The Leader’s #1 obligation.


About 4 months ago, my husband and I were asked to become marriage mentors at our church. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised. I definitely did not see us as a worthy couple. I don’t think you’d find our faces in the dictionary under “perfect couple” either. Having said that, I do have faith and believe that opportunities come to us for a reason and that service to others is the highest good. After almost 20 years of marriage and four children later, my husband and I accepted the new challenge.

A few days ago, we had our first meeting with two different couples.  They were much younger than we were, and the stars in their eyes as they looked at one another illuminated the newness of their love for one another. It was great to see. On our part, my husband and I rehearsed which one of us would deliver which messages. We were a little nervous still not quite feeling “worthy” to be mentoring these sweet couples. We were proud of our efforts during our first meeting. Everyone seemed engaged and ready to learn. We walked away energized by the example our own marriage provided to these couples and realized the value of our history together.

This experience made me think of a leader’s most important obligation; to learn and then to pass it on. Often, leaders take their experience for granted. They don’t realize the value that experience can bring to a newly formed team, or to a budding manager. I have formally mentored others, and I have been informally mentored. Each time, I did not always feel worthy to receive the great gift of someone’s heart and mind. Nonetheless, I appreciated it, and grew from the gifts.

It is the leader’s obligation to live the life they are given and then pass on those experiences to others. I don’t mean in the “know-it-all” way. To the contrary, leaders need to share their past, with all the trials and tribulations, so that the starry-eyed can learn from it. Otherwise, the leader’s experiences were for their benefit only. That goes against what it means to be called “leader”. We can only lead when we are willing to pull back the curtain and let others in to who we are, the good, the bad and everything in between.

As my husband and I look forward to our next session with our mentees, we do so with a clearer knowledge of why we were selected to mentor them. It was not because we are the “perfect couple”, but because we are imperfect. We are willing to share all of what makes us leaders in our home and in our marriage. That is what will make the biggest impact for these soon-to-be married couples.

Summing it up.

I certainly hope this article resonates with you as a leader in your home, community or at work. Give your all to others. Share with them in your words and in your actions what it means to be an effective leader.  Don’t keep it all to yourself. You will limit your legacy if you do.

Please do share this message if you think it’s an important one. Thank you!

Leave a Comment


Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

Heather is a Workplace Culture Expert

She's the...

CEO of Employee Fanatix

A leading workplace culture and employee engagement consulting & training firm.

A highly sought-after keynote speaker

Bringing the best insights from over 25,000 employee stories to the stage.

A diversity, equity, & inclusion strategist

An expert in creating safe spaces for these vital conversations.

A contributor to leading news outlets

A trusted expert for stories on culture, workplace engagement, and employee retention.


The Cycle of Active Listening

Create a listening culture that elevates the workplace experience for everyone.

Through this guide, uncover how to ensure those in your care at work feel heard and valued, resulting in increased loyalty and satisfaction.

  • Understand why listening is the key to improved engagement
  • Learn how the Cycle of Active Listening contributes to strong workplace relationships
  • Get a practical framework for creating a listening culture that is bidirectional, responsive, and supportive
Get the Guide
Are you interested in hiring Heather to present at an organization you are associated with?
Are you interested in hiring Heather for consulting services or workshops?

Contact Heather Today!


I'm really interested in...

(select all that apply)*

I can be reached at...

Additional Comments