On a journey to spiritual enlightenment, I ran into the Dalai Lama.
I flew from New York City to New Delhi to gather with 140 amazing people from all over the world on our way to a spiritual journey with world-renowned, peak performance coach Tony Robbins. Unexpectedly, the Dalai Lama who was on his way to New York City, appeared in our hotel lobby.
In a previous post I stated: In business and in life, leadership and love are the highest calling to the life that is inside of you.
I believe that understanding the unique beauty and distinctions from the great traditions of the world can open up and fortify our own beliefs while developing new ones — all for the purpose of expanding our capacity for love and leadership.
Here are a few from His Holiness, The Dalai Lama:
I.) Right View And Right Conduct
Leadership of any people, mission or cause begins with the leadership of oneself. Mindfulness is a key aspect of leadership and makes one capable of having the right perspective and making the right decisions that create the greatest good. This requires one to be free from the negative emotional influences that can cause one to deviate from right view and right conduct. Buddhist monks are expected to keep to the principle of compassion for all beings, and the precept of right speech. Right speech means not saying anything malicious or untrue.
It also emphasizes mindfulness and being present in every conversation. Active listening, empathic leadership, caring about your people — these are the keys for leading a team towards the achievement of good. And not just toward achieving what is good for the team — what is good for clients, good for investors, and good for humanity. This understanding of how things really are represents wisdom in its true form.
II.) Training Your Mind
The scientific evidence on the benefits of meditation is clear: increased brain activity in the frontal lobe, which causes an increased sense of happiness. It has also been proven to increase brain activity, increase the ability to concentrate, create new neurons, decrease anxiety & negative emotions, and boost the immune system. Meditation has been proven to increase the thickness of brain tissue in the prefrontal cortex where improved functioning of emotions, attention and working memory take place. Visualization is another key practice in Buddhism. In business, sport and life, training your mind to visualize can not only calm the mind, but also help create a pathway for its actualization.
III.) Inspire With Purpose
Leaders create faith and certainty with purpose. What values will you champion in the organization? Whatever they are, it’s important that you, the leader of the organization, personally live by those values.
The Dalai Lama leads millions of people because he builds faith and optimism in the future of Tibetans and humanity as a whole. He was never elected, nor did he inherit his position; his leadership is entirely ideological and is a paragon of influence. People trust and support him solely because they believe he’s the world’s best example of Buddhist values in practice.
Accordingly, he lives those beliefs and values every day and in every way. When you live by your company’s cultural values, this sets the code of conduct throughout your organization. People will mirror your choices. Hire people who can adapt and amplify your values. In this way, you can make people and culture your strategic advantage and leadership your legacy. As a business, you will contribute to the well being of society at large.
IV.) Doing Business Right
The impact that a company has on the lives of many people including employees and their families, clients, and investors drive the reputation of the company and whether it acts with a warm and strong heart. Humility is an essential quality of both Buddhism and leadership as is kindness, equanimity, and self-confidence. In business, right conduct, reputation, trust and high quality are all connected and create a loyal customer base, attract top employees and create sustained profitability.
Especially at work, the organization is a network of highly complex conversations. The quality of discourse determines the health of the organization. Our words become thoughts. Thoughts become feelings. Feelings become fact. The role of leadership is to clear the path for productive conversations and to amplify the positive, forward-moving dialogue while buffering the negative distractions.
The Dalai Lama has both spiritual and political power because he serves the Tibetan people, who lost their home and their autonomous government to China. The loyalty he commands is based, not only on his skill as a great Buddhist monk, but on the fact that he has been a tireless advocate for Tibetans everywhere, and his people genuinely trust him to be a compassionate and effective servant of their needs and their culture.
The Dalai Lama is a great philosopher to study, because he does not ask you to “believe in” him, or try to force anyone to “become” Buddhist. He simply presents his ideas and beliefs, and encourages others to test those ideas to see if they work in practice. I believe that lots of them do work very well, even for non-religious people.
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This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
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