In the second part of this short series on embodied leadership, I talk about the roots of embodied leadership and how you can develop into an embodied leader.



The alienation of humans from nature has a long history that begins with the process of becoming sedentary. Favoured by trends in philosophy, industrialisation and scientific progress, we have a long tradition of mind-body dualism in Western societies. As a result, we lack connection with ourselves, with others and with our environment. Embodiment means reconnecting and overcoming this mind-body dualism. Pioneers of embodied coaching and leadership embodiment are Richard Strozzi-Heckler (, Wendy Palmer ( and Mark Walsh ( Their and other approaches to somatic coaching and leadership embodiment are based on a variety of Eastern (Buddhism, mindfulness, martial arts, yoga, etc.) and Western (humanistic and body psychotherapy, bodywork, dance, gymnastics, Pilates, etc.) traditions. What unites them is the idea of living a meaningful and authentic life and a style of leadership that is rich in emotion and nurturing relationships and that translates insight into action.



So how can leaders transform themselves into embodied leaders? I call my approach to embodied leadership “self-empowered leadership”. In my book of the same name ( you will find a step-by-step approach to self-empowerment. The four steps and associated leadership competencies described in the book are:

Step 1: Raising awareness

The aim is to explore inwardly and outwardly and look at the situation impartially without being emotionally involved. For inner leadership types, the focus is on exploring their own goals, needs and values. This is the basis for not losing themselves and not looking outwards one-sidedly. External leadership types are primarily concerned with their organisational environment and the expectations of stakeholders. It’s about understanding what energises us and what drains our energy. This is the basis for the second step.

Step 2: Attraction

Who are you as a leader and what do you want to bring to the world? It’s not so much about developing a distant vision of yourself as a leader, but rather about utilising your strengths as a leader. However, you should also develop the aspects of your leadership personality that are important to you but are still underrepresented in your leadership behaviour. This will mobilise the necessary resources within you to stand up for what is important to you in leadership.

Step 3: Action

Now it’s about minimising leadership frustration and getting into a state of passion for leadership. This means leading independently in a way that comes from within and is connected to the outside: How can you firmly anchor your leadership in your everyday life with the help of routines and practices? What do you want to change, what measures do you want to introduce? In this way, outer types ensure that they don’t get lost in the first storm, but always fall back on their inner compass. Outer types have the opportunity to stay in constant contact with the outside world without losing their own energy.

Step 4: Alignment

Sustainable learning requires pausing from time to time and looking back: What have you learnt about yourself and how you see yourself as a leader? How do the new practices and changes you have introduced make you feel? Have you come a little closer to your core as a leader that is worth showing? What is still unresolved? Based on these questions, you can get back on track – in harmony with yourself and the situation at hand.


If you already want to know more about my understanding of embodied leadership, you can also read my latest blog posts here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


If you want to learn more about embodied practices that help you live your full potential, you can watch my video series “Bodyhacks” here:


Bodyhack #1:

Bodyhack #2:

Bodyhack #3:

Bodyhack #4:

Bodyhack #5:

Bodyhack #6: