The Essence of TRUE Leadership – Drive

Part Four of Four

What drives you?

Many might admit to external rewards like money, recognition, status, or power. But for the heart-centered leader, the one I’ve been describing for the past few weeks, the fourth virtue of TRUE leadership is an intrinsically motivated Drive.

Just as the other virtues of SelflessnessCourage, and Integrity come from within, so does one’s Drive to not only succeed, but to lead.

True leaders are conscious of the importance of walking the walk, not just talking the talk, to set the best example and create the most valuable experiences for those with whom they work, clients and team members alike. They are driven by an inherent understanding of the fact that you reap what you sow, and to them a great harvest is not equated with financial gain.

What drives the TRUE leader?

It’s fairly simple, yet incredibly powerful. True leaders are driven by their desire to live and work with purpose — to be a part of something bigger than themselves — to facilitate positive change in their corner of the world. They are aware of, and spend time developing and leveraging their gifts. Not for their own gain, but to inspire, encourage, train, and lead others to do the same.

You may find yourself drawn to these intrinsically inspired leaders because the are lit from within. Many people would give up everything to know what that’s like, even for just a moment. Why? Because sadly we live on a planet full of people who work with the hope of being able to someday live. True leaders demonstrate what it means to live completely, every day, and especially through their work.

To shine the light on the source of your drive, ask yourself the following questions –

  • Why do I work?
  • How am I living my highest values through my daily activities? Do I even know what they are?
  • Where am I spending considerable time feeling disconnected from my gifts and my purpose?
  • What shift can I make today, no matter how small, to tap into my inner drive?

After considering the lessons in each of these four posts, you may realize that you have room to grow in order to join the ranks of TRUE leaders. The desire to fine tune one or more of the four virtues presented is a giant step in the right direction. Your next step will be to take direct action. And I am here to help.

We need to continually raise the bar on ourselves in order to consistently present our best to those who need us most. Don’t take the position of leadership for granted. Be the type of person who chooses to lead from within, and demonstrate the essence of TRUE leadership in all that you do.

If you have any questions or comment about the material presented in this series, I invite you to share them below.


  1. Posted March 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Shannon, there is one major driving factor in my wanting to help others: When I have an experience and keep it to myself, that’s great and wonderful for me; but, if I share that experience I have given it value.

    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You understand the value of sharing stories and experiences with the world. We learn so much, when we take the time to learn from one another. 🙂 Thanks Randy!

  2. Posted March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice post Shannon. I cannot agree more. Having just posted about dying people and their biggest regrets, I believe we can all live a fulfilling life if we are driven from within. You ask the right questions, people must find their calling, their purpose and passions in life and at work. True leaders don’t need external recognition except having the satisfaction of seeing other people growing and reach their full potential.

    • Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Anne! Thanks for your comment. We are all capable of true leadership when we maintain our authentic center. Those who get lost along the way in life are those who waste precious energy trying to be someone they are not. I am sure that many get to the end of life, and wonder what it was all about, and sadly reflect on the biggest question, “What if?” That’s what makes the work of true leaders so important. Sometimes all the “lost” person needs to hear is that life can be different. 🙂

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