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.


Stefaan van den Heever

Office Administrator, Higher Certificate In Management Assistant

Stefaan, a South African, competed in the US collegiate golf first division and various professional golf tours for 10 years. He also traded on the foreign exchange market for five years. He now applies this experience of achieving in high-performance arenas in his coaching and leadership consulting with clients.

He has been involved with executive coaching and leadership consulting since 2007 in South Africa for major companies, at senior management and executive levels.

Stefaan says coaching helps him and his clients move away from the cycle of reacting habitually, to shift to a place where “one is able to pause, reflect and to respond skilfully … coaching is important because it helps people to question, to make sense and to find meaning in who they are and how they contribute to society.”

Stefaan has been involved with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business’s Centre for Coaching. He was also a faculty member of the South African College of Applied Psychology where he facilitated the Applying the Principles of Adult Learning and Change in Coaching module.