About Leading Differently

About this Project

My name is John Hamerlinck. I have decades of experience in the public, private, nonprofit, and education sectors. I have been collecting useful resources related to leadership, and social change for years. I am an experienced trainer and facilitator. If you’d like to talk about speaking or training opportunities, contact me through this site.

This site is published in an effort to bring some clarity to topics related to creating change in the world. We’ll examine words, phrases, ideas, or concepts that benefit from side by side comparison.  Examining these differences is important, because all of the concepts presented are related to getting things accomplished in the world.  Those things could be learning and understanding, enterprise development, or working to create a specific social change in the world.

There is a mountain of literature on leadership. This is not an attempt to claim some radically new territory in that landscape. It is, however, put out there to serve as:

  • a series of discussion prompts;
  • a reminder that dualism and zero sum thinking are limiting; and
  • an invitation to consider alternative ways of thinking as we try to accomplish things.


This site started out as an exercise in writing a book online, gathering insight from readers as I added sections, chapters, or ideas. I have decided, however, that readers are better served if I make the entire site available with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (BY-NC) license. Please feel free to share this content with your friends, colleagues, or co-conspirators.

This site is 100% human-authored.

I am available for speaking or training on topics included on this site. Contact me if you are interested in discussing opportunities.

Below is a partial list of some of the early topics explored here. There are now close to three times as many topics, but I am leaving this list as something for you to browse if you are new to the site, and may only be familiar with more recent posts.

Entrepreneurs Versus Administrators (updated)
Fixed Versus Growth Mindset
Authority Versus Power
Groups Versus Networks
Problem Solving Versus Appreciative Inquiry
Learning and Leadership: the Importance of Reflection
Quality Of Life Versus Standard of Living (updated)
Working Together: Coordinating, Cooperating, Or Collaborating
Traditional Versus Collaborative Leadership
Narrowing The Gap Between Our Ideal And Our Real Values
Leaders Versus Managers
Excellence Versus Perfection (updated)
Emotional Intelligence
Finding Opportunities in Conflict
Asset Focused Leadership
Asset-Focused Leadership Part II: the Importance of Associations
Risk-Averse Versus Risk-Taking
Evaluating Success (updated)
Traditional Versus Creative Leadership (updated)
The Leaders and Followers Myth (updated)
When You’re Ready To Move From Talk To Action
A Few Words About Vision
Getting Beyond Either/Or
Quit Putting People in Boxes
You Don’t Need a Leadership Course in Order to Lead
Disagreements Among Friends
Small Accomplishments Are Important

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