Ode To Stephen Colbert - The Ultimate Persona


I was a big fan of The Colbert Report, and now I love watching him on The Late Show, and I want to point out that Stephen has something to teach us about leadership and consciousness.

Stephen, as he was on The Colbert Report, is the best example of the ego and what is known as a persona. I enjoy watching Stephen consciously wear his ego on his sleeve and the entertaining adrenaline rush of the crowd.

I love Stephen – for about twenty-one minutes only, because twenty-one minutes is all I can take of his ego and his personas.


Imagine working with Stephen Colbert in character – for over eight hours a day. Navigating and interacting with his ego and personas would be exhausting.

What can he teach us about leadership and consciousness? Egoic behavior is not sustainable.

A persona is a mask we present to the world to satisfy the demands of a situation or the environment. This mask does not represent the inner authentic, true essence of our self – the truth of who we are.

This is what it means to be authentic: not acting from a persona.

Wearing these masks is exhausting, too. During one of his shows, Stephen gave some advice to James Corden: “Get some sleep now. I’ve been doing this show for nine years, and my body has started burning my teeth for fuel.” The crowd reacted with an empathetic “Awwwww…”

After nine years, Stephen dropped his conservative persona. Check this out:


It’s time to “get real” – ALL of the time.


Join me in starting a new trend: Drop your ego and get real.

Stephen seldom does interviews independent from his character, opting to keep his real life more private. We never get to know the real Stephen.

In our day-to-day, we want to be connected to our colleagues. We want to know the real person – this is where true connection happens: heart to heart. And it is from this connection that we are super-productive.

It’s time to get “out of character” like Stephen:


Create a culture where you encourage everyone to be real. Here’s why:

  • Being in alignment with what you claim to stand for and how you lead is congruent.

  • Our ego is the #1 reason we don’t feel our feelings. Conscious Leaders know that letting our emotions flow at work is crucial to connection, innovation, productivity, and our health.

  • We waste a huge amount of energy trying to be someone we are not – re-channel that energy into innovation and productivity.

  • By dropping our personas and getting real, our egos are not in charge. We can accomplish tasks from our being. We are present and congruent with what the moment is calling for.

  • Saying the ultimate no – to your ego and to your mind chatter – puts you in the driver’s seat of your actions.

  • Conscious Leaders know that authentic interactions are the number one priority to keeping people connected.

  • Saying no to activities that drain your energy is crucial to thriving and preventing illness and burnout.


What’s the solution? Recognize when your personas are trying to take over - this is a form of drama that leads to suffering.


My book Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age is your handbook on how to show up authentically. From Chapter 27 – We Are Not Imposters:

“If we do not assert our authentic selves, we will feel like an imposter. When we fake the reality of who we are, when we disown any part of our experience to avoid others’ disapproval, we betray ourselves in the deepest manner. We must be authentic in our dealings with ourselves and others so that we elicit self-respect.” ~Abigail Stason, Evolution Revolution.

This article was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated