Is Anything Sacred? 5 Steps To Make It Real

You may have heard something similar – a peer or elder wondering “is anything sacred?” In a hopped up world of legislative gridlock and leadership uncertainty, there is nothing in our business lives that has not been inspected, rejected, or found wanting under the new microscope of the Great Recession and disruptive innovation. As Barbara Kellerman notes in her recent gem The End of Leadership, “everything is vulnerable to the vicissitudes of change – a general rule to which leadership is no exception.”

What does it mean to be sacred?

Setting apart the religious connotation, we have always had sacred cultural icons – people we deem worthy of respect and reverence. We have also always had sacred principles, some of which are laws, which provide some guidance. The most sacred – for example, sharing love and generosity with another – transcend legal requirements and thus increase the sense of reverence. They require a personal devotion and commitment that stands out.

From my experience with many executives and their teams over the past 30 years, I would venture the following – we hunger for innovative, principled and sacred leadership in our midst. Everything can be sacred, if we continually live a few simple steps:

  1. Insist on accountability based on action, not words.
  2. Focus on what you deliver and accomplish, not the bureaucracy of your process.
  3. Share your kind of generosity with others everyday.
  4. Encourage the best in everyone around you, including being alive for them.
  5. Provide leadership that makes a visible difference and inspires others to do the same.

There is plenty that is sacred and it is everywhere. While it may get trampled on at times, it endures. People who consistently live the five simple steps above do not simply stand out, they reflect what is sacred in each of us. True inspiration.