Leadership as A Sacred Relationship


by Lance Secretan
After spending a lifetime as both a leadership practitioner and an advisor and coach to leaders I have learned that approaching the subject of leadership in our traditional ways may have contributed more to our current crisis of leadership than to any leadership successes. Classical physics invites us to measure matter and energy in a manner familiar through observable human experience, analyzing the separate parts, and this is largely the way we explain science and technology today (see my book “ONE”). We measure and teach leadership in a similar way, using these classical approaches. Without getting into too much technical detail here, we have learned that these concepts do not adequately describe the universe, and that, in reality, the newer science of quantum physics informs us that there are no separate entities—everything is connected. Indeed, the concept of “quantum entanglement” describes the phenomena in which the act of measuring one thing determines the possible quantum state of another.

The outdated approach of classical physics, and therefore “the scientific method”, is what we have been using to study leadership—as a subject consisting of separate parts—leaders, followers, organizations, contexts, goals and more (see my White Paper on why this has failed us and what is next). We have even succumbed to the false belief that behavior displayed and exhibited within an organization is separate from, and sometimes not even appropriate for, life outside the organization—for example, at home. But this is an illusion—everything is connected and everything is one, which is evident in my work every day coaching leaders who are seeking to rebuild their domestic partnerships AND reach their professional goals.

The sacred energy we invest in our marriages and personal relationships, is, in reality, exactly the same energy we need to invest in our work life and our organizations. My own list (everyone will have their own take on this) of practices and behaviors needed for a successful marriage are:

  • personal growth and mutual learning
  • being fully present
  • curiosity
  • freshness
  • spiritual passion
  • maintaining individuality AND (paradoxically) oneness
  • vulnerability
  • intimacy
  • humility
  • empathy
  • devotion
  • love
  • rituals
  • transparency
  • trust
  • reliability

These, when practiced with sacred energy, lead to sacred and inspiring relationships. Since everything is connected, and one—it stands to reason that these necessary conditions for an inspiring relationship will lead to inspiring relationships anywhere—at work, with nature, with each other—even with God. Clinging to the illusion of separateness gets in the way of our potential. To raise our game we need to create inspiring relationships—everywhere.


  1. This post best explained that leadership can be very sacred through different theory presented in this post. This clears my mind how important a leader can be and how vital it is and leadership shouldn’t be taking for granted.

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