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5 Leadership Insights to Turn a Quest to an Idea Into a Revolution

  • POSTED ON AUGUST 24, 2022
leadership insights

In 2008, during the fourth retreat of my Co-Active Leadership Training, when it came time to think of my “quest” — the leadership project I would take out into the world on completion of the one-year program — I drew a complete blank. Then it came to me in a vivid dream — I would create a palette of tools that would assist Global Graduates of the Co-Active Leadership Program to keep their newly-minted leadership insights alive! Like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, I awoke full of “the force,” giving me an immense amount of energy and inspiration to create WE LEAD. I knew for sure I could not do this alone.

For any of you who have co-created with other graduates of the Co-Active Leadership Program, you will know that we are very “empowered” and not even slightly shy about saying how we envision the way things should and should not be done! The experience of initiating WE LEAD has without a doubt helped me acquire essential leadership skills and made me a better leader.

Here are 5 leadership insights that can help you take your leadership quest into the world.

Tribe Microcosm to Real-World Macrocosm

I have learned how to take the theory out of the microcosm that is my tribe and put it into practice in the world. Being on type, leaning in, using multiple screens, co-leading, and leading from the front and behind are among the leadership insights and skills I employed to enable me to organize such a large, complicated event and keep my eye on many balls.


I had always thought of myself as someone who was pretty fearless in life. To my surprise, I was a blubbering wreck on the ropes during the Leadership program. I was confronted with the discovery that instead of being fearless, I just made sure that I never did things that scared me. After this eye-opener, I made the second realization that I deal with fear best by not thinking too much about it and just going for it! I value these gained leadership insights, and this is how I approached creating the WE LEAD event — by playfully making things up and being willing to fail. I had to commit and trust.

“Co” and “Active”

I really practiced when to stand up for what I believe in and take charge — and when to dance in a way that let someone else lead. Sometimes it is easy to mix up “Co-Active” with “majority rules.” However, here’s the actual definition of Co-Active:

The “Co” in Co-Active suggests relationship, connection, intimacy and collaboration. Thus, the “Co” in us is curious, listens deeply, hears nuance, holds space for others, intuits and nurtures.

The “Active” in Co-Active stands for power, direction, action, and manifestation. So, the “Active” in us is courageous, has clarity and conviction, takes charge, and achieves goals.

The magic happens in the dance between “Co” and “Active” — action that arises from presence, deep relationship, and context…and presence that is channeled into dynamic action and contribution. Balancing and blending these energies allows us to move out of an “either/or” paradigm into a “yes/and” paradigm.

Embracing the magical art of this balance between “Co” and “Active” and the yes-and (creating-from) paradigm will help you bring your leadership quest into the world.

Yes, and…

“Yes, and…” is a central tool of Co-Active. Originating in improv theatre, it is the “how” of collaboration. The blending of ideas and ways of doing things, leading and following — all of this is done via the “Yes, and” technique. For me, this was an important structure to operate under. Quests are big! We want to change the world! Why would we want to do this alone?

Begin Again (and Again…)

Of course, I failed and succeeded along the way. If I had stopped after the first event, I would not have learned and used that information to improve the event, as well as my leadership skills. I encourage you to give yourself permission to fail and have fun!

Co-Active reminds us again and again intimacy and connection are so easy once we know how! In our community of Co-Active trained people, I absolutely believe we all have the knowledge, power, and leadership insights to transform the entire world. This community is the engine that fuels what I do. The people in this community are the ones I reach out to when I need it, and without fail someone is there to re-inspire, tell me off, or give me a shoulder to cry on.

Reach out to the Co-Active community, ask for help, and start collaborating. Let’s create more magic in the world!

Do you have any leadership insights to share? How does it help you in becoming a better coach? Please share your ideas in the comments area below.

Danielle White is the creator behind WE LEAD, a global gathering that brings together passionate leaders from all over the world. WE LEAD’s purpose is to support bringing our leadership into the world as an expression of each person’s unique impact on their world. WE LEAD was the result of Danielle’s own leadership quest and was founded in 2008. If you are interested in getting involved, please check out their Facebook group or contact Danielle White at

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Co-Active Training Institute (CTI)

Since 1992, CTI has been working with coaches and leaders around the world, helping them navigate toward stronger relationships, integral solutions, and creating meaningful impact in the world. The work we do goes beyond training. Through ground-breaking teaching methods and a global network of world-class faculty and partners, the Co-Active difference delivers contextually relevant and experiential learning that ignites transformation and a life-long journey developing the deepest expression of leadership in each human being.

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