What is Second Tier Leadership?

By Daniela Bomatter and originally posted on www.secondtierleadership.ch

What is Second Tier Leadership?

How do we lead in the midst of the complexity of our world? How do we lead by honouring each other’s needs, opinions, wisdom and shadows without giving up on our values? How do we hold a pluralistic worldview that doesn’t end up flattening everything out? Are we bold enough to stand up for our values and lead with passion and compassion towards a better future, for ourselves, our children and the world? So how do we lead with an increasing ability to create the circumstances that allow change and development in people, teams, organisations and ourselves to happen? How do we lead by honouring reality and each other’s perspective without losing sight of the potential for a higher synthesis?

How does this leadership look like? What are its attributes? How do we learn to lead that way and how do teams learn to flower under this new leadership?

Attributes of a Second Tier Leader

Second Tier Leaders are awake and focused. Focus for them doesn’t mean to only see a partial reality. It means to be intentional about everything they do and to always make  choices in alignment with their core intention. This creates an exciting pull towards the future that is rooted in the present.

“One comes from second tier like water spontaneously bursts from a deep, deep underground spring. There is outrageousness, gracefulness and creative awkwardness as one simultaneously discovers, learns to flow with, and find words for, the new material that spontaneously emerges from all four “quadrants” that often is a surprise. It is an out-of-the box blossoming not contained by today’s typical cultural creative thinking and being. ” (Wayne Carr)

“They can more fully feel, embody and celebrate their own power and sense of self-efficacy. This power can span the whole spectrum from bold and outrageous to soft and subtle. They can blend their powers hierarchically with the power of others in creative and collaborative ways. They can create an energetic wake that naturally brings people to act in line (entrain) with a common purpose.  They en-courage a dynamic balance of support and challenge that facilitates creative action.” Wayne Carr


Authenticity in Second Tier means much more than just “being yourself”. Authenticity in this context means to be the life process itself, to be a direct, unfiltered expression of the creative impulse, the perennial force that created the universe. The authentic Second Tier Leader is an expression of this creative impulse in human form and sees themselves as an integral part of a much bigger life process.


Second Tier Leaders understand all “Stages of Development” and have integrated these stages within themselves. This allows interaction with and reaction to people from different stages in a very integrative way, and people at all stages like working with them as they feel seen and understood.

Second Tier Leaders  focus on the present, on what IS. The present dictates the next steps towards the shared vision. They want to see reality as it is, in all its imperfection, to be able to draw the best conclusions. They don’t avoid difficult truths or complex problems. They don’t look away, consciously choosing to look into the darkest corners to not overlook something important that affects decision making and moving forward. They have a rational and intuitive sense to perceive what is happening.


Second Tier Leaders are always looking for the next step to make things better, to change, to evolve. They do not shy away from change, but embrace it as a means to grow. Their goal is never stagnation, but constant evolutionary flow, improvement and transformation.


Second Tier Leaders are excellent listeners. They are able to completely suspend usual habits of reaction and judgment. They are listening not only to the words that are said, but even more to the space between, to consciousness itself, and by doing so get insights which are far beyond the rational mind.

Trusting and trustworthy

First and foremost Second Tier Leaders trust in life and the goodness of life. When they work with people, their natural inclination is to make people feel trusted, and to show themselves as trustworthy with high ethical and moral standards, and by being a role model in their actions.

 Permission to republish granted by the author.

Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.