Real Leaders Please Stand Up

Stacey Ashley Blog

Real Leaders Please Stand Up


I remember in 2012 when I was invited to be part of the very first public cohort of coaches to be trained and certified in the field of mBraining. I was completely captivated by the concepts.

The idea that utilising our heart and our head and our gut to develop compassionate, creative, courageous leadership which creates more opportunity than simply using our head alone or our heart alone, is powerful.

Most powerful though, is the concept that the heart leads. Particularly when I consider a business setting, where I do most of my work, there is room for more heart.

When I think back to some of the struggles I had as a leader, trying to reconcile the demands of organisational leadership with the needs of my team, so many things made more sense with the frame of head, heart and gut.

While these ideas are not entirely new, I think the way that they’ve been captured in the field of mBraining makes them more accessible.

mBraining suggests that leaders need to access the resources in their head and also in their heart and gut too. When doing this, they align their conscious and unconscious intuitive abilities, and are able to harness the priceless wisdom within them.

mBraining research and behavioural modelling has shown that each of these three brains, head, heart and gut, offers a unique intelligence, each with specific areas of competence:

Creativity- The head intelligence ensures the decision has been thought through and analyzed.

Compassion- The heart intelligence provides values-driven emotional energy to care enough to act on or prioritize the decision against competing pressures.

Courage- The gut intelligence ensures there will be sufficient attention to managing risks and enough willpower to mobilize and execute the decision when challenges arise.


Think about a time when you may have tapped into these intelligences without even realizing it? Just think about when your ‘heart wasn’t in it’ or your ‘gut wrenched’ or perhaps ‘it made your heart feel good’ or you ‘had the guts’ to do something.

But there’s more than that. In 2012, researchers from Boston College, George Mason University and Rice University found that leadership which utilises both intuition and experience and knowledge, results in more effective decision making. So using both your experience and tapping into your intuition…the wisdom of your 3 brains … will give you better leadership outcomes.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Albert Einstein


On reflection though, the thing that most resonated with me when I think back to that week in 2012, was the concept of real leadership, true leadership.

That real leadership occurs in response to the needs of a community. That a real leader rises to help a community in need. It’s about leading with the heart, because you’re filled with compassion for your community and for yourself. That you use your head to come up with creative solutions to address the need of the community, and you take courageous action to implement those solutions.

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Nelson Mandela

And why am I focusing on this now?

Of the many people that you work with, about how many can you really say that they are able to lead in times of conflict, change or challenge?

Well, we are a community in need. We are a world of communities in need right now. And we need the leaders to rise in response to that need. So listen to your heart, your head and your gut, and lead as you can, in your community, whatever or wherever that may be.

Love to know your thoughts.


p.s. Check out the book, mBraining, Using Your Multiple Brains To Do Cool Stuff by Grant Sooslau and Marvin

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AND: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching and leadership:

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THE COACHING LEADER™ - ORIGIN : Sydney 14 Aug, Brisbane 21 Aug, Online 27-28 Aug - With Stacey Ashley & Sarah Derry – Early Bird Individual & Group