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Case Studies

The case studies below provide concrete evidence of how client organisations and leaders have been impacted once they started to make the shift from TAKING to GIVING.

In all cases these shifts are underpinned by improvements in LegitimacyTrustContribution and Accountability.

November 2020
November 2020 – Different Scenarios For Learning On The Job (Vignette Case Study)
In a written feedback about Legitimate Leadership’s Module 1 (Building Strong People), and in particular about a prescribed article for that module, Your Diary Never Lies, a manager who had started his career as an apprentice said that at a personal level, his own career had benefitted from working with managers who took time to help him over the years and “just watching how they performed in the work place was a learning experience itself”.
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Stefaan van den Heever
June 2020 – Case Study: Pinewood Technologies Shows The Value Of The Grow To Care Programme
Pinewood Technologies, a South African company which implements and supports car dealership management IT systems, was operating very well to start with. It did not have serious problems. Its people were motivated and engaged, and results were good. The Grow to Care intervention which is the subject of this case study was never intended as a “fix”. It was simply the next step in Pinewood’s relentless pursuit of improvement – to be even better than before.
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Ian Munro
March 2020 –  A Missed Opportunity In A Good Business Which Could Have A Better Bottom Line (Vignette Case Study)
TThis scenario is common: you have a good business, good employees and good processes, but you have strong sense that you could have a better bottom line. What to do?
There are, of course, various possibilities – from commissioning an internal deep-dive, to getting advice from external consultants, to doing nothing and hoping the problem goes away.
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Josh Hayman
February 2020 – Want More Authority? Go And Ask For It! (Vignette Case Study)
The simplest way to obtain the authority you feel you need to devolve decision-making downwards through the line, is to go and ask for it. Even if you believe the environment won’t support your efforts, you don’t know until you ask. As one manager asking for this kind of authority in this case study said, “Every door I kicked swung open.”
Also, managers are likely to find that their people are generally more capable and more trustworthy than they are given credit for – and more willing to take on responsibility.
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Case Study 2
January 2020 – Township Youth Learn ‘Give To Grow’
Basic Legitimate Leadership principles were encapsulated for general life application in a three-afternoon programme for high school learners – and the principles were surprisingly easily understood by them, according to the facilitators. The programme, called Give to Grow, is applied in South African townships by one of South Africa’s largest non-governmental welfare organisations, Afrika Tikkun.
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Dave Elliott
November 2019 – Singular Systems: Reinventing Its Performance Management System
Singular Systems, which was founded in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a bespoke software provider with a total staff today across its three sites of about 200. The company was started by Anthony Wilmot and the current CEO, Nicholas Kruiskamp, and has a family-business ethos.
Luckily, when the company embarked on reinventing its pre-existing performance management system in 2017, there was a fair degree of trust already within its culture.
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Stuart Foulds
October 2019 – Vignette Case Study: Getting Employees To Understand Your Values And Standards
Ince, a South African company in the information and investment sectors, has been engaged in applying Legitimate Leadership’s module, Enabling Human Excellence by Raising the Bar. This module particularly addresses standards.
The company has been re-evaluating three sets of standards: relating to leadership, behaviour and performance.
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Stefaan van den Heever
September 2019 – Vignette Case Study: Addressing An Underground Failure To Communicate
In an underground mining operation, a section engineering manager with underground managers reporting to him, made a few Legitimate Leadership changes which resulted in machine availability rates rising by 9% in a few months.
The problem was that there was no communication at shift hand-over between underground managers about machine breakages, problems, etc. Managers would routinely go home from their shifts without having communicated at all to the next shift.
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Josh Hayman
August 2019 – Vignette Case Study: It Is Not About Behaviour, It Is About Intent
In the Legitimate Leadership business, every 120 days we go through a process designed to generate clarity, focus, alignment, and growth for our people. We call this process clarifying contribution and we believe it has clear benefits for our team members (specifically, the aforementioned clarity, focus, Whether trust is granted to a manager, or withheld, by employees is not a function of behaviour but of the manager’s intent. In other words, “what” managers do to their people in terms of behaviour is not nearly as important as “why” they do it.
The above is central to the Legitimate Leadership Model.
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Ian Munro
July 2019 – Vignette Case Study: Three Things I Learned When I Agreed Mid-Year Deliverables With My Team
In the Legitimate Leadership business, every 120 days we go through a process designed to generate clarity, focus, alignment, and growth for our people. We call this process clarifying contribution and we believe it has clear benefits for our team members (specifically, the aforementioned clarity, focus, alignment and growth).
It has obvious benefits for our organisation as well, especially as each step in the process must be aligned with the organisation’s goals and strategy. What is perhaps less obvious is how valuable this process has been for me. Every 120 days I learn something.
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Wendy Lambourne
June 2019 – Fuelling Performance In Fashion Retail Through Legitimate Leadership
Fashion retail is a notoriously demanding industry as more and more brands compete for an ever-shrinking consumer purse. Converting ‘window shoppers’ into customers who fill their baskets rather than buy a single item, and come back again and again, is what it is all about.
Two well-known South African fashion brands embraced the Legitimate Leadership principles and practices to effect a step-change in the calibre of their leaders at three levels in their operations.  Their focus on enabling those in the front line in their stores countrywide has impacted positively, not only on turnover but on all of their performance indicators.
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Josh Hayman
March 2019 – Trust, Loyalty And Willingness When Overtime Without Pay Is Needed
“I am going to be asking you all to work really hard over the next few weeks. This is going to involve long hours, late nights, as well as weekend time – and I cannot pay you for any of the extra time you are going to spend at work. Furthermore, not many people will notice how hard we have worked.”
The view of the average manager is that employees are seldom happy to be told the above, and so the only way to get them to comply is to incentivise them, costing money, or compel them with threats of discipline if they don’t turn up for work.
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Peter Jordan
April 2019 – Clarifying Expectations And Watching The Game – The Antidote For Dangerous Assumptions
When a manager engages a new-start he or she will inevitably have expectations. Many of these are likely to be legitimate, based on the new recruit’s prior experience, qualifications and other aspects, as explored in the recruitment process.The view of the average manager is that employees are seldom happy to be told the above, and so the only way to get them to comply is to incentivise them, costing money, or compel them with threats of discipline if they don’t turn up for work.
No recruitment process is however a substitute for a systematic and thorough “watching of the game” during the probation period.
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Wendy Lambourne
December 2018 – Achieving Targets Through Enabling An Adherence To Standard
In December 2017 a target was set for the sale of value added products (wipers, windscreen protection) in an autoglass repair and replacement business.  The actual target, communicated to all Service Center Managers (Brand Managers) across the country in January 2018, was a margin per prime job of X euros.  In February all Branches were given stock and trained on the products.  Whilst performance was good in the peak season it dropped significantly afterwards.
The initial response by the two District Managers (North West and South East) was to reemphasise the importance of the target to their Regional Managers who then passed the message down the line.
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Josh Hayman
November 2018 – Raising Standards In Practice
During a workshop around values and behaviour standards a Legitimate Leadership client company’s management team reached the conclusion that, despite the business having a very clear benevolent ethos – for instance, the company strives to provide free medical services to the needy as a byproduct of their paid-for medical services – they had until this point not had an explicit discussion about what their values actually were.
This was making it difficult to consistently encourage supportive behaviours – and to confront behaviours in the business that were not supportive of the work they were trying to do.
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October Store Pic 2018
October 2018 –  New Store Opening – Small Changes Produce Dramatic Results
Some seemingly small changes made in the way a top-performing regional manager in a South African apparel retail group works with and communicates to her store managers have produced some dramatic results. The regional manager says she has been in retail for 20 years and seen a number of store turnarounds – but nothing as dramatic as this.
The changes she made followed Legitimate Leadership training in the group in 2018.
In mid-2017, a new store was opened in her area. The store proved problematic because it was only managing to open about six new customer accounts every month.
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Sep2018_Store Opening
September 2018 – Opening A New Store A New Way
A long-serving senior area manager of a large consumer retail group in South Africa was given the exciting task of opening the biggest store so far within her brand/division. She says this was a great opportunity particularly because at the same time the group was going through a Legitimate Leadership application exercise and “care and growth” training.
She had done many store openings before but, particularly because of applying the insights she was gaining from the training, this opening was the most successful ever.
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Josh Hayman
July 2018 – Failing the Intent Test Doesn’t Just Erode Trust, It Contributes to Employee Mediocrity
In a previous newsletter I wrote about how “passing the intent test” is an everyday opportunity. We often find ourselves in conversations with clients around this issue – in particular when discussing the very difficult question of continually trying to balance care and accountability. Managers often see this balance as something that cannot be sustained – either the manager displays care, or the manager gives accountability, and that these two acts are at opposite ends of a spectrum. When our need to “care” about our people becomes an excuse to expect less than the best from them, we run the risk of tolerating, or even encouraging, employee mediocrity.
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Nothemba Mxenge
May 2018 –  Assisting An Organisation In A Disempowered, ‘Family Business’ Mode
A “family atmosphere” in an organisation is generally regarded as being good for success. But it can also be somewhat disempowering. Legitimate Leadership had to show flexibility in assisting an organisation of this type.
The organisation had a total staff of about 120 people with three management levels. Legitimate Leadership was requested by a new senior manager to assist in transforming the organisational culture. This manager had prior exposure to the Legitimate Leadership Model and perceived that the organisation was stuck in victim mode, which resulted in a disempowering culture.
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Josh Hayman
March 2018 –  Legitimate Leadership In A Medical Practice – The Value Of Diagnosis
The Eye Centre is an ophthalmology practice and hospital in East London, South Africa. It is a current client of Legitimate Leadership, having started working with the Legitimate Leadership Model in August 2017. In January 2018, two of its operations managers presented a paper (summarised below) at the Annual Congress of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), in which they shared the history of the practice, their reasons for embarking on a Legitimate Leadership intervention, and their experiences so far in applying the model.
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Case study - Feb_2018
February 2018 –  Giving Meaning to a Campaign for Higher Production
The plant manager deliberately left the plant early, on the afternoon of 30 November 2017. His staff phoned him at 8 PM and at 9 PM with status updates, but at the 12 PM deadline he heard nothing. However, at 2:30 AM the following morning, they phoned to tell him that they had achieved the target production.
This marked the successful achievement of a campaign to lift production from 10.5 million units a month to what had always been seen to be the plant’s optimal and planned output at the time of commissioning in 2006, of 12 million units.
The result, on the last day of the month, marked the successful completion of the month-long “12 million units” campaign.
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October 2017  –  Basic Changes for Humans in an Almost-Automated Plant (Breakfast Presentation – 07 September 2017)
A summary of the presentation by Ronnie Huggins, Plant Manager at African Explosives Limited’s Initiating Systems Automated Assembly Plant, at Legitimate Leadership’s recent breakfast event on the subject Cultivating Accountability and Ownership. Comment by three attendees at the presentation is given at the end of this summary.
Ronnie Huggins, who has been Plant Manager at African Explosives Limited’s futuristic new (explosives) Initiating Systems Automated Plant (ISAP) for the past five years, presented on how, primarily through working with his staff, a huge increase in productivity was achieved in less than a year.
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August 2017  –  Beating A Downward Trend By Shifting Intent
To beat an extended downturn in the economy, and to go against the downward trend in its most significant market – that was what biotechnology company Deltamune had to do in order to stay operating. It knew it had to do something different in order to survive and thrive.
The company had numerous new business and project opportunities, but it was unable to bring them to fruition. With the help of the Legitimate Leadership framework, the “people” reasons “why” the goals were not being achieved, and what needed to change in order to achieve them were clarified.
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DNI Retail
June 2017  –  Leadership Training Allows Managers To Focus On Their Real Purposes
Within a few months of a Legitimate Leadership Introduction course, DNI Retail, a subsidiary company of the DNI Group, which is a medium-sized South African company, has experienced “an enormous outburst of excellence” in its various departments. And generally, its employees are happier, more committed and less likely to refer to their managers when taking decisions. This in turn means that managers can focus on the real purposes of their jobs and not be involved in decisions which their subordinates should take.
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LEAD0017 CtoG visuals
May 2017 – No Burning Platform Is Needed, Only The Will To Change
We at Legitimate Leadership recently conducted a 15-month leadership transformation project in a major automotive brand’s retail operation. Over 100 of the business’s leaders, from the CEO down to frontline dealership managers, participated in the project, which was designed to help them understand and apply the Legitimate Leadership Model.
The project gave us the opportunity to witness many successes in shifting leaders’ intent from taking to giving, but one particular instance has stood out for me.
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April 2017 – The Airplane Company, Taking Off – But Not From A Burning Platform
If a company has a burning platform, Legitimate Leadership’s Grow to Care programme will focus it on what needs to be done immediately.
If a company does not have a burning platform, the Grow to Care programme can still be useful to assist to bring the company out of complacency, to improve performance and productivity, to enhance positive behaviour, and to help it reach a new level.
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March 2017  – Leadership In Times Of Adversity – Jurgens Ci Faces The Music
In tough times, it’s much easier to cope when you have a workforce which is engaged and on your side. And, to get where you’re going, you have to help others get where they are going.
These were two lessons drawn by Bradley Salters, former managing director of Jurgens Ci, a South African manufacturer of caravans, from his two and half years of running the company (until it was recently sold). During that time, Salters jokes, “we probably had the monopoly on adversity”.

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March 2017  –  Reflections on Implementing Care and Growth in a Manufacturing Context in the USA
As told by a senior operations manager.
We started using “Care and Growth” in the USA about 5 years ago. “Care and Growth” is really about changing yourself and changing your team, and to achieve this it is important to have a clear sense of purpose.
If you decide to embark on care and growth with your team, make sure you have a clear “why” behind what you are doing.
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February 2017 – Snakekilling and Removing Accumulated Layers of Control
In a Legitimate Leadership project for a retail group, a local dealership was headed by a man who was always people-inclined, according to his subordinates. From the start of the Legitimate Leadership intervention, he found himself able to easily accept what it was advocating.
However, no-one is perfect, and this man had the fault that he was somewhat of “a control freak”. Over the years he had implemented a lot of rules, controls and paperwork in the dealership.

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January 2017 – Enabling Excellence in Employees: Are your Employees in the picture?
Some time ago I was facilitating a workshop for middle managers on the topic of enabling employee contribution. As part of the session I posed the question: “What would your employees be doing if they were exhibiting excellence in the role?” The group had no difficulty in putting together a comprehensive list of behaviours and qualities that, for them, would indicate a person achieving excellence in a role.
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December 2016 – In an implementation, if necessary use words
These words, from St Francis of Assisi, were a theme in the “graduation” ceremony in Legitimate Leadership’s Advanced Leadership Module for nine general managers of Africa Tikkun, one of South Africa’s largest NGOs (non-governmental organisations).
The graduation ceremony was held on 24 November in Johannesburg. The group had completed a total of 22 days of training and development in the Legitimate Leadership Model over three years (since 2013), culminating in a series of Advanced Leadership Modules.
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October 2016 – Using Successive Leadership profiles to gauge shifts in Leadership behaviour
The individual leadership profile, used by Legitimate Leadership, is a compilation of feedback provided by direct reports (subordinates) about a leader/manager. A group profile is the aggregation of a number of individual leadership profiles for a particular entity.
With both individual and group profiles, the first profile done forms a useful baseline measure to compare with any subsequent profiles done.
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October 2016 – Just sit down and speak to them
The following is the description of the experience of a sales director in a successful motor dealership.
I had a very good sales lady – in fact, the top in the country for our brand. About eight months ago, she won a prize to go abroad because of her sales performance.
When she returned, her attitude had changed and she was very opinionated. She was still a good salesperson but now she had the attitude, “I’m untouchable, no one can tell me anything, and I’m going to have it my way”.
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September 2016 – Creating a Performance Excellence Culture through Mutual Accountability and Responsibility Team
When I started working with a group of 25 dealer principals (DPs) in a motor car retail organisation, I was immediately struck by the contrast of leadership styles among them. This was confirmed in the extensive leadership surveys carried out with their people, which indicated that some were experienced as very approachable and good-hearted, though this was often mistaken for weakness. Others however, ruled with an iron fist, requiring absolute control when managing their people.
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September 2016 – The Auditor who would not listen because he could not hear
This is a simple story of an auditor in a motor parts distribution centre, employee X, who would not listen because he could not hear.
Employee X had a reputation for hard work and devotion to the company and its brand. But he also had a reputation for being terrible at admin – and particularly at completing any tasks which arose from meetings which he had attended.
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August 2016 – The Five Dysfunctions of a Leadership Team
Since 2012 Legitimate Leadership has been engaged with a client in South Africa to improve its leadership capability at all levels within its manufacturing function.
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July 2016 – Changing a distribution centre from “I” to “We” – and reaping the results
Action taken over the last three years fundamentally changed a PDC (parts distribution centre) of a South African company from an “I” to “we” facility.
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Young modern African American college student studying with the help of a laptop
July 2016 – Finding Yourself, Defining Yourself and Becoming a Better Leader
As a team leader, X attended a one-day Legitimate Leadership course called Grow to Care, arranged by his employer, in May 2015. For him, one of the most striking aspects of the course was its setting out of leadership and the concept of “giving” – and particularly a section of it in which the participant fills in activities done and scores himself/herself as a “giver” or “taker”.
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June 2016 – Selecting Leaders where ability is as important as Functional Competence
One of the services offered by Legitimate Leadership is an assessment of the degree to which individuals are ready for, and suitable for, leadership roles. This is aimed at ensuring that leadership appointments to the organization are both effective and empowering.
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May 2016 – A Quest for Behavioural Shift at a Bank Debt Review Centre
A leading South African bank’s debt review centre has the purpose of rehabilitating customers who have defaulted and assisting them to avoid being blacklisted, regain their creditworthiness and re-join the credit market.
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April 2016 – Applying the Legitimate Leadership principles to enable excellence in those in the front line of a business
One of the key roles in a vehicle tracking and recovery business is that of installation technician. A good installation can literally mean the difference between life and death if there is a hijacking and the device fails to activate. Further to this, the person who installs the device in the vehicle is, for most customers, the only face-to-face contact they have with the service provider. The installation technician is synonymous with the company’s brand.
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projection -initial preparatory stage in construction new building
March 2016 – Turning a software development team around
C, a well-educated young manager in banking information technology (IT) – a “millennial” – found that modest input of the concepts of the Legitimate Leadership Model helped him change an immature project team into a high-performing, happy team. C has qualifications in business finance and IT, as well as an MBA. He works for a major investment bank in South Africa.
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February 2016 – A letter to a mentor about applying the Legitimate Leadership Empowerment Model
Below is an actual letter written by a mentee to his legitimate leadership mentor – we would like to thank the mentee for it. For obvious reasons, names have been removed. The business is in the printing industry.
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January 2016 – What goes around comes around: Car Dealership A vs Car Dealership B – A true story about paying it forward
You can only skin a sheep once, but you can sheer it for the rest of its life! That is a famous saying in sales and it means “make the customer and not the sale” – the relationship is more important than the sale and if done correctly, will produce many more sales in the future.
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November 2015 – Johnson Matthey USA Smithfield: the role of Legitimate Leadership in creating a culture which enables continuous growth in people and performance
In August 2009 Johnson Matthey Emission Control Technologies (ECT) opened a new emissions control and catalyst plant in the town of Smithfield (south-west Pennsylvania, USA) to manufacture large, complex, heavy-duty diesel catalysts. From the very beginning the management of the facility was convinced that the site’s culture would be critical to their success. Moreover, that great cultures don’t happen but rather evolve over time through conscious and dedicated leadership commitment and action. Legitimate Leadership played an important role in that evolution.
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October 2015 – A Front-runner factory workers show the form in the Canvas Gallops
The process of holding people accountable took an imaginative turn at Jurgens canvas factory in New Germany, South Africa. The institution of the Canvas Gallops proved to be a light-hearted but effective and inexpensive way of rewarding teams which consistently went the extra mile. And overall production increased even before anyone had received a reward.
In its workshops, Legitimate Leadership tries to take the mystery out of the process of holding people accountable by only having four options, two positive and two negative.
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September 2015 – The Legitimate Leadership Model impacts on motor retail results
The heartbeat of any retail business is the point of customer contact. In a motor retail business that is the dealership because it is at the dealership where new and pre-owned vehicles as well as parts are sold, cars are serviced, and finance and insurance are provided. So the success of a results-driven motor retail group is reflected in the health of every dealership in the group.
In 2008 the Legitimate Leadership framework was introduced into a motor retail group business which offers a number of automobile brands out of dealerships in South Africa.
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July 2015 – AEL’s new plant achieves its promise through transformed leadership
The application of the Legitimate Leadership framework helped to set the plant on the road to achieving its full potential through significantly improving the leadership of the people who worked in it.
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May 2015 – A new plant: engaging employees’ will to contribute
Good leadership and management of the people who operate a new plant are just as vital as the new technology and systems applied. That seems to be the lesson learnt in a new manufacturing operation in South Africa recently.
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March 2015 – Leading workers to care in a low-pay business
Transforming a call centre from a “white-collar sweatshop”, racked by dishonesty and corruption, into a place where people would want to work was the objective of Manager A when she was appointed to manage it. The Legitimate Leadership methodology helped her to achieve that objective.
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October 2014 – Afrika Tikkun – An Astounding Culture Shift in One Year
Just because an NGO (non-governmental organisation) has a benevolent purpose and is non-profit-making doesn’t mean that its employees are engaged. As with any other organisation, special action is needed to address employee engagement.
Improved employee engagement is something which almost all managers would like, but which many simply give up on.
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