According to ABS research around a quarter of all employed people go to work feeling unappreciated and considering leaving their employer. Why? Because they feel unappreciated or no longer valued and like they aren’t making a difference. Sobering facts huh. Even more concerning is the fact that depression occurs in 20% of all people over the course of a lifetime.

Did you go to college or university and learn a profession or a trade? Studied hard, learnt the skills, took the tests and completed the assignments? Did anyone prepare you though for how to deal with overwhelm, how to set goals, how to cope through the rough patches and how to deal with the issues of depression and pressure of modern life? Perhaps, but probably my guess would be probably not.

The trap many people fall into is looking too critically at what they are rather than who they are being and who they are becoming.

What do you answer when you are asked the question “what do you do?” Do you say you are an engineer, a marketer, a physiotherapist, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a writer?

What would you answer if you were asked instead, “who are you being?”

Think about it. Would you say “I don’t know”? Would you say “myself”? Or would you answer without needing to think: a conduit, an enabler, a learner, a millionaire in the making, a storyteller, a delight, a friend, a creative spirit, a life adventurer, a protagonist, a vessel of information or perhaps a living leader?

“What’s a living leader?” I hear you ask.

My definition of a living leader is someone who serves a greater purpose than themselves. A living leader doesn’t wait until they are on their death bed to pass on their wisdom. Living leaders have a desire to continually learn and grow, to drink deeply from life and to serve others. The presence of living leaders inspires others to become freer, healthier, wealthier, wiser, more creative and courageous. Living leaders light their own flame and ignite the spark in others.

Living leaders:
Practice gratitude, compassion and positive thinking
Invest in social connections
Focus on resilience
Live in the present
Commit to their goals
Take good care of themself – spiritually, mentally and physically
Identify and maximise their character strengths
Focus on being authentically themselves.

As a person growing into becoming a Living Leaders I work harder on myself than I do on my job – I am constantly reinventing myself, continually attending courses and seminars, reading a book a week, working with my coach mentor and travelling to meet with my mastermind to learn new information, make more connections and discover new ways of being.

What are you doing to grow your knowledge and improve yourself?

What do you do to light the sparkle in your own eyes?

And if not ask yourself “Who am I being that my eyes aren’t sparkling?”

Living leaders enable other people. Be the space instead of the hero. Create the conditions instead of controlling the outcome. Once you let go of controlling the outcome you will be amazed by the power and the passion that you ignite in people.

Author's Bio: 

Coach, author, teacher and entrepreneur, Heidi Alexandra Pollard, The Living Leader's Advocate publishes Value Ad a free monthly ezine for people who want to jump start their personal and professional life to become a living leader. Find out how at