Friday, January 4, 2013

The Conscious Lifestyle: The Soul of Leadership

by Deepak Chopra MD (official), LinkedIn:

In almost every situation someone is called upon to lead. Taking up the call involves a conscious choice, and yet for many leaders, even those who are very experienced, not much consciousness is applied.

If you ask a roomful of CEOs how they got where they are today - I've done this dozens of times when teaching a course on leadership for business people - the top answer is always "I was lucky."

Looking back, CEOs and other top executives mainly recognize that they wound up in the right place at the right time.

There are courses in leadership everywhere, and most of them, so far as I can tell, use case studies. The performance of successful leaders is analyzed, with comparisons to less successful leaders.

These courses no doubt produce a set of skills, but the tendency is for these skills to be technical and managerial - human skills are far harder to teach and pass on. Yet they are the key to persuading other people to follow you.

I've taken a different tack, arguing that leadership is all about consciousness. It has to be, since the response that a great leader inspires (loyalty, respect, emulation, love) is life-changing. Such responses are not evoked by well-trained managers. Skills can be developed in consciousness.

This isn't a mystical area, although we must go beyond practical psychology. A successful leader isn't a psychological manipulator, power grabber, bully, or public relations hack. Success, as it is practiced consciously, brings a better life, inner and outer, to both the leader and the group he leads.

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