A brief video on the Exa-Leadership Model, the 6 Stages of Leadership, by the Italian Author and Consultant Dr. Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders“, with English subtitles

Transcript of the Lesson on Leadership, by Dr. Daniele Trevisani

held at the Master in Coaching & Counseling STEP, 2015

by www.danieletrevisani.com


Well, let’s start with this second module of the morning



Theme: Communication and Leadership



Our Master Lecture on Leadership



Leadership is a very broad and wide concept



We can say that generally Leadership is the ability to “drive people” (but there are several ways in doing it)



Some interpret Leadership in a way that we can call “Primal Leadership” mode (Level 1 of the Exa-Leadership Model)



the “Leadership of the Leader of the Tribe” or Leader of the Pack



The Alpha Male, or the Alpha Female



That is to say: Who is stronger, leads



In this modality, the position of Leader is acquired by fighting



and is held and kept by fighting, since there is always someone that wants to get it, to grab it, to steal it, ok?



I refer to this, in the HPM Model, as “Primal Leadership”



Second modality of viewing Leadership is a Psychoenergetic Leadership (Level 2 of the Exa-Leadership Model)



That is, the superiority of Mental Energies



I like an example, Stephen Hawking, that is a leader in the field of Astrophysics



one of several leaders, an incredibly charismatic person,



he did incredible things,



he revolutionized the world of Physics



but he is paralyzed.



We cannot talk in this case of a Primal Leadership,



it’s not his body the source of inspiration for people, it’s his Mind



and mainly his capacity to continue working



in conditions in which 99.99% of other people would have quit



and would have quit not only today, but tens of years ago.



So, there is also a Leadership on the front of the Motivational Side.



The capacity to motivate themselves and auto-motivate others.



Than we have a third level of leadership, the Leadership of the Specialist (Level 3, Micro-Leadership Level in the Exa-Leadership Model)



So, if we have on example a Surgical Operating Room within a Hospital



you would see that in a Surgical Operating Room there is a specific time-frame that we can identify as “Leadership of the Anesthesiologist”,



in other words, the best in the team in doing anesthesia, leads. He drives the action.



Nobody can interfere with his decisions (on what to do and how to do his job as specialist)



because he is THE specialist.



Than, we’ll have a Leadership Phase of the Surgeon,



than, when you return in your room, there will be a Leadership Phase of the Head Nurse, and so on.



That is to say, the Third Level of Leadership is a Leadership Mode that is very focused on Micro-Skills, Micro-abilities (Leadership of the Specialist, Level 3 of the Exa-Leadership Model)…



…you have a Micro-Skill, you can do some things better than others



and you become the Leader, a Situational Leader, let’s call it this way.



4th Level.



Always referring to the HPM Model of Leadership



… it is a “Leadership of the Big Picture” (the capacity to see the big picture)



which is based on Macro-Skills (Level 4 of the Exa-Leadership Model)



What I am saying, is that it could be the case of a CEO,



who is not necessarily the best or most skilled of the company in the field of Marketing,



he is also not the best in Administration, or as Buyer, and in Logistics,



but he can coordinate all these Corporate Areas.



He must have a good knowledge of the various organizational areas,



without pretending to be the best in all of them.



So he has the ability to “cover” several areas and to “supervise” them.



This (Level 4 in the Exa-Leadership Model) is another and different Leadership modality, the capacity to “supervise” processes (Supervisory Leadership).



For coaching and counseling, this is very interesting, since a coach and a counselor can really be “supervisors” of client’s processes,



processes that the person can deal and bring ahead also together with other professionals,



on example, lawyers, supposing that in a marital separation there might be the need of a specific legal skills in some stages of the process….



… or processes that the person brings ahead with medical doctors, with other professional roles,



always keeping in mind that someone has to maintain a “helicopter view” of the whole process that the person is trying to carry out



And now, the 5th. The Fifth modality of looking at leadership is the Leadership of Project Management, the “Leadership of Projectuality”



What does it mean to be “Leader in Projectuality”?



It means to be that person that is able to transform an idea into a “To Do List”



the list of things that have do be done



So, a person that transforms a dream



into a project and into a “To Do List”



defining “Who” “Does What” and “When”



There are people that are extremely able in intervening inside an idea or a project



they might not bring any real creativity, but are able to set times, methods, procedures



and in assigning tasks, delegation and responsibilities



This is a Projectuality Leadership (5th Level in the Exa Leadership Model)



This applies to any field. On example in a kitchen, a Project Leadership becomes the ability to know what ingredients are needed and when to use them



and very likely the dish or recipe might have been decided by others. Project leadership has nothing to do with “generating” ideas but in getting things done



Than we have the Sixth and higher Level of Leadership (Level 6 in the Exa-Leadership Model): “Spiritual Leadership”



I can cite as examples Gandhi, Buddha,



I could quote any person that someone can consider to be a “Charismatic Leader” for the value that he/she expresses



for the “Values” and not for his/her physical power or physical strength,



and not for a capacity in Project Management, but for the Values.



So, Spiritual Leaders are those in which we recognize values



we recognize ourselves in those values, we nourish ourselves with those values



those values inspire us in improving us



they inspire us in growing again, in changing the world, or in leaving a better human race behind us



This is a Spiritual Leadership



and now you imagine



That these 6 Leadership Levels



can be singularly present



on example, in having a Leader that has one specific strong trait among 6 highlighted (and might be weak on others)



and with that single strong trait, he will be able to do great things



or a Leader that has 2 strong traits, or 3 strong traits, or even more, up to 6



so we have a view of Leadership Styles based on the analysis of which typical “strong trait” a leader is using (within the Exa-Leadership Model)



so, if we look at Leader (among political Leaders) as Putin



you will see a Primal Leadership in action, a “bodily leadership”



expressed in the “walking style”, in the way to stare or look at the counterparts in the eyes, an almost “challenging mode”



a “Leadership of the Fighter” (ps. Putin is also a Judo Black Belt and his Martial past and history made an imprinting into his bodily style)



than. you will see in him also other Leadership levels in action, but this is a very typical case of Primal Leadership Style



If we went to analyze e.g. Gandhi, we could not talk about a form of Primal Leadership (Level 1), but instead of a Spiritual Leadership (Level 6)



If we observe a Master in Martial Arts,



we will very often see a leader in the Macro Skills (level 4) that are needed



and hopefully also in the Projectuality (Level 5), in the Skills that are needed to be able to take an athlete



and make him improve along the areas in which he has gaps and needs to improve



Clearly, however, if in a (Martial Arts) Gym happens that



the Master adopts a Self Perception of Primal Leader



that will mean that the Master will beat everybody in the Gym



he will attempt to show his power and his territory by “kicking everybody’s ass”



as the Alpha Monkey does within a tribe of Monkeys, where he – each now and then – attacks those who pass too close,



just to show that he is the Alpha Male and Leader of the Tribe



In another (Martial Arts) Gym, we could instead have someone who uses a Spiritual Leadership (level 6)



conducted by means of meditation session, reflective activities,



acting as Counselor and as Coach in helping his students



very probably without any need to demonstrate his skills



and even having much lower bodily skills of his students, it does not matter since his Leadership is on the Spiritual Side, not on the Body Side, he is the “Spiritual Glue” of his group



So leadership has a lot to do with the ability to let a group become what that grup might become



or in helping a person in growing, achieving his/her Personal Development and improve him/herself



and this is the really most profound meaning of Leadership

Copyright by Dr. Daniele Trevisani www.danieletrevisani.com



Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

Energy and Awareness: A new form of Insiprational Leadership

When you are inspired by someone, very probably you see a special energy shining from that person, and a form of awareness: the clear sign that the person is understanding “what is going on”.

This double presence is a highly valuebe form of Leadership, and when these two forces join, it becomes a Leadership masterpiece.

For any artistic masterpiece, a special energy and knowledge is needed.

As seen in this semantic map, energy is linked to vitally, to vigor, it can take form of physical states as muscularity, it can a scientific concept connected to the laws of thermodynamics (as free energy in a system) up to becoming a state of mind as “vitality”.


Leadership regards inspiration. The artist needs inspiration, tools, know-how, the wish to express a thought, spread a message, or fulfill a dream. The ability to inspire people is of the uttermost importance in today’s societies, that seem so empty in spiritual values, up to the point that we see higher suicidal rates in richer countries than in very poor countries.

Firms without inspiration are like empty souls, walls and computers surrounded by nothing. Athletes without inspiration will find any training boring, and will soon give up. Leaders unable to inspire are not providing real energy.

From the following semantic map, we see a very interesting connection with the spiritual side of inspiration, something seen as almost a divine guidance, intangible skills as intuition, and tangible acts such as inhaling, breathing in, the intake of air. This is not a casual correlation, but a real strong connection between what inspiration is on the “material” side and the immaterial act of inspiring energies. To be inspired, we must (metaphorically) breathe, inhale values, good beliefs, hunger for justice, hunger for results.


The same need for “fresh air” is true about the art of bringing Humans to shine at their full potential, or teams and organizations to work at their best.

Over 30 years of research combined with practical work on clients, brought the necessary knowledge and experience to highlight which are the six “main vectors”, the key-variables, or “core-cells” that contain the energy storage necessary for winning this challenge for life.

The Exa-Leadership model owes its name from the Greek word for “six” (Exa) and is also a tribute to the enormous heritage that Greek and Latin culture generated for western civilizations.

Leadership and self-leadership are like driving. Driving requires direction, a destination, but if you try to climb a steep path, you will also need a strong engine. Empowering our internal engine is our mission.

This freedom comes from knowledge of how your human system works, from the ability to recognize lies that have been told you on what your limitations are, how permanent they can be, what you cannot achieve, and start instead to become a researcher of truth and knowledge.

Semiotics is the science of coding and decoding, the search for meanings, the search for “truth” and definition of hypothesis.

We are the very first targets of our individual battle, the battle for decoding what values have been instilled in us by education and society, family and friends, and start seeing how we use those values in leading people and projects.

And when we see that some value is really a fake value, or simply is not more what we believe in, we must have the courage to throw it out of us.

VERITAS vows liberality

The truth shall make you free

This is true for the Self, and also for Organizations, since humans are the living engine of every organization.

As for any fuel-cell, our work aims at helping people to find the right fuel (input) before asking the machine to perform hard tasks (output).

For those who know what anxiety and depression is, how it makes you feel, how it blocks your future, and makes your present a nightmare, it is important to know that not only something, but a lot, can be done.

We need to fix a few things in our internal engine. By knowing how our human machine works, we will be able to set free its potential, we will be able to detect what stops a healthy “breathing” of the engine, to open the flow of air that is needed, and to restart our trip in even better shape.

For people who feel already well, and are looking for their best performances, the work on Human Potential is also essential. Before jumping into action we need to fine-tune the engine, and if you are going to race amongst giants probably you will have to do much more than a fine-tuning. You will have to fully empower your engine.

Fixing things is not enough. We look for the form of Art that can emerge from any human that achieves his/her potential, Art in a very broad sense, since a father or a mother can be Artists in their role, a teacher can be Artist in his/her role, Sports Athletes and even Managers can become Artists in the way they build a better future.

Perceivable human performances are just the external outcome. Optimal inner functioning and well-being is the real internal victory.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

Semiotics for Leadership book cover thumb© Article by Daniele Trevisani, from the book “Semiotics for Leaders” (see in Amazon more details about the book)

life pathlife choices

You’ve got to choose… so, on which side do you want to stay?

© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life


Living our life proudly and not only in other’s memories

Some humans stubbornly continue to pursue the battle to build something good, commit themselves, and keep themselves busy in trying to improve human condition and overall humanity. Others do not care, others, even worse, destroy. Which category you want to join?

Anyone who enlists in the first category shall enter into an elite, an immortal army to which thousands of unknown people belonged, people who have worked in the dark and in silence for a noble cause, but also persons who have become famous, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and who knows how many others. Whether you are part of known or unknown, of famous or forgotten, your struggle will always have sense.

There is a payoff in choosing to stay among those who try to improve freedom and enhance human potential: to look back afterwards and be satisfied of our very self and what we have tried to achieve.

Ampliat aetatis spatium sibi vir bonus; hoc est vivere bis vita posse priore frui

The good man extends the period of his life; it is to live twice, to enjoy with satisfaction the retrospect of our past life.


But this payoff is not the reason, it’s not the ultimate goal. The real goal is being proud now of what we are striving for. We do not have to wait until the final day for being proud. We can be proud in any single moment of our life, when we work on the right purposes.

Fama semper vivat

May his/her fame last forever (Ancient Latin motto)


But fame after death is not enough. It is what we look for in our daily life that makes it honorable, and if not memorable, who cares. Self-honor is now!

I really think that Leonardo da Vinci does not care, right now, about being famous. He’s dead. But I think he cared to know, while he was alive, he was working on something. Something important. Something that could change the world.

Why should we not try? Why should we castrate our very inner sense of freedom? Why living in misery if we can bring light in our path and try to improve our world? There is no religion that can tell you to suffer for the sake of suffering, or to stay in a cave when you can fly.

And if the battle is hard, do not fear hardness, do not retrieve in the mass if your path is taking your life towards life. Live like a hero in ordinary life.

Luctor et Emergo

I struggle (I fight) and I emerge

(Ancient Latin motto)

Be proud of what you are looking for. Be proud of yourself while you are doing your research. Be proud of be a freedom-searcher and truth seeker.

This is a very good way to honor life during life and not only in other’s memories.

Dum vivimus, vivamus –

While we live, let us live (Epicurean philosophy)



© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life

human potential, freedom, courage, motivationprsonal energy

Searching deeply inside Latin Culture, we see a culture that inspired apparently opposite phenomenon as the pioneering scientific discoveries of Leonardo da Vinci or Galileo, as well as the Gladiators fights for life in the Coliseum and the unmatched fighting abilities of the Roman Army.

Despite the differences, it is easy to find a deeply rooted acceptance of “challenge” as noble goal, the fearless search for the unknown and the impossible, and “training” for improving personal strength, getting ready for life fights.

Per aspera ad astra!

Through difficulties to the stars!

(Latin Motto)


This habit that found a high expression in D’Annunzio (Italian Poet and Warrior) and his motto “Memento Audere SemperRemember to Always Dare).

The capacity to fight can bring to the ability to fight in life for your values and requires an alchemical transformation. This is a great opportunity which is denied to many, by “labels” that consider any combat or martial training something “violent”, forgetting that peace requires people of goodwill and mental energies willing to engage to achieve it. Anything can become violent, even playing a guitar, depending on the spirit that is used by the players. We need therefore to focus on the “spirit” and the “emotional side” of the game of life and how a good training can help us in an alchemical transformation.

Mental Coaching can help to explore how to get rid of negative emotions and discover the secrets that a good Mental State combined with Physical State can generate. These inner attitudes can produce higher compassion, relaxation, deep consciousness, removal from unnecessary aggressiveness, and ability to focus in battle and under stress.

You can accept a challenge only if you are mentally prepared for it. Emotional challenges and physical challenges are so great, that either you decide to make your life a constant laboratory of self-improvement, and prepare for it, or you give up. We are not among those who give up.


Qui audet adipiscitur

S/he who dares wins


In this world we have the opportunity to do a good journey, and leave a positive mark at the end of your trip. And that’s not all. The ancient Latin culture helps us to understand that we can generate our own journey, we are not forced to “absorb” what the destiny or our culture of origin has prepared for us.

But for every stretch of road, you need some form of energy.

So, we need to focus on the mental energy you need to make this journey, examine and find some secrets that lie within the ancient Latin culture, and combine old Latin wisdom with modern science. A great challenge!

Energies are everywhere. How can you let them grow in you? How can you measure it, how to understand at which level you are in a given moment? We must find ancient secrets and merge them with modern science to find and how to prepare for the battles and to regenerate ourselves.

We must find a way to go ahead despite the difficulties, and to exploit the opportunities which sometimes appear in front of us.

It is a battle without limits and without end. The only purpose is to improve oneself and the world.

Working out combining physical and mental training, forces the brain to reconfigure itself[1]. In Martial Arts and Combat Sports, some mental dynamics and emotional dynamics of the combat rituals produce a unique quest of reconfiguration, working on both the intangible self-image and the real body structure.

The creation-removal of synaptic connections is accelerated and directed towards different configurations, a different “archetype” that can go towards the “warrior”, the “magician”, the “alchemist”, and reduce archetypes of victimization and helplessness.

Becoming more powerful, more resistant and resilient is not only a matter of pride, it is a matter of what you can do with the energies you earned on the ring, on a “tatami”, or in the gym, and bring them in the ring of life, on the tatami of a family difficult moment, in a company during a meeting, and also to face the highest challenges of life: growing a family, making new discoveries, try to improve humanity. The more energy you will have, the more you will able to contribute to others, and to fight against your inner daemons.

Working on this endless dream helps us to rediscover the pride and reason to exist. Start working out today on a balance of what you received from the world and what you would like to leave to this world. It will inspire you for the rest of your life.

[1] Foster PP, (2015), Role of physical and mental training in brain network configuration, in: Frontier in Aging Neuroscience. 2015 Jun 23;7:117


© Article by Dr. Daniele Trevisani – http://www.danieletrevisani.com – Copyright. Adapted from the book The Soul Box. Ancient Wisdom meets Human Potential Research. Thoughts for Self-Expression, Inner Energy and Life