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6 Major Tenets of Graceful Leadership

6 Major Tenets of Graceful Leadership

At first glance, the idea of graceful leadership appears simple. 

Grace is the experience of a loving, connected compassion within yourself. Graceful leadership is the outward expression of this quality in your workplace or place of authority. 

However, when you take a deeper look at what this could mean for you, the path to graceful leadership can start to get a little muddy. Thankfully, along my journey as a leader of self and others and through my work as an executive coach to over a thousand amazing leaders, six tenets of graceful leadership have emerged. 

They include leading with and through integrating, evolving, transparency, connecting, co-creating, and being compassionately powerful. Each of the six tenets of graceful leadership offers real, tangible benefits.

1. Integrating: Mind, Body, and Soul

Integrating your mind, body, and soul is the first step in bringing you closer to a single, unified you. Many of us develop more strongly in one area or another as we grow into young adults. For me it was my mind and intellect. What is it for you? Do you live in your body, head, or heart? When you’re only paying attention to one or two of these aspects of yourself—mind, soul, or body—you will have an incomplete picture of youness. All three are needed to live a holistic version of yourself.

By integrating your mind, body, and soul, you can break down the artificial walls you’ve built between the different versions of you. Partitioning yourself cuts you off from your full power. By removing these barriers, you will have access to all your myriad strengths.

2. Evolving: Alignment of Soul and Self

Are you constantly looking to know yourself better? Do you let yourself grow? A leader strong in the evolving tenet is relentless in the pursuit of understanding and aligning self to purpose. They are a constant learner who is gentle in all pursuits, enlisting a lens of curiosity with a focus on integration. In evolving, you stretch, test, and refine your sense of self, aligning it to your soul. In the process of aligning soul and self, you grow and become more firmly cemented in your as a graceful leader.

Evolving your alignment of soul and self will bring you in alignment with your purpose. Purpose gives us meaning and fulfillment. If you want lasting happiness, purpose is the key.

3. Transparency: Self and Others

Transparency is about showing up to the world as yourself, no masks. It’s important to achieve transparency with others and also within yourself. A leader with mastery of transparency demonstrates authenticity in their behavior and communication (they walk their talk). They are an active listener and open, clear, and consistent with their message and its consequences. They also don’t base sense of self in labels or others’ perceptions— they allow the people that follow them to see their heart, and they lead from this consciousness.

Transparency is the key to clear communication, which is the foundation of any healthy relationship, whether it be a personal or work relationship. When you have transparency with self and others, you eliminate confusion. You know who you are, and so do the people around you.


4. Connecting: Self and Universe

In the connecting tenet, you expand with grace beyond yourself and into the larger world. A leader proficient in the connecting tenet has moved from the “I” construct of being to a “we” construct (the “we” is universal, not just humanity). They have discovered and developed an inner guidance system that is connected to the collective. They also demonstrate empathy and gratitude.

When you are connected with yourself and others, you transcend from an “I” perspective to a “we” perspective. Whether you are aware of it or not, we are all connected. If you choose to remain trapped in an “I” perspective, you will still have an impact on the world around you; however, you will have little control over what that impact is. By tapping into this connection, you can ensure that your impact on the world is intentional, creative, and impactful.

5. Co-creating: Innovative

In co-creating, you learn to deploy other people’s talents and resources instead of relying only on yourself. A leader who co-creates seeks new ways of solving problems that are nontraditional to the way their profession/organization does. They surround themselves with talent different from theirs and people competent in areas they are not. They also demonstrate the ability to both lead and follow, all while maintaining the leadership role.

Becoming a co-creator lets you find innovative solutions. As individuals, we are limited. Together, we can accomplish incredible feats. Think of any of humankind’s greatest achievements—the eradication of deadly diseases, putting a man on the moon, the creation of the internet. A team of people will always be more powerful than a single individual, and co-creation is not limited to people alone. It is also available with nature.

6. Compassionately Powerful: In All Things

In being compassionately powerful, the graceful leader is effective and achieves results without sacrificing people. A compassionately powerful leader influences through an open heart and clear agenda, blending stillness and action. They understand and own the impact and consequences of their behavior to self/organization/world. They also create room for flow while maintaining structure.

In embracing compassionate power, you become a true leader, not an enforcer. Pushing and pulling people will only get you so far. Your ability to remove duality and hold compassion and power equally will lead to a team, outcomes, and a life you will love.

The Tenets Will Take Time 

The journey into and with the tenets of a graceful leader is one of ebbs and flows. It is not a check-the-box, get-the-T-shirt activity. It is dynamic and will recede and expand with you in your own personal evolution as a leader. 

For those of us who like the satisfaction of completing something, this can be frustrating when first engaging. However, once you have grasped the concepts and played with them for a while, the old sense of needing to accomplish something will diminish and be replaced with a new awareness and a new way of being. 


Alexsys Thompson, MLC, BCC is a best-selling author of The Power of a Graceful Leader, featured by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the best new leadership books in 2021. The creator of the Gratitude 540 Journal Series, executive integration coach, founder of Ubuntu Living, Gene Keys Guide and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. Her work is guided by her life’s mission to create safe spaces for souls to show up.

She specializes in helping leaders step into their greatness by enhancing their strengths, creating strategies to bridge their gaps, and empowering their followers to do the same. Her commitment to clean, concise, and kind candor allows her to easily cut through the noise and find the optimal solution. Because of this ability, she is often described as “a breath of fresh air.”

Her work combines years of experience and study in leadership, gratitude, and manifestation. Over the last two decades, she’s led a variety of retreats, spoken at many conferences and events, as well as facilitated large and small group training creating culture shifts through conscious conversations.


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