Is Spiritual Leadership The Way To Go?
The world's super power leader was at it again last week, winning fans with his charm and wit during a speech at the University of Queensland during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane.
Despite detractors who say he is all talk and no action back home, everyone was of the opinion that Barack Obama is a true statesman and superb orator. Unfortunately for Australia's Prime Minister, the comments were not so generous when it came to him.
It reminded me of the leaders of the past who had winning mindsets, which were rather obvious from the great speeches they delivered. Leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King who knew how to realize opportunities and inspire their people.
The one thing I feel that gave them the leading edge and set them apart was spiritual awareness. That was the defining factor that got them through the darkest of times and brought out the best in them even in the worst circumstances.
You may think that spiritual awareness is fine for leaders of global stature fighting for causes larger than life. You may even wonder about its relevance to the corporate world.
So what does spiritual awareness look like? What would you be doing if you were spiritually aware? As a leader you would be very strong in your sense of self, your identity. When a leader is connected to the core of their internal self, they are self-actualized and living their purpose.
A spiritually aware leader is an asset to any organisation, institution, group or country. It is not about the size of the entity, it is about the caliber of leadership.
Spiritually aware leaders are also very driven by contribution to others. They believe in making a difference to the lives of others. I continue to work with a CEO who is this type of person. He hired me to help people get rid of their past programming so that they could be happy.
"When my people are happy they will have great relationships at home and with friends. As a matter of course they will also be happy at work and give us their best" he said. He was so right.
His employees love working with him as he inspires them with meaning and passion. Where does all this come from? Is he the lucky one who has this?
No he is not the only one who has this but he has learnt the process to turn his luck around. He has connected to the wellspring inside him and is successfully using it to achieve sustainable results in his life.
Stop the external search I say and look inside. We are blessed with so much. It's a matter of finding the connection to universal energy that can only happen when we have re-aligned our internal self.
He spends a bit of quiet time meditating and finding answers for the vision he creates. More importantly he is accountable and committed to the journey and it's results.
When I first started aligning his people to the business objectives many years ago he came up to me on my first day, shook my hand and promised me that he would be at every single program that I organized for the senior leadership team. Because he was there everyone else on the senior team was too.
That was the start of pulling the team together. This commitment went down the line when employees realized how important the initiative was for the company. Results we derived were outstanding. His style was to teach and give people tools then allow them the freedom to deliver. Humility and a learning mind were the over riding factors to success he would often say.
In everyday work-life terms, the following questions could help determine the type of leaders in your organisation:
Does a leader take time to listen or declare that it is their way or the highway?
Do they dictate orders or collaborate to come up with ideas?
Do they micro manage or give them freedom to do the task?
Do they give credit where it is due or hog the limelight?
Do they learn from mistakes or practice a punishment culture?
Do they embrace vulnerability or pretend they know everything?
Do they build successful people or see their people as a step to their own advancement?
A spiritually aware leader will engage and connect with others displaying consistency in their behavior whatever context they are in. They are congruent.
A great modern day example is the richest woman in America and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who is often quoted as saying "I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes
."Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers established in Sydney in 2002. She is a corporate NLP trainer and consults in creating effective people in the Asia Pacific Region. She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat – Turn Your Luck Around And Realise Opportunities – launched on the 23rd October 2014 on www.amazon.com and in book stores in the ASEAN Region. Go to www.viafrontiers.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.