The Language of Leadership

The Language of Leadership

As the weather starts to cool and the leaves wind down their annual visit, George and I have been speaking on the East Coast, recording video and writing to build out a whole array of new content for you.

In the meantime, I want to share George’s brilliance with you and give to you an article he wrote recently.

The  Language of Leadership

As you may have heard me say,

“Leadership is the ability to influence the flow of energy in a particular direction and in service of a particular objective.”

One of the many characteristics of influencing the flow of energy is the ability to “hold the space”. At our live events, Tracey and I are often asked to explain what exactly that means?

Holding space is a concept of managing the energy in a particular space, a particular relationship or a particular transaction. A leader creates and holds a safe, roomy space for the people in a room, relationship or transaction to feel safe to be open, vulnerable and giving without fear or judgment or retribution. It’s an important skill especially for speakers because as messengers of healing and giving the space we create and hold for our message to be heard and integrated is integral to it being valued, heard and/or purchased and implemented.

A speaker or leader does this through his or her words and body language, but also through the way he or she engages the audience, encourages the team or follows through. The key to remember is that what you do, what you say, how you say it and your intentions behind them, all have an impact.  That impact is FELT by your audience.  That could be your team, your attendees, your customers or your family!

One of the many important aspects of holding space – in fact, the primary prerequisite to it – is “occupying your space” in the first instance.  What occupying your space means, basically is A) that you take 100% ownership and responsibility for the flow of your energy. The  actions of your body. The words you use to express and describe your experience, the decisions you make and even the outcomes in your life.

Occupying your space requires owning full responsibility for every aspect of your experience. Often times, discussing occupying your space raises a whole lot of questions, because it makes reference to a concept that most of us aren’t raised with.  That is, really, that we be aware, and responsible for everything our bodies do, the actions our bodies take and the space are body takes up. The words we use. The impact we have on ourselves, those around us, and our our our environment.

If you’ve attended an iCanSir!™program or a Jumper Cables for the Soul™ program, you’ve heard me say:

“The words we choose to describe our experience, powerfully influence the experiences we live!”


The same is true with the actions we choose and the way we choose to direct our emotional and spiritual energy.  So occupying your space requires some particular behaviors and really a powerful and focused mindset.

Here are three of the behaviors that I stress when working with men. These are not, however, particular to men. The reason we end up focusing on them is because they are not areas in which boys in particular, are encouraged to explore their feelings or build their skills. Oftentimes we see how the lack of exercise of these emotional and spiritual muscles manifests itself in disfunction in relationship, lack of attendance to health and the repression of passions in life as experienced in work and relationship.

In order to occupy our space, we must:

  • Know ourselves
  • Trust ourselves, and
  • Express ourselves.

And in addition to doing all that, we must own 100% responsibility for our ability – or failure – to do the same.

A person with a negative mindset or someone who’s mindset is paralyzed with old addictions like negative self-talk, a low sense of worthiness or other destructive “go-to” behaviors will often push back against this idea of 100% responsibility. The idea of owning all of the outer reflections in our material experience is frightening. This is because of a deeply rooted – and in fact addictive – belief of “not being good enough”.

Sound familiar? My experience has shown me that most people have some addictive self-sabotage responses programmed from early life. Did you ever hear your parents say “What did you do to deserve that?” Clearly, fear-motivated expressions like this would never be consciously taught by caring parents, but that’s the problem with addictive behaviors. They’re not conscious at all. In fact, people who say and do things that are addictive, when their attention is called to it, often deny having said or done it.

So occupying space requires that we be first become aware of those damaging patterns. Then, once aware, occupying space requires that we exert our will in choosing healthier patterns as often as possible. Accepting 100% of the responsibility for these choices is the critical first step. The men in my coaching programs employ these strategies and see the results so quickly because when a man occupies his space, it’s irresistible. People want to follow a man occupying his space because it’s essentially such a rare experience. The same is true for women. When a woman shows up fully expressed and occupying her space, her attractor factor is magnetic.

Remember some of the most powerful examples of charisma, leadership and integrity you can think of. You’ll note that each of them – man or woman – has three characteristics in common.

1) The individual has a strong sense of who they are. They know their limitations and they know what they’re good at. It’s appealing because we feel safe around such people.

2) They seem especially trustworthy. This is because they have a trust of themselves which is reflected in confidence, compassion and certainty.  We feel safe around these people because they are safe with themselves.

3) These folks’ lives – their families, their communities and their businesses – reflect who they are. Their lives are an expression of them. This is so compelling because inherently we recognize the congruence required to live in such a way.  It’s also appealing because people who’s lives are not in congruence, see these people and without knowing exactly why, we think to themselves “I want that for me.  I want my life to look like that.”

It’s possible for anyone committed enough to create this congruence in their life. With guidance, encouragement and structures for success, any otherwise healthy individual can develop the skills to occupy his or her space fully!  When it happens, they become irresistible leaders and their ability to influence the lives of others becomes magnified.

It’s an awesome thing to be a part of helping people to step into themselves. I look forward to keeping you posted on more insights as our work continues to grow.  In the meantime…

Live with vigor, love with all you’ve got and make the most of it!