Be a Better Leader by Discovering Your Inner ‘Evil’

The vast majority of us are taught from an early age to ‘be good’. Rewards of all types are heaped upon us if we play nicely, smile sweetly, and do as we are told by authority figures of all shapes and sizes. As the family ‘good girl’ I know what that looks like – constantly having to live up to just the ‘nice’ part of who we are.

Undoubtedly it enabled me to access some great qualities but equally, it meant that some of the less attractive parts of myself were not acknowledged or ‘seen’. Except of course they were, when they escaped beyond my carefully-developed and reinforced boundaries and strategies, or were sensed by people who had more intuitive and sensing capability. For sure until I actively started asking the inner questions, they weren’t seen by me.

So what’s that got to do with leadership. Well like all things ‘leadership’ it’s really about life and human nature. Unless we are prepared to see all that exists within our system, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright evil, we are never really fully accessing our true compassion and love. We are still in danger of ‘playing’ at being good or nice or caring. This compromises our ability to truly lead.

I can imagine for many this all seems like a ridiculous thing to say. Surely good people and nice people are exactly that and just what our world needs, especially at a time when much horror and devastation is evident in humanity’s behaviour.

But that’s exactly the point. Constantly denying the presence of ‘evil’ or the ugly things that we are capable of, compromises our ability to move to a true, conscious flow of goodness and love. And we all know that the best leaders are underpinned by a real and steady flow of love.

When we open ourselves to truly seeing the things we are capable of and that sit deep within our own psyche and personality it can feel scary – after all remember we are conditioned to move only toward being good. What if by looking at the less attractive stuff we become identified with it and ‘become’ it? Of course, that risk is there which is what makes this a courageous act and therefore an act of leadership.

We’re not hiding parts of ourselves in the shadows.

Choosing to see and own, for example, our lack of respect for someone, our sense of our own self-importance, entitlement or superiority, or our selfishness – the list, of course, is endless – opens us to a level of liberation that means the aspects of ourselves that truly are moving toward ‘good’ are doing so authentically and powerfully. We’re not hiding parts of ourselves in the shadows. It doesn’t mean we have to act them out – quite the reverse. In fact, we are more able to dig into our hearts and consciously focus on compassion for ourselves and the others who may unwittingly trigger the less attractive responses.

If this feels heavy or like hard work, welcome to the club. True leadership is more than our intellect or our technical capabilities – it demands our hearts and for those to be fully functioning we need to clean house…daily.


Lorraine Flower
Lorraine Flower
As a Corporate change agent, consultant, coach and mentor Lorraine founded azzur and is completely transparent about the spiritual principles on which it operates. Alongside her 18 years as azzur’s founder, Lorraine brings 20 years' service industry experience to bear through her senior leadership roles at British Airways (BA) and Great North Eastern Railway (GNER). It is Lorraine's belief in individual and organisational power for good that gives azzur its raison d'etre. azzur and Lorraine specifically has worked with clients across the business spectrum from financial services, to retail and transport to healthcare an in both the public and private sectors. azzur is focused on developing contemporary, spirited leadership capability, and organisations built on inspiring purpose, empowering cultures and a powerful vision and values. She is championing new models of leadership and organisational development founded on the principles of conscious leadership and writes extensively on these topics.She is a member of a number of global spiritual groups and communities serving the greater good of Humanity and the planet. She works and studies extensively in developing and exploring conscious leadership believing that business leaders are key players in transforming the well-being of the planet and humanity as a whole.

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  1. True leadership starts from within. Allowing that which is bad and acknowledging it is necessary. If one wants to lead… they have to be like the rest of those they lead…human…..and follow too.
    We are all human. No one is completely one thing.

    Great read Lorraine! Thank you for this!

    • Thank you Paula – I firmly believe that if we don’t see and accept the parts of us that are less ‘attractive’ then they will sabotage us and our leadership impact – as you say we are all human. once we start to accept ourselves in totality we can move toward grace and love and that’s a powerful leadership combo…