What is internal leadership?

Arianna Huffington
Health Education

We tend to think of leadership solely as an external force, associated with those who effectively carry out the responsibilities of their office or direct their staff in a confident way. That’s very useful, but it’s only one kind of leadership. There is another kind- internal leadership- that does not depend on office or position or staff hierarchy or anything imposed or granted from without. This kind of leadership is generated instead by an inner force that compels us to try and make the surrounding world- whether it’s our family, our community, the entire nation, or beyond- a better place. 

When we define leadership only in the most narrow, external way- thinking of it only as it relates to elected office and the executive suites of corporate America- we undervalue the internal qualities of leadership that made outsiders like Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa such powerful leaders. For women to be fearless in leadership, they have to embrace these internal gifts. 

On Becoming Fearless...in Love, Work, and Life

More About this Book

On Becoming Fearless...in Love, Work, and Life

Observing that her own teenage daughters were beginning to experience some of the same fears that had once burdened her--how attractive am I? do people like me? do I dare speak up?--Arianna...

Continue Learning about Emotional Health

Emotional Health

How well you handle stress, anger, relationships, work, family life-it all factors into your emotional health. Finding balance in life-as well as peace of mind-helps us cope with life's ups and downs. Take time to explore new ways ...

to find stress relief, and to release anxiety, and unhappiness. Counseling can help-as can a gratitude journal.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.