I'm constantly puzzled by the force of influence personal development gurus command on the global stage yet few use their platform to take a stand on the big existential issues we're all grappling with today. In the past 25 years we've witnessed America transition from 'self help' to 'personal growth.' Personal development has shifted it's focus from 'victim needing help,' to 'leadership empowerment.'
In the multi billion dollar personal growth industry sporting lavish conferences- that are not green or sustainable, hosting monumentally successful role models on stage and churning out offers for 5 step programs to improve your life, I think we've lost something critical.
Corporate CEOs with immense fiduciary duties, are risking their reputations and taking a stand on today's politics. We're at a juncture where politics has blurred with moral obligation. More and more leaders in the 'conventional' corporate arena are taking a stand and asserting their personal values at the behest of risk and reputation. It's paying off.
At the UN Global Compact Leadership Summit this week. CEO Oxfam Abby Maxman, CEO Unilever, Paul Polman, Executive Director UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Anchor MSBBC Richard Lui took the stage to help us imagine a world where deeply committed courageous action from leaders wielding influence, partnerships with disruptive entrepreneurs and social impact orgs. and commitment to the next (I'd argue 7) generation instead of the next quarter as the only way forward to achieving the sustainable development goals - better business for a better world.
Unfortunately, leaders in the personal development sphere, barring the likes of Marianne Williamson, Neal Donald Walsh, and a few others visible to the naked eye, are not stepping up and modeling what it means to be a responsible and congruent leader in this new day.
While many personal development leaders stand out for their massive contribution to philanthropy and important causes, and ought to be celebrated for it, a major distinction is marking this moment in time. As in corporate, so in any industry (it's disappointing that the personal development industry is not leading this charge), philanthropy is no longer enough.
The new standard means being willing to take a stand and risk your reputation by 'siding' with your values on issues pussing up to prominence on the American stage. It's replacing the traditional tithing to your cause and as in the corporate and finance sectors, its' civil society and economic patrons who's voice will influence this change.
I've turned down workshop invitations that were merely held at a Trump hotel. I've said no to working with a highly successful and popular mentor who I learned voted for Trump. I turned down an assistant who when asked who she voted for, wouldn't answer. I've completely redirected my coaching business to focus on executives in organizations committed to sustainability and leaders with influence to support this stand taking requisite emerging today. (See The Holistic Leadership Agency here)
I'm not saying I shun anyone who didn't vote my way. And I'm certainly not saying what is true for you. I'm saying when it comes to personal development, there has to be alignment. I respect different opinions and I love more than anything being given a reason to think and question the truth of my own. So give it to me. Take a stand and own it. But most of all be congruent with the teachings. It's fundamental to my teaching on holistic embodiment so you bet I"m going to walk my talk.
I'm an activist first, coach second, and advocate third. Perhaps the soft skills and personal breakthroughs I coach on have nothing to do with protecting the environment though my first stand is for wild earth and indigenous sovereignty. How can we learn to speak with courage for what we believe in when the personal development leaders teaching courage aren't standing up and speaking out?
If you're willing to or aren't willing to #TakeAKneel -let us know. What are you teaching personal development for? To develop an empowered collective and awaken consciousness on this planet, taking a stand while teaching personal development is the new requisite.
Awakening consciousness means infusing love, equality, understanding, compassion and awareness that protecting nature, clean earth and sustainable human and natural ecosystems is part of personal evolution. Are leadership skills void of this understanding enough? No.
Not anymore. It's time for this R-Evolutionary shift and incumbent upon personal development leaders, spiritual, leadership and executive coaches and the likes of influential gurus to take a stand on the issues pussing to the surface. These are the issues of personal development the collective is grappling with.
Can you think of a personal development leader you listen to often who hasn't made their values prominent? Is this mixing business with personal? If megalithic global brands can do it, and we ding them if they don't-- Do you agree it's time for the personal development world to embed responsibility in their thinking? This new brand of responsibility is moving past the CSR (corporate social responsibility) department and into the C-Suite. We already know it's profitable.
PDR or PDSR = Personal Development Responsibility or Personal Development Social Responsibility (respectively) means taking a stand as a personal development professional and demanding your gurus do the same. Make truth telling sexy. Influence taking a stand for what you believe in. Trust this is the new economic paradigm and you will win...and ideally our world will transform.
Thank you for hearing...
I'm opening the calendar these next few weeks to connect with you all and anyone wanting to make this shift in their business, their company, or their platform to embody their values and take a stand. Jump on board with the new economic paradigm and leverage this opportunity to make a difference.
Connect with me here, and we'll calendar a call- It's an insights opportunity to gain clarity on what and how you can use your influence to create a powerful legacy impact. You'll be hearing from me or a member of the team shortly. Thank you thank you!
Stephanie Trager, Esq.,
Holistic Leadership Coach,
Strategic Consultant, Trusted Advisor
Founder, CEO The Holistic Leadership Agency
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