Are you hoping to access the peace and clarity of leadership in 2016?
Here’s a book to help you start off the business year right — Deepak Chopra’s The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness.
Chopra believes that having a deep awareness of your own needs, as well as others’ needs, helps you fully understand your leadership potential. He writes: “According to the old definition, leadership belongs to only a few. In a group, the person selected may stand out as the most popular, confident, or ruthless. By these measures, not everyone can lead.”
He points out: “When the strong and ruthless rise on the world stage, we find ourselves led by kings and generals, autocrats and dictators, power-hungry premiers and presidents. History traffics in myth-making, which is based on personal charisma and uses spin to evoke an aura of destiny. But these measures of leadership are flawed. None of the qualities mentioned here indicates that a leader like this will actually improve the lives of those who follow him.”
Chopra has another plan in mind. He explains that at the deepest level, a leader is the symbolic soul of a group, whose role is to fill the needs of others.
“When each need is met, the goal is to lead the group on to fulfill ever-higher needs, lifting the group’s potential at every step,” he explains. “The inspired leader’s power base comes not from other people but from her very being, and the path she walks is guided by her own soul. Its hallmarks are creativity, intelligence, organizing power, and love.”
He insists that successful leaders combine spiritual wisdom with modern dynamic psychology and insights into group dynamics, along with loyalty, creativity, vision, security, and achievement.
Because leadership is an evolving journey filled with unpredictability, Chopra provides us with a map on pages 13-14 to help us become soulful L-E-A-D-E-R-S:
L = Look and listen. Do this with your senses, as an unbiased observer who has not judged anything in advance. Do it with your heart, obeying your truest feelings. Finally, do it with your soul, responding to the vision and deep purpose it provides.
E = Emotional bonding. Leading from the soul means going beyond the melodrama of living in crisis mode. It requires recognizing and clearing away toxic emotions so you can clearly understand your own specific needs, and those of others.
A = Awareness. This means being aware of the questions that underlie every challenge. Who am I? What do I want? What does the situation demand? A leader must continually ask these questions of herself, and inspire her team to ask them for themselves.
D = Doing. A leader must be action-oriented. In whatever he does, he must serve as a role model, holding himself responsible for the promises he has made. This requires persistence and tenacity, but also the ability to view any situation with flexibility and humor.
E = Empowerment. The soul’s power comes from self-awareness that is responsive to feedback, but independent of the good or bad opinion of others. Empowerment isn’t selfish. It raises the status of leader and team together.
R = Responsibility. Responsible leadership includes choosing considered risks rather than reckless ones, walking the talk, having integrity, and living up to your inner values. Seen from the level of the soul, a leader’s greatest responsibility is to lead the group on the path of higher consciousness.
S = Synchronicity. This is a mysterious element from the underlying universal field of consciousness that all great leaders harness. Synchronicity is the ability to create good luck and find invisible support that carries one beyond predictable outcomes to a higher plane. In spiritual terms, synchronicity is the ultimate ability to connect any need with an answer from the soul.
Chopra leaves us with this parting thought: “Creation happens at every moment. Life refreshes and renews us. If you allow this process to touch you deeply, you won’t need labels of any kind. To be a wave on the ocean of life will be glorious enough.”
About Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra is a best-selling author and the founder of The Chopra Center. Heralded by Time magazine as the “poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” he is also the host of the popular weekly Wellness Radio program on Sirius/XM Stars.
A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra is the prolific author of more than 55 books, including 14 best-sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. His books have been published in more than 85 languages.
His New York Times best-seller “Peace Is the Way” won a prestigious Quill Award, and “The Book of Secrets” was awarded the grand prize at the 2005 Nautilus Book Awards; his best-selling novel, “Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment,” was released in 2008. He is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post On Faith and contributes regularly to Intent.com and the Huffington Post.