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I am not sick. I just have cancer.

This was the response to my question: are you sick? He never responded. The only thing I got on the other line was that he was getting treatment and chose to do it the homeopathic way and avoid chemotherapy.

Anger. Denial. Shock. I understand. When someone hears the word cancer it’s a blow to the heart and mind.

But this crisis has brought me to a new paradox. I understand some people might find it controversial that a patient might choose a natural path towards a cure and not chemotherapy. That’s not my issue. I believe it’s a personal choice and I respect it. My issue is the manner in which this person is experiencing his illness and how he cannot or won´t communicate his thoughts and emotions after more than a year with it.

I know. I am being arrogant. How dare I judge a person in such a state? Who am I to do so? Believe it or not, it´s not about judging his behavior, it´s about wanting to share his struggle.

Sharing is defined in the dictionary as a verb to use, participate in, enjoy and receive. I believe that the highest form of love is sharing every kind of human experience we can have, whether it´s filled with happiness or intense sadness. But how do we really share or connect with others if we do not know how to connect with ourselves? Herein lies the key to life and to living, in the best or worst of conditions.

True leadership is also defined by how we choose to connect with others. Do we as leaders share the triumphs and wins of our team? Do we make ourselves responsible in our participation in both negative and positive outcomes? Do we communicate our thoughts and emotions to our team and connect with them? The ability to experience the joy or the struggle together is the key to leadership. It’s the key to growth. It´s the key to living.

In her Forbes article, Leadership is about Emotion, Meghan Biro states: ¨Leadership is both an art and a science. Everyone has to develop his or her own individual leadership style. Make these tools a part of your arsenal and use them well as you strive to reach people on an emotional level. Be Human. This Matters.¨

Connect. Listen to yourself. Listen to others. Share responsibility. Share the win. Share the loss. Share the experience of the struggle. Share the experience of life.