, namely: King Mandela.

There are a lot of things to say about this man, but I sure had to mention him in this Category: Transformational Leadership. We have a said: ‘about the deceased, nothing but good’.

I’d like to add U2 newest song to that: Ordinary Love



Mandela Soccer Trophee

World Cup 2010

The sea wants to kiss the golden shore / The sunlight warms your skin / All the beauty that’s been lost before / Wants to find us again

I can’t fight you anymore / It’s you I’m fighting for / The sea throws rocks together / But time leaves us polished stones

We can’t fall any further / If we can’t feel ordinary love / We cannot reach any higher / If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Birds fly high in the summer sky / And rest on the breeze / The same wind will take care of you and / I will build our house in the trees

Your heart is on my sleeve / Did you put it there with a magic marker / For years I would believe / That the world couldn’t wash it away

‘Cause we can’t fall any further / If we can’t feel ordinary love / We cannot reach any higher / If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Are we tough enough / For ordinary love

We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
We cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Read more: U2 – Ordinary Love Lyrics | MetroLyrics


Competitive Golf for Kids   SA Kids Golf - Providing access to Golf courses and competitive tournaments for kidsScreening the internet on influantial methodes of transformation I found a couple coming out of South Africa. Years ago I read an article about SouthAfrica Kids Golf. Their target group is children who were  disadvantaged and giving them the possibility to excel. I’ve heard these kids did an excelent job. These are their teachers goals:

Ubabalo Chart

  • To guide child golfers in honesty, integrity, perseverance, confidence, respect, responsibility, courtesy and good judgement so that they may excel in life

Another thing I stumbled on was soccer and the Ubabalo Methode. Searching on the website made it clear that the methode was giving away for free. They give training to soccercoaches from all over the world.

  • Their site has served 1,750,027 resource downloads to at least 215 countries 42,180,500 resources have been distributed to 200 countries via CD and DVD.

The Ubabalo Methode got exported to Brasil and grew big overthere. For soccer and samba are big in Brasil anyway.

Bola Ubabalo


7 pastors were gathered to share their story of how they ended up at the camp. The first pastor recounted how the rebel forces entered his village, lined up his family members from the youngest to oldest – and starting with the youngest they used machetes to amputate and kill. Upon seeing this, the family began to run to escape – many lost their lives that day but some escaped the DRC to the safety of the Tanzanian refugee camp.

All 7 pastors had simulair stories. They thought the absence of fathers caused young soldiers to act in this way. It might be partly true. It shows humans are learning beings with a tendency to do evil when hurt. Although the Ubabalo methode provides father-like figures, it won’t say  it is the best thing. Sports and games are allways competitive and transactional. Take this guy for example:

Rinus Michels

the General

‘Soccer is War’

Due to his authoritarian style as coach Rinus Michels was called The General. He said “Professional football is something like war. Whoever behaves too properly is lost.” This has often been misquoted in the form “Football is war”. Michels felt the quote was taken out of context as he did not intend to equate war with football. Michels was named coach of the century by FIFA in 1999.

Herman-Brood -Me-


It’s a Dutch song: “If you win, you have friends / Rows and rows – true friends / If you win – ya never lonely / As long as you win” – Herman Brood

It is an art in itself to compose a starting team, finding the balance between creative players and those with destructive powers, and between defence, construction and attack – never forgetting the quality of the opposition and the specific pressures of each match- Rinus Michels

Johan Cruyff said about Rinus Michels“Both as a player and as a trainer there is nobody who taught me as much as him … I always greatly admired his leadership.”

Cruyff Foundation

Johan Cruyff started a foundation after his retirement as coach. Special target groups are disabled children, schoolkids and children in deprived neighborhoods. Every playground has a sign board with 14 rules:

Yellow Card - Warning!

Yellow Card – Warning!


Pierre and Antonio

Antonio and Pierre

When I was writing the other day about the movie Take The Lead, I got curious about Mr. Dulaine’s work and filosofy. “It was just an experiment,” he said.

But … he knew it would work: he himself  started dancing at the age of 14 and says it transformed him from a shy young man who rarely smiled into a confident adult with flair.

“I walked straight. I had savoir faire [expertise],” he says of his transformation. He became world champion show dancer four times.

Later on in life he saw this expierence should be passed on to children to learn vital skills like confidence and respect. That’s why he came up with the idea to use ballroom dancing as a tool.

“In the ballroom, when you touch someone with respect you become human beings,” he says. “You’re no longer a white or a black person, Hispanic, Palestinian, or Chinese. You become human.”

In 2005 they’ve made a documentary about it : Mad Hot Ballroom which became the inspiration for Take The Lead.

The Methode

Mad Hot Ballroom

Documentary 2005

  • Respect and Compassion; ballroom dancing can only be carried out by Ladies and Gentlemen. Thats why every participant knows how to behave. This includes trainers too, because not all addults have grown up nice and smoothely.
  • In the moment; everybody needs to focus fully when taking a lesson or teaching. In that way teachers understand their pupils initiutively.
  • Safe places; in ballrooms everyone is respected equally.
  • Order and Discipline; teachers are in command of their classes and use group dynamics to cherish every individual.
  • [body] Language; entire attitude is one of openness, warmth, and genuine affection for the children.
  • Humor and Joy; Humor is perhaps the most difficult, yet powerful teaching tool for a teacher to master. Gentle humor can help a shy child become less self-conscious; humor with that same child handled poorly can make him or her permanently retreat. They are playful, they are present, and the children can sense they are just plain happy to be with them.

“Being in such a safe place, where the boundaries are clear, the Teaching Artist is fully present, where respect and compassion reign – these are the elements that bring joy into the lives of the Dancing Classrooms children.”

Taking the Lead

Who’s Leading Who?

Take The Lead is a movie about dance teacher Pierre Dulaine who learns a group of kids to dance like stars. It may be obvious these kids face a lot of hardship in life. They are so called ‘problem kids’, but who wants to wear such a name with proud? Somewhere in the first quarter of the movie, teacher Antonio invites his dance partner Anna Rosh to come over. She walks down the stairs, starts up her music and starts dancing. But …  it takes two to tango. Although not ready he jumps in and they dance! Obviously, one of the more inspirational ones I’ve seen.

The tango in Scent of a Woman does the trick because Al Pacino played a blind man. An I quote Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade here: No mistakes in the tango, not like life. Simple, that’s what makes tango so great. You make a mistake… get all tangled up… just tango on.

Scent of a Woman

Scent of a Woman

Take The Lead is based on the real work of Pierre Dulaine, the story is retold and placed in  this time. When Anna started dancing during the Tango Scene, Antonio got this attitude like: ‘so you wanna dance, okay, I can do that …’ Most dances men take the lead and the women follow, but this was more like; ‘show me what you got’. And by doing so, they together inspire the youngsters who are watching. They start working hard and become better dancers themselves.

Transformational leadership triggers the motivation and performance of followers. 

  • Being a role model for followers inspires them and makes them interested. 
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so they can improve bit by bit. 
  • Connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the path to take
  • Challenging followers to take greater ownership for their effort.
street tango

tango doorsteps Buenos Aires

Step out

Let’s step out and screen on the role models of this movie for a bit. Pierre Duvalain was a refugee from Palestine and Egypt. And started dancing when he was 14 in England. He developed the Dulaine method.

Antonio Banderas came as a poor young man to the film studio’s of Madrid and made it all the way up to Puss in Boots.

Anna Rosh came from Ukraine, but moved to SaintPetersburg. Anna become a winner of a local dance competition, and a few years later Saint-Petersburg champion and Russian national finalist multiple times in latin dance. For almost a decade, Anna was competed and won International ballroom events in Europe.