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The textbook definition of

human-centered leadership

is easy to rattle off: it’s a

leadership style defined

or marked by humanistic

values and a devotion to

human welfare. This meaning,

however, just scratches the


You get a real sense of what

a human-centered leader is

when you talk to Dr. John

Demartini, an expert on

human behavior, a best-selling

author, and an international

educator. Dr. Demartini knew

from a young age that he

wanted to master his own life

and assist others in mastering

theirs. At 17 he dreamt of

being a teacher and travelling

the world to share what he

learned, and today he does

just that.

“In broad terms, I do

anything that helps people

do extraordinary things and

live amazing and inspired

lives,” he shared with us in

an exclusive interview. “True

humanitarian leaders care

enough about humanity

to search out the needs,

problems, and solutions for

people in need. They find

something that inspires them

but also serves others.

“It’s always about the people.”

His focus for the last 43 years

has been concentrated on

meeting, reading, and learning

about the great leaders of

the world to understand

how to be the best leader

he can be in his own life.

Human-centered leadership—

which he also referred to

as humanitarian-centered

leadership—is “we instead of

me” and focused on service,

but not altruistic service. Put

simply: it’s real.

Human-centered leadership

is, obviously, not about

the money, although many

leaders who lead by this style

you will find are incredibly

wealthy. Haruo Naito, CEO

of Eisai Pharma, a Japanese

pharmaceutical company, has

created a unique company in

an industry where deviating

from how things are done can

mean the loss of shareholder


Instead of dedicating efforts

to maintaining relationships

with doctors, Eisai Pharma is

dedicated to the end user: the

customer. Eisai makes contact

with every patient who uses

their drugs, has relationships

with these patients, and in

turn gets feedback from each

willing party to make sure

the drug is doing what it’s

supposed to.

When Naito was proposing

this approach to the

business, he was laughed at

in company meetings and

by stockholders. But, as Dr.

Demartini reiterated, business

is about people, especially

for a company that produces


Tadashi Yanai is one of the

world’s wealthiest billionaires

and founder of Fast Retailing,

of which Uniglo, a Japanese

manufacturer of clothes, is a

subsidiary of. His company’s

mission is to make clothes

that fit everyone’s unique

needs; a certain portion of

profits is dedicated to helping

and empowering people

around the world.

Bill Gates, perhaps Dr.

Demartini’s best-known