As a child, I came across the famous saying “Attitude determines altitude”. As a business professional, I came across “emotional intelligence” (first by Daniel Goleman in .…/his 1995 book) that found a link between a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill and measurable business results. Then through spiritual yogic practice, I have experienced the “leader-follower” concept that links leadership with conscious karma.
I have also read numerous articles and sayings by great leaders who suggested socially valuable skills which are often more cosmetic to rise from being ‘a good manager to a good leader’, without much real transformation in oneself. So the question remained what defines a true (not good or great) leader? and where can we find them?
Where are the Leaders?
Ironically, I find few leaders in those heavy titled, suited-booted people with sharp red ties. Most of whom I find to be glorified managers grew up through age and experience, rank and file in organizations who walk professing operational excellence, bury themselves in the daily rigmarole, political battles, and worse, often take shelter behind the walls of corporate powers vested with them, weaknesses and material security.
I find instead quite a few leaders in relatively junior titles who are leaders by what defines them who they are and not by their titles. Because they rely on their inner level code by which they do their karma with a sense of responsibility and contribution. And at the being level, this becomes a way of life for them. They live like leaders, in their own right, albeit without titles – I call them leaders in a follower disguise!
Everyone is a Leader
Every one of us is a leader. It’s just that at times we are, and at times not, depending on our state of consciousness. This pursuit of karma with self-awareness is what I call “Yogic Leadership” to define how a spiritually-aware leader who functions with soul-level awareness. On the corollary, it has a personality with a frame of mind and actions carried out with recognition that everyone is a soul, a leader, and commits to treating them as co-souls!
Consider this contrast between materially-driven and yogic leadership styles …
Superficial Leadership: I am the leader, and I know the most. Yogic Leadership: I am continuously learning along with the people – both that I work with and away.
Superficial Leadership: I’m the boss and they must carry out my instructions as they belong to the organization I lead. Yogic Leadership: My co-workers are co-souls. I assist them, enable them, and thus empower them.
Superficial Leadership: I make decisions. Yogic Leadership: I respect their ideas and inspire them to contribute to decision making and delivery.
Superficial Leadership: I am doing it, I have done it – I planned, I closed the deals. They follow my directions. Yogic Leadership: Let’s do our best (karma) as a team per our plan, and consciously manage the expectations of our customers and constituents. Let’s accept both our shortcomings, continue learning, and move forward.
Superficial Leadership: Results reflect in our revenues and shareholder value. Yogic Leadership: For us, results lie in the sense of fulfillment, the joy we derive from our work for the material benefits, albeit with the least of bondage for the results.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Superficial Leadership: We justify our share by paying back through the CSR policy and activities. We allocate budgets to fund those community programs. Yogic Responsibility: We are a global family. We commit to share, celebrate, and leave a little negative impact on other souls, the ecosystem we play in, and the planet earth.
We are all true (no lesser, good, or great) leaders when we do our karma with this consciousness!