Stone and golden hearts for Co-Leaders

If there is one lesson that I would like to pass on to all the co-leaders, those who like me have developed this enormous ambition to bring out a better system: It is to learn to juggle between a golden heart and a stone heart.

The golden heart is for the dream. The stone heart is for the many monsters on our path to the dream.

Now, let me tell you why through some very concrete illustrations drawn from my personal experience.

The first one is really shocking, but we do not live in a Disney cartoon.

It was before the pandemic and I was practicing as a coach.

After about two years of evening study, I was keen to continue develop my skills, as part of my research for an exceptional civilisation.

And like any coaching student, I was multiplying the free sessions with a sample of guinea pigs.

One day, I had an 18-year-old girl to accompany.

She was adorable. And, I was motivated to do anything to get her out of the hell she had put herself in.

In particular, to save her from all the self-sabotage strategies, following a rape by her boyfriend.

I knew the situation well and I felt armed.

I even had this arrogance to think that I was a good coach.

And while our discussion was going well, suddenly I felt like a blockage and, a discomfort in me.

Something was wrong. I was missing the session.

And yet, all signs were extremely positive.

We were talking about the future, about freeing herself and there was hope.

Including a plan and a very strong reciprocal desire to continue this relationship which would undoubtedly be fruitful.

But it’s only in the evening when I got home that I realised my big mistake.

During our conversation I had not left enough room for the demons.

I probably was not comfortable with the idea of ​​facing them yet.

The same fear of a civilisation that is everything, but exceptional.

Cowardly and not aware of the need to beat the demons collectively, for good.

And as we love to blame others for our own faults: Has Disney unintentionally harmed our culture?


But in this story, I can tell you, the evasion of responsibility was not possible.

The result of my lack of courage was that a week later, at the very hour of our second meeting, the young girl attempted suicide.

That’s what a caregiver can do: Setting the conditions for a pressure cooker ready to explode.

Thank goodness, the young girl has recovered. And, I hope from the bottom of my heart that it is indeed a more fulfilling second life that she has begun.

But as long as her wounds are so serious, no doubt, an exceptional civilisation that would not let her alone with her demons would do great.

It would avoid the huge mistake to push her even further into her own demons.

And with this first story, I learnt three very important things.

  • First, we have a lot of power with our golden heart. And that’s also the reason why we have to be very careful. it’s not a cliché, there is clearly a responsibility for doing anything.
  • Second, everyday as I continue to clarify the roadmap, I think of her and the benefits she could grab from my initiative. As well as the risks.
  • Third, being a caregiver is no small feat. It requires a lot of work on ourselves, and as I said in the title, if we want to be serious, we also have to equip ourselves with a heart of stone.

Here’s another why, with this second illustration.

In the 17 years since I joined the European project, I have never been part of the culture of the House.

And it is in a way on the fringes of it that I have continued to justify, and to fundamentally develop my value and my specificity.

When there is a need for change, I am here.

Only, this course is not very good for the career.

It is also not very good for finances.

And it is with a little bitterness, after so many years of effort, without ever allowing myself to really rest, that I make this observation.

Being a co-leader, as you will have understood, is not easy, and it is not very rewarding either.

Pushing doors that resist, climbing mountains without support, it requires having a strong abdominal belt and a heart of stone.

Because disillusions, fears, extreme moments of loneliness, we will have tons!

But the good news is that thanks to all the effort we will have made, the little heart of gold will one day shine. It will have realised its dearest dream!

And now let me conclude this part by sharing two main observations.

  • First, we must keep the hope. There is always truth in what our golden heart has to say.
  • Second, we need to accept that some days, we will go further and safer with a capsule of stone around the golden heart.

In a way, the stone capsule is a necessary layer of protection we need to wear throughout the day for the most precious thing on Earth, reminding us to take good care of it.

The good news is we can still take it off at night, for sweeter dreams.

But be careful, from my knowledge this capsule should not be external. It cannot be coming from someone else.

And to explain why, I will use another short story from my teenagehood, when I was attending hard rock/metal concerts with my friends in Paris.

At that time, one of the activities I liked most, was pogo, because one of my friend was very large and tall.

So whenever I could, I threw myself into the crowd, taking him with me.

It was so funny. I felt invincible.

But one day I found myself without him, and because of that I stopped enjoying the pogo. And the hard rock/metal concerts altogether.

My courage was his. My strength was his. So there was no more joy to be found.

This last story says that if our dreams are ours then we have to grow that stone capsule from within.

The stone capsule will make the golden heart even more useful during the day, if well thought out. Otherwise, when the time for shining will come, we will also feel drained of our joy. The golden heart could have by then too many scars. Another powerful collaboration story!

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

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