About Us

A key problem facing leaders at work is to establish a sense of legitimacy for their leadership, to mobilise the consent of their people to being led by them. This only happens when leaders have a sincere and genuine concern for those in their charge and enable their people to realise the very best in themselves. In other words, managers have the right to demand delivery of their people, not because they pay them or because they are in a position of authority, but because they Care for and Grow them.

Care and Growth are the universal criteria for any Legitimate Relationship of Power.

What are the roots of the Legitimate Leadership Model?

The Legitimate Leadership Model originated from seminal research into trust in management in the South African gold mines in the late 1980s. Contrary to expectation, trust in management in the apartheid era was not consistently low, but varied immensely, both across mines and even in different shafts on the same mine. Trust in management was not found to be a function of working/living conditions, rates of pay, trade union activity, or the sophistication of the company’s human resources policies and systems. Rather, trust in management was granted or withheld on the basis of the employees’ perception of their leadership’s genuine concern for their welfare. The leadership of a mine was seen to be legitimate and worthy, or not, of support on this basis only.

Whether the management of any enterprise is trusted and viewed as legitimate, therefore, is ultimately a function of the intent of the immediate supervisor at any level in the hierarchy.

Where has the Legitimate Leadership Model been applied? 

Over the past 25 years the original research findings have been applied in more than 250 diverse organisations around the world. Legitimate Leadership Partners and Associates work with clients globally both on-site and from their home locations in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Belgium and Finland.


Our core consulting team of Legitimate Leadership directors and associates are supported by an exceptional back office team and specialist staff, as well as a broad network of consultants, coaches and mentors who work together to enable the shift from TAKING to GIVING.


Dave Stevens

Office Administrator, Higher Certificate In Management Assistant

Dave’s career before joining Legitimate Leadership was primarily in high-pressure project environments where delivery within time and budget constraints is critical. In these environments leadership is crucial in ensuring delivery.

He has worked in various sectors: mining, electricity (distribution and billing), banking (both retail and investment), insurance, and telecommunications and broadcasting.

He has led and taken accountability for many successful project implementations. He is particularly passionate about digital transformation in personal productivity.

His first appointment as a consultant was at Accenture in 2004. Before joining Legitimate Leadership he was the Delivery Lead in a global IT consultancy in which he headed a team of technology consultants and was responsible for their HR as well as delivery.

At boarding school in South Africa, he was a keen sportsman and was head prefect in his final year.
He is married and has two young sons. He lives in Johannesburg and his non-work interests are scuba diving, cooking, carpentry and architecture.

Dave was introduced to the Legitimate Leadership model in 2006 and has moulded his leadership style on many of the principles with overwhelmingly positive results.