I have worked for dozens of organisations over the last 30 years, both in Australia and overseas. And the vast amounts of avoidable human suffering I have both witnessed and experienced makes me heartsick.

The leaders who caused this suffering were not ‘bad people’, they had just lost connection with the truth of who they really were.

Many had totally forgotten what it felt like to care instead of control, to link rather than rank, to be curious rather than critical.

That’s why I am pioneering the practice of self-fidelity – to empower more business leaders to reconnect to the truth of who they are.

The wonderful research of Richard Schwartz asks and answers the question “What qualities do people report and display when they live in the world while holding the memory of who they really are?

The answer is that we both experience and display what Richard describes at the “8 C’s”. These 8 C’s reflect some of the best qualities of human nature.  


So, what happens we work and lead without a connection to our Essential Nature?

Well, we see the sort of damaging, corrosive, dehumanising behaviours that are unfortunately prevalent in most large organisations today .

In the words of Richard; “A different long list of C-words describes people when their Self is buried beneath the noise and emotion. Some of these include: closed, confused, clouded, clogged, congested, chaotic, cowardly, cautious, compliant, complacent, conceited, computer-like, critical, confronting, craving, cruel, cynical, contemptuous, controlling, coercive, commanding, cocky, compulsive, colluding, conquesting, crafty, clever, and crazy.”

The practice of self-fidelity is empowering more and more leaders to reconnect to the truth of who they are at work – giving others permission to do the same.

These brave pioneers will lead us beyond the out-dated idea of ‘optimising head-count’ to co-create organisations that begin to inspire heart-count.

And gosh, doesn’t the world desperately needs more of this sort of leadership!

It’s not enough to love what we do – we must also love who we’re being while we do it.

And it’s never too late to begin to honour the truth of who we are.

By honouring our deepest self, we liberate our highest potential.


Warren Bennis wisely said: “The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself.

What would it take for you to become “more yourself” as a leader?

What’s holding you back?

What might be your best next step towards stepping into your potential as leader who inspires heart-count?


Our true nature is like a precious jewel: although it may be temporarily buried in mud, it remains completely brilliant and unaffected. We simply have to uncover it.

Pema Chodron