Toni is a friend of my youth who recently I met again on the occasion of an intervention I made with his team. It was a great joy for me to hug him again after more than twenty years without seeing each other and realizing that his energy, generosity and ability to move people not only remains there, but has also been increasing. Today I want to talk in this post about expansive leadership.

Toni told me that one day, after reading one of my posts (How to get out of the comfort zone), he decided to go one step further to make one of his projects a reality: offer his time to give affection, and even temporarily home, to animals found in an animal shelter. His gratitude to my article was corresponded with my admiration and respect for his proactive leadership.

Very often we have big dreams that we want to realize, and that we usually see as very utopian or unrealizable. But we also have more earthly dreams that are more achievable, since they are in our only hands, but that require us the will and courage to make a gap in our lives, and to make them come true.

When Toni made this small step to contribute something as vocational as necessary, at the same time he managed (without seeking it) to become a lighthouse that teaches the way to other people to make their own small big steps.


Expansive Leadership Requirements

When I think of this leadership that generates movements in the environment, I get the image of the effect of a stone thrown in a lake, and I reflect on some requirements that are given to put it into practice:


  • Contact the personal purpose. Humans need to believe in something that goes beyond us and our needs. Something that connects us with the deeper meaning of living. When we gradually begin to encounter it, a light begins to emerge that clarifies our way and that of other people.


  • Sharing from the heart. Expressing our vocation and purpose requires courage and vulnerability, as it is sure to leave no indifference to our environment. Sharing part of our own essence will have an impact on the people in our environment, both in a positive sense, and perhaps also in the opposite direction.


  • Be generous in our commitment. When we begin to realize part of our vocational dreams, it is time to put all our energy, without thinking about the opportunity costs to stop doing other things, nor expect anything in return, and insist until the end.


  • Accept leadership. There are moments in life, when we are making a dream come true, in which our actions cease to be ours to become everyone’s. In these cases, the work is bigger than the artist himself and begins to naturally inspire the work of other artists. In this moment, we must assume this role that comes from a systemic leadership and sustain it without fear.


  • Celebrate and thank. Every moment that we are closer to our dreams, small or large, is a great opportunity to celebrate, first with ourselves in our intimacy, and then with the whole world. It is also a good time to be grateful to have had the opportunity to have a little more decrypted code of life.

    What is your next step to get a little closer to your dreams?

    Thanks Toni.

    Enric Arola