Saturday, July 28, 2012

Awaken The Leader In You

Awaken The Leader In You
By: Jaya Row on Jul 26, 2012

There are different types of leaders -- family heads, corporate honchos, social activists, political leaders and spiritual masters. All these need a strong spiritual base as it is the spirit that lends power.

There are 11 traits that a leader needs to develop.

1. She must not want the position. A leader is first and foremost a servant. Her focus must be on service. Gandhiji, Abraham Lincoln and Churchill were outstanding leaders because they served their people. A good leader has no value for worldly things which are temporary. Shee pursues higher aims that are more permanent.

2. A leader must be established in higher values, and be able to communicate her vision to the people.

3. A leader must have impeccable character and be above reproach. She must be dedicated to the welfare of the people, not be driven by self-interest! When Swami Vivekananda lost his father and his family was in dire straits he had the choice of serving one family or millions of families. He chose the latter.

4. A leader follows his inner calling, svadharma. Everyone is born with a unique talent. It could be music, engineering or architecture. Identify it and invest your energies in that field. Most people go for where they believe they can make money and live frustrated lives.

5. A leader must follow the clear reasoning of her intellect and not get distracted by whims and fancies of her mind. When there is conflict between the two, intellectual judgement should prevail. Disastrous decisions almost always originate in the mind while good decisions are those that are carefully thought out by the intellect.

6. Hard work is an essential aspect of a leader. Swami Rama Tirtha said, “Intense work is Rest”. There are three types of actions – niyatam or obligatory actions, kamya or desire-driven actions and nisiddha or prohibited actions. Vedanta exhorts you to perform obligatory duties free from attachment.

7. A leader must have a higher ideal. Krishna’s message in the Gita is:  Perform action for yajna, sacrifice. The world is bound by non-yajna actions. Yajna is to work in a spirit of service and sacrifice for a higher ideal. It is the foundation of a good leader. Look beyond yourself.

8. A leader loves her people, feels one with them. This evokes a powerful response from them. Everyone then pitches in and work gets done in a spirit of camaraderie, fun and cheer.

9. Objectivity or sakshi bhava, witness attitude, is an essential pre-requisite of a leader. Take the stand of an actor playing his role. You have a role. Play it to the best of your ability. Only then will you be successful and happy in all situations. You will evolve spiritually.

10. Cultivate the quality of sattva. All humans have three types of gunas or thought textures – sattva pure, rajas passion and tamas apathy. Tamas is inertia and lethargy. Rajas is an agitated state of mind that comes from desires and ego. Sattva is calmness and serenity. A sattvika person is unselfish, creative and effective. A rajasika person blunders through life while a tamasika one is steeped in ignorance.

11. Walk the talk. Lead the way. Live higher values but do not preach. People follow what you do, not what you say.

Jaya Row will speak on the above subject on July 29 at Kamani Auditorium 6.30 to 8 pm. All are welcome. 09769179001