• Veronika Tracy Smith, PhD, PCC

Be The Leader You Want To Follow


We typically think of leaders as someone in a certain role and given the title of CEO, Manager, President, Department Head. I want to help you think of leadership in a broader context and with more nobility.

Take a moment to think of those people in your life or that have been role models for you. What did they inspire in you? How did they inspire you? What were the characteristics of this person that you so admired?

Many of the people I looked up to and were role models did not necessarily sign up to be leaders but rather they lived their life with such integrity, honesty, emotional connection and felt a calling to a purpose greater than themselves. This is often the sign of a great leader, especially when they are good at working with and inspiring others.

Any one of us can be this person – this leader, if we are willing to develop better emotional intelligence. You can create higher levels of emotional intelligence by becoming more self aware, managing your emotions and stress, understanding the emotions of others and managing your interpersonal relationship well. This will help you to become a leader in small and larger ways.

We don’t become leaders by title alone, rather by being a person who inspires hope in yourself and others, by being compassionate and mindful. True leaders at any level, including in our own family and community, are people who lead themselves first and people choose to follow.

Sometimes I find that the person in a business who is the team leader does not even have that title but it is the person that is trusted and sought out for feedback and opinions. You can be that leader wherever you choose if you develop the skills.

Another important aspect of leadership is to be willing to look at what triggers your ego. Doing the work as an executive and leadership coach I help people to look at what their hot buttons are – what triggers their ego self and to develop their Witness Self. By developing their Witness Self you can observe your actions and make better, less reactive choices. As you do this work you develop what we can call your Higher Self, Best Self or Noblest Self. We all have the ability to come from this place of nobility but we must Witness what is happening inside of us so we can make the choices instead of reactions.

To take this a step further in leading myself, I work to live Cindy Wigglesworth’s definition of Spiritual Intelligence, “…to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining equanimity (inner and outer peace), regardless of the situation.

About the Author

Veronika has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation and a Board Certified Personal, Executive and Leadership Coach. She has been a psychotherapists in private practice for over 28 years as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is certified as a Spiritual Intelligence Coach and Trainer through Deep Change. Veronika has done coaching and presentations in business, law enforcement, spiritual communities, Employee Assistance Programs, and with non-profit, county and state agencies since 1994. Read More About Veronika.

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