Five Negative Leadership Styles To Avoid

negative positive boss leader yogi akal

·      I Give And I Give And I Give….And I Get Nothing Back:  the classic conflict between effort and results. It is called Co-dependent Envisioning. This kind of leader serves the neurosis in themselves and others.  In their world, reality is measured by victimization and blame throwing.

·      I Love You, I Hate You:  in this kind of leadership, immaturity rules over all. When a deadline looms, it is a challenge to authority. No responsibilities are allowed. This is a ruthless personality,  measuring everyone else according to how they can manipulate through emotion.

·      Do You Really Love Me:  also known as Keep Others Guessing. They are never fully accountable. They do not need to be. This kind of leader appears insecure, but they are far more callous than vulnerable, more dangerous than uncertain.

·      Attention Must Be Paid:  a Boot-Strapping personality tied to suffering for success. Unfortunately they assume that all in their domain must also suffer and will assure they do.

·      Passion This, Passion That:  the ultimate Passive Aggressive. This is a very common and lazy cliché leadership style and personality. When they are feeling happy they perform; when they are less enthusiastic for any reason, bored or underwhelmed by the attention of others, they simply do not show up. They like to think of themselves as committed and excited but they are usually commitment phobic and self-righteous.

Each of these styles is a reaction to a reaction, a kind of default emotionality that is easy to ingrain and hard to shake. If you are working for or with someone like this, learn navigation skills to manage your job without propagating these traits in your life. If you recognize any of these behaviours in your own self, re-route your thinking as quickly as possible. Shifting away from the pitfalls of a negative habitual leadership style is essential to good personal governance. It is as easy as brushing one’s teeth, and should be as routine.


Intuitive Language Skills

Language Skills Intuition Yogi Akal

I was leading an all-day professional development program for medical staff at a remote hospital. During the lunch break a couple entered the classroom and asked to speak privately with me. They were very concerned about their young son, who they said was completely helpless, paralysed, in a wheelchair, unable to speak or hear. As parents they felt so powerless and guilty around him, especially as he was growing from little boy to adolescent and they had no idea what he needed or if he was even aware of them. I asked to meet their son, one on one. They wheeled him in, his body twisted and tight, his face blank. The parents left us alone and we sat quietly for about thirty minutes. Within moments the boy was speaking to me, in a rush of great emotion. It was subtle, silent and very clear. No physical muscle moved; no sound was made. He communicated his anger, his love, his frustration and fear, his awareness and his relief at finally being able to chat normally, albeit silently with someone. I called his parents back in and explained, with his permission, that he was very conscious and able to communicate with them too, if they could listen differently. There was nothing extraordinary in this intuitive exchange, no special energy or psychic skill, nothing to fear or tire of. In fact, the moment it becomes special, it is gone.

I was brought up in Quebec, where most people are bilingual, learning both French and English from an early age. Intuitive communication is similar, becoming a kind of parallel or bilingual ability, using silent subtlety and / or spoken words, and like all language skills, it gets better with practice.


The Ten Principles Of Wise Leadership

  1. Demonstrate Vision. Wise leaders serve the future with the only reality that matters, results. Results must match a vision and bear the weight of wisdom. Wisdom is defined as first knowing the consequences of any thought, word or deed and then behaving accordingly. Therefore, effective leaders do not say or do anything unless they first know the consequences and can handle the consequences, and the consequences of the consequences.
  2. Timing Is Everything. Wise leaders always have a well thought out plan and stick to it over time. They pay attention to the natural organic cycles of progress and behaviour and synchronize these predictable cyclical patterns with their intentions. They are flexible with this information, but do not waiver.
  3. Use Your Neutral Mind. Wise leadership is measured by a unifying standard, a neutral intelligence. Positive impact does not come from reactivity, even when the message is right. Positive influence does not come from emotionalism, even when the feelings are profound. Positive is always followed by negative; negative is always followed by positive. The third rail must prevail. It is the strongest mind, neither negative nor positive, governed by neither, yet fully aware of both. A leading mind is trained to be neutral, which is reliably clear, beyond internal and external arguments.
  4. Practice Wise Communication. Wise leaders avoid expectations, which are pre-determined resentments. Instead, they practice barometric communication; they know how and when to be impersonally personal or personally impersonal.
  5. Know Your Self And Others. Wise leaders know who they are, their limitations and how to breakthrough their comfort zones when necessary. The best leaders can do this quickly and seamlessly. They are always on alert, observing and measuring the same in others around them. They set a direction and bring others to that orientation, like a navigator with a compass. They are exemplary, bringing out the strengths of others, diminishing the weaknesses in their trajectory and re-calibrating along the way.
  6. The Right Way Will Always Show Itself. Wise leaders balance information and intuition. They are patient until they are sure. Then, they are unstoppable. There is no wisdom without intuition.
  7. Excuses Are Abuses. Effective leaders practice discipline. They are neither defensive nor vindictive. They are self-correcting and fully responsible. Wise leaders know that “cooler heads prevail”. A healthy nervous system can sustain the assault of tension, whether it originates internally or externally. The stress that invokes fear and weakness is simply a response that is unthinking and untrained. Excuses, blaming, shaming, passive aggressiveness, justification, etc. are all forms of insecurity, the enemy of success.
  8. Manners Matter. With either familiarity or power, the temptation is to drop manners and expect others to deal with the ups and downs of perceived power and personality. Wise leaders are poised to give their best, be their best, project the best, all the time. They are subtle when needed, graceful when pushed, direct when looking in the mirror and sensitively brave in new situations.
  9. Truth Is Variable. New discoveries can change our entire understanding of reality. Wise leaders are open to re-imagining anything and everything. They have a respect for other points of view and stay current and informed. They deal with the winds of change as a welcome part of progress and remain grounded.
  10. Make The Impossible Possible.  Wise leaders value commitment above all. They know that they are not their problems, their passions or their triumphs. In the midst of anything and everything, they keep things in perspective. They create a path around obstacles and appreciate the challenges of unshakable success.



Contract for the New Year, Part Two

Repeat aloud:


1.    I AM NOT judgmental – I am professional, and clear.  (AGREED)


2.    I DO NOT  run away from obstacles in life – I move forward with discipline in order to recognize and anticipate obstacles.  (AGREED)


3.    I DO NOT make money a problem – money is what money does; it should not be a goal; I take ownership of a plan and gather wealth to create credible reality.  (AGREED)


4.    I AM NOT distracted from my path – I use daily meditation to improve concentration and intuition.  (AGREED)


5.    I DO NOT imagine a vague or chaotic future – I create a solid outlook; value working together, combining creates greater outcome; partnership brings global respect.  (AGREED)


6.    I DO NOT react – My entire sense of communication is under my command; I show mercy, I bring hope.  (AGREED)


7.    I DO NOT look to prove anything or be validated by anything or anyone – I cultivate a new instinct; adjust to a new paradigm; create a deeper, higher plane & path.  (AGREED)


8.    I STOP all conflict and insecurity (internal & external) – I stand up for who I am, authentic, completing all obligations with purpose; I inspire to manifest; I speak as inspired, calm and centered . (AGREED)


9. I am of IMPACT & INFLUENCE, in all situations, calm and confident, focused and alert, awake and aware of all the sequences and consequences of my thoughts and actions, living my life masterfully as an art and a science. (AGREED)



Winter Solstice Message

We live in a topsy turvy world where we deliberately limit our human gifts through misunderstanding and lack of training.


Just because you have a thought doesn’t mean it is true, of value or needs to be expressed. The human mind is meant to be trained so that it can be vast and serve the Self. It is so much more than the intellect.


Just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean it is true, of value or needs to be expressed. Emotions are meant to mature early on so that deep feeling can experience the Cosmos. It is so much more than reactivity.


Who is in charge? If the answer is your thinking, then you have reduced your Self. If the answer is your emotions, then your reality is out of your control.  


Educating and expanding the mental and emotional instruments of human consciousness is the first task of leadership. It is not hard, but it does require daily attention, like any true art.


From this short day forward, may you take charge of your enlightened discipline with internal,  consistent leadership and external, compassionate impact.


May you know and share utmost clarity in your mind, sensitivity in your purpose and unwavering success in every area of your life.



Contract for the New Year, Part One

Repeat aloud:


I am a GENIUS, solving problems, calibrating possibilities, creating concrete results, excelling in real time – like a fine Swiss watch. (YES)


I am a solid, grounded, healthy ADULT, recycling any pain of the past into a fertile and infinite ground for personal self-worth, achievement and success – like a state-of-the-art automatically updating computer and operating system. (YES)


I am an INNOVATOR, a modern culture changer, dedicated to helping others, through business, compassion and leadership – like an unobstructed space telescope on a mission to better the Earth. (YES)


I am a WARRIOR, master of my own destiny, self-assured, different and uncommon, noble and majestic – like a modern day King Arthur and his court, or a corporate giant like Oprah and her brand, or Robin Hood and Lady Marion with their team, re-distributing wealth brilliantly. (YES)


I am a disciplined person – a LEADER – wise and fair, caring and secure, providing the best in opportunity and values, powerful and authentic, reliable and trustworthy in life and in love – like the Sun itself, rich and full of light. (YES)


I am a seasoned PROFESSIONAL, legitimate and meticulous, capable of turning threats and losses into winning strategies and gains, instilling leadership with all its ups and downs into all matters, always moving forward, recognizing and anticipating obstacles and opportunities, embodied and whole – like the great mountaineers of the world, which only the tenacious and resilient can aspire to qualify successfully. (YES)


I am an ARTIST, whole and well, curious and open, projecting love and light and joy in every moment in all dimensions, before all audiences. 


I am a SUCCESS, an instrument of excellence in all areas, including finances, career and relationships.  (YES)


I AM who I am, I AM what I am. Healthy. Happy. Whole. That’s that.  (YES)



The Basics

If you are not alert, you hurt or get hurt.

If you go too fast, you don’t last.

If you are too slow, you never get anywhere.

Patience pays, or time and space take their payment/s.

Short term impatience = long term loss.

Short term patience = long term gain.


These are not my play on words.

These are some of the rules and laws of success

For sanity, maturity and effective leadership.

Who Do You Love?


Pablo was a very successful businessman. However, he was very reactive in his communication. Perhaps he thought it was the macho way to behave and claim authority – an unfortunate and  common misunderstanding. But his immature projected personality caused problems and limited his efforts. Despite his success, he did not garner respect. His divorce, strained relationship with his children and his constant fighting with business partners led him to me.


After working with Pablo for a while, he reported that many colleagues both up and down his corporate ladder were saying he was like a new man, so much more pleasant to deal with, to trust and to work with. His children were wondering how they could become calmer as well. Pablo had become a better leader.


There still remained a boulder on the road to Pablo’s growth, one I considered an unnecessary flaw, a minor challenge; he still maintained a habit of complaining, about everything.


This brought us to what it seemed to me a natural next step. I offered Pablo a simple and attractive deal. You can have everything you have ever wanted or imagined, I said. We can create it quite easily. I went over the steps in detail. But, I said, you have to pay a price: you have to give up complaining. It is a simple transaction. The fact is that if you achieve even 10% of what you say you want, there will be nothing to grumble about. And I can prove to you how easy it will be – if you think differently, follow an easy plan and simply stop complaining. Pablo said he would think about it. And to his credit, he was as honest as he could be when he responded with: I can’t do it. My heart is not in it, he said.


I reviewed the matter with Pablo again, many times, showing him the steps he could easily take to achieve his various goals – if he would just pull back on his nagging negativity. He said he had come as far as he could, he was grateful that he had become more amiable in general, but complaining was too much to give up. Before we parted, I asked, who do you love the most, complaining about what you do not have, or creating what you want. He kept saying his heart could not allow him to stop complaining. He simply loved this habit.


A few years later, I checked in with Pablo. He was still successful, but he was indeed true to his word. He complained about everything – the government, his partners, etc. etc. He explained how he had lost millions of dollars in various deals. Luckily, he could afford the losses, and his voice was energized as he described his failures.


More than success, his marriage, children – more than what he said he really, really wanted – he loved his petulant carping more.



Betsy was madly in love. Everyone she met would soon learn of her love for a man in her community. The only person who did not know was the man she pined for. One day a mutual friend told the man of Betsy’s declarations. His eyes were opened and he considered the possibility of a potential deeper connection. He called Betsy and they had an honest and intimate conversation. The man suggested they meet, at which point, Betsy declared, I have my fears. On this she was very firm. More conversations followed, and no matter how positive, it always ended with Betsy’s, I have my fears. I knew both parties and eventually asked Betsy who she loved the most, the potential of a relationship with the man – or her fears. The truth was in the silence that followed. Fears were her true love. This was not just insecurity, escape, or a test. Despite the many months of longing, gossip with everyone she knew and met, and lots of what seemed hopeful back and forth, the truth was her fears, as Betsy called them, were her true love. It showed in every part of her life. Any effort to advance in her home, family, work, etc. would soon end with her clear anthem, I have my fears. Years later, Betsy seemed quite content, but not in any meaningful relationship. She did, however, always speak of her fears, as one would of a beloved pet.



My fears, my anger, my insecurities, my opinions, my feelings, my disease, my issues, etc. etc. etc.  – all starting with “my”, an expression of attachment, ownership, and yes, love, the laziest kind.


Life is progress. Love is vast. Success is a direction. Consciousness is a decision.


No one is immune from the comfort of “my”. But everyone can easily shift consciousness away from its pull, with a simple internal command. When you encounter “my” in your own projected personality, assess its true value and adjust accordingly. Leadership requires this flexibility and maturity.


We all know the power of light and the beauty of darkness; you cannot have one without the other. This is why Divali is so enduring, why it lifts people up everywhere. It brings one to darkness and suspense and then… there is light. A light that cannot be extinguished.  A light so brilliant that it enters our hearts freely.

Divali is neither ancient nor symbolic. It is here, among us:

where there are those who survive amidst poverty, we must bring forward the lustre of economic excellence and prosperity;

where there is the unleashing of violence, we must turn on the lamps of safety, security and dialogue;

where there is a stubborn attachment to the status quo, we must point to the future, with the radiance of innovation and genius.

I call on all those enjoying this brilliant festival to join me in assuring that no matter your background, status, or affiliation… a fierce light shall prevail in our world:

 that every woman shall be safe;

 that every child shall be educated;

 and that every individual shall enjoy the right to health, wealth and respect.

Let us free the light.


For those who remember the Ed Sullivan Show or Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, you will recall the late great Rodney Dangerfield, one of America’s best-known comedians. Those born a little later may recognize him from the film, “Caddyshack”. Rodney’s famous one-liner was, “I don’t get no respect!”


Like many comedians, Rodney Dangerfield was a complex fellow. In one interview later in his life, he spoke seriously of having experienced profound depression at various points in his career. I was moved and motivated by his story. I began to use his catchphrase in many of my lectures and classes, changing the “I” to “mental illness” or “mental health”, as in: “Mental illness don’t get no respect!” and “Mental health don’t get no respect!”


I believe these twelve words tell a story and reveal a truth about the way we perceive, speak about and care for mental well-being. Sometimes, we lose balance and make physical health a higher priority, which may have fatal consequences.


For decades, the World Health Organization has been listing depression and anxiety among the leading causes of death worldwide, ahead of cancer and AIDS. Mental illness is recognized as the major contributing factor to the most deadly physical diseases on the planet, such as heart disease. And yet treatment and prevention of mental illness receives a puny percentage of funds globally allocated to physical illness. The stigma associated with mental illness is pervasive and shameful. Our humour, insults and even our exclamations reflect our prejudice and disrespect.


A Canadian television ad I saw many years ago brilliantly illustrates the point. A young man is lying in bed, fully clothed, his sheets rumpled, his hair disheveled. A voice from outside the scene, presumably his mother, shouts at him, “Come on, get up, don’t be so lazy”. In the next scene, the same actor is in a hospital bed, his leg in traction. He is upbeat as his friends and family surround him, signing his cast and supporting him with enthusiastic banter. The scene reverses again, back to the depressed boy in the dark room, an angry frustrated voice demeaning him, then back to the football hero in the bright hospital room, laughing with his crew. The message is so clearly portrayed in under thirty seconds – a physical challenge may bring positive reinforcement, a mental or emotional challenge, humiliation and derision. I think this ad should be replayed often. I call on its essence often in my own life and when I counsel or teach others.


In the arc of my career, over decades, I have had the opportunity to work with heads of state and rock stars, corporate geniuses and entrepreneurs, children and caregivers, media personalities and spiritual teachers. In every case, the priority has been sanity in the midst of confusion, disorientation or crisis. I offered an approach to mental health that provided calm, connection and correction. Along the way, I also met many cohorts in the field of mental health and holistic healing, experts who tested my approach and often invited me to work with their patients, students and therapy groups. I developed enormous respect for the dedicated and committed people and organizations worldwide who explore, innovate, treat, and care for people struggling with mental health as well as the brave individuals who embolden us all through their journey to intelligent and emotional well-being.