Excerpt from
The Alchemy of Power: Mastering the Invisible Factors of Leadership

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” De Chardin

Mystics and philosophers have forever grappled with the spark of life that generates intentions and makes them real. The only thing we know for sure about the spark that animates us is that words can never describe it.

The most cross-culturally consistent word seems to be “love.” A Course in Miracles says there are only two emotions: love and fear. That pretty much captures the metaphysical difference between old and new paradigms. You could say that the old one is fear-based and the new one is love-based. Not romantic love. Not on-again, off-again gushy stuff—but the most powerful driving force in the universe because it has the capacity to transform what it touches.

Metaphysical influences have always been, and will always be, pervasive and operative in the human experience. New paradigm thinking is both a renewal of our availability to metaphysical realities, as well as higher prioritization of our facility with them. With so many leaders already making the transition to values-driven leadership, we are seeing the dawn of the new fire that de Chardin wrote about—a common-good-centered fire, one that cannot be fueled by fear or through the pain of others, but rather by humanity’s greatest force: love.

Old paradigm leaders have spent billions of dollars, and far too many lives, to intervene between populations and their direct connection to that inner fire because it can be so threatening to the status quo. But alchemical leaders catalyze those sparks of causality and then fan the flames.

As “softer,” more yin indicators and practices are becoming more and more operative in our workplaces and our world, we’re seeing higher prioritization of, and greater valuation for, well-being, dignity, compassion, harmony, and justice for all global citizens. A new fire is dawning with an emerging clarity that we are the hearts, we are the hands, we are the feet, we are the voices, we are the minds, and we are the souls who can and must co-create our peaceful co-arising with one another and with the planet.

By Dr. Joni Carley, advisor, consultant and speaker on values-driven leadership and cultural development. Author of The Alchemy of Power: Mastering the Invisible Factors of Leadership


  • Dr. Joni Carley

    Values-Driven Leadership & Cultural Development

    Dr. Joni Carley, author of "The Alchemy of Power: mastering the invisible factors of leadership,"  applies her expertise in values-driven leadership and cultural development at the United Nations where her activities include Vice Chair of the UN Coalition for Global Citizenship 2030 and Advisor and Senior Fellow at NonViolence International, New York. Her Advising and Consulting practice serves private and public sector leaders by helping them create values-driven systems. Joni uses data-based methodologies to support development of transformative ideas into inspired actions - ensuring that activities are measured and managed in in such a way that they effect deep, systemic, quantifiable change.