By Dave van der Merwe
June 20, 2023

As I reflect on the impact of my book since it was published in 2022, some key topics have consistently dominated in my leadership work, dialogue with leaders, and feedback I have received on the book.

How will you be remembered?

The subtitle of my book has garnered significant interest, so much so, that I now start many of my leadership workshops or presentations with this opening question. I have found that it sets the scene, and really gets leaders thinking about the impact they wish to leave behind. In all cases, the responses are positive, which of itself creates a shift in leadership impact.

Back yourself

When asked for that one piece of advice, I often use the phrase “back yourself”. In a world which often goes out of its way to knock us down and bring us down to the level of others, this phrase is of critical importance. Given a choice, I always encourage the following: “Don’t let anyone else define who you are.” It is vital that you believe in yourself.

Leadership traits

I believe that being human as a leader trumps many leadership traits. We are all human beings, so let that be the starting point of your leadership journey. Other leadership traits which remain timeless, include being authentic, being vulnerable, showing empathy, upholding your integrity, and serving others.

Questions that trigger debate

My book is made of many self-reflective questions, but some do stimulate more debate than others. Selected questions and thoughts include:

  • Are you living a balanced life? Make deliberate choices to create life balance.
  • Do you lead a life of integrity? Integrity simply infers that there’s congruency in your heart, your thoughts, your Intent, your words, and your actions.
  • Are you deliberate in creating quality thinking time? Creating quality thinking time is an action that requires you to do something very specific. If you are not doing the strategic thinking for your organisation, who is?
  • Are you creating an environment that seeks to unlock people’s full potential? Be deliberate in creating an environment where every individual can grow, be given opportunities, shine and achieve their full potential.
  • Do you frame powerful questions that improves predictability? Powerful questions change perspectives, spark creativity, ignite passion, kindle innovation, and can create paradigm shifts in mindsets.
  • Are you constantly curious, learning and seeking new ways of doing things? Be constantly curious, open-minded, and accepting that there will always be better ways of doing things.

Take action

Leadership starts and ends with you. Focus on what really matters, and then be deliberate and intentional about taking action.

Plan A

Finally, we are all here because we have a purpose. In the absence of purpose, life can become mundane, and the will to live a meaningful life will ebb away. Life live with purpose, passionately, make a significant impact, and end with your life fruitfully lived.

About the Author

Dave van der Merwe is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and works in the management consulting industry. His passion is unlocking leadership potential and driving executive effectiveness.

He has extensive experience, strong leadership skills, strategic thinking capacity, execution capability and the ability to create insights by drawing on his diverse experience. He has a passion for unlocking value and has been influential in the turnaround of several businesses.

Dave is also the self-published author of three fiction novels, under the name David Vander.

If you’re interested in exploring the topic of leadership further, we encourage you to purchase a copy of Dave’s book Your Leadership Footprint – How will you be remembered? It’s available online, as well as in selected bookstores. Take a step today towards enhancing your leadership journey and leave a lasting, positive footprint with Dave’s guide. Discover the leader in you that’s ready to make a difference. Embrace the opportunity to ‘back yourself’ and shape the future with your leadership.

Click here to get your copy: