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.


Nigel Dawe

Office Administrator, Higher Certificate In Management Assistant

Nigel was born in Zambia and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.

After completing his first degree, he worked for Anglo American, at that time South Africa’s largest mining company.

In 1998, Nigel and his wife moved to the UK, where he held various HR leadership roles in a diverse range of industries, including FMCG, automotive, and software development. Between 20003 and 2021 he was employed within Honeywell Inc, a global US-based Fortune 100 company operating in diverse sectors including aerospace and defence, industrial automation, building technologies and safety and productivity solutions.

During his 17 years with Honeywell, Nigel had a wide range of HR Leadership roles, including responsibility for supporting business growth across Europe, Middle-East, Africa and India. Throughout his career Nigel has had a passion for supporting and enabling individuals and teams to develop to their full potential, and has been actively involved in the design and delivery of various employee and leadership development programmes. This culminated in his appointment as Talent and Learning Director for Honeywell EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In this last role, he supported all business groups across EMEA, constituting over 25,000 employees in 52 countries.

Nigel became a Legitimate Leadership associate in 2021

He lives in Derby, England, with his wife Lesley and their golden retriever, Jess. When not working, he likes mountain biking and kayaking, and (when in Africa) scuba diving and bush camping.