Are you a mussel or a beyonder? A new vision of leadership

Beyonders want to be the best FOR this world, not IN this world

“People should not be made Manager of the Year for things they achieved today, but for the things they achieved three years ago that are still beneficial today.”
Prof. Herman Van den Broeck & Prof. David Venter

The book and research were made possible by the support and inspiration of Vlerick Prime Foundation Partner TriFinance, a company that sets great store by beyondership.  

Good leaders are thin on the ground. Many people in positions of leadership can barely be called epitomes of good leadership: examples are Bishop Léonard, Silvio Berlusconi, or the Belgian politicians who needed nearly two years to come up with a budget and government. Other recent events such as the uprisings against the established leaders in the Arabic states, the nuclear disaster in Japan and the financial disaster in Greece also raise questions. The world clearly needs leaders who see the current financial, political and environmental crises from a different angle; leaders who offer solutions that transcend average leadership.

Think about it for a moment: where and when have you recently seen an example of positive leadership? A leader who was not being led, but who had everything firmly under control? A good many leaders do indeed suffer from ‘mussel syndrome’. Just like mussels they make just one choice in life – which rock am I going to cling to? Many leaders stubbornly stick to the one approach or vision, and that is guaranteed to always result in more of the same.

Nevertheless leadership is one of the foundations of the economy. So are our managers really doing that badly? And particularly: how can things be done better?

In Beyonders Vlerick professors Herman Van den Broeck and David Venter explain how beyonders can make the difference. Beyonders are leaders with a strong (future) vision based on values. To them problems are not obstacles but challenging opportunities. They persist until they have achieved their objectives and create an environment that stimulates and inspires. Even when not supported by powerful institutions they continue fighting for their convictions. In short: they strive to be the best FOR this world, and not the best IN the world.

Beyondership is the outcome of a harmonious balance between seven unique characteristics. But the opposite is also true: if the fundaments are out of balance, leadership can miscarry (e.g. Gaddafi). In the book the authors explain the beyonder theory on the basis of numerous examples of good and poor leaders, surveys among Belgian managers, and research made possible by research partner TriFinance.

About the authors

  • Professor Herman Van den Broeck (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Ghent University) is a specialist in change management, emotional intelligence and leadership. He has already been closely following top leaders for many years.
  • Professor David Venter (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School) was born in South Africa where as director general of all government communication he assisted Nelson Mandela during the transition from apartheid to democracy. He then specialised as a negotiation and mediation instructor. He came into contact with numerous world leaders.

About TriFinance

TriFinance is an independent international finance and control growth company with more than 500 employees. TriFinance is a unique and contemporary service provider. It is unique because of the ‘new combination’ of do-how and know-how. It is contemporary by virtue of the network organisation within which dynamic professionals exchange knowledge and experience in a natural manner. Beyondership offers important leverage in the current and future financial environment. It will help individuals, teams and organisations make the difference.

We will be happy to provide you with a review copy upon request. For more information or an interview you can always contact the press department at Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School or TriFinance.

Transcending Average Leadership

Herman Van den Broeck
David Venter
ISBN 978 90 209 9865 8
208 pages

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