The 10 Leadership Skills

based on article by Sunnie Giles, full article in Harvard Business Review, see link below

  1. has high ethical and moral standards
  2. provides goals and objectives with loose guidelines
  3. clearly communicates expectations
  4. has the flexibility to change opinions
  5. is committed to ongoing training
  6. communicates often and openly
  7. is open to new ideas and approaches
  8. creates a feeling of succeeding and failing together
  9. helps me grow into a next generation leader
  10. provides safety for trial and error

What makes an effective leader?

Demonstrates strong ethics and provides a sense of safety.
This theme combines two of the three most highly rated attributes: “high ethical and moral standards” (67% selected it as one of the most important) and “communicating clear expectations” (56%).
Taken together, these attributes are all about creating a safe and trusting environment. A leader with high ethical standards conveys a commitment to fairness, instilling confidence that both they and their employees will honor the rules of the game. 

Clearly communicates expectations.
Similarly, when leaders clearly communicate their expectations, they avoid blindsiding people and ensure that everyone is on the same page. In a safe environment employees can relax, invoking the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.
Neuroscience corroborates this point. When the amygdala registers a threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken to handle an increased blood flow to our limbs in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. In this state, we lose access to the social engagement system of the limbic brain and the executive function of the prefrontal cortex, inhibiting creativity and the drive for excellence. From a neuroscience perspective, making sure that people feel safe on a deep level should be job #1 for leaders.
But how? This competency is all about behaving in a way that is consistent with your values. If you find yourself making decisions that feel at odds with your principles or justifying actions in spite of a nagging sense of discomfort, you probably need to reconnect with your core values. I facilitate a simple exercise with my clients called “Deep Fast Forwarding” to help with this. Envision your funeral and what people say about you in a eulogy. Is it what you want to hear? This exercise will give you a clearer sense of what’s important to you, which will then help guide daily decision making.
To increase feelings of safety, work on communicating with the specific intent of making people feel safe. One way to accomplish this is to acknowledge and neutralize feared results or consequences from the outset. I call this “clearing the air.” For example, you might approach a conversation about a project gone wrong by saying, “I’m not trying to blame you. I just want to understand what happened.”

Empowers others to self-organize.
Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organize their own time and work was identified as the next most important leadership competency.
No leader can do everything themselves. Therefore, it’s critical to distribute power throughout the organization and to rely on decision making from those who are closest to the action.
Research has repeatedly shown that empowered teams are more productive and proactive, provide better customer service, and show higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to their team and organization. And yet many leaders struggle to let people self-organize. They resist because they believe that power is a zero-sum game, they are reluctant to allow others to make mistakes, and they fear facing negative consequences from subordinates’ decisions.
To overcome the fear of relinquishing power, start by increasing awareness of physical tension that arises when you feel your position is being challenged. As discussed above, perceived threats activate a fight, flight, or freeze response in the amygdala. The good news is that we can train our bodies to experience relaxation instead of defensiveness when stress runs high. Try to separate the current situation from the past, share the outcome you fear most with others instead of trying to hold on to control, and remember that giving power up is a great way to increase influence — which builds power over time.

Fosters a sense of connection and belonging.
Leaders who “communicate often and openly” (competency #6) and “create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack” (#8) build a strong foundation for connection.
We are a social species — we want to connect and feel a sense of belonging. From an evolutionary perspective, attachment is important because it improves our chances of survival in a world full of predators. Research suggests that a sense of connection could also impact productivity and emotional well-being. For example, scientists have found that emotions are contagious in the workplace: Employees feel emotionally depleted just by watching unpleasant interactions between coworkers.
From a neuroscience perspective, creating connection is a leader’s second most important job. Once we feel safe (a sensation that is registered in the reptilian brain), we also have to feel cared for (which activates the limbic brain) in order to unleash the full potential of our higher functioning prefrontal cortex.
There are some simple ways to promote belonging among employees: Smile at people, call them by name, and remember their interests and family members’ names. Pay focused attention when speaking to them, and clearly set the tone of the members of your team having each other’s backs. Using a song, motto, symbol, chant, or ritual that uniquely identifies your team can also strengthen this sense of connection.

Shows openness to new ideas and fosters organizational learning.
What do “flexibility to change opinions” (competency #4), “being open to new ideas and approaches” (#7), and “provides safety for trial and error” (#10) have in common? If a leader has these strengths, they encourage learning; if they don’t, they risk stifling it.
Admitting we’re wrong isn’t easy. Once again, the negative effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame — in this case they impede learning. Researchers have found that reduced blood flow to our brains under threat reduces peripheral vision, ostensibly so we can deal with the immediate danger. For instance, they have observed a significant reduction in athletes’ peripheral vision before competition. While tunnel vision helps athletes focus, it closes the rest of us off to new ideas and approaches. Our opinions are more inflexible even when we’re presented with contradicting evidence, which makes learning almost impossible.

To encourage learning among employees, leaders must first ensure that they are open to learning (and changing course) themselves. Try to approach problem-solving discussions without a specific agenda or outcome. Withhold judgment until everyone has spoken, and let people know that all ideas will be considered. A greater diversity of ideas will emerge.
Failure is required for learning, but our relentless pursuit of results can also discourage employees from taking chances. To resolve this conflict, leaders must create a culture that supports risk-taking. One way of doing this is to use controlled experiments — think A/B testing — that allow for small failures and require rapid feedback and correction. This provides a platform for building collective intelligence so that employees learn from each other’s mistakes, too.

Nurtures growth.
“Being committed to my ongoing training” (competency #5) and “helping me grow into a next-generation leader” (#9) make up the final category.

All living organisms have an innate need to leave copies of their genes. They maximize their offspring’s chances of success by nurturing and teaching them. In turn, those on the receiving end feel a sense of gratitude and loyalty. Think of the people to whom you’re most grateful — parents, teachers, friends, mentors. Chances are, they’ve cared for you or taught you something important.
When leaders show a commitment to our growth, the same primal emotions are tapped. Employees are motivated to reciprocate, expressing their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. While managing through fear generates stress, which impairs higher brain function, the quality of work is vastly different when we are compelled by appreciation. If you want to inspire the best from your team, advocate for them, support their training and promotion, and go to bat to sponsor their important projects.
These five areas present significant challenges to leaders due to the natural responses that are hardwired into us. But with deep self-reflection and a shift in perspective (perhaps aided by a coach), there are also enormous opportunities for improving everyone’s performance by focusing on our own.

Dr. Sunnie Giles is a professionally certified executive coach, leadership development consultant and organizational scientist. She is President of Quantum Leadership Group. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago and PhD from Brigham Young University.

Will banks get out of their Megalomania in Africa? Young entrepreneurs left behind!

Everything that is created needs air to prosper.

For a business or entrepreneur it is brains, courage and money!

Finally banks start to see the importance of financing SMEs in Africa, I read in an article of TheAfricaReport (link). Really?

Will they get out of their megalomania? Fintech solutions can also be provided by other players! Personally I am convinced that banks will be outplayed in the future unless they make money roll again.

The situation for SMEs is unbearable by interest rates.

Here in #Burundi the rates go from 18 to 24 %.

Which responsible entrepreneur is crazy enough to loan at those rates.

If you do, your #business is already underminded from the beginning.

It is again another vicious circle in Africa blocking #development.
Banks will refer to the high risks but what do they do from their side to help (young) entrepreneurs to be responsible?

Why it is the humanitarian sector always that has to come with donations?
This is not sustainable and irresponsible.

It is not the core of humanitarian organisations to contribute to entrepreneurship.
Reality is that young entrepreneurs are depending of humanitarian aid to start their business. This is a shame. Also because it contributes to a wrong mindset. 

Banks need competition to. Even micro-finance is expensive for entrepreneurs but already more reasonable.

It seems that crowdfunding, partnerships and new future fintech solutions are the best ways to go for Africa. 

For now I don’t see the banks get out of their megalomania!

Read the article in TheAfricaReport: link


Doutti. Growth, Coaching Model

Doutti. Growth. Coaching Model.

G. Goals. What do I want? Are my goals ‘smart’?

R. Reality.  What is my situation now?

O. Opportunity. What can I do now?

W. Way to go. What are the steps, I Will take?

T. Timeframe. When do I take what step?

H. Help.  Who can help me?

I use this model not only in one on one coaching but also for companies and organisations. In the end every organisation is composed of individuals…


Burundi. Copiez-moi, je vous en prie!

Je me souviens à l’école et à l’université que beaucoup des élèves et étudiants posaient le bras devant leur cahier pour m’empêcher de voir leurs réponses.
Aussi pedant ma professionnelle d’avocat d’affaires et en droit d’auteur, j’ai constaté que beaucoup de gens gardent jalousement leurs idées.

Eh oui, je vis moi-même, au Burundi qu’on me copie, qu’on distribue mes idées à son propre compte.
Eh oui, ce n’est toujours pas facile par ce que ceux qui me copient essaient d’obtenir et obtiennent de l’argent de l’aide pour des choses que moi j’ai partagées volontairement.

Alors que ces pratiques peuvent me démotiver, le contraire se passe et ça me renforce.

Ceci veut dire que je suis apprécié, original et authentique.

Je me réalise aussi que si je garde tout pour moi, je limite déjà mes possibilités.

Quand on donne tout ce qu’on peut, on est obligé à se renouveler.

D’une certaine manière, plus on donne, plus on reçoit.

Les idées sont à tout le monde.
Les idées sont dans l’air.

Il vous suffit de vous mettre dans la bonne disposition d’esprit pour les cueillir au vol.

“Partagez tout ce que vous savez, vous en apprendrez d’autant plus.”: Paul ARDEN

Coaching. Mindfulness. Consciousness is the basis to ‘master’ a skill to become part of your ‘being’..

After several group coaching sessions in efficiency, people appreciated that I regularly reflect back to well-being.

To me mindfulness, consciousness is the basis to ‘master’ every skill so it becomes part of your ‘being’..

Knowledge is nothing without action.
Therefor to go from knowledge to action, knowledge has to pass the stage of ‘consciousness’ first so it becomes effective. Knowing is not enough! To know and to ‘master’ is a different level of ‘being’.

Our main focus as a coach, is on your personal well-being and your well-being at work. We help you to ‘be’, to master your ‘self’ and to ‘master’ skills.

Coach Stephan Doukhopelnikoff

The ‘mastering’ of skills, contributes to your consciousness, your own well-being and the well-being of others. We are all interdependent.”

Workshops and trainings differ from coaching and the focus is to inform or update your knowledge and understanding on the different subjects.
Coaching is focused on you mastering your self and your skills so you can ‘be’.

We believe that consciousness is the basis of everything. You can not be a successful entrepreneur and not be conscious.

Consciousness is about who you ‘are’, about your ‘being’ in relation to your self and to others. Our mindfulness page on our website will be updated regularly.



Les 10 compétences entrepreneuriales, l’essentiel pour un entrepreneur.

Les 10 compétences entrepreneuriales.

Au lancement du #Lightaward2019 les étudiants des universités à Bujumbura m’ont demandé ce qui est important pour un entrepreneur. Je les ai répondu qu’il y dix compétences nécessaires. La radio de Hope University y à aussi dédié une emission.

1. La première competence c’est la curiosité pour apprendre par soi-même.
Pour apprendre il faut écouter,
écouter pour comprendre, pas pour répéter.
Découvrir et comprendre les besoins, les intérêts des autres?

2. Il faut devenir pro-actif et pas réactif.
Ne pas être dépendant de ce qui se passe autour ou en dehors de soi.
Rester en contrôle de soi-même, n’ importe se qui se passe a l’extérieur.
Développer une force et confiance en soi-même.

3. Gestion de temps. Il faut être conscient du temps pour planifier.

4. Développer une réflexion stratégique. Pour résoudre, analyser des problèmes et trouver des solutions. Pour décider et agir.

5. Efficacité.  Il faut être efficace pour arriver à des résultats.

6. Résistance. On n’apprend que par l’expertise. On ne réussit pas tout le temps.
Il faut accepter aussi d’échouer et d’apprendre de ces experiences.

7. Un entrepreneur est précis et concis dans la communication.
La clarté contribue à l’efficacité et la confiance.

8. Apprendre à développer son réseau. Trouver des opportunités, des partenaires, des clients…

9. Savoir gérer de l’argent. Maîtrise de l’argent et le profit n’est pas la compétence la plus importante. Entreprendre, c’est beaucoup plus que se focaliser sur l’argent.

10. Développer une attitude de serviteur. Et  savoir (se) vendre.


Do you copy or ‘are’ you a Master? Mastering a skill is more than just knowing.

Du savoir ou savoir faire au savoir être
Mastering a skill goes further than just ‘knowing’.

Those who stand on the shore will never become captain of the boat. The same with your life.
This morning I was giving a coaching session here in Bujumbura, Burundi on effective communication.So I explain that many people listen to respond rather than to understand.
The consequence is that most people stay unconscious and that there are so many conflicts. They learn to imitate, to copy, not to master a new skill. Listening to understand, to learn, implies deep listening. Some people can live their whole Life ‘thinking’ they master, while they are just imitating… It is when the student masters what he is taught that he has space to improve him self and improve what is taught to him. When you ‘master’ something, the skill or competence becomes part of you. It is not outside of you anymore. Also it is not just knowledge anymore. When you just imitate, you don’t master. You stay in the unconscious ‘zone’. In that zone, once your teacher is gone, you can’t copy anymore, you become blocked.
Another student asks for more books to read on the subject. My answer: How many books you need to read (to become a master)? Another student answers: “Stop reading start practicing” 😂 Exactly. What are you with knowledge when you don’t act on it? And again. Reading without understanding is just copying… You can be very knowledgeable but still be unconscious or unaware. Until it becomes part of you and you master to improve. That’s the bridge from unconsciousness to consciousness. I like the French version. Du savoir au savoir faire au savoir être. When knowledge becomes part of your being. Some people consider it more important to know who said what than to understand the importance of what is said… Everybody has the choice who ever he wants to be. An open mind doesn’t place limits. An open mind learns continuously from whoever in whatever situation. Don’t pretend to be a master when you just copy… Know that authenticity can only be copied. To be authentic is the choice of an open mind.
It reminds me of the days when I was learning to sail: Those who stand on the shore will never become captain of the boat. Luckily.

Back to effective communication:
You can not talk to your boat and ask it to sail by it self. They same with your life. You live it or you are lived. 😂🙏

Stephan Doukhopelnikoff NU Objectifs Durables Afrique

Stephan Doukhopelnikoff
Mentor and coach for entrepreneurs.

Comment se présenter en affaires? Thème de la soirée des jeunes entrepreneurs au Burundi.


Les 8 candidats jeunes entrepreneurs
Les 8 candidats jeunes entrepreneurs à se présenter en publique. NlinBurundi. #jeuneorangebdi

Soirée des jeunes entrepreneurs au Burundi #NLinBurundi.

Le but de l’Ambassade des Pays Bas est de mettre les jeunes en contact avec l’entrepreneuriat.
J’ai l’honneur d’assister de jeunes entrepreneurs comme coach en entrepreneuriat. Hier 8 jeunes se sont présentés en publique à une activité de Ambassade des Pays bas à la résidence de SE l’ambassadeur @CaeciliaWijgers qui a ouvert ses portes au jeunes entrepreneurs.
La première étape de l’entrepreneuriat consiste à établir des liens avec les autres.

La base de se présenter est de restez soi-même. La connaissance de soi-même, de ses talents et capacités, d’ acceptez soi-même, avec ses défauts et faiblesses. Ne jugez pas vous-même ni les autres.
C’est la raison pour laquelle on est tous interdépendant. La diversité est une richesse. Regardez ce que vous avez à offrir et ce que les autres ont à offrir. Je ne parle pas d’argent. Je parle des talents et des compétences.

La modératrice et femme d’affaires Irvine Murame adresse le publique.

Pour communiquer avec les autres dans les affaires il est essentiel de connaître votre business, votre public et comment présenter votre business.
Merci à @NlinBurundi @CaeciliaWijgers pour cette chance que vous donnez à tout le monde. Par un esprit ouvert et un coeur ouvert!

Doutti. Se présenter en affaires: