comments 7

Manifesto for Human Leadership

At a time when it is “normal that many things are changing and are changing more quickly than ever” (Karl-Heinz Geißler), the role of leadership must at least be discussed and in parts even questioned. Today Leadership is only legitimate if it has the self-leadership of the employees entrusted to it as its goal. Leadership is about making others successful. This human leadership is not a question of position, but of attitude. In this manifesto we describe this attitude and the values of a new, agile, digital, and above all human leadership.

Of course, I cannot say whether it will be better if it will be different; but I can say that, it must be different if it is to be good.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

This manifesto was the first attempt to answer the question of leadership in the context of the agile transformation. However, this journey towards more agility and self-organization in the face of VUCA, digitization and disruption is only the welcome opportunity to revive long-standing concepts such as servant leadership. The manifesto is based on the Peter F. Drucker’s research on knowledge work and the leadership of knowledge workers, as well as on the positive conception of mankind of the theory Y from Douglas McGregor’s pioneering book “The Human Side of Enterprise”. In this sense, the title of the manifesto may be understood as an allusion to this book.

Manifesto for Human Leadership

We believe in the creativity and motivation of human beings. We consider human leadership as pivotal in a highly networked and highly complex world. We understand the task of leadership as serving life and striving for conditions in which people, in their diversity, can contribute in the best possible way and in which they can develop themselves and work effectively together. These values are important to us:

Unleashing human potential
over employing human resources. (Read more)

Diversity and dissent
over conformity and consensus. (Read more)

Purpose and trust
over command and control. (Read more)

Contributions to networks
over position in hierarchies. (Read more)

Growing leaders
over leading followers. (Read more)

Courageously exploring the new
over efficiently exploiting the old. (Read more)

That is, while there is value in the items on the bottom, we value the highlighted items on the top more.

There is also a printable version of this Manifesto for Human Leadership.

New: The Manifesto as Book

Manifest for Human(e) Leadership: The Book

On the occasion of the first anniversary I published a small book on the Manifesto on Leanpub (there is also a German version). And the best: You can choose the price yourself! I am always looking forward to feedback and impulses on the one hand and, of course, to a broad dissemination of the book on the other.

Sign the Manifesto

Sign the Manifesto for Human Leadership

  1. Unleashing human potential over employing human ressources.
  2. Embracing diversity and dissent over seeking conformity and consensus.
  3. Purpose and trust over command and control.
  4. Contributions to networks over position in hierarchies.
  5. Creating leaders over leading followers.
  6. Courageously exploring the new over efficiently exploiting the old.

**your signature**

Share this with your friends:


Disclaimer: Your personal data and especially your e-mail address will be stored by signing this manifesto. For detailed information have a look at our privacy policy. Please consider subscribing to our Newsletter to stay informed about the manifesto and the latest posts here.

Latest Signatures

Latest Signatures
742 Mark Rehberg
741 Claudiud Lüthi
740 Sandra Schumacher
739 Charo Mendonca
738 Roderich Vogelmann
737 Nicole Schmidbauer
736 Frank Tanneberger
735 Eva Glöckner
734 Kai-Guido Dornig
733 Tatjana Fichtner
732 Markus Fuchs
731 Dominic Schulze
730 Jorge Castro
729 Frank Hemer
728 Ronald Wiegand
727 Christian Heiming
726 Frank Blome
725 Elke Kinzer
724 Carlos Bastos Pérez-Cuadrado
723 Jordi Medina
722 Carlos Blé
721 Thomas Theuring
720 Dennis Langer
719 Karin Tischler
718 Lennart Keil
717 Marianne Reimann
716 Thomas Gabler
715 Stephan Schindler
714 Sascha Brink
713 Ingo Schneider
712 Michael Voichtleitner
711 Manuela Hönig-Burger
710 Michael Bluschke
709 Nadine Gaida
707 Alexander Jasch
706 Andrea Mattner
705 Manuel Cranz
704 Graeme Wallace
703 Stephan Rohrbach
702 Jolanta Anna Czagin
701 Hans-Peter Esch
700 Iris Oetter
699 Gerhard Helm
698 Steven Kleinhens
697 Martina Goldammer
696 Christoph Esser
695 Franz Eckkrammer
694 Helmut Schmidt
693 Chris B. Kerndter

New: The Book on the Manifesto for Human(e) Leadership

On the occasion of the first anniversary I published a detailed version of the Manifesto for Human(e) Leadership on Leanpub. I am looking forward to feedback and impulses on the one hand and, of course, to broad dissemination on the other. Please spread the word!

Get your copy

You liked this post? My blog deliberately doesn’t have advertising because I believe that only the content counts. Therefore, if you want to express your appreciation for this post, please share it! Moreover you could buy me a coffee. After all, referring to the quote of the mathematicians Paul Erdős and Alfréd Rényi, as a blogger I am a device for turning coffee into posts!

Buy me a coffee


  1. Randal Ackley says

    Great point and well said Marcus,
    But can you change people or when you talk about changing the culture of a corporation or organization do you need to change the leaders of the hierarchy to change the whole thing?

    • Thanks Randal! Change is hard and changing others in my opinion impossible. What I can do and try to do is to inspire people to think about their behavior and the culture they create with it. To this end, it certainly helps to start with leadership as people in most organizations are focused on the behavior their leaders show.

  2. Leon Steyn says

    I find your material most interesting and relevant. Looking forward to reading more of your insights!

  3. Andreas Graessl says

    Thank you Marcus for this pointed and thought-provoking statements! It reminds me of the Agile Manifesto with its purely positive statements. For my taste “Command and control” sounds a bit to negative to sincerely value it ;-)

    • Thank you so much for your appreciation! Indeed, it was meant to resemble the Agile Manifesto. And it is not so easy to come up with purely positive statements. And “command & control” indeed is the one where we have the most discussion. I agree, that we should try to find a better and more positive terms, e.g. “direction and feedback”.

  4. Pingback: Unleashing human potential – antecedents, potentials and threats | Sheqafrica.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *