Being-Centered Leadership: Leader as an Enlightened Sage
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This chapter takes as axiomatic that leadership is a voyage of inner discovery and that Self-knowledge is the key to leading from within. This journey begins with knowing oneself and culminates in living one’s deepest values selflessly, working for the common good. This chapter presents a unique conception of the leader as an enlightened sage who operates from a higher stance of being, effortlessly anchored in Self-knowledge and self-mastery. As a prelude to the conception of a sage steady in the wisdom of the Self (sthitaprajña), this chapter also highlights the need, the importance, and the practice of Self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is also essential for leading a fulfilled life. Since happiness is sought for the sake of the self, it stands to reason that the quest for fulfillment should begin with knowing the Self.
By way of illustrating the ideal of being-centered leadership, this chapter briefly profiles three leaders—Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi—who directly or indirectly embodied the values of self-actualization, service, contribution, humility, forgiveness, and higher purpose, as articulated in the Gı̄tā.