Introduction to the Book
Read the Introduction
The Alchemy of Authentic Leadership
Why another book about leadership? I’ve written this book for two reasons. The first is that hardly a day goes by that we don’t read about another “outed” leader. Men and women we trust to be ethical and moral enough to represent us as leaders fall because they haven’t done the often hard work of self-improvement and therefore fall far short of the definition of an authentic leader. Without the inner work of healing, leaders fall from grace for many reasons, and no segment of society is spared—politics, religion, sports, acting, business, or education.
The second reason is that I have found leadership to be a personal journey. While the demands and responsibilities of leadership are somewhat universal, we all come from positions of authority with different unhealed aspects of our personalities. Our dramas play out in myriad ways, and while my leadership journey is far from complete, I wish to share some of that inner work with you, trusting that it might trigger or mirror what remains unhealed in your personality. If power does one thing to leaders, it heightens our insecurities and accentuates our personal unhealed wounds.
The beginning chapters of this book take us on a journey into our inner homes and guide us through the different rooms of our inner landscapes—family, relationships, health, spirituality, finances, career, creative expression, and enjoyment. As we assess what we find in these rooms, we are asked to make note of the areas in which we find strength and those where we have work to do. In these inner rooms we find historic remnants of our hurts and wounds from childhood. We all have them.
I describe what I term the BeOUTEDtudes—a simple play on words that represents some of the landmines of leadership. These are the attitudes and drivers within us that can lead our lives to public ruin and personal disaster. Being “outed” is not just for the movie star or the rogue religious or political figure. The BeOUTEDtudes are billboards along the side of our journey’s road that offer warnings of unhealed behaviors that could take any of us to ruin.
Since I’ve spent my life in my inner rooms, I have come to understand that one of life’s great missions is to find healing. For me, these acts of correcting moral flaws and childhood insecurities have become the prime focus of my life because these human flaws affect every action and relationship in our lives.
Although I have spent most of my life in leadership roles as a corporate leader, an entrepreneur, and currently a leader in the nonprofit sector, I saw the strong need for collaboration with a skilled professional who could offer healing techniques for those reading this work. While I have become an ardent student of healing modalities, I am not the teacher. Fortunately, the answer was right beside me: my wife, Sharon, who is a skilled psychotherapist of thirty-eight years and a gifted intuitive and corporate coach. I felt a powerful synergy formed by combining my experience as a company president with her professional insights. I feel confident that you will benefit from the insights of both of us.
From the identification of the limiting beliefs, triggers, and addictive behaviors of leaders who self-medicate, Sharon offers us an overview of specific modalities in chapter 5 that address these issues. Case examples of typical healing scenarios of her work with leaders will help you see that healing into wholeness doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. In chapter 6, “Visualization and Pure Intended Thought,” I illustrate two of my favorite alchemical tools for leaders with examples from my own life. Chapter 7 is another synergistic chapter written between Sharon and me in which we provide intuitive skill- building exercises and inspirational stories to spark your use of intuition in your company decisions.
From the inspiration of those chapters, we then address the subject of core negative attitudes that still dominate many business cultures. We have all been held hostage by these often debilitating and counterproductive business practices. Where they come from, how they are perpetuated, and most importantly how enlightened, healed leadership can change them as the overall culture of business also comes into a new and exciting age of change.
Finally, the book ends with what I call the Tenets of Authentic Leadership. These are the practices and beliefs that have guided my life, and they might be helpful in yours as well. While our learning is never complete and the journeys leading our lives and the lives of others are never over, we can learn to walk the higher road of solid ethics and values. They enter our lives when we rid ourselves of those unwanted practices, those unhealed doubts, and those shortcomings with which we all struggle.
Enjoy the journey.