In November 2008, I felt ready to go to the next stage in my public speaking.

As I started to focus on leadership, in my mind I could suddenly project myself towards the future into a world of management and leadership much more efficient and compassionate, human and effective, than what I used to be in the past. All those years working in the corporate world in the UK, so many occasions feeling totally out of depth but soldiering on with the tools I had at the time; what I pity I didn’t know about leadership what I was learning now. Still, even if I had had the knowledge, I didn’t have the personal growth to go with it so it would not have been so effective anyway.
And yes, that was the time when I took my management qualifications with the British Institute of Management. I must admit that it did help a bit, but still I wasn’t mature enough, emotionally or spiritually speaking, to be able to manage with the level of humanness that I could do today. I didn’t have the concept of Tao Leadership, of leading from behind.

I remember in the past when I was a manager, it wasn’t as if I felt that I could manage people. I just wanted to be a manager. It was a personal goal.

The difference now is that suddenly I felt ready to take a position of responsibility… and with it came the joy (unbelievable!) of also focusing on goals and results.

The reason why I say this was unbelievable is because in the past I would hate goals and results. I though they were inhuman, insane, that they demanded too much from people and that they were totally detached from reality. Obviously, this was a representation of whom I was then: somehow detached from reality! But now, with my new learning and my new level of personal growth, I felt that KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) or goals were simply a way to measure a result. Nor more, nor less.
I didn’t feel that I had to focus solely on results, yet I didn’t feel bothered or threatened by them. In fact, I welcomed them as a healthy boundary (they gave me the limits to where I needed to work towards) and a direction which I needed to follow in order to get where I had committed myself to get to.

Because I demystified goals in such a way (e.g. they were just part of the role) and came to the conclusion that if I focused on the real stuff (e.g. the people working together, the motivation, the clarity in the vision, etc) then the results would show themselves healthy as a representation of the health of the team.

I realised that although without goals there is no measurement of achievements, they didn’t measure me, the person. I could detach myself from my achievements or lack of, just like when I wasn’t winning competitions but delivered meaningful speeches.

Because I was able to separate the fact that making things happen was a reflection of me, the person, the speaker, then these goals were no longer enemies that had been set up to make my life difficult but on the contrary, I now felt that it was quite exciting to make up a strategy to actually get to meet such goals! I had really changed in not such a long period of time.
The difference was that if I didn’t get a goal, this didn’t mean that I was inadequate: it meant that I needed to work on a skill or strategy and change something to make it happen! This is what was so exciting. Not winning didn’t take away from me: it was actually add to my repertoire of tools to win the next time!
If you look at life this way, suddenly everything changes color!

The other different way I saw leadership now is that as I felt that I had learnt so much and I felt so much more confident, suddenly taking a role of responsibility and leadership felt like a great opportunity to give something back, to serve the needs of the group, to learn and stretch my skills, my knowledge. But this time, after all these years doing personal development and healing, my heart was with it: only not long ago my fragile ego would not have been able to cope with criticism, the frustration that others feel when things may not go their way or when change in coming upon them. I would have taken other peoples’ comments and opinions personally and every time I would have had to pick myself up in order to be able to perform again, so many times wanting to quit!

This time I was able to stand back, take the observer’s position (the Animal Strategy of Hawk!) detach myself emotionally from other peoples’ dramas, or emotional needs, or ego fights, or survival battles… and be able to help by not being drawn down into their place of struggle.

Just in case you are curious, I want to put here the Strategy of Hawk that I have mentioned above because I have worked with it for a very long time and I feel that it has helped me enormously to overcome many leadership issues, and also issues of ego, control and fear (by the way, Hawk is my birth animal so no wonder why it had such a powerful influence in my psyche):

“Hawk’s main strategy is that of observation, patience and a sharp vision that can detect the slightest movement which will alert him of the presence of prey. Hawk is also and adventurer who circles the skies in order to observe the whole landscape”.
“Hawk is the messenger and the observer and he is asking you to raise your perspective of a current situation in order not to miss any “movement” taking place around you. If you are getting too emotionally involved, know that you will not be able to raise above your current struggles and that therefore you are not taking advantage of the “observer’s post”: use your keen vision to detect where you are getting stuck or “grounded” and know that, as you do so, you lose the power of Hawk”.

“Don’t fall into the illusion of believing that your powers and skills are better than anyone else’s: be humble and listen to what others have to say. Then you will make the final decision, for at the end of the time, it is you who is the one wholly responsible for your choices and your life.

Respect other people’s energies and strategies; observe their moves and acknowledge their gifts. Then, when the time comes, use Hawk’s razor sharp claws to snatch your “prey”!

Once I realised that I wasn’t the expert, that I didn’t know more than the people in the audience, that we are all leaders at one level or another, in one subject of interest or another, then I was able to balance my Hawk energy and relax into leadership. Because I didn’t have to have all the solutions, all the answers!

One thing came up very clearly for me during all these experiences: To get what I want, I first need to give others what they need. Because if I try to get what I need or want first, they are not going to be able to provide it for me… because they don’t have it in the first place!
In a place of responsibility, everyone around you is your customer. If you want other people to support you on your leadership role, you need to give them respect by asking them for guidance or opinion when you need it, then listen to it and implement whatever you think was a good idea, then give them credit for it.

Everyone wants to be of use, of help. Everyone wants and needs to have a purpose. Everyone needs to be acknowledged when they do something worthwhile, especially if this has helped you gain a position of leadership and good standing.

If you take time to listen and to rephrase back whatever information or opinion they have given to you, then you are validating them. You are giving them worth. You are supporting them, making them right. It is only logical that, when you need them, they will be there for you.

And this is not a matter of using others so that you can get what you want. It is perhaps the name of the game when it comes to people. It is perhaps a way to protect and look after those around you. Because everything you give, you get back tenfold. And the fact is that, when you least expect it, when you most need it, in a strange and peculiar sort of way, things will come your way effortlessly when you are working with the good will factor: I have noticed that it becomes a bridge between not knowing to knowing, between not getting it right to getting it right. Between being a mediocre leader to an outstanding leader.

Taking a role of responsibility doesn’t mean that you are responsible for other people, though. What I mean is that you need to get other people to take responsibility for themselves, while you are supporting, guiding or helping them: you can’t force someone to grow, to prepare for a speech, to be willing, etc. They have to want to do it!

And also, communicating aggressively doesn’t mean that you are carrying authority; in fact, it is very likely that the more aggressive you are in your dealings, the least amount of power you are carrying! In other words, what you are is that really showing you are fearful and don’t want to be lose your current position, so you will leave less room to fit objections and will, at some level, bulldoze others out of the way. This is far removed from creating a safe environment where everyone can be heard without retaliation of any kind and this takes a very strong leader who has gained his or her right to stay in such position of leadership and responsibility.

The good thing about taking responsibility? Before you know, it will become a way of life and it will spread to the other areas: family, home, friends, work. Even hobbies, sport, etc. It becomes a frame of mind. And it will give you a great deal of self-confidence because responsibility requires preparation, self-dignity, thinking ahead, checking on your limitations, your crutches… not in a self-critical way but in a compassionate way.
And if you can do all this (which of course, is work in progress and it doesn’t happen over night) you have the great opportunity to become an inspiration for others, a charismatic figure that others give consideration and attention. So it is worth going for it, if it is done right!

Author's Bio: 

Dr Ana Garcia has a Doctoral Degree in Metaphysical Sciences specializing in Transpersonal Counselling (integration of higher consciousness in the counselling process) and a Masters degree in Education and Languages. She is a Coach U CTP graduated Life and Business Coach and has a management qualification with the British Institute of Management.

Dr Ana is a Reiki Master and a Spiritual Mentor. She has studied the Metamorphic Technique Universal Principles with its founder, Gaston St. Pierre and holds qualifications in Character Analysis and Graphology with the British School of Yoga and Nutrition with the School of Natural Health Sciences (UK).

Dr Ana is a Communicator Silver (ACS) and Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) with Toastmasters International (, a non-profit organization that teaches communication and leadership.

Her main speaking subjects are: emotional energy, control dramas, metaphysics and coaching on personal development. Using her coaching and public speaking skills, Dr Ana helps individuals find their strengths and communicate in a completely original and personal way, avoiding cliché and stereotyped performances.