By Robin McDougal
The world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing, Deepak Chopra, has a new book on a topic that is near to my heart, The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness.
He explains that awareness of your own needs, as well as others’ needs, provides a deeper understanding of your leadership potential. Not only can this make a profound change in the way we lead our companies, run our families, and embrace our important relationships. It makes us rethink the types of leaders that we need today.
“According to the old definition, leadership belongs to only a few,” Chopra writes in the introduction. “In a group, the person selected may stand out as the most popular, confident, or ruthless. By these measures, not everyone can lead.”
Plus, he insists, “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, 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.
And, because leadership is an evolving journey filled with unpredictability, Chopra provides us with a map on pages 13-14 to help us become more 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 come 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 form 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.
The Soul of e-GLAM
I found this road map particularly useful, because I regularly ponder how I can be more successful in my role as the president of my laptop / handbag manufacturing firm, e-GLAM, Inc.
When I look back to see how my company has evolved over the last decade, I feel that I have embraced the qualities and concepts that Chopra teaches, including knowing the value of collaboration, recognizing the talents of others, being open to new ideas, and setting obtainable goals. But reading this book also gave me a new perspective on what it truly means to lead well.
I will be implementing many of these ideas in the coming months, and encourage you to send me your thoughts on the importance of leading with soul: email@example.com.
As Chopra says, “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 for Wellbeing. 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 bestsellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. Dr. Chopra’s books have been published in more than 85 languages.
His New York Times bestseller “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 bestselling 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.
About Robin McDougal
For the last 25 years, Robin McDougal has been a marketing executive at Trans World Airlines and the Marriott Corporation, and has conducted spaceflight simulations and developed a critical thinking and problem-solving curriculum for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. In 2001, she founded e-GLAM Inc., a manufacturer of high-end laptop briefcases and handbags.
For more information, visit www.e-glam.com.
Check out her blog, Robinmcdougal.wordpress.com
And click here to read how she Has It in the Bag.