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.

We are all leaders—at home, at work, as citizens, and at school. Higher Ground Leadership® is a breakthrough leadership philosophy that enables others to achieve a unique sense not shared by most—inspiration.

It is built on the simple concept (seldom practiced, because it is not always easy), that inspired people create inspired families and 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 this approach is inspiration—and there is a big difference between the two (watch the video below). People are yearning to be inspired and be part of families and communities that are inspiring, to work for inspiring people and teams who build inspiring places to live, work and play, based on values, meaning and fulfilment. To create these inspiring environments 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 and by living the 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 families and communities, 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 inspiration and, therefore, 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


Defining our ONE Dream®—our Permission Space and how we use this as our platform upon which to build our personal or organization’s ONE Dream®, so that we can galvanize our own, 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 practitioners are invited to be authentic, to undertake deep reflection and to connect with others in ways 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 effectiveness—in work, and life.


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 individuals and organizations through individual growth….

—The three components to achieving inspiration and, therefore, greatness:

  1. The Spark—Becoming Inspired.

    In the journey towards creating inspiring lives and organizations, 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 families, teams and 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—inspired people and 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 the behavior—that ignites our passion to do remarkable 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 we can have greater external impact on our organizations, our lives, and the world.  This work focuses on who we are, not what we know, because inspiring people teach and model who they are, not what they know. It provides highly effective and practical tools for immediate day-to-day application.

Certified Secretan Faculty Members (called Pathfinders) are all highly skilled in bringing this work into personal, family, or organizational life through facilitation, learning experiences, coaching and strategic mentoring. We also offer a DVD-based training program called “The DreamQuest®”.

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.