Real Leaders

Leaders of Hope: Sage Robbins

Being an author and speaker, and holding seminars with her husband, Tony Robbins, is a large part of what keeps Sage Robbins motivated during tough times. With the external world reeling from the isolation of a global quarantine and everyone’s daily lives disrupted beyond recognition, what gives Robbins hope is knowing that life is always bigger than any problem we will ever face — whether personally, in our families, at work, or collectively. 

 “There are seasons and stages to life,” she says. “No matter what education level we have, where we are from, how we grew up, or the shade of our skin, we will all experience ups-and-downs and the growing pains of different seasons of our life cycle. There are certainly those of us who may prefer summer over winter, or fall to spring, but each season offers us the gift of growth, insight, life experience, and a broader perspective.” 

 If we are metaphorically in winter right now, then Robbins thinks this is a calling to come inside, to go within, to reflect, to slow down. “It’s a time to become more efficient, reconnect to a higher purpose, and prepare for the road ahead,” she explains. Many people innocently believe that if they yell loud and long enough, or perhaps destroy something or someone else, they’ll be seen and heard. In Robbins’ personal life, yelling can sometimes make the people she loves tune out or walk away, or even fight back. “There are parallels to the world stage in our inner world and with our families,” she says. “It’s all a part of the human condition.” 

 “As a business owner and leader, I feel there is power in recognizing our humanness. We are better off recognizing our strengths and also our blind spots.” Robbins points to the strange reality of social media and news platforms that attempt to tear us down for being precisely what we are — human. “There is an unrealistic expectation for people in leadership roles to be ‘perfect’ and not make mistakes, or without errors in the past,” explains Robbins. “In my experience, goodness does not equal perfection. Rather, it’s a trajectory of growth, evolution, a path forward, and a willingness to see one’s whole self and learn from mistakes. There is such a power to stand in our center with nothing to defend. I certainly didn’t get here by being a perfect human, far from it. I’ve failed, I’ve fallen, I’ve missed. The pain of those situations called to me and awakened me to do my part. It made me take responsibility for what I was missing.”

 According to Robbins, as old structures fall away, the process can be painful, messy, clunky, frustrating, and awkward. This is especially true if we focus on what was, rather than switching toward what life has to offer now. “Leaders recognize that new decisions and actions need to be made to serve the present,” says Robbins. “As much as the death of the old can be uncomfortable, we humans are incredibly adaptable, intelligent, and inventive. Understanding the seasons of transformation and cycles of life allows us to acknowledge that what was, may never be again. We often think of transitions in terms
of life and death, the end of a relationship, or loss of a job, but life is usually more nuanced than that.” 

 Robbins doesn’t think we got to where we are today by being perfect and safe. “We got here by having the courage to step into the unknown and take a leap of faith, despite the adversity. If we develop the willingness to embrace the natural seasons of life, we can lead those we love with grit and grace into the next season of growth and re-creation.”