The Blog

Here is an exclusive tools for alums in which to share insights, resources and opinions.
Please submit your posts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Here is an exclusive tools for alums in which to share insights, resources and opinions.
Please submit your posts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dear alums:

At the 2013 Ideas Festival in Digby, 21inc held our first Alumni Dinner where we celebrated the following milestones:
Thanks to an anonymous donnor, 21inc will sponsor 2 students to participate in our upcoming Ideas Festival!
This sponsorship include registration (which covers meals) and accommodations at the Digby Pines Resort & Spa.  High school students are allowed to submit their names with parental consent (we will check!) and if accompanied by an adult at the event. This contest is effective until October 16th; the successful candidates will be announced at the end of the day. 
Please tell us why you want to attend the Ideas Festival and why we should pick YOU!
By Robert Ziegler:

So far as I know, few if any of my consultant/trainer friends are making big bucks talking about followership – it just ain’t that cool. Leadership is way cooler and way more lucrative.

Still, there seems to be something wrong with that picture. Sure some people are naturally inclined to lead and others to follow. But I think there is a large middle ground populated by people who sometimes lead and sometimes follow. As a trainer, I tend to lead. As a facilitator, I follow. In my church, I lead. In French class, I follow ... or try to.

One of the best cases I’ve seen made for followership is in this short video by Derek Sivers:


What do you think? Is leadership overrated?
by Robert Ziegler

When we trace the etymological roots of “authentic” and “leadership,” some light can be shed on the deeper meaning of the phrase. “Authentic” combines ancient roots for “self” (think author or automobile) and a root for being or doing. So authentic has the sense of being the author of your own actions and state of being.

Leadership has a murkier history. Some sources suggest it is related to the chemical element, lead, which – because of its low melting point – could be made to flow. Lead, as a verb, also has connections with “journey” or “way”. Before 1000 C.E., however, leaders and leadership seemed not to be common concepts. Perhaps because there was less choice involved – few if any had the luxury of deciding whether or not  to follow the reigning monarch. So “leader” has the sense of someone who encourages others to join in a journey.

So maybe (and I confess I am playing fast and loose with the etymology) authentic leaders are people who, by being authors of their own lives, encourage others to join them in a journey. Of the many things that people find compelling – a great idea, a promising future, a deep and abiding value – authenticity is certainly on the list.

What inspires you to lead? Or to follow?
Written by Robert Ziegler:

“Authentic Leadership,” as a phrase, has certainly captured the interest of many professionals, myself included. We are at a place in the world and at a time in history where the inner world and actions of a leader are understood to be joined and interdependent. Both the internal and the external matter. And as individuals, most of us are not willing to sacrifice one for the other – we are no more interested in becoming martyrs to our job than we are in becoming cloistered monks or nuns.

Many years ago, when I was working and studying in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I sat next to a group of students who I quickly determined were on the Harvard MBA track. They were clearly supposed to be working together, but their way of doing that was to almost literally clamber over each other to the smartest and fastest in the group. I realized in that moment that that approach wasn’t for me.

Life since has shown me that great leaders haven’t had to turn themselves into psychological pretzels to earn a position of leadership. Some do, of course, but many don’t.

What’s more, we can generally sense when someone is being authentic or not. There is a natural chemistry between authentic leaders and the people who follow them. I would also suggest that inauthenticity is a lot of work. You’ll probably live longer being authentic. So there are some pretty good arguments for authenticity.

At the same time, being authentic is risky, and it demands care and attention. In the coming blogs, I hope to discuss more of the nuances of authentic leadership. In the meantime, please share your thoughts on what authentic leadership means or looks like to you.

Round tables have been occuring across Atlantic Canada....