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There is more to being a leader than just doing things right. For Conscious Leadership Shaman Rodolfo Carrillo, leadership also comes from that spiritual path of recognizing who we are and showing up from that state of who we are from being. In this episode, he joins host Gerry Foster to take us deep into his understanding together with his new book, BE-ing Leadership, where he combines the spiritual and business paths to show up in a more authentic way as a leader. He shares some of the steps to do that so you can become the leader you want to be and ultimately create a positive impact on the world. Join this conversation as Gerry and Rodolfo show you how you can affirm your own greatness, embrace that, and step into it.

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BE-ing Leadership With Rodolfo Carrillo

One of the things that I’ve shared with all of you as readers over the past several years is that I always bring the best of the best, people who excel at what they do. People who have a gift, something extraordinary to offer the planet, something that makes a difference in the lives of many other people. When I come across these types of individuals, I’m always blown away by how special they are. One of those individuals is my special guest, Rodolfo Carrillo, who is coming to you all the way from Costa Rica. Before I bring Rodolfo on, let me tell a little bit about this extraordinary young man.

Rodolfo is a Conscious Leadership Shaman. He has developed a powerful SER model for achieving leadership of the fullest potential, as well as deep, sustainable personal mastery in organizational growth. Rodolfo has a very interesting and unique combination of business skills, along with experience and the inner wisdom that triggers profound transformation through his work, which is motivated by his strong desire to serve others in their own personal and professional development. Rodolfo is an MBA graduate. He has been involved in business consulting and training for more than fifteen years, and has participated as an independent director in more than twenty business boards. He has also been meditating and in a very personal and spiritual development path, since he was seven years old. This is a well-traveled man. He has traveled and given talks and workshops throughout the world, having visited more than 30 countries and also lived abroad in the United States and Spain. This gives him a very deep cultural sensibility, which he uses as leverage in the work that he does.

Whenever I have guests on my show, I always like to know who they are and why they do what they do, what their mission is and what their calling is, and what is the impact that they see for themselves and in the world. In this case, he is no exception. His purpose is to contribute to raising the consciousness of humanity so that we can create a healthier society and world, where people and organizations interact with compassion and can thrive through a greater state of wellbeing. Rodolfo, welcome to the show. How are you?

Gerry, I’m honored to be here. Besides being great, the weather is wonderful here in Costa Rica. It’s an amazing time.

Thank you. One of the things that as I was reading about you and learning about the work you do is the whole idea of being leadership. In fact, of course, that’s the name of your new book, BE-ing Leadership. Tell me about that. What exactly does that mean to have or be a being leadership? What is that about?

The spiritual path is about recognizing who we are and showing up from that state of being. Click To Tweet

As you mentioned in my introduction, I studied Business. When I studied Business, we would talk about leadership and as a way of almost behaving, what you should do to lead, to influence and to motivate others, a lot of the focus was on doing. You also mentioned I’ve been on a spiritual path since I was a little kid. Spiritual path teaches us to be, not to do but we do. We live doing but the spiritual path is about recognizing who we are and showing up from that state of who we are from being. As I started combining my spiritual path and my business path, I recognize first in myself and then with my clients that I was showing up in an inauthentic way. I was trying to do stuff that would trigger behavior that would help others do stuff but it was more from the outside.

As I started integrating more who I was and accepting more who I was and working with my thoughts, my emotions and my behavior, behavior starts from within, then I started recognizing that in my influence group. With my clients, the same thing happens. The guys that I taught then it’s like, “Stop forcing yourself to be different. This is who you are. This is what naturally comes to you. Use that to show up. If it’s not working, then we need to transform from that place from what’s coming from within, or from that place from within.” Their influence started expanding. Their relationships are expanding and the results started getting better. I wrote this book called BE-ing Leadership, which is recognizing where is it that we’re coming from.

I love that. I’m a big believer in who we are being more so than what we’re doing because the being drives what we do, so that we can then have what it is that we’re looking for. Who do you primarily work with? Is it big companies and teams or small business owners? Who exactly are you serving?

I love working with big leaders. When I say big leaders, it doesn’t have to be like corporations or I have worked with leaders in corporations. It’s more people who are heart-centered and looking to create impact. Usually, my favorite client is the entrepreneur. It’s that person who’s building a business who has or has built a business and who is actually from their heart seeking to create a better world for all. That’s my favorite client and my usual client because they’re already have what’s basic, and that is being driven from purpose and that’s the center of being. It’s understanding where we’re coming from and that our nature is to create good things around us and to create a positive impact. That’s a natural state of being.

I can imagine that you must come across some interesting experiences and circumstances. For many entrepreneurs, they’re trying to get to the next level, they want to scale. They want to have more impact and they’re not quite sure how to do it. Unfortunately, a lot of them turn to marketing. They think they need to create a marketing bottle, or they need to go out there and knock on more doors. To your point, it starts within. How do you do that? Is there a process that you utilize because I’m fascinated with this?

The processes, structures and having the right team is all important. I’ve been in business my whole life since I went into college. Those things, we shouldn’t take them for granted. If we are not fully showing up, if my fears, my beliefs or the story I tell myself in my mind is not aligned with what I’m doing, then all of that doesn’t work. How do we do that? There are two key aspects to that. One is we need to learn to bring our awareness within. Before I start looking outside of what’s not working, the first thing I’ve got to do is bring up my awareness within and look for, “What am I doing that’s triggering this?” If your team’s not showing up for you, you chose that team. You’re working with them and you’re leading them. What is it that you’re doing that’s triggering that team to not show up? Bringing our awareness within. In the book, it says it’s about having a model because as we bring our awareness within, and this was my personal experience, we’re complex.

BBF 50 | BE-ing Leadership

BE-ing Leadership: Most things can transform when we recognize the root cause, but there are some things we really need to go deep and see because they’ve become defense mechanisms that we developed when we were kids.

We have emotion and there’s the story that’s going on in our minds, and we don’t understand where the story is coming from. People tell us, “Just stop telling yourself that story.” It’s like, “That sounds easy but it’s hard.” I started working with this model of what do we look for? What do we pay attention to and develop the tools to be able to deal with the story, with our ego, with the belief system, with our emotions with our habits? Start working with all those moving pieces within ourselves so we can transform them. We can become that leader that we want to be so that we can serve others in the most expansive way.

I love that because you’re saying something profound, which is, “Be the leader you are meant to be.” We could add on to that, that you are supposed to be and we’re born to be, and yet you’re hitting upon something that triggered something with me, which has to do with our stories. Those stories often occur from things that happened during our childhood, while we’re growing up, things that occurred with other adults or with our parents. Anything you can share about that, some stories that you heard or stories that you’ve come across? How does that affect who someone is as a leader, as someone who’s out there to serve others or that will all lead their team? What are some of your experiences of things you can share with us?

What you’re seeing is the key for most people. When we’re kids, we were being taught how to be and how to behave in society. Some of those things become our strengths and some of those things become our most limiting situations, beliefs or structures. As we start doing that personal work to expand, it naturally takes us into, “When did I learn this? When did I learn that I had to be a perfectionist, and everything had to be my way and absolutely perfect?” As long as we’re not able to get rid of the fear of not being perfect using that example, that’s the situation of a client. She was about doing everything the way it needed to be done, regardless of anything else. She would work until 11:00, 12:00 at night, she would be answering emails at 3:00 in the morning.

She knew that this wasn’t healthy. This wasn’t healthy for herself and for her team. She recognized that her team was starting to do the same things and they were tired. They were borderline burnout. We started talking about this. I told her, “Why are you doing this?” She’s like, “I’ve always been like this.” As we went back into her story, we’re able to recognize that she was trying to please her parents. This is the fact that she had always been the perfect girl. She had always been the perfect student, the one that shows up, the one that does things right. She carried that stuff. She was praised as a kid like, “She’s an amazing kid. She’s beautiful. She’s great.” She carried that stuff into her work and it was that strength.

When I learned that, it was so enlightening. Our strengths, when we over-utilize them, they become weaknesses. Her strength of being detailed-oriented, of wanting to do things right, when she was over-utilizing this strength, it became a weakness. It was tiring her team and for herself, and they were all borderline, on the verge of being burnout. It was important to see those behaviors and be able to transform them, the stories that we tell ourselves. It’s something that’s simple to change. Most things we can easily change. Most things we can just recognize as like, “There it is, it’s a belief, it’s a story I’m telling.” Most things we can transform when we recognize the root cause. There are some things that we need to go deep and see because they’ve become defense mechanisms that we developed when we were kids. Now, it’s hard to transform them because our subconscious is telling us like, “We need to keep doing this because if not, we’re in danger.” We are in danger of not being loved or we’re in physical danger because we were when we were kids.

The moment we bring awareness to something, it loses power. Click To Tweet

In this case, it wasn’t something bad. Her parents loved her, they were great parents. They praise her all the time, but it developed this idea that she needed to be perfect in order to be loved. At that point in her life, it had been a very empowering belief because she was able to do a lot of socials, 26 years old and she was leading teams and doing amazing stuff. As responsibility crept on her, it started growing, then it was like, “I can’t do it.” Now, it was becoming limiting because she had to trust her team and she had to be able to deal with frustration, and she wasn’t.

You must be an exceptional powerful guy. My own experience in terms of people that I’ve interacted with over the years to my work is that when you go down this path with someone where you’re going to navigate, as you put it on your book, the inner complexity of what is driving behavior and what causes people to do what they do, defense mechanisms and the whole 9 yards. You must come up against some strong defense mechanism because you’re pulling a scab off a wound. You’re going into things that people are hiding, living on top of, sweeping under the rug. For myself, for example, I grew up in an alcoholic household. My dad was an alcoholic. He never spent much time with me and I made up all types of stuff, “I’m not lovable. As I got older, I’m not going to let you get close to me. You may just hurt me.”

I remember every year when I was a kid, every Christmas morning, I would love to run downstairs to see what Santa Claus brought me. My parents and my brother were asleep. I’m looking underneath the Christmas tree, shaking the presents. Two years in a row, as I’m doing that, I knocked over the Christmas tree. All the bulbs, all the lights, everything came crashing down. When my parents woke up later and my dad came down and saw what I did, he whipped me. He was like, “How could you do something so stupid?” This happened two years in a row. I made up a story, and I didn’t realize this until I got older and started doing some human work that, “I’m always going to play it safe, even as an entrepreneur. If I take a chance, I’m going to knock over the Christmas tree.” As a result of that, it kept me playing small as opposed to playing big. It took that introspection with someone to navigate that complexity, those waters with me. I’m curious, how do you do this? Are you a therapist? Hypnosis? This is sensitive stuff that you’re talking about here that most people don’t like to deal with.

All of us have situations in our childhood that have either potentiate us or limit us. I love that story. It’s a very powerful story and how you overcome that to become who you are. All of us have those stories. There are two things that are key to this. One is the willingness and that’s a gift. When I say a gift, it’s when my clients look me up, they’re already willing. They’re already looking to transcend that, and that’s the first thing that’s important. That discovery call that we do, I tell them, “Are you willing to go deep?” This is funny because a lot of clients come in and they tell me, “I want to work on my influence with my team.” I’m like, “That’s great. I love that, but we may end up talking about your childhood. Are you willing to do that?” They are like, “Okay.” It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Willingness is the first one, you have to be willing to see.

The second one is seeing consciousness. The moment we bring awareness to something, it loses power. The moment you become aware that you’re tying up your fear of expanding, of taking the risk of being seen, and you tie it up to that story, that moment, that story lost power. There’s still some work that we need to do. We need to transform the belief. We need to release the emotion. We need to tell our subconscious that, “It’s not dangerous anymore. We can take risks and it’s going to be all right.” We need to resignify the story. We need to make peace with that. We need to say, “Yes, I lived through that,” but it gave you a gift. I’m going to guess, I’d say that situation for you, what it brought you is you became very meticulous. You’ve been very careful in what you’re doing. You need to follow up that ability to be fairly meticulous and good at what you do because you don’t want to mess up, that’s the gift. Now, you can integrate that story into your life. The third step is we’ve got to create a new story towards the future. How do you move forward? Who do you want to be right now? If you want to keep being meticulous, you want to keep being good at what you are and not from fear. You want to be able to expand. Now you’ve got to create a new story.

BBF 50 | BE-ing Leadership

BE-ing Leadership: Consciousness is a constant voyage. You are constantly paying attention and recognizing.

I like it because as you know, this is the Big Brand Formula and my work is about big branding. One of the things that I often tell my clients and students is that, “You have to be willing to assume your throne and claim your space in your area of specialty,” and that requires, to your point, affirming your greatness, embracing your greatness, and then stepping into it. However, we’ve got to let go. We’ve got to get the poop out of the fishbowl. People have all these dreams and ambitions, and they want to be this and do that, and yet here they are in this thing called life. Here they are in this thing called business ownership. They’re trying to look ahead to see who they can be and what they can have. They don’t realize they’re swimming in murky waters. They can’t even see what’s in front of them, and so those waters have to be cleaned out. The poop has to be removed. That’s how I like to put it. I like where you’re going with this because all it is, is a story.

I’ll speak for myself. Something happened when I was a kid, there were other incidents, but I’m not going to get into those. Then I made an interpretation around it in terms of what it must mean, and that’s what held me back. Let’s talk about the entrepreneurs though because I get it with the teams. Do you work with solopreneurs at all?

I do.

They don’t have teams. They’re me, myself and I. What are you doing in that situation? I know for a lot of our readers out there, they’re wondering, “I want to make sure that I remove my handcuffs. I want to remove those things that are holding me back when stepping into my greatness.” What advice do you have for those folks?

I want to say something before to your point because you mentioned greatness. I think one of the key things that we want to understand and embrace is that our greatness comes from the story that we’ve experienced in our life. That’s our greatness. As long as we’re fighting our story, we’re not embracing our greatness. The moment we made peace with that story is the moment we start embracing our greatness, and that’s important. To your point about solopreneurs, one of the things that are important is embracing that in a way that how do you want to expand? I’ll tell you a personal story. My experience as a kid was I do everything on my own because of family situations, my parents are divorced. I grew up with my mom and my sister, my mom’s attention is 99% based on my sister, so I learned to do things on my own.

Our greatness comes from the story that we've experienced. Click To Tweet

Since I’m a little kid, I’m putting myself to bed. I’m doing my homework on my own. That’s fine. When I start my own business, I’m on my own, solopreneur. It took me to a point where I couldn’t grow anymore because I couldn’t handle everything that needed to be done. One of the things that I had to make peace with was getting help and being able to feel supported, have a team and trust my team. When I made peace with that, then I started hiring people and our business started growing. Here’s the other thing, at some point I had this idea of where I wanted to take my business. I wanted to build a consulting firm that was the biggest one in Central America and in a family business, which is the first area that I started working with several years ago. I had those ideas of, “How big do I want it to be? How many people do I want to work in with me? How many clients do I want it to serve?” Then it hit me, I was working several hours a day. I was making a lot of money, but I have no time to take a vacation. It’s like, “Why am I doing this?” I had no answer other than it’s what I’m supposed to do because I studied Business and I’m building a business and businesses need to grow. It’s like, “No.”

I closed my business. I took a sabbatical year and I went to Spain. I restructured myself, “I want to move away from family businesses. I want to do conscious leadership and conscious business,” which is not about growing my business infinitely, it’s about creating impact. The place where I’m at it’s like, “I want to grow my impact, not my business.” That doesn’t mean that my business is not going to grow, that means that I’m focused on the impact, not the size of the business. That shifted everything for me.

That is great. This is about expanding your influence as you transcend your personal limits. What advice do you have to folks around how they can make that happen? If you were to say, “Here are three things that you need to do or understand, or be willing to step into and address,” what would those be?

The first one is, why are you doing this? That was my path. “Why was I building this consulting firm? I had to because it was the business thing to do.” When it shifted into, “Why am I doing this?” You mentioned that at the beginning because I want to raise consciousness so that we can all have greater wellbeing, everything shifted for me. The first one is to find your why, which is purpose. The second one is bring your awareness within. Where in yourself are you self-sabotaging or limiting? Sometimes it’s aggressive but self-limiting. What is the story that you’re telling yourself that is keeping you from growing? It’s like, “It’s the market.” It’s not the market. “It’s my branding.” Your branding may not be perfect, but why haven’t you hired Gerry? What’s keeping you from that? Are you afraid of being seen? Are you afraid of growing your business and not having time?

I’ve had clients where they’re like, “I don’t know where my business is going.” After we have a talk, then they come up with this conclusion that they don’t want to grow their business. They have this idea that growing their business means taking time away from the kids or not having time for themselves. It’s like, “Can you not grow your business if you’re misleading your life or stepping away from your family? Is that true?” At that moment, they may not have an answer but when we open up that possibility, “I want to grow my business without missing life with my kids.” Our subconscious then starts working on finding solutions. We start having those conversations on, “How can I do this without missing this? How can I do this and still have this?” Purpose, bringing your awareness within, and finding those self-limiting thoughts or beliefs and stories that are keeping you from moving into what you want.

BBF 50 | BE-ing Leadership

BE-ing Leadership: There’s a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is something that’s real, happening at the moment. Suffering is a story we tell ourselves.

This is about conscious leadership, conscious entrepreneurship for people who are unconscious, but think they’re conscious.

This has been interesting because consciousness is not static. It’s a way of being. The moment we think we arrived, we lost consciousness. Here’s something important. It’s like driving a car, and then you arrived at the place where you’re supposed to go. Now you’re not driving, you stopped. Consciousness is a constant voyage or journey. You are constantly paying attention and recognizing. If you think you arrived at a state of consciousness, you’d miss that state. It’s like you haven’t arrived, you are going to it and you’re living it. That’s one of the things that is a key to understanding this and to working with ourselves. We’re never over the hump. We’re just in a straight line, but we’ve got to understand that we have to be at this place where we’re always paying attention to our story. We’re always bringing awareness within and not something, “I dealt with that a year ago, so I don’t have to deal with that again.” If it’s showing up again, then there’s something else you need to see. Maybe there’s something else you need to work with.

You mentioned self-limiting beliefs. What are some of the most common self-limiting beliefs that you come across that hold many entrepreneurs back with or without a team? What are some examples?

There are a couple that are common. One, it’s hard and that makes no sense. Nothing is hard, we make it hard. When we think that things are hard, then we have to make them hard for ourselves so that our idea, our belief, it becomes true or it holds up. Things are not hard or easy. There are things that take time, and that’s it. It’s like, “Why is it hard?” No, they just take time. You can’t grow a tree from one day to the other. Growing a tree takes time. “Is it hard for the tree to grow to 10, 13 or 50 feet?” No, it’s not hard, it just takes time. Things are hard, that’s one. The other one that I think is common is that, “I don’t feel I’m worth it.” That is more of a cultural belief that we assume at an individual level. Even if we have a perfect family, most of us still have this idea that we’re not worth it because society tells us, “Until you have this.” Even if you have this, then there’s the next step. You always have to be striving for more. It’s like we’re never there.

This way, we also do marketing, our unconscious marketing. We market towards creating people, creating a sense of lack or scarcity in people so that they buy our product. That creates feelings like, “I’m not good enough until I have this new phone, this new TV until I do this.” That’s a cultural situation I believe that limits us. Instead of understanding that we are abundant, we are living in an abundance, especially if you live in a first-world country, you live in an abundant state and you are just not recognizing it.

There may be some pain at some point that comes up, but suffering is unnecessary. Click To Tweet

This is great. This whole thing about empowering ourselves and having a mindset for success. On the surface, this is nothing new. This has been around for God knows how long. However, what I’m picking up about you though, which I like and this is one of the things that I stress is what lies at the heart of a big original brand, is to bring something to the world that is unique, fresh and original that the world perhaps has never heard or seen before. What I’m hearing is that your SER model does that. For people to have those breakthroughs in the midst of breakdowns, for people to be able to step into a tomorrow that is better than their yesterday, for people to realize that they are meant to be the head and not the tail, they’ve got to have the tools for that. That starts with a mindset, that then leads to the doingness. Share with our readers, if you would please about the SER model. I don’t want people to think that, “This guy is going to make me go back and talk about my mother and my father. We lived childhood incidents. I’m going to start crying and babbling.” Share with us about how this process is. Is it painless?

There’s a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is something that’s happening at the moment. Suffering is a story we tell ourselves that it creates uneasiness. Processes are meant to be without suffering. There may be some pain at some point that comes up, but suffering is unnecessary. What the model does is it gives us a roadmap to ourselves. It gives us a roadmap to when we bring our awareness within, “What do I look for?” First, we’re never taught to look within. We’re always taught to look outside and what’s going on outside. One is bringing our awareness within, but then how do I deal with all the situations that are going on? It gives us a structure. We’ve got to be aware of our bodies and take care of our bodies. We can’t be a full potential leader when our body is not in an optimal state. If I’m tired, if I don’t have the nurturing of my body, if I don’t give my body the food that it needs, if I don’t exercise and my body is not in an optimal state. I’m not going to be able to operate well. Our emotions, which is paying attention, learning to recognize our emotions and deal with them. Our belief system, our intellect, our mind and our ego. Learning to differentiate them in how to deal with our ego versus our mind, or our ego versus our belief. How to transform them and how to restructure them with what we need.

What the model does is it gives us that. It’s also composed of five principles, which gives us a guiding light on how to make decisions. The first principle is purpose. As long as we’re focusing on purpose, it creates wellbeing because we are social beings. That’s the second principle is understand that we’re interdependent. We’re interconnected. Since we are interconnected, we’re all social beings. When we have a purpose, we have a reason to belong. That gives us easiness, peace within and it leads us to expansion. Responsibility, stop playing the victim. Become the architect of your own life. Compassion, how do you create value for yourself and others? The last principle, which is important is having a beginner’s mindset. I’m always seeking to learn and expand. If you think you arrived, then you are stuck. You’re not listening, growing, and expanding anymore, you’re stuck. When you have a beginner’s mind, you’re always learning, connecting to others and expanding.

I love those principles because those are the principles that anyone can adopt to propel themselves and to be a conscious leader. That’s one of the things that I believe in because at the heart of big branding is to be looked upon as being pre-eminent in your space. Number one, in your industry, your category, your field of expertise, whatever it is that you do. However, you have to be conscious and aware of what’s required in terms of who you need to be, so that you can then do what needs to be done to build your business and have the impact that you want to have. This has been fantastic. You are extraordinary. Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers in terms of anything that you have on the horizon? Any events coming up, any further tips, insights or suggestions that you can make? People want to be that leader. They want to be that person that they’ve always aspired to be.

The book is coming up at the end of March 2021, and then it will be available. It’s learning about the SER model and how we can work with the model. It goes hand-in-hand with a BE-ing Leadership Program, which is an online program you can do. If you’re reading the book, you’re doing the exercises with the program, then you’re transforming. You can go to the website and you can find a free leadership assessment that goes with a free short webinar that will help you understand your leadership style, where you’re at and what’s your next step on expanding. Visit the website, which is, and you’ll get the information there. You can sign up for the book, the online program and do a free Leadership Assessment.

I want to thank you again for being a guest, coming all the way from Costa Rica, and for the fine work that you were doing. Any of us have an opportunity to enrich the lives of other people, then we indeed can live a rich life. Again, thank you for being here. Thank you, readers. This is Gerry Foster, signing off. Take care.

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About Rodolfo Carrillo

BBF 50 | BE-ing LeadershipSchedule a free call:

Life goal: To contribute to the development of a more conscious society and world, where people and organizations are lead by purpose and interact with compassion.

Strategic lines of work: business and organizational consulting, training and coaching.

SER Consultores: developing conscious organizations and leaders, using mindfulness as a technique for personal growth and the development of full potential.

Consultoría de Empresas Familiares: To facilitate the environment so a family business culture can arise in Costa Rica and Central America so these businesses and families can prosper.

Positive World Foundation: To contribute in making the world a place where people rise every morning with a smile on their faces, full of energy and will to live; knowing that their attitude and actions contribute to built the world we all live in.

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