Most leaders don’t set out to become leaders. In fact, most refuse the call to adventure to be one at first. But, as they move toward becoming the truest, best, and most authentic version of themselves, others begin to notice and start to follow them. They begin by not wanting to be leaders but become one along the way.
According to Plato, the essential qualification for being a leader is not wanting to be one. As someone who has walked the path of leadership for the past 12 years, I wholeheartedly agree.
Why would anyone in their right mind would want to put themselves in a position of authority and expose themselves to other people’s criticism, judgments, and attacks?
Why would you ever want to experience the emotional pain of making significant mistakes, learning difficult lessons, and letting others see those imperfect, vulnerable, underdeveloped aspects of yourself?
Being a leader will challenge and expose you. It will also bring out your insecurities, fears, and pain. No wonder most people will refuse the call to adventure to become a leader at first!
A Mechanism to Keep You Safe
Within us all, there’s a psychological and neurological defense system designed to keep us safe. This mechanism is part of our ego’s survival system and something deeply ingrained within our human brain. For centuries, people who spoke the truth or dared to be seen were killed for doing so. Even today, many people who speak their truth and express their unique points of view are being censored, deplatformed, or digitally canceled.
Answering the Call of Adventure
Answering the call to become leaders, requires us to transcend this self-defense mechanism designed to keep us safe. This requires courage. And courage, as you know, is a heart word.
It takes courage to face what Joseph Campbell called the inner dragon of fear, shame, and self-doubt when it confronts us with questions such as, Who am I to call myself a leader? Why would anyone listen to what I have to say? Who am I to be telling others what to do? Why would anyone follow such an imperfect person like myself?
It takes courage to face the outer dragon projected onto our family and friends as they express their criticism, doubt, or advise us to play it safe.
So, we refuse the call to adventure by holding on to what is familiar and safe. We run away, finding little pleasure in what we do in our day-to-day, and do our best to numb the pain associated with not being able to follow the true calling of our souls.
We run away without realizing we’re running away from ourselves and the life that God or the Universe has prepared for us. We run away until we can no longer numb our pain and finally surrender to a greater vision calling us from the depth of our hearts.
A Vision Greater than Yourself
There’s a bigger reason you’re here, and you know it. You know it in your heart; you feel it in your gut and sense it in your soul. It lives in you and travels with you wherever you go, often unveiling itself in unexpected and peculiar ways.
As you begin to look inside and allow this vision to reveal itself to you, glimpses of clarity begin to come. You start to notice certain events and situations begin to align in your favor. You begin to see new possibilities where there were none. Before your eyes, a new path opens up. Finally, with a heart filled with courage and a gut of uncertainty, you take the first few steps. Step by step and with every choice and action you take, you begin to move in the direction of your highest potential.
The Path Towards Your Highest Potential
What makes this path different is that it exists beyond the limits of what you, your family, friends, and society had envisioned or planned for you. Some people call it God’s plan for your life, or your Higher Calling.
Regardless of what you call it, what matters most is that you surrender your fears, doubts, and insecurities and allow the unseen forces behind them to guide you. In the same way an acorn contains the entire oak tree inside, your vision contains all the guidance that will inevitably lead you to it.
When I finally decided to follow my higher calling to become a coach, I was filled with as much fear as enthusiasm. Who will hire me? Would people pay me? How would I even make a living and provide for my loved ones?
At first, I made many mistakes. I was hired and then fired. I pissed some clients off, and I helped many more get what they wanted. Many nights I went to sleep feeling hungry, scared, and tired, wondering if I had made the right decision. But something within me kept me going. Something much greater than myself kept guiding me along the way.
What makes you a Leader
What makes you a leader is not your position, job, or title. A course, training program, or book cannot make you a leader. What makes you a leader is your direction. Leadership is all about direction.
As you strive to become a better version of yourself and begin to follow your heart’s calling, you’ll start to catch the attention of others around you. At first, it might be subtle. But over time, others who resonate with you and your message will begin to follow. They follow you because they see themselves reflected in you. They follow you because they like where you’re headed and want to share the journey with someone like you. They follow you because you’re following your heart’s direction. This is what I believe author Mari Perrone meant when she wrote, “True leaders must first learn to follow before they are ready to lead.”
Everyone is a Leader
If leadership is all about direction, that means we are all leaders. Like it or not, you are a leader. With every action, you take or fail to take, you’re moving in a specific direction.
Firstly, you’re the leader of your life. This is what is often referred to as Personal Leadership or Personal Mastery. Secondly, you are a leader to others around you. When your friends, family, and clients look at you, they see a person moving in a specific direction by their choices and actions. Everything you do, every post you make, everything you share about yourself with the world, whether in private or publicly on social media, reveals to others your direction.
An Emerging Leadership Paradigm
Most leaders follow theirs or someone else’s idea of success. What drives them is helping their organizations or clients achieve a high level of success. But success does not often equal personal or spiritual satisfaction. More often than not, it comes at its expense.
There’s a clear distinction between success by the world’s standard and success on your terms. What you might consider a worthwhile goal or result might not necessarily be perceived as a success by others around you. But when the measure of success is your level of emotional and spiritual satisfaction, you’re entering into an emerging new paradigm I call Heart Leadership. In this new paradigm, your personal, emotional, and spiritual satisfaction comes first. Your heart comes first.
What makes you a Heart Leader
You step into the paradigm of Heart Leadership when you make the following three decisions:
The first decision is the decision to follow your heart’s direction. This means you’ve decided to confront both your inner and outer dragons and courageously embark on the path towards your highest potential.
The second decision is the decision to help others follow their heart’s direction. Your Higher Calling includes assisting others who decide to follow their hearts and overcome their dragons so that they too can embark on the path towards their highest potential.
The third decision is the decision to master the nine skills of Heart Leadership. As military leaders and warriors are skilled in the arts of war, you must also be trained in the art of Heart Leadership. This means you must develop necessary skills that will allow you to follow your heart’s direction and help others do the same.
The 9 Skills of Heart Leadership
As a Heart Leader, you must master the skills of:
1. Following your heart first before you can lead others.
2. Creating a life, relationships, and a career in greater alignment with your core values, life purpose, and genuine heart desires.
3. Mastering your emotions so that you can remain calm, strong, and centered in what appears to be an emotionally charged world.
4. Communicating consciously, clearly, courageously, and compassionately with others.
5. Coaching and facilitating deep, meaningful change in others so that they too can follow their heart’s direction and manifest their potential.
6. Enrolling new clients and the support of partners, mentors, and allies who will help you achieve your goals and manifest your potential.
7. Transforming others’ lives by building a conscious, heart-centered organization, business, or practice aligned with who you are and allows you to express your purpose in life.
8. Transcend your limiting beliefs, self-imposed limitations, emotional wounds, addictions, and blocks by tapping into the love, wisdom, and power of your Higher Self or Divine Identity.
9. Lead others from a more powerful place of courage, compassion, and love by being a guide on their side who nurtures and supports them along their way.
The One Requirement to be a Heart Leader
If Plato’s number one requirement to be a leader is not wanting to be one, then it follows that the number one requirement to be a heart leader is not wanting to follow your heart’s direction.
Why would you want to put yourself in a position of leaving what is safe and familiar to you to embark on an unknown path towards who or what you’re truly capable of becoming?
Why would you ever want to confront your dragons and experience the pain of letting others down or disappointing them because you chose to go in a different direction?
Why would you ever want to experience the emotional pain of making significant mistakes, learning difficult lessons, and letting others see those imperfect, vulnerable, and underdeveloped aspects of yourself?
I’ll tell you why.
Because your personal and spiritual evolution depends on it.
Because there’s a song within your heart waiting to be heard.
Because the best gift you can give yourself, your family, friends, and the world is becoming the best, most loving, joyful, and powerful version of you.
More importantly because unless you do so, you’ll never be able to touch the lives of those men and women you came here to help, guide and support. Without your help, they’ll continue to live in misery and pain, maybe even take their lives.
My YouTube Channel is filled with comments from people worldwide who were at the edge of suicide. After listening to one of my guided meditations or watching one of my videos, they felt strengthened, validated, and inspired to live. It’s also filled with countless testimonials of miraculously healing that by God’s Grace took place. All this because I decided to follow my heart’s direction and began to share the talents God gifted me with.
An Invitation to Become a Heart Leader
If you’re ready to answer the call to become a Heart Leader, I’d like to invite you to join the Heart Leader Training Program, a licensed, specialty-certified program for leaders who want to add scope to their personal mastery practice, learn how to coach and lead others more powerfully, and create a bigger impact in the world.
To learn more about this program or sign-up, please visit the program’s information page available at the following link:
From my heart to yours,