What is Higher Ground Leadership®?

Higher Ground Leadership® is the beating heart of our work at The Secretan Center Inc. It’s goal is inspiration—of people, organizations, communities and the world.

Higher Ground Leadership® is a breakthrough leadership philosophy that enables organizations to achieve a uniqueness not shared by most others—inspiration.

It is built on the simple concept (seldom practiced, because it is not always easy), that inspired people create inspired organizations, that create inspired communities, that inspire the world.


The underlying principles are:

Modern leadership theory is founded on the theories of motivation. But missing from our approach to leadership is inspiration—and there is a big difference between the two (watch the video below). People are yearning to be inspired and to work for inspiring people and teams who build inspiring places to live,  work and play, based on values, meaning and fulfilment. In order to create these inspiring places though, we must first become inspired ourselves, for we cannot give what we do not have within us. We cannot inspire others if we ourselves are uninspired.  This is The Spark.

Once we have become inspired ourselves, we are then able to inspire others.  This is how great things are achieved—not just by leading, butmore importantlyby inspiring…by living principles and values that are vital to each of us and inspiring for others. We reach for greatness when we are inspired to do so. This is The Flame.


Just as important is the role of  each of us, our organizations, and our society, to create a legacy—to mentor, lead, coach, teach, grow people and to ensure that what we build makes a positive difference and lasts. This is how we change the world. This is The Torch.

The Spark, The Flame, and the Torch is the Masterwork at the heart of Dr. Lance Secretan’s philosophy.

Higher Ground Leadership® has three components that lead to greatness:

The Spark—Becoming Inspired.


Inspiring Self—The Spark within. Defining our North Star—why we are here—Destiny, Character and Calling


Building inspiring internal relationships. Ensuring that all our relationships are inspiring and productive (secretan.com/5d)


Defining our ONE Dream®—our Permission Space and how we use this as our platform upon which to build our organization’s ONE Dream® and the ONEDream® so that we can galvanize ours and everyone else’s passion behind it.

 The Flame—Inspiring Others.

Living in a way that inspires others to do great things and makes the world a better place. We do this by living the CASTLE Principles®—a proven recipe for inspiring others.

The Torch—Sharing our wisdom, and coaching, teaching, leading, growing others and creating a legacy.

Using Values-centered Leadership® (The Vector) to:


  1. Coach
  2. Manage and build high performance
  3. Plan strategically
  4. Exceed service delivery expectations
  5. Deepen connections
  1. Increase employee passion
  2. Turn customers into “raving fans”
  3. Heal broken relationships
  4. Inspire
Higher Ground Leadership® is not “a program” but a life-changing experience in which participants are invited to be authentic, to undertake deep reflection and to connect with others in a way they may not have experienced before. Participants acquire an enlightening set of original concepts, let go of obstructing beliefs, and discover new and transforming insights. In short, they learn to experience, appreciate and practice the sacredness of everyday life and work. The purpose is to liberate the individual and dramatically improve team effectiveness.

As one Fortune 100 executive described it:

“Higher Ground Leadership® moves the organization from the profane to the sacred”.

Higher Ground Leadership® seeks to transform organizations through individual growth….

—The three components to achieving this greatness:

  1. The Spark—Becoming Inspired.

    In the journey towards creating inspiring organizations and lives, it is first necessary for us to become inspired ourselves—we cannot give what we do not have.

    • Defining our North Star—Destiny, Character and Calling—WHY we are here, How we will BE, and What we will DO—which we call the “Why-Be-Do®“.
    • Building Inspiring Relationships—great organizations are built one inspiring relationship at a time—by feeling inspired, and being inspiring, instead of motivating.
    • Defining our ONE Dream®—Mission, Vision and Values Statements lack the necessary passion to inspire—great organizations have ONE Dream®—a higher order of magnitude—that ignites and galvanizes passion into inspiration.
  1. The Flame—Inspiring Others.
    • We inspire others by living in a way, and with values—i.e. modeling modeling the behavior—that ignites their passion to do great things and make the world a better place. We do this by living the CASTLE® Principles—a proven recipe for inspiring others.
  1. The Torch—Inspiring the World.
    • Coaching, teaching, leading, growing others; paying it forward and creating a legacy is the path to making a difference in the world. One of the ways we can do this is by practicing the Vector.

Higher Ground Leadership® develops the inner landscape of leaders so they can have greater external impact on their organizations, their lives, and the world.  This work focuses on who leaders are not what they know, because great leaders teach who they are, not what they know. It provides highly effective and practical tools for immediate day-to-day application.

Secretan Faculty Members can also assist in bringing the work inside the organization through facilitation, training events, executive coaching and strategic mentoring. The option to develop an internally delivered DVD-based training program is also offered.

The underlying principles of Higher Ground Leadership® can be found in Dr. Lance Secretan’s 22 books, especially his masterwork, The Spark, The Flame and the Torch and his latest work, The Bellwether Effect.