The Link between Leadership and Spirituality

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ADD in the Spirit – why NOW?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the What Kind of World do YOU Want? series

Sahdguru“It’s time that people were educated to trust something that doesn’t look like them, doesn’t feel like them — is different.

It’s very important that we open every nation to this possibility that, when new things come to us, it is a great possibility, it’s not a threat.
~ Sadhguru

I recently came across a thirty minute ABC News interview by Beverly O’Conner, normally broadcasting on Australia Network TV. It was an interview with a man known primarily as Sadhguru, the founder of the ISHA Foundation, a non-religious, non-profit public service organization that is operated by millions of volunteers across 150 cities.

The ISHA Foundation is headquartered in Southern India, as Sadhguru travels all over the world giving workshops and doing interviews. He is articulate, refreshingly pragmatic, and non-judgmental. My kind of guy, right?

This interview touched on a great many issues that I think about all the time and blog about a great deal of the time, albeit in different words from a very different lens:

  • stepping into leadership
  • remaining open-minded
  • giving back – balancing the energies of receiving and providing service
  • reaching out in generosity to those who have less
  • avoiding black and white thinking – “holding harmless”
  • the desperate need for a non-incendiary press that respects and enforces the boundary between reportage and “ratings”

— all of which are only some of the components of
a world that works for everyone


A World in Need of Healing

Since 1984, the dawn of the coaching field, I have been in the business of training personal and professional coaches – despite a great many obstacles and against all odds of succeeding, in the ADD Coaching realm in particular. It has become my life’s work, despite the fact that there have been many days when that objective didn’t seem like particularly good news for the quality of my own life.

Training Coaches who are able to help individuals increase productivity is a worthy objective — AND it is truly not the point of coaching or of life.

  • I assert that none of us are on the planet at this time simply to become more efficient human-doings.
  • Personal efficiency is an “in-order-to” goal.
  • In today’s industrialized fast-paced world, personal efficiency is foundational, but essentially useless until one is able to align efficiency with purpose.

I believe that one’s highest calling is always leadership, and that we are all called to lead in some fashion. It breaks my heart that we live in a world populated by a surfeit of followers, and MY life purpose is to be a force for change in that unfortunate dynamic.

Getting OUT of our “boxes”

Preserving the status quo is stultifying – a fear-based objective that is a pale imitation of a goal. The link between structure and accomplishment is important, but over-valued when it keeps lives small and mean.

There is never any rationale sufficient to encourage us to abandon
kindness and compassion.

“Make Wrong”

A particular view of the world and human interaction that maintains that there is a single appropriate and proper way that things are to be handled and languaged;

In marked contrast to a difference of personal opinion, make-wrong usually includes communication from this viewpoint to deliver the information that the target is somehow not behaving appropriately according to “the rules of the universe,” as monitored from the point of view of the speaker as authority.

Make wrong is designed to use shame to manipulate, whether conscious or unconscious in intent, is ALWAYS cruel, shuts down thinking, and is out of integrity with the goals of coaches, helping professionals and World Leaders.

Training Coaches

One of the most important goals of effective coach training, in my opinion, is training designed to bring shoulds to consciousness so that we can take responsibility for our thinking as well as the communication of our thoughts. It begins with Self-compassion, a spiritual endeavor.

Each coach who is able to manage his or her own inner language becomes a World Leader through his or her ability to pass it on, simply by the way they communicate to others.

  • In my observation, ADD or not, one of the biggest problems on our planet is runaway thinking based on obsolete paradigms set in concrete.
  • Runaway thinking results in emotional incontinence, wars, and a multitude of large and small atrocities that bring shame upon us all, regardless of our frustration-based justifications.
  • Opening paradigms is a spiritual task, beginning with making them more porous.

Training ADD Coaches

It has been my privilege to work with a community that would SEEM to be one most at-the-effect of runaway thinking. Ironically, they are also the community most open to change and growth in this regard, and those with the highest degree of empathy for and kindness toward all individuals who struggle with accomplishment.

The ADD in the Spirit Coach Training spends a great deal of time exposing our students to information and techniques designed to allow them to work with individuals with Attentional struggles and dysregulations.

Foundational, and relatively unusual in coach training, is our overt identification with the spirituality behind the ability to coach with effectiveness.

Spirituality vs. Religious Belief

It is important to distinguish spiritual objectives from those of religion. Sadguru’s language in the interview described at the beginning of this post does an excellent job with this distinction, underscoring the need to open our paradigms to be able to live in a world that works for everyone.

Seeking vs. Believing

“When you [speak of] a spiritual process, you refer to yourself as a seeker. You become a seeker because you realize you do not know.

When you identify yourself with a religious process, you refer to yourself as a believer. That means whatever you do not know, you believe.

  • The struggle on the planet is, essentially, not between good and evil.
  • The struggle on the planet is essentially between your belief versus my belief.
  • One man’s belief versus another man’s belief is the fight, all the time – not between good and evil.

Whoever wins identifies himself as good; whoever loses is obviously bad, because he doesn’t live to speak [ie., s/he is invalidated in some fashion].

Essentially, when [religions] started, they started as spiritual experiences. Over a period of time, people who are not in that dimension of experience but who identify with some group, they organize it to a point where it becomes a concretized religion.

I don’t think we need any concrete blocks on the planet. But you cannot dissolve the concrete block, because it is there. So it is better to make it more porous.


“There was a time,” he goes on to say, one belonged to a certain nation, one rarely traveled outside one’s own small community, so one rarely had to deal with one’s fear of the differences of the beliefs of others.

“Today it’s not a world, its a village. It’s time that we loosen these religious barriers between us. It is time for us to understand that we believe something, only because
we do not know.”

Media which, according to Sadhguru, is looking for a certain level of sensation, becomes incendiary, whether they want to look at their part in the process in that way or not. He languages it beautifully when he says, simply and without make-wrong, despite his use of the word “should,”

“When you have the power to shape people’s opinion, I think it should be conducted
in a more responsible manner than the way it is happening now.”

Beliefs about functioning abilities

Even more pervasive than concretized religious beliefs are our shoulds about what people can and cannot accomplish in a “traditional” manner, and the unfortunate and harmful communications and actions that stem from them.

The combined energies of ADD Coaches have the potential to shift those beliefs while they assist those at the effect of them in living lives of power and personal satisfaction.

If I were able to “mind-meld” the concept and habit of listening from belief, I could probably train a coach in half the time — and overnight reduce by half the extent of harm inflicted unconsciously and unintentionally by members of the coaching profession.

Alas, as long as human beings remain addicted to our current definition of “proof,” we will always be beholden to the time it takes to acquire information.

Balancing Sharing with “Selling”

Since I am not currently a wealthy philanthropist, until I am somehow afforded the luxury of being able to give it all away, I will most likely continue to be forced to price trainings in a manner that allows what I do with the professional minutes of my life to pay my bills.

THAT means, for NOW, I continue to struggle to find the appropriate line here on that distinguishes sharing functional information with anyone who needs it from marketing trainings, classes and coaching that offer more for a fee.

IN ANY CASE, the 2013 ADD in the Spirit Coach Training is open for registration.
Check it out if you are interested in making a difference as well as making a living. 

Click over to read the comments left by former students on the 2012 graduation post, Endings and New Beginnings, to read what a few of our students have to say about the value of the training we offer.

As always, if you want notification of new articles in the What Kind of World Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some one-on-one (couples or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series, click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end, or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page. Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

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ADD in the Spirit Coach Training
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Once you have read about the curriculum, click the E-me link  <—here (or on the menubar at the top of every page), to schedule an interview, check the box indicating that you are interested in training to be an ADD Coach, and I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

BY THE WAY: Since is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

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