Great leadership starts with self-leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain

By | June 10, 2016

Leadership is an essential element of success, whether it is in the context of a business, a non-profit organization, or even in one’s personal life. At TEDxUtopia, a critical question was asked: What would leadership in Utopia look like? Lars Sudmann, an accomplished leadership lecturer and former corporate executive, attempted to answer this question in his insightful talk. Sudmann suggests that the most effective leaders have learned to overcome the “leadership formula of doom” and have developed themselves as leaders through personal journeys.

The Leadership Formula of Doom

Sudmann starts his talk by asking the audience to imagine the best leader they have ever worked with. He then proceeds to share his own experiences of working with exceptional leaders throughout his career. Sudmann’s observation is that great leaders have learned to develop themselves, and they have done so by overcoming the “leadership formula of doom.” This formula refers to the traditional model of leadership that is hierarchical, top-down, and command-and-control. Sudmann contends that this formula does not work in today’s fast-paced, complex, and ultra-networked world.

Lessons from the Golden Age of Leadership

Sudmann provides examples of leaders from history who have excelled in their roles by not adhering to the traditional model of leadership. For instance, Abraham Lincoln is known for his humility, transparency, and willingness to listen to others, even those who disagreed with him. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through his nonviolent resistance, which was a novel approach to leadership at that time. Sudmann also cites examples from the corporate world, such as Steve Jobs, who was famous for his vision, innovation, and relentless pursuit of excellence.

Three Strategies on Self-Leadership

Sudmann argues that the key to becoming a great leader is to develop oneself continually. He suggests three strategies for self-leadership that anyone can use to become a “Utopia leader.” The first strategy is to learn from failure. Sudmann contends that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and that it is essential to learn from it rather than shy away from it. The second strategy is to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. Sudmann advises that leaders should build on their strengths and delegate tasks that are not their forte. The third strategy is to practice mindfulness. Sudmann recommends that leaders should take time to reflect on their actions and decisions, learn from their mistakes, and continually improve themselves.

Developing Yourself as a Utopia Leader

Sudmann’s talk provides valuable insights into what leadership in Utopia would look like. He argues that the traditional model of leadership is outdated and that the most effective leaders have learned to overcome it. By developing oneself continually, learning from failure, focusing on strengths, and practicing mindfulness, anyone can become a “Utopia leader.” Sudmann’s talk is both funny and invigorating and provides a roadmap for anyone interested in developing themselves as a leader.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, leadership is an essential component of success, and the traditional model of leadership is outdated. To become a “Utopia leader,” one must overcome the “leadership formula of doom” and develop oneself continually. Learning from failure, focusing on strengths, and practicing mindfulness are essential strategies for self-leadership. With dedication and hard work, anyone can become a “Utopia leader” and make a positive impact on the world.

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