SPIRITUAL APPROACH TO LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP
The highly dynamic
world economy demands from its players (states, institutions, companies and
other entities) to continually keep up with the process of updating and adapting
to the newly emerging circumstances. The obsession with performance, implying the
as-large-as-possible profits on a mid to long-term basis, puts today’s leaders before
a great challenge, irrespective of the contexts they happen to be operating in (i.e.
presidents, ministers, directors, CEOs and managers). And as if that’s not
enough, what is on a day-to-day basis becoming an increasingly more important
fuel in addition to the usual driving forces behind this great engine (which
are namely fear, greed, material wealth/wellbeing and power), is our need for good
health and a healthy life, for being active and doing meaningful work, for creativity, for reputation, for love. However, among all these, the
most important place belongs to our need for self-realisation.
Managing oneself and
others (individuals, groups and a wider community) or rather managing their
motivations and behaviour, has become the most important element of operating a
business or any similarly structured organisation. It is by addressing this
issue correctly that it becomes possible to directly influence the results of business
transactions as well as the material wellbeing of all, but equally it provides
the means to penetrate right to the deepest essence of being human, into that very
something which makes us the beings different from all others – our capacity to consciously realise our own potential
and that of others. Therefore, this
is the most important task of a leader endowed with spiritual character.
Such a leader ought to create the conditions that encourage the processes of
self-realisation in his/her followers, the processes which enable the
realisation of this urge to self-realise, an urge particular to all human
A hard task is thus
put before the leaders – first to create in themselves harmony between the
spiritual and the material, and then to pass this harmony on to others. That is
why this book is primarily aimed at leaders, but also all those who are in
search of the Truth within.
Although this book
is based on an extensive experience acquired over many years by working directly
with leaders, it has been underpinned by a strong scientific research. The
research was carried out within a project aimed at establishing the actual effect
of meditation on the emotional competences and satisfaction with life in
leaders. The project and respective research lasted several months inclusive of
collecting the data, statistical analysis and data interpretation. The goal of this research was to
examine the effects of meditation and to present the differences between those
leaders who practice as opposed to those who don’t practice meditation.
used in the research were standardised psychological tests designed to measure
the emotional competences of leaders and their satisfaction with life. Three
groups of abilities were being examined: ability
to acknowledge and understand emotions; ability to express and name emotions;
ability to regulate and direct emotions.
The test designed
to measure one’s satisfaction with life consisted of five statements.
The segment covered
by the research contained 210 leaders who were also meditation practitioners
(106 men and 104 women) and 215 leaders who did not practice (110 men and 105
- Basic conclusion:
There is statistically significant
difference between those leaders who meditate and those who don’t in regards of
the three components of emotional competence. So much so, that we could safely conclude that leaders who meditate more easily notice and
understand others’ emotions, are better equipped to express and name their own
emotions and are more able to regulate and direct their emotions.
Those leaders who were practising
meditation had statistically achieved significantly greater results on the
scale of contentment with life from the non-practitioners.
is no significant difference statistically speaking between the two sexes in
emotional competence and satisfaction with life.
“Meditation experience” (years of
practicing) and an intensity of meditation, meaning the number of weekly
sessions and hours of meditation, do play a significant role.
average, an increased “meditation experience” renders the results over all
three groups of tested competences greater, i.e. an increased ability to notice, understand, express, name, regulate and
direct emotions as well as greater contentment with life.
average, with an increased intensity in meditation (weekly frequency) the results
in the first group of emotional competences (ability to notice and understand
emotions) had also increased, including those regarding contentment with life.
Hence, greater the intensity in one’s
meditation practice (weekly frequency), greater the ability to notice and
understand emotions and to be contented with life.
DEVELOPMENT OF LEADER AWARENESS
An integrated leader
(whole, complete leader) requires an integrated approach. In order for someone
to become an integrated leader, one must bear in mind the following:
are made, not born,
although a certain genetic potential does play a part. For example, the traits
expressed through IQ are primarily predisposed through the genes, while the EQ
and SQ traits are formed during one’s life and as such become a permanent asset.
The necessity for connecting the individual
physical (care for health, at least as much as it
doesn’t obstruct other activities)
mental (focus of thoughts, or rather elimination
of all superfluous mental contents, other than those that serve a leader’s
emotional (harmonisation of
emotions and harmonisation of emotions and thoughts)
on Truth about oneself and one’s surroundings, an accord between thought and
action, between one’s being and one’s surroundings, insisting on happiness of
Emotional and spiritual habits have been learnt/established. A favourite state of mind dominates over
the emotional and spiritual structure, either forming or destabilising
emotional and spiritual harmony.
Leadership as an instrument for
self-realisation and communication is something one learns and keeps learning during
one’s life and therefore it can always be developed and updated.
We observed the following
aspects of the development of leader awareness:
primary potential of leaders,
a way of awareness (or an authentic
approach to oneself),
a way towards change (or the process of
Each one of us carries the
force of our essence within us – that which we originate from (the Absolute, the
Reality, Universe, Self, “I-ness”) and which can be
recognised in the time-space through the primary human potentials such as:
Rationality, i.e. an ability to understand various processes, our
own and those of others, as well as the so-called “objective” world (by
noticing the cause-and-effect principle between people and events, or rather
those within the processes in the manifested world). At the root of this
ability is the mind, or rather its constitution:
one’s primary experience of his/her own
existence (the thought: “I exist”), or rather perceiving oneself as an
individual separate from others and from the world , and at the same time
interacting with others and the world;
the dualistic matrix which lies behind the
functioning of the mind, “positive – negative”, “good – bad”, “up – down”,
“left – right”, the very basic among them being the experience of “pleasant –
Exchange of vibrations, i.e. an ability to give and receive love,
as being the origin of all other emotions. Love, or the awareness and the
resulting knowledge of one’s own existence, is the source of all emotions and
thoughts. Exchange of vibrations at its root represents an exchange of
experiences and of knowledge (irrespective of whether the term be defined from a scientific, religious, experiential or
spiritual point of view).
As life unfolds, we tend
to perceive it following the principle of duality that appears to exist between
various concepts, while the interpersonal communication gets realised through the
exchange of experiences.
The primary experience –
that of one’s own existence, creates an illusion of
separateness. In this way one forms an impression of an exchange of vibrations between
oneself and others, which is essentially false. Bearing in mind that others (just
as our surroundings) are in fact only our own projections, the so-called exchange
of vibrations is nothing but the movement within our own mind, where one part
of it (the so called partial mind) communicates (exchanges vibrations) with yet
another part of the mind (again, the partial mind). The pinnacle of this
process is reached through creative empathy.
Spontaneity, i.e. an ability to enter a flow-state by wilfully harmonising the so-called mental mind with the working mind. The functioning of the mental mind (also viewed as the thinking mind) is directly based on the
principle of duality and on the reactions that result from the processes
therein. Thus it (the mental mind) conceptualises, arranges, compares, doubts,
asks questions, imagines, judges, or on the other hand it feels anger, sadness, it suffers, hates, gets enraged, worries, becomes
curious, jealous, often bored, and so on, and on, and on... Mental mind is a
direct product of one’s identification with the physical body and the mind
(emotions/feelings and thoughts), i.e. the “false self”.
Working mind is that which, while using the mental,
thinking mind, enables us to enter flow-state
– a state of giving oneself entirely to and identifying with the activity at
hand. For example, in the case of a painter, the thinking mind will choose the
canvas and the easel, it will decide on the subject
and begin to paint. After some time, having thus engaged also the working mind,
the painter will enter the flow-state
where finally his or her hand will move as if being “led”. Often artists claim
that they don’t exactly know how or why they have painted (created) something,
but rather they report that something had indeed led them, or simply that it
just came to them. Either way, what essentially takes place in these situations are no less than the processes of self-awakening, the
instruments of which (namely thinking and working mind) are the ones responsible
for the realisation of the picture.
Spontaneity, referring to one’s ability to wilfully enter and remain in the flow-state
for a given period, is a natural process in us all, and as such is particularly
expressed in small children.
Urge to self-realise: besides an urge for self-preservation (an
urge to live) and for procreation (a sexual urge), this is the next most
important one. Unlike the other two, this urge is particular only to human
beings, and in most people it starts to manifest from the age of 32-42.
Ability to believe: this is another trait particular only to humankind.
From it derives our potential for dedication and devotion. While the mind is
still at its base, here the devotion has a harmonising effect thus giving it a
new quality (but only if the devotion is aimed at seeking the Truth). This
process of dedicating/devoting (directing) the mind as the result has the actual
awakening of the mind, or rather its transformation. The process of transformation
of the mind assumes the following:
of mind, i.e. serenity,
lack of attachment, absence of fear, freedom from goals, from duality and a sense
of enchantment, a continuous directing of emotions and thoughts towards the
Absolute (Reality, Universe, Self, “I-ness”, God,
engagement of the mind,
i.e. a constant, optimal process of expressing and interconnecting the manifestations
of consciousness (life, time, space, an individual, spirituality), at the base
of which is love for the Truth in oneself or love for one’s own essence.
In context of the development
of awareness, motivation has two aspects: a general one common to everyone, and
the one that’s particular to leaders and leadership.
1.2.1. General motivation:
− Basis for motivation:
the urge for self-realisation;
the process of self-individuation (self-realisation)
self-realisation as the basis for
self-investigation or knowledge of oneself; in other words seeking the
answer to the question: Who am I?;
channelling and realising one’s own potential;
recognising and enjoying one’s own originality.
through striving towards realising oneself and one’s potential;
one’s own positive and negative character traits, as well as one’s own positive
and negative behaviour;
seeking the answer to the question: Who am I as a
ourselves as we are, without judgement, pity, excessive pride or excesses of
any other kind;
for anything negative oneself or others might have consciously or unconsciously
done to ourselves and/or others;
accepting life as it comes, without calling upon the destiny or
the Universe in an attempt to account for what is happening to us.
− Managing oneself:
aware of the urge for action as that which is at the root of every emotion,
that this urge is the initial impulse of any emotional process;
the mind for the sake of taking responsibility for one’s own emotions and
thoughts, given that they carry their own consequences;
one’s own potential and abilities in an optimal direction (selective activation
− Channelling one’s
relationships with others:
and accordingly placing oneself with others and vice versa;
for someone to be understood and accepted as they are;
striving to be honoured, to be treated fairly.
1.2.2. Specific motivation:
− Self-development, in the sense of one’s continual
development through education (explicitly) and through life situations
− “Inner power”, as an ability to channel one’s skills and
talents as well as their application as at home, so at work and in one’s
− Development and
expression of creativity, as a fun activity that fulfils us by bringing us into the flow-state.
− Dedication to ideas, visions, the given organisation/institution
− Helping others, as an instrument in one’s self-development,
self-affirmation and self-discovery “tool-kit”.
− Material wellbeing, as for oneself, so for others.
1.2.3. Leadership as a
− An instrument of self-realisation, including an overall development of one’s personality
through one’s family, organisation, institution and wider community.
− A sense of calling to become a leader.
− Integration of knowledge, experience and skills and
the application of these three in a given time and space.
− Development of one’s
career as a possibility
of reaching a professional peak.
− Political, economic and other “powers”, which one ought not to let oneself get attached to since once that that
happens, this apparent “power” loses its meaning.
− Specific emotions such as fear, anger, rage, desire, can serve
as an initial moving force only, as
they lack the reach necessary for them to remain a permanent motivating force, due
to its limited range (by the virtue of the fact that they are of the mind and
as such cannot transcend the mind) and their very nature, which is illusory,
being contrary to one’s true essence.
As the 21st century got under way, another interesting trend in motivation started to emerge
quite strongly – ranking oneself alongside those who make up the so-called critical mass of self-realised
(enlightened) leaders, or at least those who are close to deserving such an
epithet and whose being and actions thus resonantly mobilise humanity as a
whole. Their very awareness is their
“motivation”. What fulfils them is the awareness of their own existence and so of
their direct actions in respect to others and their surroundings.
PATH OF AWARENESS
The only way to solve the
mystery of humankind, or rather to answer the questions such as: What is a human being? Who are human beings? Where do we come
from? etc, is self-realisation
or self-accomplishment through self-searching and dedication/devotion.
Seeking the essence or the
Absolute (Reality, Universe, Self, “I-ness”, God), is
the greatest of all ventures, one full of perils, twists, turns and surprises.
With it we not only change ourselves, and so our destiny – but also the world
we live in.
It is indeed
incomprehensible to the mind that we do actually live in a world that is
illusory, that we are in fact one, which is the Absolute (i.e. the Reality,
Universe, Self, “I-ness”, God). The process we call
life unfolds within a given (defined) time and space, and yet most people do
not understand in what way are time and space inseparable from the mind.
Elements of the mind (the senses, perception, memory, emotions, thoughts, concepts) create a world we ultimately experience as real.
The mind initially emits (projects) vibrations, and then it equally receives
them through the senses when they get processed and summarised into images and
scenes and so shape our world.
All that we see and
experience (as well as that which we can’t see, including the co called
“invisible cosmos”) are but projections and reflections of our mind.
with the mind, physical body and other manifestations of consciousness from a
very early age, most people get trapped in a vicious circle, in which the very
awareness is experienced as something separate from the Absolute within.
dedication demands an awakening (transcending) of the mind, which in turn presumes
a detachment from:
the physical body. A view that they
are not just a physical body is one that a great majority grasps and accepts reasonably
easily (nonetheless, a body is an indispensible condition for the manifestation
the mind, being the one most people find hard to let go of due
to an erroneous assumption that mind ought to be somehow eliminated, rather
than transformed in order to render it serene and fully consciously engaged;
individual awareness/consciousness – the last bastion of self-identification and uniqueness. Most people tend get
stuck on the misguided belief that if they were to truly “detach” from their
awareness of themselves as individuals, they would totally lose their identity.
In fact it is the case of becoming one complete being, and realising that we are
All these identifications (with
the physical body, the mind and the consciousness/awareness), and the resulting
strong attachment to them accompanied by the sense of separateness not only
form the Absolute, but from other people as well, give rise to various fears – the
fear of death, the fear of illness or the fear of not realising oneself.
However, an earnest resolve to reach the actual Truth about oneself will weaken
and transform even the ultimate fear.
During the process of
self-enquiry, many are not only able to perceive certain progress in their
spirituality, but also an increase in their desire to improve the so called
daily life, health, material status, social position and so on, all of which –
be they intentional or unintentional, are nevertheless secondary to the process
of seeking the Truth about oneself.
Even if there were
something in the true act of self-inquiry that we could, however inaccurately, refer
to as an “ambition” or a “goal” (“purpose”), it then should have one level and
one level only – elimination of obstacles to one’s spontaneous self-expression
as one’s natural state.
of awareness reaches its full maturity in the knowledge of oneself and one’s existence
in the present moment (“here and now”). Going off this road leads one into a labyrinth of
endless and pointless questions, it divides the mind (diminishes one’s
experience of reality) and takes one further away from one’s true essence. Such
a person’s insight begins more and more to resemble “a vision blurred by the
mist of power”, but in reality – manipulated by the mind.
path of awareness has a long line of elements, from which we shall only point out a few:
- Each and every one of
us, making up the humankind and as such the ultimate (highest) spontaneous
process of the Absolute and therefore the manifested world (i.e. the Universe),
are given all we need to find that which was never lost in the first place.
- Human beings have all
the necessary instruments, starting from the physical body, through the mind
and finally our consciousness/awareness, which can be utilised during the
process of self-realisation or self-enquiry.
- Thanks to the our perception of the mind as the starting
point of our existence, all other processes that are born and die within us
become realised, to the very last, take place within us, and so – with the birth
and the death of the mind, this whole world is born and it dies. It’s similar
to a state of deep sleep: there everything disappears (we have no experience of
the world and its existence), and as we begin to awake the mind starts to
become active, instantly engaging with its own projections – and we start anew to
perceive the world that it creates.
- The knowledge “I am” or “I exist” is an experience of the mind and as such it gives birth to
all mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic and so on processes rooted in space
- Everything happens spontaneously
(which does not mean chaotically!), and nothing can ultimately be chosen, since
if that was the case, many would not have chosen the body that they have, or the
environment nor the circumstances in which they live, or else wouldn’t be doing
the jobs they are not satisfied with – the list goes on. An illusion that we are
able to choose our own paths is simply – a product of the mind, based on its
dualistic concept of freedom. The one that’s doing the choosing is the partial
mind, while the whole mind simply exists.
- All activities are part
of total manifestation. Whatever you seek, if you start the search off with a
concept that you are an individual separate from others, you will get lost in
the mind’s myriad of nooks and crannies.
- If the search is done
without love (devoid of realisation of the Absolute within oneself and others),
one will never have an insight of any real value. Having said that, one’s personal experience is of paramount
importance, although eventually one must become free even of this
experience and live in Truth.
- The basic practical
advice (which we shall expand on later) is neither seek to escape to the past nor fix all one’s attention on the future. It is
essential to remain in the “here and now”, otherwise one again gets lost in the
labyrinth of duality – our past experiences carry the concepts good and bad and
it is from the past that they are projected into the future, thus placing veil
upon a veil over one’s experience of the only real time space there is – the
- Developing one’s
consciousness is a limited goal. Without its maturing or rather – its
completion, development is merely within the confines of the ego (duality of “I – others”)
- Development of consciousness
is a practice (mental, emotional and spiritual) – a dedication observed 24
hours a day. Even when the mind becomes whole, the practice carries on.
- Practice reveals both our
weaknesses and our strengths. By the virtue of a continual earnest practice the
weaknesses are gradually but definitely left behind.
When we address “That
which is greater than ourselves, which is our very spring and origin” (the
Absolute, Reality, Self, “I-ness”, God) with a prayer
or even only with a thought – we direct our minds towards our very essence. Such
communication with one’s Self sets in motion the processes “beyond the mind”
(i.e. beyond the dualistic mind),
which are otherwise impossible to mobilise by perseverance (will power) alone.
- Various codes of conduct,
observations, thinking, analysis and meditation
methods are in themselves limitations, but are at the same time necessary as long as one’s mind is “insufficiently disciplined”. With its
awakening (i.e. becoming whole) the emotions and thoughts as well as actions
become spontaneous and synchronised with the whole mind, which is the carrier
of the original vibration and all-round wisdom.
- If we pray for
something, or even if we only think in the direction of a particular wish or
desire, our attachment to it and dependence on it will also increase. That is
why it is better to self-search, to remain persevering and to wait without
1.3.4. Freedom from
- When you’re learning,
studying or researching something – all you are doing is trying to remember a
concept that you already carry in you. Therefore, the final goal is – awareness without concepts or conscious
conceptuality, rather than conceptual consciousness.
- It is important not to
idealise the principles of logical thinking; instead, one should direct one’s
efforts and energies towards a constant development of EQ and SQ, because if
the IQ is more influentially prevalent than the other two, a path to loneliness,
worry, aggression and depression opens.
- Often the process of
self-searching is linked with a need to collect (possess) knowledge, although
that knowledge is always limited and subject to time and space in which a given
individual happens to be manifesting. That is why one should not attach to it,
but rather ought to seek the knowledge about one’s own essence.
- As long as attachment’s
to concepts about the physical body, mind, or individuality exist, i.e. as long
as there is any form whatsoever of attachment
to one’s own identity (“I am this or that”), there will also exist a
core of fear and suffering, which naturally blocks the development of
- There must be courage if
one is to truly lose one’s individuality (meaning simply that we are no longer attached to it, not that it is actually
no longer there) and its extreme form – egoism, in order for us to
emerge in a state of spontaneous
manifestation of compassion as a natural expression of (clear)
- Another important facet
is not to aim at being perfect. Just being what we are – not perfection, but
wholeness (completeness). Perfection as such does not exist in time and space, as
these are only manifestations, but it does exist in the Absolute, in Reality. However
there – there is no such thing as individual!
- Experience of wholeness,
or rather awareness of unity of mind – total awareness, is the most significant experience. That is experience of full,
- Experience of wholeness
leads to freedom from:
fears, which arise from one’s identification
with the physical body and mind, and from one’s attachment to them. Fears are
therefore rooted in one’s experience of being an individual separate from
others and from the Absolute, i.e. the Reality;
desires, at root of which is a prior experience of
pleasant and unpleasant, stored in one’s memory. From it arises the wish for
repeating the good and avoiding the bad – both
cases lead to attachment and act as a block for the possibility of realisation
in the present moment;
excessive thinking, i.e. an uncontrolled influx of emotions
and thoughts (being preoccupied with problems that keep coming back in the form
of thoughts which are in turn followed by emotional reactions).
- Thinking devoid of the sufficient level of self-awareness
leads to one’s obedience to one’s ego and various destructive concepts, hence the
condition of wholeness is the dissolution of the ego (i.e. its transcendence).
- Both mental and
emotional awareness are based on duality, while the spiritual one is based on
wholeness. Spiritual awareness is characterised by:
serene mind, in which emotions and thoughts are harmonised at the
level of wholeness, and
spontaneity, based on non-duality and creative
There need to be two
aspects to methodical approach: general and specific.
1.4.1. General approach:
of awareness, containing:
general factor (i.e. the source) of all-pervasive manifestation;
process through which all comes in and out of being;
a possibility of overall experience.
realisation that awareness alone holds the answers to all questions and that
that is where they must be sought.
A holistic approach towards oneself and
others, in a way that assumes
connecting mental, emotional and spiritual aspects (for example, if one rushes
and draws rational conclusions too quickly and consequently acts on these, one
runs a risk of not realising one’s the capacity of creative empathy and entirely
missing the spiritual essence).
and recognising the will to be honest and open with oneself, i.e. one’s readiness
to face oneself while not taking heed of any assumptions
or preconceived ideas (regarding what can be found, realised or what can
happen, which by its very definition stands in opposition to the notion of self-search).
What is needed is total confidence in the very essence of one’s being, which
never makes mistakes nor does it lead astray.
to learn through whatever different forms of acquiring knowledge may present themselves, be it formal education, specialised and general group
or individual work.
conceptual and analytical thinking in relation to individuals and groups, meaning
the various general approaches and their application in concrete situations.
optimum level of theory and plenty of opportunities for practical application
of the knowledge gained. It should be always borne in mind that each life
situation is an opportunity for communication with oneself and others.
to work on one’s personality (persona) and one’s behaviour through acknowledging
one’s limitations and weaknesses.
Continued presence, or rather practicing self-awareness,
spontaneity, holism as well as always adopting a point of view, in each and
special accent on the development of EQ and SQ, which automatically assumes the
necessary all-roundedness and, as is well known, it most pays off at the top –
the greater the role of a leader in the hierarchy, the influence of
technical-technological knowledge is smaller. On the other hand, the influence
of emotional and spiritual competences continues to grow.
Channelling the energy, where one should keep in mind following:
with most leaders (and other people in general) it is water, food, recreation, rest
and so on that represent the usual sources of energy, and only under the
condition that they are correctly used (i.e. according to the advice and
instructions of experts). An often used method of “pushing oneself beyond one’s
limits” (the maximum of own potential, “and then some”), can and often does rebound
like a boomerang resulting in exhaustion and loss of motivation;
channelling the mind through various systems such as yoga, qi-gong, tai chi, prayer, meditation, etc., presents a far
more significant source of energy.
Certainly the most
optimal approach is exactly the combination of the two (utilising the
conventional sources of energy alongside those reached through the channelling
of the mind).
others to find their own answers, rather than relying on those provided by someone
other than oneself, and to fundamentally seek to establish connections with
those whose skills are complementary to one’s own.
The plan of action
The plan of action
analysis – evaluation of the post (position) a leader is expected to take on,
as well as the job he/she is supposed to perform;
of one’s own competences as a leader (general and specific) which one already
possesses and those that are still wanting;
selecting the appropriate range of competencies in order that one
can focus only on the necessary in one’s studies and training.
goals and tasks, evaluating the possible usefulness to the organisation or
institution and evaluating the leader;
the will factor (one’s level of readiness to be trained)
future involvement as the leader (recognising oneself in the future position,
one’s role in it and the future leader’s recognition of the goals, ways to reach
them and the appropriate training methods);
leader’s assessment of his/her own readiness to purposefully engage and
appropriately judge his/her own “wilful moment” (i.e. the experience of one’s
own motives which carry one’s driving force; the evaluation and channelling of acceptable
and unacceptable impulses; one’s ability to choose between the alternatives
relating to the personal notion and experience of free will, and that of realisation).
− Selection of approach:
we have already mentioned that leadership is something that one can learn (which
does not mean that anyone can become a leader, but many can!);
is necessary to define the knowledge, experience and skills accumulated thus
far (educational qualifications, professional training courses, knowledge of
other languages, general and specific competences);
is also important to form a plan for one’s further training and development by
combining the permanent, longer term training (which has a relatively lasting
effect) with a shorter but more frequent training sessions designed either to
revise and sharpen the existing knowledge and skills pool or to learn a
specific new skill.
− Individual approach:
be emphasised, since each leader must remain authentic;
to be based on the selective education and training (for specific professional
areas and situations);
to include a one-to-one individual training and a selection of one or more
also involves a selection of mentor, who is there to monitor an overall development
of the leader.
− Direction and control:
realise clear goals and steps to be covered, but also to be ready to correct
these during one’s training in accord with own progress;
is important to make a clear identification of the needs and requirements of
the future post of a leader as well as of his/her specific competence for the
to foresee possible difficulties and what their potential use might be (the
positive aspect of difficulties), so that they can be utilised in gathering
additional valuable knowledge, skills and experiences.
is important to
an atmosphere in which the whole organisation, including the trainee’s mentor,
care for and are concerned with the future leader’s progress;
direct support (starting with the mentor and all the way through all others who
are responsible for the leader, presenting rewards, exalting his/her exemplary
conduct, future benefits);
the future leader to come up with new ideas and suggestions for changes as well
as to insist that the he/she independently creates a plan and programme for a
part of, or even for all of his/her training, and to ensure there is an
atmosphere where the future leader feels comfortable and confident to offer these
is necessary to give grades and other forms of appraisal during schooling or
training and at certain intervals, as well as at the end of the process;
ought to be carried out in relation to the trainee’s contributions towards
reaching the goals and accomplishing the tasks;
to include mentor’s or trainer’s own orientational assessment;
need to be formed and applied using the psychometric, sociometric and other methods.
1.5. PATH TOWARDS CHANGE
Path towards change
- assessing the
readiness for change,
- awakening the
processes of change,
- changing oneself.
Assessing the readiness
− The main mobilising motives are:
- the experience “I
exist”, “I am what I am”;
- the sense of “I
can”, which is a combination of the sense of calling and the ability to
− Other mobilising factors:
recognising a clear goal;
- the need for learning and self-development;
- taking on challenges in order to test one’s potential;
“life crisis” (to make something of oneself, to do something with life);
- problems in an organisation or an institution as a
form of a challenge.
− Awakening the will for change:
- by recognising answers to questions: Who am I? What is the purpose of my
existence in a given time and place, i.e. an organisation?
- by creating a sense
of purpose in what one thinks about and what one does;
- by evaluating the possibility for the realisation of
the process of learning and awakening for all – oneself and others;
- by accepting and recognising that there must be no
external sense obligation – the will must come from within, or else it will
− Assessing the readiness to open the path of change:
- by thinking about the changes in the coming period (the
near and far future);
- by acknowledging the level of readiness to work on
- by acknowledging the level of readiness to put in the
effort in order to carry out the necessary hard work on one’s surroundings;
- by acknowledging the level of readiness for concrete
- by acknowledging the level of readiness to face risk;
- by acknowledging the level of readiness to ask for
− Recognising concrete (life) skills:
- flexibility and adaptability;
- reaction time and learning speed;
- ability to innovate;
- integration of others’ activities;
- holistic attitude.
− Evaluating one’s own role:
- What is it that I can do? ;
- dynamics of inclusion (where, when and in what way to
evaluating the dynamics of how best to include others;
establishing the effective resonance in order to mobilise others effectively;
evaluating how to draw out the best in each group member.
− Evaluating the process:
defining the purpose of change;
facing the facts, so that all the acceptable goals are synchronised with a
possibility of their realisation;
envisioning and making short, medium and particularly long term plans;
evaluating which concrete actions to take.
− Selection of the way:
balancing vision and goals;
developing a strategy for accepting vision and goals;
- appropriate adaptation of knowledge, skills and
- pragmatism – selecting the most useful path;
− The plan for development should include:
- analysis on
the basis of having an overview and a direct experience of an attained level of
development of one’s consciousness (problems and obstacles for development);
- an overview of other members’ experiences;
- an approach, so that one connects the
theory and experience, the new ideas and so establish the directions for
- concretisation: humane approach and synthesis of many
- concrete work: on oneself and one’s
Awakening the processes
− Leadership is an art of channelling and surrendering:
- rationality is necessary, but not sufficient for a
lasting change, which is why it needs to be connected with intuitiveness and
the ability to improvise;
- it is necessary to learn how to simultaneously be an
observer and a participator;
shaping an influence (power) which is brought about by the leader’s very
existence (awareness of how one affects one’s surroundings) and position;
controlling an “appetite” for power, money, goods, because once such an excess exists,
it creates attachment and blockage, threatening to burn one out in the process;
channelling the career.
− Awakening the choice of basic action:
defining a system or systems that must be acted upon (be it an institution, an organisation,
one’s surroundings, etc.);
choosing a specific approach and a mode of action and mapping out the structure
and the dynamics of influence;
creating a base of quality people (advisors, collaborators) as well as the data
creating the basis for a future support network (people are more important than
turning visions and ideas into concrete action plans;
− Awakening the approach consists of:
opening all options;
comparing various approaches used for analysing the options, foreseeing
promoting oneself as an innovative leader (a visible change in oneself and a
supporting all systems that stimulate development of EQ and SQ;
honouring and respecting values of the group one is expected to assert
influence on, and linking the changes in oneself with those in the group.
− Process of changes:
- aim of the changes: wellbeing (material,
mental, emotional and spiritual), which is measured primarily by the state of
affirmative thoughts and emotions, and by the freedom attained;
- intention contains: a) information
about the problem, b) emotional reaction, c) a thought about the problem, d)
inspiration (inner drive);
- the purpose of approach: changing reactions
through changing one’s thoughts, emotions, behaviour and relationship with
- overview: making a strong resolve that something
is going to change;
- preparation: aiming at finding a solution;
- action: beginning of changes.
− Maintaining the balance:
- always having one’s mission in mind;
developing a personal support system (that of diet, physical activity,
- if weaknesses can’t be overcome, seeking ways to
compensate for them;
- continual learning and other forms of work on oneself;
seeking out the ways to avoid and sanitise stressful situations (correcting
psychological and emotional damage);
- teambuilding and organising collective activities;
caring for one’s (and others’) health.
− Creating conflicts:
- conflicts often represent a necessary factor in
initiating change, and almost always are part of it;
finding a reliable protection while the conflict(s) last;
- controlling and channelling conflicts so that they
can grow into change.
− Dangers present the folowing:
- selective perception and selective approach;
- over-generalisation or over-analysing;
- over-reliance on intuition;
drawing hasty conclusions;
- hard-line attitudes;
disturbing the natural balance between learned self-control and the urge to
- ill-conceived transferring of oneself (and others)
from one position to another.
Cultivation of relationships
the knowledge of how to conduct relationships refers to knowing how to channel
one’s own and others’ emotions and thoughts, including the processes of
convincing associates that one’s (the leader’s) faith in the mission is greater
than their own;
expressing one’s vision clearly and without doubts;
- the leader’s awareness of him/herself as the initiator
- the leader’s awareness of time and space, i.e. of the
need to synchronise relationships with one’s family, organisation and
- the leader’s awareness of the role of empathy;
remaining equally focussed on individual and common interests, rather than
focusing on immediate steps;
mobilising the options for attaining common goals;
putting an end to reemergence of old approaches and
establishing mutual trust, mentoring others and providing them with a constant
feedback by reflecting their actions and leading by example;
- rather than demanding, clearly stating what must be
respecting each and every individual and looking after rather than criticising
and punishing associates and co-workers;
allowing oneself to take risks and also stimulating others to do so;
- not limiting the development and progress of one’s
associates/co-workers, but rather remaining in silence and observing;
- recognising successes, as in oneself so in others,
even if they be minimal – since courage and confidence are built in small
avoiding superficially categorising one’s associates/co-workers or commenting
on their behaviour, as this could be interpreted not only as disrespecting
others as they are, but doing it to oneself also;
- dealing with and channelling conflicts.
− we have a right to only change ourselves;
− keeping in mind that the changes that are happening within us are
being simultaneously reflected onto everything and everyone in one’s
− the spiritual aspect of
changing oneself unfolds through the process of self-enquiry, which clears away
and eliminates various destructive concepts and attachments, leading one
directly to the Truth about the self, thus revealing the deeper purpose of life;
− the spiritual aspects of the changes are meant
to awaken to the fact that leadership is only an instrument of
− alongside the spiritual are
also the mental and emotional changes that are taking place, which are also
influencing others (this normally manifests in reduced stress levels, the channelling
of fear, worry, dissatisfaction and other such destructive emotions and
thoughts, whose presence reduces one’s mental, emotional and other
− neglecting the changes can
spiritual dullness, loss of orientation in
emotional blindness (loss and absence of
emotions, absence of empathy);
alexithymia (a confused awareness of one’s own feelings)
* * *
person’s whole life there are changes taking place. The periodically touched on
depths of spiritual and emotional maturity and freedom are in themselves insufficient
as they fall short of constituting the essence of one’s nature, the complete knowledge of oneself and
spontaneous manifestation of emotions and thoughts.
precondition for all types of leadership is a constant development of
consciousness/awareness through continual work on oneself. However, the
starting precept is the recognition of leadership as an instrument of
self-realisation and of creative empathy as a basic mode of relating with
oneself and others.
development of leader’s self-awareness expands resonantly, changing also those
who choose to follow him/her.
such as “leadership” and “leader” are meaningful only if they can be connected
to the processes they reflect, the subjects they involve and the way in which
they unfold. Multi-facetted observation, such as: sociological, psychological,
humanistic, multi-dimensional, formal, practical, energetic including the
aspect of skilfulness, gives leadership and a leader a tone of authenticity through a specific nature and style of
The role of a leader is the
leader’s mission and that is to awaken others through one’s own existence. In the business world, being a leader is
not just a job, although it is realised through it. The leader is “above that”
– he/she creates the job. The basic
form of action for a leader is resonance through stimulating the awareness – the resonant development of awareness.
key task of a leader is realising oneself as a Being (Who am I?) and
acknowledging advantages and limitations in oneself and others. All-round (i.e.
rational, emotional and spiritual) self-realisation has as its goal a manifestation
of self-awareness as wisdom – a
practical knowledge that serves to help and further all.
the process of self-realisation and through gradual discovery of one’s
identity, or in other words through the occurrence of self-awareness,
conditions are met for the development of a synchronised set of actions or skills. Skills contain values, expertise and behaviour. We have split, only
conditionally, the skills of a leader into four groups:
− self-realisation skills, which refer to the act of discovering the
Truth of oneself as a personal, individual and spiritual being (self-awareness,
motivation, contemplating over the purpose);
− personal skills, describing behaviour which arose from
one’s relationship with oneself, or rather through one’s experience of oneself
(initiative, spontaneity, autonomy of feeling, thought and action);
− social skills, which speak of one’s relationship with
one’s environment (communication factor, teamwork, visionary aspect);
− skills of approach, which include bringing the previous three
groups into a method of action (compassion, honesty, trust, confidence).
important to stress that for a leader (or someone wishing to become one) it is not
only necessary to have at his/her command many skills, but on top of that there
ought to be a critical skills-mass with which it is possible the cross the threshold and reach the top.
hereto approach to leadership/leaders which is largely based on individuality,
planning, rationality and so on, needs to be transcended into integrated leadership and integrated leader which on the other
hand are characterised by self-awareness, holistic approach, visionariness, self-organisation, “the game of life”
(competing with oneself), adaptability, openness, flexibility, creative empathy
integrated leader needs to have an integrated approach, one based on the
following two ideas:
leaders are made, not born,
even though certain genetic potential does play a part. For example, the traits
expressed through IQ are determined primarily by the genes, while those
expressed by EQ and SQ are formed in life and remain there for a long time;
connecting different aspects: physical (care of health), mental (focused thinking), emotional (harmony) and spiritual (a view of
the Truth about oneself and one’s surroundings).
motivated by the idea of self-realisation and the sense of connectedness, the
leader directs his/her primary potential (i.e. reason, ability to exchange
vibrations, spontaneity, an urge for self-realisation and an ability to
believe) towards realising oneself and
of consciousness/awareness is a continual practice (mental, emotional and
spiritual) and a devotion that lasts 24/7. It is about non-attachment to
concepts, in order that the conceptual awareness can eventually give place to a concept-free awareness (conscious
conceptuality), which leads to an experience of identity that is complete, complete through self-realisation.
viewed on its own, the path of awareness has the following elements: 1. forgiveness and compassion, 2. discontinuation
of thoughts, 3. silence, 4. emptiness, 5. letting go, and 6. surrender.
when viewed on its own, the meditation comprises of: 1.
relaxation, 2. concentration, 3. visualisation, 4. activation, 5. gathering of
attention, 6. flow-state (letting go
and surrender) and 7. conscious relaxation.
essence of meditation lies in recognising
and channelling our mind’s potential, and since here the conceptual
knowledge alone is insufficient, the experiential knowledge (derived from one’s
own personal experience) must exist, even though often it cannot be described.
basic effects of meditation include:
bliss – knowledge that all is love;
clear-sightedness – of the overall connectedness and harmony
on the level of the whole;
non-conceptuality – openness to all that may happen.
Our method of working with leaders (or
potential leaders) includes:
- a general part: anti-stress programme, genetic
code/karma restructuring and self-inquiry;
- specific part: general and individual
development of skills and a concrete problem/situation resolution.
book offers our experiences in working with leaders, which irrefutably
demonstrate the link between meditation and a reduction in stress, as well as
that between the development of skills and an increase in the level of
contentment. The research to date is doubtless only a small part in an overall
search for the full scope of this approach. Nevertheless, its findings represent
an attempt to open up and set in motion also the other possible approaches to
leadership and leaders.
other subjects, such as:
of leaders: from the initial efficiency to the “top leader” and a sage,
of leadership: from small groups to strategic leadership,
research which would include time-based development of leader-awareness, ...
...we leave for