The Declaration of A Remarkable Leader

 In Being Remarkable, Empowered Leadership


Declaration of a Remarkable Leader

I am the wayshower of wise, empowered leadership.

My purpose is to shine.

My radiance surrounds all those in my care

to hold, heal, and elevate us all

to experience relief, beauty, and

the recognition of our individual and collective greatness.

Together, we move mountains.


I believe that we are all leaders.  Not just those with fancy titles and letters behind their names.  All of us are leaders, whether we are conscious of it or not.  Through our energy, intentions, and actions, we are leading others, setting an example, and declaring what standards are acceptable to live by. We lead our children, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and the world at large.

Sometimes we lead through fear, scarcity, frustration, disappointment, anger, and blame.  This, of course, produces the corresponding set of outcomes, responses, and behaviors from the world.  I would hardly count myself free of these moments.

Sometimes, however, we lead from another place.  A place of wisdom and empowerment.  In my experience, when I lead from this place, a whole other experience of reality unfolds around me.  When I lead from the wise, centered, and holy part of myself, amazing things happen.

This elevated form of leadership is one that doesn’t just happen.  It is an approach to living and being that requires attention and cultivation.  This is why I invite you today to make a declaration.  Decide and declare to be a Remarkable Leader — a person who leaves the world and others better than she found it.

What is the Declaration of a Remarkable Leader?  It is a mantra or prayer that reminds me — and now you, should you choose — to lead from an empowered, holy place.  It is a commitment I to bring out the best in ourselves and each other.  By declaring together our intentions as leaders, we establish a new way of being.  We raise the bar in manifesting more than we ever thought possible, while also making room for a method of leadership that is kinder to our collective souls.

Let’s break down the Declaration of the Remarkable Leader into six digestible parts to ponder and invoke…

First – Decide Who To Be.

Let’s unpack the first statement…

“I am the way-shower of wise, empowered leadership.”

The word “way-shower” is essential.  It implies that we are leading by example.  Rather than by dominance or force.  Showing the way by doing.  It also implies what we are showing or demonstrating: wise, empowered leadership.  By being a way-shower, we are putting ourselves on the hook for showing up in a new way.  We are expecting something from ourselves.  We are taking responsibility for the outcomes we produce by understanding that our creations are a reflection of who we are bing.  To change our circumstances, we accept in this declaration, that WE must change.  WE are the shower of the way. And when the way leads somewhere we don’t like, it is ourselves that must first change course.

Wise leadership is unique because it comes from deep within the well of knowing that lives in each of us.  I’ve always held a distinction between “knowledge” and “wisdom.”  For me, I define knowledge as information we learn from books, classes, and others.  It is the data and information poured into us from outside sources.  Knowledge is key, as it helps us learn and understand the basics of how the world operates.

In the world of nursing, “knowledge” includes all the clinical information you’ve been taught.  It also includes your understanding of rules and regulations.  It’s the systems and technology you’re required to use to do your job correctly.  Knowledge has a huge, valuable place in the world, but it is not everything.

Different than knowledge is something rare, precious, and deeply transformative:  wisdom.

Wisdom, unlike knowledge, is sourced from deep within you.  It comes from the part of you that is whole, infinite, and clear.  Wisdom guides us through life in often small but subtle ways as a quite voice that encourages us, supplies us with intuition, and when we become a master of hearing wisdom, it becomes an unfathomable voice that just knows.

What could be more powerful than a wise nurse — one who has collected all the knowledge from school, mentorship, and life experience and then blended it with her inner voice of knowing?  This blending creates the space for not just outcomes to improve, but true healing to take place.

Imagine the possibilities of a truly wise nurse entering daily into the home of a patient… Consider for yourself all the wisdom you leave separate from your nursing practice.  The fully integrated knowledgeable and wise nurse will lead us all into new possibilities of wellness, care, healing, and humility.

Many nurses I know already do this…

I call you to share the wise part of yourself even more visibly…

It takes practice to discern between the voice of knowledge and wisdom, but with practice, a Remarkable Leader will learn to tune her ears to the frequency of this unbelievably powerful voice within that when followed brings about truly magnificent and even awe-inspiring outcomes.

The other part of the way-shower’s path is to demonstrate empowerment.

Someone who is empowered sees the whole world as filled with opportunity, abundance, possibility, and resources. 

The opposite of someone who is empowered is someone who sees themselves and their circumstances as a victim. Someone who is a way-shower of empowerment refrains from blame, excuses, intolerance, and subjugation and moves instead into seeing how to endure, persevere, and thrive despite it all.

Someone who is empowered sees themselves as having the internal and external resources to find a way no matter what. Someone who is empowered feels an abundance of ideas, options, possibilities, and solutions.  They see everything that has happened as a huge gift helping them take the next step.

When something goes wrong, here’s want the empowered voice might say…

  • Let’s look for the lesson in this situation
  • What are the opportunities we’re not seeing
  • Everyone did their best, so how could we support them to produce a different result?
  • I’m curious why that happened and what could be done differently
  • Let’s see if someone on the team has some ideas
  • Let’s find out how we could learn and grow
  • What went right?
  • What is working on our behalf?
  • Wow, I’m learning and stretching like never before
  • While we’re not all the way there, I can see evidence of so much progress

Someone who is disempowered will always have a reason why things aren’t going the way they want…

  • I told them how to do it, but they did not listen
  • I didn’t have enough time
  • The new generation just doesn’t have the same work ethic
  • It wasn’t my fault — there was an accident on the freeway
  • What is being asked of us is impossible
  • We have to do it this way
  • We don’t have a choice
  • I want to give up
  • I am powerless and have no control

During times of great challenge, the temptation to lean into the disempowered, victim voice telling you to blame, shame, be frustrated, angry, and intolerant will roar!  The bigger your goals the more this voice will appear.  The invitation I am making, first to myself, and then to you, is to consider reaching deeper to hear the other empowered voice who holds out hope and will deliver strength, fortitude, and resources if I allow her in.

Thus the first sentence of the Remarkable Leader’s Declaration is a statement proclaiming who you are:  a person who draws from the deep inner, ineffable knowing that you have everything you need to go in the direction of your dreams.

Second – Understand Your Purpose.

What does this mean?….

My purpose is to shine.


This statement has many layers.

In this context, to shine means to allow the light within you to be shared and made available to the world around you.

It means allowing the goodness in you to pour through.

Your purpose is not to do something.  Your purpose is a state of being.  The state of shining light.  We are trained to believe that our value and worth is based on all our busy doing. Here, the Remarkable Leader understands that your state of being — filled with love and light — is your higher purpose.  Your purpose IS to cultivate your inner light.  Your inner light is the most important thing about you.  You can go into the world and do, do, do, but if you are busy in the world while divorced from your inner light, you will have missed the whole purpose.

Your purpose is to shine the loving light within you.  The more you bring forth this light so that it can radiate from your presence, the more you will actualize your true purpose.

For me, cultivating this inner light requires focus, attention, practice, and discipline.  This work of meditating, journaling, taking walks, and feeding my soul with tools of inspiration, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, and gratitude is for me, more important and necessary than any other actions I take.  My purpose is to shine.  I was put here to bring love and light into the world — as I believe we all are — and thus I must do the inner work necessary to keep my inner flame strong.

Third – Acknowledge Who Is In Your Care.

This next section stems from a Remarkable Leader shining their light… Their light produces a radiance that is felt by the world around you.  Here is the first moment in the Remarkable Leader’s Declaration where there is mention of the outer world at all…

My radiance surrounds all those in my care…

Take this in… Your purpose is to shine your inner light.  And when you do, a radiance will naturally spill out of you — a radiance that is simply an outpouring of you flaming your inner flame.  This radiance surrounds “all those in your care,” which is essentially anyone or anyone you are consciously or unconsciously connected.

What this means is that your energy travels to others around you.  Your energy can expand to whatever reaches you choose — your family near and far, your patient, their family, your care team, all of Allume, all of CT, all of the country, the whole world… even the whole universe.

You really are that powerful.

Your radiance does this whether you consciously choose to do so or not.  The energy you choose to emanate is felt by others.  If you send out radiant loving energy to the whole world, believe it or not, that energy is sent near and far.  And the same is true if your energy is down and in the dumps.

In this phase of the Remarkable Leader’s Declaration, you claim recognition that your mere energy impacts others.  It also invites you to open to the idea that everyone is in your care — because everyone is receiving your energy.  Hopefully, the energy you are radiating is filled with good stuff, like humor, joy, love, acceptance, and kindness.  If it’s not that, it’s on you as a Remarkable Leader to go back to the prior sentence and remember that your purpose is to shine.

Digest your impact. Your energy spills out all over the people around you.  The more your thoughts travel to the larger world, the more your energy travels beyond.  Thus, when you do the inner work to fill yourself with love, your light spills out around everyone in your care including…

  • Your children
  • Partner or spouse
  • Friends and family
  • Patients and their families
  • Teammates
  • Everyone at Allume
  • The world beyond

You fulfilling your purpose of shining your light is affecting those in your care.

For me, digesting “all those in my care” is both calming and humbling.  As a leader, I see myself as being of service to everyone who works at Allume or receives care from Allume.  I think about how all 130 people who work on my team are in my care.  I think about the 150 patients who have been placed in our care, and all of the family members who depend on our care.  I think about my advocacy role at the state level, and how the work I do hopefully impacts home health providers, other healthcare providers, and everyone they employ and serve… I feel every last one of those people in my care.

For me to serve all of these people, I feel both a great honor and tremendous responsibility for making sure the light I emanate stays clean, strong, and loving.

Fourth – Choosing Between Three Types of Action.

What comes next is a conscious choice of how to use your radiant light, wisdom, and resources through actions that support those in your care…

…to hold, heal, and elevate us all…

As a Remarkable Leader, you are invited to select these three types of action again and again:  hold, heal, elevate.

These three actions speak to where another person is at any given moment.  It asks you to step outside yourself and see, listen, and intimate where they are, what they need, and the place they long to go next.  In essence, through these three actions, you become the catalyst to spark them to shine.

At any given moment, each of us needs something different. The Remarkable Leader makes it her business to feel out what’s needed at every passing moment by those in her care.

What does it mean to hold?

When we are overwhelmed, upset, frustrated, angry, or overcome, we need someone to hold the space.  Think about the need for being held.  When are moments when you would prefer to just be held? Not have anyone give you advice or try to make you feel better or help you see the gift.  All of us have moments when we just need someone to hold the space.

Holding might look like this…

  • Listening deeply
  • Allowing someone to vent
  • Reflecting back or mirroring what’s being said to allow the other to feel heard
  • Allowing another’s emotions to be there without fixing, resisting, or trying to do anything
  • Being there
  • Allowing time and space to unfold
  • Being like a cocoon for a caterpillar awaiting birth to a butterfly
  • Supporting others in being in the unknown

Holding gives people the time to process whatever their feeling.  By allowing this to occur, the energy will eventually (sooner than if we resist it) shift.  The angry customer, finally calms down. The frustrated co-worker finally starts to see a way forward. Two team members just cannot see eye to eye, until one of them finally softens.

Being a Remarkable Leader invites you to become adept in the incredibly transformative ability to hold the space for moments like these to occur.  Holding is a surrendered act that feels much like birth.  It’s where by doing nothing, but holding a loving space, a process of its own wisdom will naturally unfold.  You are there as the midwife who will keep everything in a safe container; you will intervene if necessary. But you understand that sometimes an emotional process needs to unfold in order to birth something new.

As I’ve grown as a leader, this act of holding has become one of my greatest resources.  Sometimes the wise action is non-action.  I recently was in a situation where we were waiting for an outside partner to make a big decision about whether they wanted to do business with our company.  We went back and forth multiple times.  Our partner needed time to digest.  Of course, I wanted to get an answer and forge ahead.  My disempowered, scarce self wanted to push, ask, keep on them.  But my wise self said pause.  Breathe.  Wait. Hold.

Holding the space for my partner to take the time she needed to feel truly ready, and it allowed me to stay grounded in the part of me who is abundant, resourced, and endlessly able figure out the next step no matter what.  The action of HOLD is a tremendous, empowered tool of a Remarkable Leader.  I could have used other tactics, like setting a timeline with carrots and sticks (and in other moments that is also necessary), but my inner wisdom knew that what my partner needed was time.  I chose to hold the space, send her loving energy, and trust that no matter what she chose, all would be okay.

What does it mean to heal?

Often times, after we’ve held the space for a while, and given someone the space to feel their feelings, a space for the next action of healing can emerge.

It’s time to take healing actions when the one in your care is ready to receive some level of help, guidance, or support.  (Someone not ready to receive support is, by definintion, needing to be held.)

Healing actions can look like these…

  • Building support systems and structures to help them produce a new result
  • Digging down into the nitty-gritty of an issue and helping them solve the problem
  • Training or retraining someone
  • Creating a checklist they can follow and make success come with less struggle
  • Helping someone see the gift in a difficult situation
  • Helping someone use tools of gratitude, acceptance, or forgiveness
  • Removing obstacles
  • Releasing the pressure of certain responsibilities, timelines, or expectations
  • Communicating clear expectations
  • Having a consistent method of accountability
  • Acknowledging little and big successes
  • Making things fun
  • Adding a dance-party to the day
  • Bringing levity or laughter or inspiration
  • Asking people to tell them about their wishes, dreams, hopes, and desires
  • Sending thank you cards
  • Catching people doing the right thing
  • Celebrating accomplishments

Healing refers to actions that take a person from suffering to okay.  Healing actions help others in your care feel better in their day-to-day;  helps them build confidence, see their successes, and feel like they are doing a good job.

Notice how these simple things are deeply healing.  Most people are filled with the worries and anxieties of the world.  If you, as a REmarkable Leader, are able to make them feel better about themselves, you’ve sparked something to heal in them.

What does it mean to elevate?

The third way a Remarkable Leader can engage someone in their care is through acts of elevation.

This is where you do things that allow others to stretch and grow.  Personally, I live for this.  This is when I have the supreme honor and delight of seeing others shine.  Holy moly, do I love this!

In my experience as a leader, helping someone else see their brilliance, take risks, be vulnerable, do hard things, overcome challenges…. wow, this is truly at the heart of what I love move about my job.

Elevating looks like…

  • Giving someone a tool they can independently use
  • Seeing someone’s strength, wisdom, and power and reflecting it back to the
  • Helping someone see the next brave step they can take
  • Being there when someone has leaped into the unknown and are waiting for the net to appear
  • Not letting others settle for less than what they deserve or what they are capable of being or doing
  • Helping others see a bigger, wider, higher perspective that helps them see everything in a totally new light
  • Allowing someone the time and space to grow and not be perfect along the way
  • Congratulating people when they make mistakes and encourage them to take the next step

As a wise Remarkable Leader, I invite you to become adept at weaving together the tools of hold, heal, and elevate.  They can be utilized independently or even melded together.  It’s all about bringing forth the best of those in your care.  Seeing them as beautiful and whole at all times, while also encouraging their light to find its way out of them.

Fifth – Creating Three Types of Experiences.

A Remarkable Leader isn’t just consumed with outcomes, finish-lines, and results, she is equally concerned with the process and journey.  She knows that how a person feels while she is on her way to the finish line will dramatically affect everything about what is produced at the finish line.

Thus, the Remarkable Leader is out to inspire, cultivate, and instigate three types of experiences…

to experience relief, beauty, and

the recognition of our individual and collective greatness…


The experiences the Remarkable Leader aims to cultivate are feelings of relief, awareness of beauty, and recognition of greatness.

The Three Types of Actions are connected to the Three Types of Experiences:

  • Holding is meant to create relief
  • Healing is meant to cultivate the awareness of beauty
  • Elevating is meant to cultivate the recognition of greatness

In a sense, as a Remarkable Leader, you digest and own at the deepest level that all change in the outer world come first through inner change. You harness this profound wisdom and become a part of the journey with all those in your care to experience the cycles of life that thwart on each of us times of loss, regeneration, and success. We see that process in ourselves, the individuals in our care, along with the communities in our care, and we seek to bring about this rich cycle of constant evolution and growth.

Experiences of Relief

A person experiencing rupture, meltdown, or breakdown cannot leap from total frustration to feeling like a superhero in one moment.  She needs to be brought along.  The experience of relief is always a wonderful place to begin.

One of my favorite questions to ask someone is, especially when they are struggling,  “How can I support you?” The words convey the intention to provide relief.

To see when a person is wound up, upset, or angry and understand that deep inside, they just want to feel a little bit better — they just want to feel relief.  You can hold the space to usher that relief.

Other words that express relief

  • Calm
  • Rest
  • Peace
  • Solace
  • Gentleness
  • Effortlessness

Listen for the particular flavor of what those in your care long to feel.  Be there to support that feeling.  Emulate and be that feeling.

Experiences of Beauty

Healing acts are intended to create awareness of beauty.

What do I mean by beauty?

  • Awareness of gifts or lessons
  • Seeing the wisdom of a given circumstance
  • Understanding and witnessing the progress taking place
  • Being uplifted by gratitude
  • Discovering the incredible power of forgiveness
  • Seeing the situation anew
  • Discovery of possibility, opportunity, and choices in a situation
  • Having empathy and understanding for others
  • Finding space and ease
  • Appreciating others or yourself
  • Seeing the light and brilliance in others or oneself
  • When a person discovers keys to their own happiness, self-care, and self-love

The Remarkable Leader sees beauty, hope, and opportunity in every situation.  Here, she finds ways to transfer that amazing awareness to others.

Experiences of Greatness

Experiences of greatness happen when you feel yourself stretch, stand, and move things forward.

I had a wonderful experience of this recently.  My precious younger daughter struggles in school.  She is bright and intelligent but she doubts herself.  She met with her teacher, Frank, and me and presented all the ways she is progressing in all of her classes.  At one point she said, “I am trusting myself more and raising my hand more, even if I’m not sure if I have the right answer.”  This was my sweet and powerful girl stepping into her greatness.

As a Remarkable Leader, we want to cultivate an environment where these moments of greatness can occur.  It’s about bearing witness, seeing the vulnerability, bravery, and acts of faith and courage being taken all around.

Greatness lives within each and every being.  A Remarkable Leader has the gift of being able to SEE that greatness and coax it out, give it sturdy legs, and encourage it to happen again.

Examples of cultivating greatness:

  • Making room for progress, mistakes, and imperfection
  • Seeing and celebrating the little wins
  • Sharing what you see are a person’s talents and gifts
  • Giving others space to run and succeed
  • Guardrails that keep someone in your care from falling off a cliff
  • Giving someone new opportunities to spread wings

Sixth – Witness Transformation.

Everything to this point is about the state of being and journey of the Remarkable Leader.  The last line of the Declaration finally speaks to results & outcome…

Together, we move mountains.

There are three things to call out about this last line of the Declaration.

The Result Is Last

Most books, lessons, articles, and training on leadership and performance management are focused first and foremost on generating a result.

The Remarkable Leader is not at all divorced from outcomes, goals, and results.  She too lives in a world where you need money to pay the rent, a house doesn’t get cleaned on its own, and showing up on time for your child’s soccer game is important.

As the leader of a healthcare company, we live in a world of regulations and rules; we hold lives in our hands; we are responsible for stewarding publically funded dollars to function.  I have to make sure our systems and processes generate a safe, compliant way for patients to be cared for.  I am responsible for providing a safe and sustainable place to work for all those on our team. I have investors and partners who expect returns on the dollars they’ve invested.  These are all real things, for sure.

However, the Declaration of the Remarkable Leader puts the outcome in its proper place:  last.

And by putting it last, it suggests that all the other things are really what facilitates the outcome.

The Result is Inspiring

A Remarkable Leader chooses her result carefully.  The mountain to move must be inspiring, moving, and valued collectively by others.  The mountain we choose to move has to be worth the effort, growth, setbacks, and setbacks along the way.  It has to be something that calls out our greatness.  It gives us purpose and reason.  It becomes fuel for our soul growth.

We Create With Others

The Remarkable Leader wants more than anything to bring out our collective greatness together to create something that truly matters.


Declare to Be a Remarkable Leader

With a hand on your heart, join me in choosing to be a Remarkable Leader and speak out this Declarations with me now….

I am the wayshower of wise, empowered leadership.

My purpose is to shine.

My radiance surrounds all those in my care

to hold, heal, and elevate us all

to experience relief, beauty, and

the recognition of our individual and collective greatness.

Together, we move mountains.


By Coco Sellman

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