Leadership by Consciousness

For a long time, the art of management was based primarily on the development of various skills, measured in terms of some hard bottom line indicators like productivity, efficiency, profit, wealth creation or shareholder value and, to some extent, on softer values like customer service, quality, social responsibility and creativity. Times have changed. These are important but no longer sufficient. Globalization, sustainability, work-force diversity, information overload, mechanisation, fast obsolescence of technology, constant shifting of paradigms, have added new complexities and problems. Ethics, values, ecology, new standards of quality and customer satisfaction, constant innovation, balancing the needs of local cultures with the global realities, are some of the difficult issues facing corporate leaders today. At a personal level, an increasing number of people in the corporate world, especially the creative, talented and young, are seeking for something more than mere money and career, for an inner fulfillment.

There is renewed questioning of the existing objectives, scope and contents of business and leadership and a search for a greater and more fulfilling synthesis. This, no doubt, does not exclude the existing management values, as these bottom line goals are part of the basic Dharma of business as the creator of wealth for the society, and are essential for the survival and progress of an organization. But even these now have to be endowed with a qualitatively higher meaning and application.

The habitual tendency of a leader today is to rely more on externals like technology, management techniques, and consultants. Most of the modern management thinking on leadership is about this outer governance or “organizational transformation”.  But as the Indian thought repeatedly emphasized self-governance, Swarajya is the foundation for governing the outer world, Samrajya.   As a result, much of the hidden human potentialities in the intuitive, moral, aesthetic and spiritual realms, which can lead to a higher quality of life as well as a better bottom-line, remain untapped in the corporate world. The main objective we are presenting here is to consciously activate these hidden potentialities of consciousness and manifest them in every activity of corporate life.  Our approach will be “within outward” relying mainly on the inner powers of consciousness to bring the outer result. It will explore the deeper sources of every need, function and activity and will seek to consciously fulfill the same in the outer activity.

Whatever the difficulty faced by a leader in her outer life, it is a reflection of the difficulty within her.  If she is able to discover and mend the inner source of the difficulty within her then the outer difficulty sooner than later tends to resolve itself.  Whatever changes the leader wants to bring out in her organization, if she is able to achieve this change within her or makes a sincere effort towards it, it then becomes easier to enforce the change in the organization.

Self-Growth is a process. It suggests a movement from being to becoming. It implies optimizing one’s inner potentials. Self-growth refers to an individual’s development for effective personal, social and emotional adjustment with the external reality through his own conscious efforts in understanding and exploring his inner self. The first step of this process is to become conscious of different parts of the being and understand its relevance and utility. Then she has to explore her inner self, so that external environment can be handled more realistically.