About Paul Alexander Wolf – ‘Continuer à essayer’

Don’t tell us what we can’t do, but ask what together we can do for our human destiny!
 In a nutshell about Paul Wolf

He likes:

Family life. – The art of leadership. – Human rights. – The idea and concept of Peace. – The politics of change for the better and more justice. – Good books & musics. – Great and genuine people. – Writings. blogging kayaking. – Sailing. Travelling (when again?) – Relaxing near the Ocean in Robe or Wirrina Cove.

!!!>>AND CAPPUCCINO<<!!!! 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now“–Chinese Proverb.
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It would be nice to be able to stick to this Chinese Proverb, and keep growing…. It is never too late planting a tree or seeds for renewal and wisdom!

About myself, – the writer of this blog… Following the above proverb I keep trying, as mentioned. Not sure whether I am always successful, but it’s always good to keep trying! (‘continuer à essayer‘)

Being fortunate with the type of work I have, (a doctor’s job), – my family and I have been able to see a few things of the world. Hence an international family with 3 children. All born in three different countries.
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In a nutshell:

Born and bred in the Netherlands, both my wife and I went together with our baby son to South Africa…  Working as a rural doctor in the very far north of the country, together with some 8 other doctors from overseas. All at the same hospital in Venda (Siloam Hospital).
..In retrospect it was  a fairly short-term involvement for just over one year, which was nevertheless an unforgettable experience in a time of turbulence. It is interesting that short commitments at times may have a profound impact whilst other longstanding positions seem to pass by…For various unrest related reasons we went back to the Netherlands. After 2 years the journey continued to England, then Scotland and finally direction Australia. (For people interested in the order of events just look at my LinkedIn profile down below)
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In Australia we found home now for some 14 years. The children have grown up with one working and living in Queensland and the other one in New York. They all like to travel as well. My wife is still an enthusiastic tapestry weaver and works in different art sessions with various people.
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At present I am working as a GP in a rural area not too far away from Adelaide. Busy job! Locum doctors don’t cover the weekends here and we have only 2 GP’s … So not enough time to see more of the world or go to Europe and see old friends or relatives etc at the moment. Bit sad at times but that’s life at present. Going for a short break to eg Europe means 2 jet lags in one week.
Relaxing near the Pacific Ocean, or very close to the Gulf of Vincent in South Australia, is always possible for a couple of days, – which we enjoy really very much. And we make good use of this.
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About my future?…Don’t really know as yet. But somehow, being a ‘family physician’ at present, I would like to have a different engagement at an unalike level,  – at some stage..

Who knows!…

Keep planting seeds or trees, if possible!
Je vais continuer à essayer.
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But all this aside.

About my past family history: ….

Lets start with some archives, and only read this when interested:
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The archives of the Wolf family go back to the 17th century. Elias Wolf was born in Rostock in July 1717. Becoming Mayor of Jever he married Margarethe Christiene Kohnemann. One of their children was another Elias Wolf, born in Jever on the 24th May 17 68 and he became the owner of some plantations in Essequebo (Guyana). He was President and adviser in the Criminal Justice Department of this colony and married on the 5th of May 1792 with Sarah Barkey in Rio Essquebo. They got 5 children, including Frederik Hendrik Elias Wolf, born on the 30th of November 1803 in Breda. He became Reverend in the Dutch Reformed Church at Leeuwen and married in Gendt on the 9th of April 1828 with Johanna Henrietta Coenen. Both got 5 children including Elias Frederik Hendrik Wolf, being born in Leeuwen on the 18th of January 1829 and this Elias became a Reverend in the Dutch Reformed Church in Utrecht. He was married with Sophia Carolina Charlotte van der Goes. They got 7 children, one of which was my granddad.

Considering the directions his brothers and sisters took in life, I can only assume granddad had a colourful family. My granddad (Louis Gustaaf Wolf) was born in Klundert ( the Netherlands) on the 15th of February 1865 and married grandma (Louise Ploos van Amstel) on the 3rd of May 1899. She was born in Reitsum on the 16th of July 1877 and was the daughter of Reverend Johannes Jacobus Ahasverus van Amstel and Anna Geertruida Binksma. They had 6 children including 1 daughter who died at a very young age.

Actually I don’t know too much about granddad’s younger years. He went obviously through primary and secondary school and opted to go into Medicine but in his 5th year of this study, just before the clinical part, – he realised that this was not the future he wanted. After careful consideration he stopped medicine all together despite good results (I don’t think his own dad offered him to try a different study as there were more children to raise)…

Mind you, after 5 years, – but he did do the right thing by doing what he wanted.

How and when he met grandma (oma ), I don’t know. He moved with his wife to Canada and started about 1890 one of the first Dutch settlements near Yorktown. Perhaps he was comfortable to be a bit away from his family as he did not follow the usual patterns of life, – or family expectations. Who knows. Auntie Sophia was born in Yorktown and did live amidst the real wolves and Indians. The stories were quite colourful.
Image result for pictures about Yorktown canadaAfter a couple of years, my grandma became terribly homesick and both granddad and grandma returned to the Netherlands with their family. Obviously if grandma would not have been homesick in those days, – for sure I would not have been able to write this story in Australia. – History then, for our family, would have been totally different. This applies as well for my mum and dad.

I found the stories about Canada and the 2nd World War always very interesting experiences in my family background.

Being home sick can be quite bad (with other things perhaps) and the family had to settle again in the Netherlands, after the Canada experience. For granddad this was perhaps not the easiest time in his life as he really liked Canada, – likewise his daughter Sophia who loved the lifestyle in the outback and the horse riding etc. For grandma it was clearly different, as again she was more close to her own family.

For sure the conditions in Canada in those days were really different than they are now.
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Granddad got eventually employment with the “N.V. Maas -Buurt Spoorweg” (Maas-Buurt Railway Company) in the County of Brabant and became President – Director of this Company in 1918 after the retirement of President – Director J.M. Voorhoeve, – after the 1st world war. When granddad took over the reigns it would seem he did do this in an energetic way, with leadership and insight at times of challenges and turmoil. With an increasing number of bus companies in those days, leading obviously to growing competition, and with the economic recession, this job was really a tough job. In the Company there was the need as well for more social reforms in those days and granddad did properly engage to this, so I am led to believe. He loved his job and cared for his employees. He showed fairness courage and determination, besides a good sense of humour. In speeches he could be quite funny.
Image result for pictures about Maas-Buurt Railway Company gennepImage result for pictures about Maas-Buurt Railway Company gennepOn the 1st of June 1935 he retired from this position. Both grandma and granddad had 6 children. One daughter died at very young age and Elias (my dad’s only brother) died suddenly in 1934. His death drove grandma to total despair. She recovered very slowly.

During the 2nd World War both provided shelter for some Jewish people in their own home at the Parklaan in Bussum. This was a tense time, last but not least as due to my dad’s activities in the resistance movement. Granddad died on the 27th of March 1948 in Bussum at the age of 83.
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Even though he died far before I was born, he made a real impact on me when I was a child. Not sure why.  Perhaps because he was both a pioneer and had lots of courage, besides being very caring for his family. His original painted picture frame is still positioned in our hallway as if he is keeping an eye on the family.

Grandma was as remarkable as granddad, but in different ways. She survived him many years and died later in the 1968 after being moved to Apeldoorn, the place where my mum and dad lived with my 3 brothers. She left a history of memories in Bussum and at her age she could not coop with this transition. Changing old people to a different place often has a major impact.

From the lives of this special granddad and grandma I sensed somehow that life may become harder when we live for others, but it also becomes happier and it brings more fulfilment.

Perhaps not everything was that positive in my later childhood (in my experience), but examples were not the main thing which gave direction in my life, it was the only thing.

My mum and dad met during the 2nd world war and whilst my dad was actively involved as the leader (so I am led to believe) of the “Flying Brigade” resistance group, my mum was dedicated to her role as a “courier” for this group. Many messages and documents went as such from one group to the other. Intelligence about German defence systems across parts of the Dutch coast line passed as such as well to Allied Forces in England.
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Both my mum and dad were the only survivors from this group, following someone betraying the “Flying Brigade”…This fate, – this coincidence actually, determined the path to their marriage – which ended some 26 years after the 2nd world war. My dad at the time was planning with his group a 4th assassination; this time on a fairly high profile and dangerous Gestapo Officer, responsible for lots of Jews being transported to concentration camps.
(It proved that providing shelter and food for Jews was not enough)…
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During the meeting he felt uneasy about the way the planning was approached, and the meeting was stopped for 2 hours. Meanwhile he tried to find his “second-in command” (who had not turned up) to discuss asap a few matters of concern, – but arriving at his house he noticed various police cars under the trees and his friend was not at home. ..He felt more uneasy and his level of suspicions increased…Going back he was stopped by my later mum, at the corner of the street whilst going to the Youth Chapel where the meeting was held. He wanted to get in but was stopped in the back yard by the ministers wife. The Gestapo had seized the Chapel already, she told him. “Get out of it..!”
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All those people who were in, were there were taken into “interrogation chambers”…
In retrospect it proved that the negotiations were held with an assassin hired by the Gestapo to infiltrate in the “Flying Brigade”… The whole resistance group was killed after 3 days of interrogation. My dad had now to find shelter during the rest of the war, as he was  a prime target for the Gestapo. …He finished his law degree and had the opportunity, straight after the war, as an Attorney to cross-examine the Gestapo officers who captured his group.
I can only guess this was both painful and interesting…

In retrospect my parents were very good and decent people and though their relationship with each other had such imperfections that it could not sustain, they tried to live life as good as possible. They made an impact in what they provided for their children and what they expressed in their own ways to friends, relatives and in their jobs. My impression on my dad was that he was permanently stained by the war, the experience of losing his friends.
After I was born we spent for many years to come our holidays in a place called Haamstede. Great place, especially in those early years where everything was fairly unspoiled at the time. NOw it has been more commercialized with modern and expensive dwellings near the dunes and the sea.
I loved the walks with my dad in the forests near Haamstede when I was young as he always told me about things of interest. He showed a lot of interesting places in Zeeland, like eg particular spots at Zierikzee and Middelburg. He loved historical sites and old churches, the last were he played the organ at times.

I still see my mum cooking in the kitchen of our holiday house in Haamstede on hot summer evenings, with the evening sun shining through the side window, – and children sharing the table after playing football. With always the noisy sounds of the little usual quarrels among kids.
The owner of the little local Foodland at the time (“Van Dijke”/ van Dike) was always kind enough to bring a supply of shopping home in those early days, or bringing e.g. a new gas bottle. He started from a little shop his Austria style dwelling. Those Austria style dwellings have been a present from Austria after the major floodings in Zeeland in 1953, and they are still existing for some part.

I was really fortunate enough to start my life within those comfortable circumstances. No matter what the difficulties were at some stage, no matter what the challenges were when I was a teenager… where it really comes too in life is affection, respect, encouragement and good examples , the last generating the sort of strength and love which is essential in life, – besides “meaning” or purpose.

Personally I had many good examples, both nearby and far away… I still have warm feelings for all those people in what they gave me during various moments in life. This appeared often in little things and most of the times they were not aware… It is one of those mysterious things in life of what we give to each other without knowing it, – and the impact it has at times.
Sometimes this happens during trivial circumstances and simple encounters, – sometimes this happens during vital moments within our human ventures. Moments with seeds being planted in our hearts and minds, and wisdom – at times many years later – growing through the grace of God.

In my case there have been people I never met who made an impact.
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Both my oldest and younger brother are still alive. One brother, 4 years older only, died suddenly in 1999. His name was Tjakko. He had a strong and solid character, also kind and generous. We played a lot when we were young and apart from some rivalry there was always encouragement and support.

Many of my childhood memories go back to this village of Haamstede at the lighthouse, where so often we went on holidays during the summers, often in the company of childhood friends.
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Like my dad, – Tjakko went later into law studies  (in Utrecht). It was for some reason perhaps to suspect that he did consider a career in politics at one stage, – but the political dynamics in the Netherlands did not really appeal to him, neither was he attracted to Courts of Justice. At young age however he became Director of a Road Construction Company. Both as a result of this and his investing endeavours in property he became quite prosperous in Haamstede, where he lived for several years already. Three days before he died we had a last telephone conversation in which we discussed a family reunion in the Netherlands. I was living at that stage with my wife and children in Scotland. When we heard about his sudden death on the Monday, we travelled as soon as possible to Haamstede to be part of the funeral preparations and share with the family in sadness, together with his wife. They had no children. For various reasons his life was an unfinished life, – he died far too early.

Some years between the age of 16 and 18,  I spent with a lovely foster family in Apeldoorn. I was able here to finish secondary school as only this environment provided the support being required at this stage in life to help me with some attention & concentration issues at school. This was a somewhat different environment than I was used to. Quite an artistic and warm hearted family actually. There were 3 other children, all a bit younger. Wilgert, the oldest, died at the age of 25 in Groningen following an accident with a bus. One of those terrible moments where a split second of lacking the required attention to avoid danger proved to be fatal.
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Some 10 years ago we went for an enjoyable family reunion and stayed almost obviously in Haamstede, – besides travelling to Scotland and see other old friends. Having had the opportunity to live so close to the sea in Cullen, in-between Inverness and Aberdeen, was a great experience for both my wife and 3 children.

Together with their own friends, our children often jumped from the harbour in the sea. I often did this as well, but a wetsuit was definitely needed as due to the cold sea water.
Image result for pictures about Cullen harbour scotlandThere has been always something special with Scotland, the country of both “the high road and the low road.”

Unique as well was both our stay in England and South Africa, – all before this.

Funny enough I still remember some early preschool events and St Nickolas arriving by boat in the harbour of Goes. The city where I was born. Goes was a great place in my perception and I was sad for days with the prospect of moving to Apeldoorn.
Image result for pictures st nicholas arrivingAdapting to Apeldoorn in 1961 took time. The (pre) school was different, likewise the general culture. However, also here some new friends were made at an interesting primary school being called the “Sondorp school”, named after the previous school inspector. (My dad took over this function, after an earlier career change).

There are many stories about this school and my old school mates have many memories as well, last but not least about the head master. He made the school what it was , with pride, but on another note he often used his hands when kids were naughty, or when “he thought” the kids were naughty. He reigned with a vigorous regime, not rarely at a cost of the children.
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The first part of Secondary School was not that good. I found myself often in trouble with some teachers. The school system at that particular school at the Church Lane (Kerklaan) in Apeldoorn, next door to the swimming pool, was less than inviting or stimulating – the least. It went somewhat better at a different school but I think my mind was a bit preoccupied with other things going on.  At home things were not ideal and my parents went through a divorce.
Following secondary school, matters changed profoundly – actually after finishing the Teaching Training College in Amsterdam, and after passing an entry test for the medical faculty. I found direction. Medicine has been at the background of my mind for some time already. However I did not had the right qualifications, hence those entry exam in various subjects.
Being able to do the Medicine study in Maastricht, in my view the most beautiful city of the Netherlands, did open various doors to the future. The city was great for students who loved the outdoors as well, like e.g. rowing on the Maas, or climbing rocks in the hills of Belgium. I did do both as much as possible. For sure not only this!.. The concept of the Medicine study was based on problem orientated learning, – new for me and most interesting!  Problem Based Learning (PBL) was almost a replica example from the McMasters University in Canada, the last still known as a high impact University.. The concept of PBL is still with me and part of anything I want to learn.

After graduation in Medicine, life evolved further in Sneek, the county of Friesland. This as part of a hospital job which combined General Surgery, Obstetrics and A&E..Busy busy job!..It was a reasonable preparation for working and living in the far north of South Africa (Siloam Hospital).

Later, with England and Scotland in between, we arrived 10 years later in Australia…This is now in 2015 some 14 years ago, time flies!
As you see I made a few big jumps in my history whilst writing this. It is just to give you a bit of insight in my background, – the writer of this blog.

The lighthouse in Haamstede -in my awareness- was built to give light, was built to endure and burn for decades, if not more.

I still have this picture in mind and it has meaning for me.

Lighthouses do not move, they give direction, – they persist in the storms of life…
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Coming back on this blog, which offers an escape for my usual work:

The articles in this blog are a reflection of trying to engage modestly on some of the questions of our time and generation and will continue on a periodic base, – depending on my “inspiration” and workload in other activities.

Feel free to comment on the contents of any of these articles (in the comment section below), if there is anything which strikes a chord or resonates with you..

 “We dream of things that never were and say: .. “Why not?”
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Turning to a different but somehow related topic:
Some of the people mentioned below made a profound impression on me as a person, even though they died already long ago, What they had in common was that they all had more or less strong attentions to easing some of the anguish and suffering about less fortunate people in their communities..

Hence some of their citations are quite nice actually.

They often found their path through unassuming interactions with their inner wisdom and did not worry about social disapproval..

True, there are for sure many things we can’t control, but if we try to focus completely on the things we love, with similar courage and dedication as those in the following quotations, we are on our way to a better life.. A life with compassion and moving forward towards a better state of humanity in ourselves and with others… Even if sadness and disappointment is passing our way…

So still, – – don’t tell us what we can’t do, but let’s ask ourselves what we can do together, – and collected we may have this rendezvous with human destiny, even if it is only simply showing the ways for our fellows to find their own light….

Why not?
Again THANKS for reading some articles in this blog!
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I wish you all well in your own personal life journey, with hopefully lots of inspiration and good health!
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And if possible: explore the unexplored with the best possible wit or sparkle!

Live long and prosper!

“There may be times when we are powerless to
prevent injustice, but there must never be a time
when we fail to protest”
Elie Wiesel

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“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks
wrote so many years ago: to tame the
savageness of man and make gentle the life
of this world”
Robert F Kennedy
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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he
stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of
challenge and controversy”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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“But peace does not rest in the charters and
covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of
all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on
parchment and on paper, let us strive to build
peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work
for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our
people. I believe that we can. I believe that the
problems of human destiny are not beyond the
reach of human beings”
-John F Kennedy
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“A good head and a good heart are always a
formidable combination”
-Nelson Mandela
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“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits
than strict justice”
-Abraham Lincoln
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“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness
is the key to success”
-Albert Schweitzer
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Keep planting seeds or trees, if possible!
Gardez la plantation des graines ou des arbres , si possible !
Mantenga las semillas o la plantación de árboles , si es posible !
Halten Pflanzen von Samen oder Bäume , wenn möglich!
Tenere semi o piantare alberi , se possibile !
Przechowywać nasiona do sadzenia drzew lub , jeśli to możliwe !
Mantenha plantando sementes ou árvores , se possível !
Derzhite posadki semyan ili derev’ya , yesli eto vozmozhno !
Ueru shushi ya jumoku, kanōna baai o shite kudasai!
Jìxù bōzhòng háishì shù, rúguǒ kěnéng dehuà!
Pidä istuttamalla siemeniä tai puita , jos mahdollista !

The Art of Leadership and lessons from the Past – some general features

Organization clears your path

Organization clears your path (Photo credit: nist6ss)

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

Countries and organisations at whatever level are the combination of all-around “living” and existing dynamics and the art of leadership is based on the concept that it is important to mobilise the existing recourses of available people in the right direction, – at all levels if possible.

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Not always do people change that easy, not always are existing structures at certain parts of the organisation or the country due to be changed despite being desirable to have change.  Timing is sometimes crucial and dealing with people at various sections and levels is the domain of the greatest challenge of leadership.

Our level of influence is largely dependent, not only on the vision we have and the ability to articulate this, – but both as well on our ability to  build  fundamental  trustworthy relationships, empowering others and get people in alignment with the bigger picture: the vision we emphasise.

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Trust is essential but not easy. People often have different agenda’s and where other’s are not always to be trusted, leaders in essence need to be trustworthy. Integrity fires off, integrity is like a lighthouse which does not move by the principle of light, – which does not disappear and gives direction, regardless the circumstances.

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So vision, direction, a way to articulate this vision, and trustworthiness are all fundamentals of sound leadership, – besides an ability to deal with people in such a way that it gives enough empowerment and leverage to work eventually at the same page of the agenda, – where eg agenda’s have been different.

Again the level of influence to achieve this needs to be able to mobilise and energize the recourses of  management levels at all existing creative and intellectual abilities, – to work things out as they should be.

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We all know that leadership and management are  not the same. Where leadership gives direction or a vision, management is the agreed strategic to meet this vision or goal. Where the leader has the insight which direction is best for either country, organisation or any other movement, – the ability to get the workers in place and organise the work to be done in such a way that the goal is achievable is a management issue. Even at management level it is important that people are led in the right direction of things to be done according to plan, and both at the level of leadership and management effective communication is the cornerstone to resolve issues as they arise, – at times conflict as well.

Integrity at all those levels is a principle issue where corners are not cut at the benefit of the cheapest option and the  loss of values or principles.

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Hitler started a war based on the most effective army being organised at the time and was from this point of view initially successful. His leaders at the various divisions of the “Third Reich” were highly efficient and able to communicate their vision at nearly all levels of society with passion and consideration of those who followed; – but the failure of Hitler’s “Third Reich” was that the concept of both integrity and value for life was totally lost and that the goal setting and vision of the man was deeply floored from the beginning.

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For every endeavour in society at the organisational level is the fundamental question whether the vision or goal setting adds value and respect for life, – besides financial gain to support the mission. If there is no margin there is no mission. We see already in the US after the Bush Administration how hard it is to create a mission with little margins as all the previous existing margins were wasted in often pointless war’s being dominated by powerful elements in society pushing their agenda, – not rarely against the wishes of many people, and not rarely in contradiction with basic respect for life.

The world is very complex now as the traditions of securing the power base of each country with enhanced military development, based on the often ill-defined principle of “national security”, are getting worldwide more and more out of control. Strong and value based leadership is required to avoid a world eventually being totally filled up with mass grave yards as such grave yards are often not more than a reflection that conflict could have been dealt with differently, – with more leadership, integrity and respect for life.

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History will always have areas of conflict but the means by which those conflicts should be resolved can’t be the means by which we have been able to inflict destruction at a large-scale.

Leadership deals with the future, with the way valuable aims and goals can be achieved through the power of the human spirit, the last often being required to be coached and energised in the right direction. Not by the increasing power of distinct evil being much prevalent all over the word, but by the power of trust, respect for life and differences, – besides mutual distinct coöperation to cut those evils which could put us all at risk if we don’t value the future for what it really could be. Values, ethics and principles are  at the heart of real leadership as it protects the immune system of an organisation or country from the undermining elements being always present anyway.  In physical terms the “Third Reich” of Hitler was a well-developed cancer being able to grow as this country had no proper functioning immune system based on principles values and ethics. If it had been present or more powerful at the time, the forces of a proper immune system would have been able to eradicate Hitler at an early stage as he would have been never an electable person with the level of influence he had. The level or lack of principles ethics and values being developed in a country or organisation, may attract the sort of leader which fits the type of country or organisation at some extend. It may accelerate change for the better or change for the worst. Hence by proper law enforcement each country or organisation would benefit from protecting the best in values being present, at all levels. Leaders come and go, in the best scenario they push forward to the next level. However, never allow them to compromise the values and principles on which the organisation or country is based. Allow them to reach the next level of the endeavour at a certain time and place, as pioneers for a  future we all need to embrace with compassion and courage.

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The value of society of any democratic or non-democratic country can be assessed by the law enforcement on both terror ( to protect life) in general and eg  the terror of human trafficking (= the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery) more specific.  Some 27-28 million people are eg held in slavery all over the world in countries least expected, many of them being children.  After drug trafficking and illegal arms trade, human trafficking is the fasted growing criminal industry not being tackled with the same efforts as eg “the war on terror” in Afghanistan. How countries respond to this is only one of the assessment tools to check whether our world is a world where human life is getting more respected or not, where countries are indifferent or not where it come to proper law enforcement to cut with passion and energy the crime rate at this level and let “the slaves go free”, – support them and punish the criminals who make eg human trafficking their business.
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Like Hitler and his movement was a cancer not being eradicated before it became a worldwide disease, the metastatic cancer of various other injustice against all forms of human rights needs the power of relentless law enforcement in favour of  the universal rights of people, where ever they may live, where ever they are born, –  and regardless who the criminals are.
In more practical terms on leadership and values, with accepting  the above as the baseline for leadership, the following can be said:
Places of leadership:
They are everywhere. In any organisation, large or small. Leadership is neither restricted to the young nor the old. Some have more to it due to circumstances in life, others have less to it due to misfortune and/or ill health. However within the group of the less advantaged the greatest leaders did evolve by motivation and choice, by desire and both by skill and ability to learn the lessons life has to learn a keen spirit. Sometimes people were placed in a position to take this role on board, not by choice perhaps (the circumstances itself), – but by choice to go ahead with what crossed their pathway unintended. It was the challenge they took willingly or unwillingly on board, often when times were tough, – where they could not afford it to be indifferent in times of hardship and uncertainty. Times of adversity and crisis made great leaders in history, by choice.  The last regardless the level of wealth or first status.
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Inspire vision:
Vision can bring the best of ourselves forward in the endeavours we have to face. But let us note that there are no strict rules for this. Every time when a leader stands up we may recognise some features, but the patterns following which the new leader develops are always different. For each person the background is different and each time requires a different vision as the circumstances through life do change. The needs do change as well and the way “vision” does evolve during the trials and tribulations of life is each time again different. However one of the features of a leader is that he or she is able to inspire a broader picture which does resonate at various levels. This is however a place by choice and sometimes it takes a long way to reach this position. It is not the end but often it is the beginning with various hurdles, – but the hurdles do need faith, determination, imagination, coaching teaching and involvement. In other words this vision comes from deep inside, it is a driving force requiring commitment and getting commitment in what people want to know about their own aspirations, want to hear about their own hopes and dreams in a particular set of circumstances. Inspiring vision is a shared thing.
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The matter to be trustworthy is essential:
Whatever comes to the surface in retrospect about some leaders,  people in general want leaders to be credible as this makes it possible to follow a leader. If you don’t trust the leader it is hard to trust what he or she has to say about your hopes and dreams. Leaders show in word and deed what they believe in. They are trustworthy – as Stephen Covey once put it – “at the personal level and the interpersonal level”.
Leaders are able to articulate their own deep felt values very well and the level of their integrity is in line with what they say and do. Part of being trustworthy is caring. Leaders do care of what lies ahead and they show it open and honest, at times affectionate. They speak to the heart of people and mobilise at times the best in people, whilst learning from their needs with an integrity of action to carry out what is required. The broader context of this trustworthiness’ is felt in a wider relationship with people.
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The matter of being proactive:
Leaders have a great capacity to anticipate and take charge of situations. They act in advance of a future situation, and not just reacting. They take control and make things happen and not just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. It has to do with the importance of courage, perseverance, personal responsibility and being aware that there are choices, regardless of the situation or context. Leaders have a sense of direction and look forward to this direction whilst applying at the same time their action of choice to reach this direction, with imagination. As such making people more capable to follow and manage their own actions in line with this direction. This being proactive may well be at the personal level, but it needs to transpire at the “team level” to get sustained results in a broader spectrum. It takes both proactivity and a team to bring people to the top of the mountain, – to become a CEO or President.
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Leaders don’t work on their own, but whilst doing their own work they work in collaboration and connection.
This is the focus of getting things done.
Thank you!

Paul Alexander Wolf