QI & Me by Lance Secretan – Advisor and Coach to Leaders, Author

Lance Secretan ImageThe sacred energy we invest in our marriages and personal relationships, such as personal growth and mutual learning, being fully present, curiosity, freshness, spiritual passion, maintaining individuality AND (paradoxically) oneness, vulnerability, intimacy, humility, empathy, devotion, love, rituals, transparency, trust, and reliability—these, when practiced with sacred energy, lead to sacred and inspiring relationships. Since everything is connected and one—it stands to reason that these examples of Quintessential Intelligence will lead to inspiring relationships anywhere—at work, with nature, with each other—even with God. The illusion of separateness gets in the way of our potential to raise our game through the creation of inspiring relationships.

How QI Informs My Work and Personal Life

After spending a lifetime as both a leadership practitioner and an advisor and coach to leaders I have learned that approaching the subject of leadership in our traditional ways may have contributed more to our current crisis of leadership than our leadership successes. Classical physics invites us to measure matter and energy in a manner familiar through observable human experience, analyzing the separate parts, and this is largely the way we explain science and technology today. We measure and teach leadership in a similar way, using these classical approaches. Without getting into too much technical detail here, we have learned that these concepts do not adequately describe the universe, and that, in reality, the newer science of quantum physics informs us that there are no separate entities—everything is connected. Indeed, the concept of “quantum entanglement” describes the phenomena in which the act of measuring one thing determines the possible quantum state of another.

The outdated approach of classical physics, and therefore “the scientific method”, is what we have been using to study leadership—as a subject consisting of separate parts—leaders, followers, organizations, contexts, goals and more. We have even succumbed to the false belief that behavior displayed and exhibited within an organization is separate from, and sometimes not even appropriate for, life outside the organization—for example, at home. But this is an illusion—everything is connected and everything is one.

What My Most Profound Spiritual Teachers and Experiences Taught Me About QI

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, to quote Sir Isaac Newton. For me, a spiritual teacher is one who turns on an internal spiritual or emotional switch—for example, Richard Dawkins who said, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” The truth is that there are only two truths: 1) We can be certain of nothing even though we pretend great wisdom, and, 2) Everything is one. The great religions and faith traditions, as well as quantum physics teach us this.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life.

For nearly 50 years I have practiced meditation. I learned Transcendental Meditation in the 1960s, then graduated to a Zen practice, and then in the 1990s I learned Primordial Sound Meditation, which I have been practicing ever since. I not only meditate daily, but when I am sitting in airport lounges, before a speech, when someone irritates me, when I’m frustrated, when I’m marveling at a sunset. As much as I can, I turn any event into a meditation. Kayaking is a meditation. So is skiing. The experience of hiking in the wilderness and observing the extraordinary gifts of nature is a meditation. Listening to a symphony, reading a poem, making love, listening to music or a great conversation, savoring a meal— all these are meditations. Appreciating the wonders of the world, the brilliance of mankind, and the love of God, are all meditations.

Life is a mediation, because life is a series of relationships and our task is to make them sacred and inspiring. The heart stone in the image above that Tricia and I found together now sits in a quiet meditation spot on one of our out of the way walking trails.

About Lance Secretan

Lance Secretan

Dr. Lance Secretan is one of the most insightful and provocative leadership teachers of our time. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist and author of 15 books about inspiration and leadership and a recent memoir A Love Story. He coaches and advises leaders globally, and guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries. Read more


7. Sacredness C

Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and social activist, wrote in Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, “Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed.”

Compassion illuminates the sacred within us. When compassion informs our behavior, love and caring flow naturally and it is impossible to run roughshod over the sacred that lies within everything. At those times:

  • Touch cannot be inappropriately sexual or harmful;
  • Productivity cannot mistreat others or the environment;
  • Feelings and behaviors cannot be criticized or repressed;
  • Play cannot be a win-lose contest; and
  • Learning cannot be blocked.


What would it mean for you to know the depth of beauty in your heart and in the essence of every other person?

Think of times such as in those above when the sacredness of yourself and others was present, and other times when that truth was forgotten.

Send your comments and questions to:

Image: ©Carl Studna



swanThe heart is not only the universal symbol for love, it also represents our essence, our authentic self. Whole-heartedness pierces the veil of our separateness and allows satisfying connections to others and to the mystery that is beyond humanness.

Quintessential Intelligence (QI) expressed through the heart leads to the two things that create true fulfillment:

  • Treating others and ourselves respectfully
  • Making a positive difference in the lives of others.


What do you like about thinking of your heart as your essence/authentic self and Quintessential Intelligence as your way to finding fulfillment? (For a definition of QI click here.)

Send your comments and questions to:

Image: Soul Mates by H. Lee Shapiro


Painting by H. Lee Shapiro

When heart-connected we are fully present and in harmony with the moment. Liberated from anxiety, we are centered, in perfect balance and in the flow. It was from skiing that I began learning about living in the flow.

The first time I experienced the high of skiing in the flow, I knew I wanted more. Skiing off-center happened when fear tightened my body. At those times, my skiing certainly wasn’t awful or wrong. It just meant working harder to keep from falling and not skiing as gracefully and joyfully. My skiing goal became learning how to spend more time in that awesome state of flow, and when I lost it, how to get it back.

It wasn’t much of a stretch to transfer my skiing awareness to my life. Remembering times when I experienced the power and bliss of being heart-connected and in the flow, such as walking amongst the towering redwoods, playing with my dog, and making love, felt great.

Realizing how much time I spent disconnected from my heart and off center, especially when confronting upsetting situations, was a sobering shock. Thus began my commitment to living more in the flow of a beautiful melody that I think of as “A Rhapsody in QI.”


Remember times when you were in the flow and what it felt like. What do you think keeps you from living more of the time in harmony with that blissful state?

For a four minute video using the skiing analogy to illustrate being in the flow of a heart connection Click Here.

Send your comments and questions to:

Image: World Cup 1991 Aspen by H. Lee Shapiro