“Maybe the leadership that lasts the longest is the leadership that is so humble, so good, and yet so unspoken that it can only take root in others by quietly sprouting within their hearts—dawning in them from a place of intrinsic goodness and unyielding strength; from the originating place of human love and kindness.”Lead Without Followers

My new book Lead Without Followers is a lot less about being a “leader” in any sense we’re familiar with when we discuss leadership today, and is a lot more about becoming more human.

And maybe simply becoming more human is the key to brilliant living — one we so often overlook throughout our struggles and pursuits in life.

But what does it even mean to become “more human”?

To become more human is to attain radical self-empowerment through understanding, exploring, strengthening, nurturing and harnessing all of the gifts, talents, passions, abilities and drives that already reside within us:

Our natural fuel; the flame we were born to shine.

In Lead Without Followers, I make the case that all we really need to become genuine, bona fide leaders can be discovered by looking within ourselves, and by practicing it on a simple, everyday level — quietly, humbly, in whatever walk of life we may find ourselves.

To some, that is a terrifying reality.

Introspection can feel agonizing.

And even simply believing in ourselves means facing uncertainty, fear, and the unknown.

We, collectively as a society, would rather look “up” to those with materially “more” than us and point to those sums of things and say, “That is why they deserve to lead. That is what makes them different than me. Better than me. Smarter than me. More worthy of being listened to.”

And so we see what we are without, and all that “they” have.

And we revere their popularity, envy their wealth, daydream of their prestigious status and job title. We see their differentness. We can’t help but focus upon what we’re lacking.

We often rant and rave about how our deficit-minded culture — focusing so explicitly as a society upon the things, sums, quantities and “stuff” that we don’t have but feel utterly compelled to pursue and own and “get more of” — is the poison of our time and continues to uproot simple human happiness.

Our modern definition of what it means to be a leader — the necessary attachment to lots of money, great social status, impressive job title, the illusion of power, and so forth — embodies this exact same deficit-mindedness.

What we understand to be “leadership” today terrifyingly exemplifies this lack-orientation of I-don’t-just-want-but-need-more-to-really-be-happy societal trait that is crippling human happiness and threatens our entire world with over-consumption, warfare, poverty, and so on.

This is purely poison.

The Cornerstone of Gratitude

That is why gratitude is the first and foremost cornerstone of genuine leadership as I present it in Lead Without Followers — as well as the most simple but profound, practical but far-reaching ingredient of an absolutely brilliant life.

Cornerstone: Gratitude
Secret Power: Self-Empowering, Perspective-Shifting, Opportunity-Creating
Misconception: Simply saying “thank you”
Why It’s Leadership: Internal source of inspiration and motivation; turns deficit-mindedness into abundance-mindedness; compels us to seize new opportunities to help people, to create projects, to develop ideas, to pursue dreams and goals

Gratitude is an incredible powerful and far-reaching method to shift your own mindset — any day, every day, even today — from a negative and downtrodden mood, or to upturn deficit-minded thinking to positive and abundance-minded thinking.

When you reflect upon what you are grateful for, appreciate, love, are happy about . . . all of the opportunities and privileges you have, and even the social or political rights that you are afforded and that we all take for granted . . . suddenly, life feels a lot more brilliant.

Suddenly, the switch is flipped.

“Wow,” we suddenly think.

“We have so much. So many things, so much time, such opportunities. So much to give. Now is the time.”

Gratitude naturally stokes a “want” within us to give ourselves, our gifts and abilities, our passions and internal drives to others. Gratitude empowers us to take charge, action, and advantage of the opportunities that we have.

Thankfulness actually compels us to create opportunities.

Gratitude is the life-blood of a leader without followers because without thankfulness, we are empty, lacking, and continually pursuing the objects and sums of “things” that we think will give us fulfillment. But they will not.


Gratitude is the first ingrediant in the recipe for a brilliant life. It’s also the first cornerstone of rediscovering leadership within you — and radically redefining it in our world.

Lead Without Followers will show you how:

  • Digital Package (Book PDF + Deleted Chapter + 18 Intention Videos + 18 Audio-Chapters + all mobile editions) for $37 »
  • Platinum Package (Signed softcover + digital package + 2-hours coaching) for $197 »
  • Or, all mobile editions (.epub + .prc + .html) for any/all e-readers, just $4.99 »

Flickr photo credit: bixentro