Why Heer Questions Everything
What if you are the difference the world requires?
It’s a big question—and possibly too big to answer if you try to approach it on a globe-sized scale. Dr. Dain Heer, an internationally renowned author, speaker, and facilitator of consciousness and change, asks this question of all of his clients to begin their journey towards understanding the position they are in and why they may want to get out of it.
But how did Heer recognize that he could be this difference?
“When I was a little kid we went to visit my mom’s side of the family in Idaho. My grandmother was having a hard time—her hip was hurting, she was stressed financially. But when she saw me, she gave me the biggest hug.
“At the end of the visit she told me that my being there to visit changed everything, and that I brightened her life. That was my first recollection of this concept—that who we are and what we do can make an enormous difference in the life of another.”
This experience as a boy helped shape Heer and his career to the point where today he is helping leaders in the U.S. tap into a similar ideology in their own lives. And it’s all based around establishing and maintaining an inquisitive nature. In short, always asking questions.
Heer doesn’t always lead with “what if you are the difference the world requires?” but rather something along the lines of “when did you do or say something that has impacted people in positive ways?” Often, it takes his clients a few minutes to wrap their minds around the concept of contributing positively to their job or career, especially when they feel stuck in their position.
“There’s a woman I was recently working with. The corporate culture at the company she was with was not conducive, but employees were staying there for money, the prestige, and benefits. It was getting worse every day.
“Then we had a conversation where I asked her what she thought her life would look like if she chose to stay at the company, or if she chose to leave. She had a huge fear of insecurity and leaving, but she couldn’t stand it anymore and quit.
“Within six months, six of her coworkers quit. They all formed their own company, where they are almost making as much money as they were before. After losing so many mid-level management employees, their old company began to change its culture. But the important bit is this: everyone at this new company now enjoys going to work.
“Being a leader isn’t about having followers, it’s about knowing where you need to go, and knowing what you need to do, without requiring anyone to follow.”
In corporate leadership training, for example, Heer is optimistic that much of what is taught isn’t about setting a rigid corporate structure, but instead questioning every step along the way to allow a flexibility not common in most company structures. This flexibility is allowing innovation to flow from places previously untapped, and to question why business can’t both be profitable and sustainable.
“People are looking for different, sustainable possibilities within their organizations. It can’t all be about consumption and making a profit, but about how business can be done in a sustainable way.”
Heer is also hoping that benevolent leadership is a trend that is able to break through on a large scale in the U.S. like it has in some other places like Australia.
“If we could recognize that what originally made our corporate culture great—and our country great—was our continuous looking for what was possible, it’d be a greater world. People think there is nothing left to explore—but we need to ask ourselves ‘what else is possible?’ to progress in corporate America.”
Heer is a champion of benevolent leadership, and will no doubt be one of the few who continues to lead the first charge of the model here in the U.S.
“Being a leader is so different from what people tell you. From school on up you are taught to follow, and a lot of people are discouraged from being leaders. The point of being a leader is not about having power over people. It’s about knowing what to do and where to go—someone who is aware of the possibilities and has the willingness and courage to choose the path.”