Leadership and the Spirit of Being Alive and Kicking *#* #HRockstars


- “Leadership is a process of meaning making and reality construction.” (Click to Tweet) from Johann Gauthier

- “Leaders and organizations should engage in infectious appreciative joy and celebration.” (Click to Tweet) from Johann Gauthier

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The sea water is resonating in deep pale blue and sunshine while the nose of 007′s aircraft dives into the dawn of this new morning.

Bond turns his head to the right to grasp the wing’s airflow.

Running over the globe at hypersonic speeds requires some form of mastery.

To engage in deliberate daily practice to perceive and appreciate the cumulative effect of invisible shock waves.

To engage in an invigorating spectacle by graciously enjoying the cockpit’s firm sitting.

Bond clearly feels alive, so high, with delicate flow pedals of airwaves overtaking his heart and soul.

A state of pure euphoria.

Conic shock waves sends 007 in utter trance propelling him to connect with the fearless wave rider in him.

A natural blissful renaissance flow of jet engaging aerodynamics.

While the music’s rhythm gently slows down to catch Bond in the air pausing.

Perhaps there is no need to think or analyze anymore.

For all of this running and chasing amounts to completing missions on time with high honours.

What most human systems designate as high potential leaders deployed in high performing teams and organizations.  What can be viewed as machine metaphors.

The brave new world has been on constant reinvention mode for a few decades now with many experts predicting tectonic human shifts.

It is not by continuing to deploy old world mechanistic metaphors that leaders will truly reinvent themselves and the world they live in.

What if the issue with leadership was leadership itself?

By that I mean a plethora of experts offering daily tips to fix leaders and organizations.  Not to mention the many books and blogs that push information adding to our collective noise.

What these experts choose to do is engage in noise-making rather than create true meaning.

Leadership is a process of reality construction.

It cannot and should not be relegated to an industry practice of tip making that depletes the essence of the human experience.


This is why I so believe in the power of Open Space.

I experienced it in New York on January 18 and 19, 2014.

People gathered in a circle sharing their beliefs with open arms, hearts and souls.

Sharing their humanity with simplicity and no fluff.

What if EVERY organization and workplace could experience Open Space Technology daily?

Harrison Owen, the founder of this wave riding movement, kindly offered some great advice to me during dinner on Saturday, January 18.

Why do you invest so much time and energy in trying to fix things Johann?

He smiled at me with his cowboy hat.

No kidding Harrison!

Why not embrace pure joy and celebrate what we do well instead of focussing on problems and machine metaphors?

I believe he was generously inviting me to remain curious and appreciative of the reality that surrounds me.

Not to try to fix it but rather to observe it as an interested agile wave rider.

I do believe that agile wave riding teams can achieve peak performance in record-setting times.

This implies experiencing each others’ flow and collectively dancing as a group.

Perhaps the time has come for leaders and organizations to infectiously engage in supersonic shock waves.

To truly experience the humanity that lies within each individual.

To transform the practice of leadership into one of meaning constructive making.

I much prefer invisible shock waves created by like-minded change leaders to industry noise.

How about you?


I wish to dedicate this post to all of my Open Space New York friends.  You know who you are.  I am truly grateful for having experienced this magical moment with you.  One that we will speak of for a long time!  A special thank you to Suzanne Daigle for inviting me to this remarkable event!

Infectious shock waves pictures from Open Space New York, January 18-19, 2014:

Johann and Achim

With my friends Aaron, Achim and Suzanne

With Copeland

With my friend Copeland

Johann and Louie

With my friend (and roommate) Louie


  1. Dear Johann, your post simply took my breathe away. In one fell swoop, after a weekend in New York and an Hrockstar TV show not only did you get the magic and igniting self-organizing power of Open Space but you also put your full creative might crafting this post and sharing it with the world. All of this wrapped in a huge bubble of gratitude to all of those who moved, touched and inspired you. What amazes me most is how much you put your heart on the table, speaking fully and vibrantly what you experienced, connecting the dots so quickly with all your wisdom of leadership and management to say what you wanted to say. It is time now to seriously ignite, to not hold back and to invite. By inviting individuals to unleash their leadership, inviting them to fully engage and embrace what they desire and believe, it will powerfully create the infectious connections that we need to move mountains and make a difference. i am so grateful to be part of your tribe. Suzanne

    • Dear Suzanne,
      I so appreciate your kind words and feedback. I am truly humbled by the whole experience, really. From having studied leadership at length and from having experienced life changing reinventing moments I can honestly say the future of leadership is in meaning making. The beauty of the human experience is it is limitless. As I am replying to you I am comfortably seated in the living room with my youngest son smiling back at me. I tell him how life is precious and how capturing every moment brings such a high! Living fully is such a dear quest that we run after while we simply need to stop, observe and be. New York has had a tremendous impact on me. I am eternally grateful to you dear friend for long-time friendships made in blissful mode! Now that the dust is somewhat settling let’s reinvent the workplace forever!

  2. I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own site and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Thank you!

    • Thanks for reaching-out! The website is built on a Genesis frame. It is very simple!
      The rest is really an act of pure love and compassion daily.
      Jump into the unknown they say… I try to do it everyday and stay in blissful mode and be inspired and uplifted by the pure act of the human spirit being unleashed!
      Warm regards!

  3. Excellent post Johann! As usual you pour your heart out. Thank you for sharing! Leadership indeed needs to be agile in a world that has ebbs and flows

    • Thank you Tehani!
      Glad the post resonated with you!
      Wave riding is fairly easy to do… but at its core it implies exactly what you refer to… a measure of grace and heart in full display when we let ourselves go and be in the moment.
      Magic typically unfolds with others in the same room ;)

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