“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”               -Dr. Stephen R. Covey

I am a big believer in leadership and the ability of great leaders to activate the limitless potential of individuals and organizations. I see leadership as an honor that can only be willingly granted by the led, and ultimately a choice (not a title or position) that one consciously makes to serve others. With this choice comes a profound responsibility given the impact that leaders have on those around them. A responsibility worthy of pause and reflection now and again to remind us all of exactly what we are signing up for when we choose to lead.

“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”       -Dr. Stephen R. Covey

In their seminal book Primal Leadership authors Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee write; “Quite simply, in any human group the leader has maximal power to sway everyone’s emotions. If people’s emotions are pushed toward a range of enthusiasm, performance will soar; if people are driven toward rancor and anxiety, they will be thrown off stride.” In line with this idea is the research around organizational climate. Climate – how people feel about working at a company can account for 20% to as much as 30% of an individuals performance. And roughly 50% to 70% of how employees perceive the company can be attributed to one person, the leader.

Today, more research has been done to understand the impact of leaders and subsequently organizations on the lives of the employees. And what has become abundantly clear is the fact that how we feel at work not only impacts our jobs but our health and ultimately the well being of our families. In his new book, Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek references several studies that highlight the implications of work and life and how we take the stress and anxiety (or joy happiness and fulfillment) of our jobs home with us. And not surprisingly, Sinek says; “Stress and anxiety at work have less to with the work we do and more to do with weak management and leadership.” In his words, “Everyone is someone’s son or daughter. Leaders, like parents, are responsible for their precious lives.”

This blog was not intended to provide any answers with respect to what leaders need to do and/or how they need to do it. Instead, I wanted it to serve as a reminder of the responsibility we are all accepting when we choose to lead whether it be from a place of parenting, coaching, mentoring, friendship or in a classic business environment. People gather so many of their emotional cues, sense of belonging and feelings about their work from those above them. And when leaders drive these feelings and emotions in a positive direction, they bring out everyone’s best.



Mark Fernandes

Mark Fernandes

Having a passion for inspiring people to believe in themselves and become everything they are capable of becoming, Mark works with individuals and organizations to inspire transformation. @MarkSFernandes

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