5. Your Leader Part and the Three Ways to Lead

Leadership Energy is the part of us that leads the realm of our lives. It’s the part that can vision or dream about what we might want out of our lives. That can be a big dream like, “I want to be a President when I grow up.” Or it can be a smaller vision, like, “I want to try something new in my garden this year,” when I’m beginning to think about growing my garden.

It is our Leadership Energy that helps us step into authority and take charge of our own life. Leadership energy draws people into our vision and positive outlook. Have you ever felt really drawn to someone, and want to get on board with what they see for the future? Or maybe you’ve been drawn to a spirit, a spiritual leader of some sort or a political candidate? We are attracted to leadership.

Leadership Energy is the energy that gives us self-esteem and the confidence to think big and go after our dreams, big or small. This energy opens our eyes to the positive, sunny side of life. We look through rose colored glasses with this energy, and see our world with optimism and hope. When we are in this energy we tend to avoid thinking about anything that can go wrong. Joy is the gateway emotion into our Leadership Energy energy. When we feel joy. It’s easy to be positive and upbeat about things inside of ourselves and outside of ourselves. Our joy thrusts us into positive thinking and helps us dream and vision.

This energy has us dream big and act as if we’re already living the dream.
If we can imagine it, the dream will come true. You might act as if you’re already there. Affirmations are a form of this energy. If I repeat my affirmation enough, it will come true.

Our Leader part can also bless and nurture others, and ourselves. This part helps others by taking care of them and fostering them in their dreams and ambitions. It connects us to them by being big and nurturing their vulnerable part or it just holds people where they are with a positive outcome in mind.

Unfortunately, sometimes the messages we get as children damage our Leader Energy. Often children hear the message “You are not good enough.” This is called the conditional love wound. This message makes us believe that we must do something good enough to be loved. We couldn’t possibly be loved for just who we are. We must accomplish something so that we can be loved. Sometimes children work really hard to be lovable and grow this positive energy while other children just give up and don’t grow it because, “what’s the use? I’ll never be good enough.” This is one reason some of us have lots of this Leadership Energy and others don’t.

Another reason is that our genetic make-up contributes to how much of this energy we have access to in our lives. Leader Energy stems from the genetic stream called, by scientists, Novelty Seeking. Novelty Seeking refers to the desire for new things, new experiences, new territory and new partners. Some research on the distribution of Novelty Seeking genes around the world revealed that the incidence of Novelty Seeking genes was higher in any population in proportion to the distance that population had migrated from the cradle of our species in Africa. Or, in other words, it might have been the high Novelty Seeking genes in some humans that drove them to constantly seek new territory, new horizons, rather than staying home.

Everyone knows that some people are just naturally adventurous. They are always seeking the next new experience, new relationship, new job, new car or new baby. This is their Novelty Seeking genes at work. And we all have some Novelty Seeking genes. That’s why you love finding something new. That’s why advertisers commonly appeal to our Novelty Seeking genes by using words like “new”, “discover” and “try it” in their ads. Novelty Seeking genes give you what’s called an exploratory excitement. That’s because Novelty Seeking is a combination of different genes, which often include a gene called D4DR on your 11th chromosome which blocks your brain’s reception of dopamine, a hormone which gives you a sense of pleasure and reward. And when scientists depressed the dopamine in the brains of some monkeys, those monkeys were much more likely to look for new ways to solve problems, rather than using their old habits. It’s as though the monkeys had to make up for their low dopamine by striving harder for a new sense of reward.

So it’s thought that the Novelty Seeking genes, because they repress dopamine, require a person to seek more stimulation to feel pleasure and reward. So people with high Novelty Seeking genes go out into the world looking for the high that will give them the sense of pleasure and reward they crave. Adventurers, which we call Questers in Shadow Work, are driven to produce the dopamine high they envision if their quest is successful.

Novelty Seeking genes also give you a predisposition to schizophrenia, mania, depression and Attention Deficit Disorder. This makes sense if you think that Novelty Seeking, when it gets inflated and out of balance, can either cause you to become manic, even schizophrenic, about going for the reward you crave, or depressed and unfocused when your quest is betrayed and you can’t get that Reward.

With Respect to “THE BIG FOUR” Energies that we work with in Connection Gateways, we put this Leader Energy on the top of our picture frame.

Here’s a quick summary of how all four energies show up in kids:

LEADER

Intensely optimistic, this kid sees the world as full of opportunities. This kid is adventurous and free, letting the imagination take control and leading others in imaginative play. This kid is often supportive and caring for others but can also be naive and easily manipulated.
This kid might be too generous or too hopeful and then get betrayed.

CONNECTOR

This kid prefers a deep sense of belonging and connection. This kid often has an uncanny sense of how people are feeling. Often with a goal of just being together, this kid loves company and free flowing fun, but can have difficulty staying focused. In wanting to stay connected, this kid can get lost and become dependent on others to make decisions.

PERSISTENT

This kid cares deeply about what is right, preferring to meet reality head on. This kid is often courageous and grounded in challenging situations. This kid tends to love action. With a strong sense of self, this kid is sometimes self-centered, and can be overly forceful and unsafe for others.

CAREFUL

This kid questions almost everything, being wary of the world and warning others of potential dangers. This kid likes to study and learn everything, and can often see the big picture at an early age. This kid can be self reliant and independent, but can sometimes feel detached or separate from others. Some of these kids are easily scared by almost anything.

Within the Leadership Energy, there are 3 ways we typically express Leader Energy in our lives. We can Idealize, we can Affect and we can Foster. These are leadership qualities. We have found it useful to see our own Leadership Preferences because then we can learn to:

  • Step into leading when that is needed, or
  • Think of all the opportunities and possibilities, or
  • Foster others to reach their goals

We believe that we can always learn how to step up to lead, especially when that eventually enables us to take even greater risks. As you read through these descriptions, think about which of them feels the most comfortable for you, and which feels uncomfortable.

IDEALIZING

By idealizing, we mean looking up to something, putting it on a pedestal, ascribing perfect or ideal characteristics to it, and seeing it through rose-colored glasses.

We all idealize things. For instance, it’s an important component of falling in love. When you fall in love, you think that person is going to fix all your problems. “I’ve found the person I’ve been looking for all my life. This relationship will make me happy at last!”

Idealizing helps motivate us to get the things we want. In relationships, our idealizing motivates us to go after the person, try to connect with them, and work through the obstacles in getting to know them.

As parents, we may tell our kids that any kid in America can grow up to be president. This helps our kids idealize the possibility and value of becoming president, to help motivate them to achieve.

If you are some kind of facilitator, the idealizing you do in this role can help people discover a new vision for their lives, their team, their family. It helps show them how to be happier, or get what they want.

AFFECTING

By affecting, we mean visualizing the way something could be. It’s “pretending,” but in a positive way. Affecting is “wanna-be” energy. It’s the energy of practicing, and it’s a necessary step on the road to achieving anything. When kids play house, they are pretending to be adults. They do that in order to try out the idea of being an adult, to see what it feels like.

In twelve-step programs, one of the steps encourages you to affect a healthy lifestyle in order to become healthy: “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Similarly, when people work at “manifesting” what they want, they visualize in great detail what it will be like when they have what they want. This is a way of drawing it to them, and making it more likely that it will come about.

If a person in your group has a special name of some kind, they are doing some affecting. They are idealizing what the name represents to them, and pretending to be that idealized thing.

Affecting helps you pretend that you’re in a loving space even when you’re not. For example, if you are “attacked” in a passive-aggressive way by someone in your group, you will use your affecting ability to try to find compassion. This will allow you to keep acting in a loving way toward the person who attacked you, and to continue to be in charge of the group.

Sometimes, your own shame may come up as you are facilitating or leading something. Affecting can help you put that on hold until later, so you can continue facilitating, and process yourself later, in private. If you put your feelings on hold too often, and affect so much that you become out of touch with your feelings, you may be seen as phony or plastic.

FOSTERING

By fostering, we mean nurturing, helping, taking care of people. As a facilitator or leader, your fostering can help people as you hold a group. Your Leadership Energy, by holding a person’s vulnerable energy, provides a safe, nurturing place for them to get the support they need. As a facilitator, you take care of the people in your group. It is your role to support them, find out what they need, and help them get it. Fostering energy in a group (“container”) is a good role model for self-care.

  • Where do you see yourself in these descriptions?
  • Does one describe you best?
  • Do others make you feel uncomfortable or bring up judgment in you?

The truth is, all three of these ways to interact in the real world can be helpful in your life, depending on the situation or person in front of you.

We believe that the more you understand these patterns, the more power you have to create your reality with intention. You can get better at using any of the three to impact your own reality in more complete ways. We have found some great tools for working with these patterns.

Right now, Connection Gateways is working to connect with people who want to understand more completely the ways that we interact with the world and with each other. If that is you, please contact us to learn more about what we have to offer, and the community we are forming.

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