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BUDDHA: A Universal View for Effective Leadership

One extremely important aspect of Buddhism is to make people develop a vast and universal point of view. Buddha’s disciples had to go beyond those narrow definitions through which they knew themselves before coming to him: as belonging to a particular caste, a particular region and so on. They were to develop a worldview which was greater than they thought about previously.

The mystic law is very simple: we expand and grow when we are passionate about something which is higher than ourselves. The idea is to develop a passion for truth, for work and so on which goes beyond your previous definitions of who you were: your parentage, your race, your religion, your nation, and so on. That is the way your mind expands. Ironically, in our world of today we have become very globalized when it comes to communication, but you would notice that people have become confined by their political ideologies or paths, their often dogmatic thinking when it comes to their communities, and so on. But that is not what a futuristic leader should be. The leader of the future needs to be somebody who looks at the world as an undivided whole. A person who does not confine herself or himself by definitions of country, by definitions of ideology or race, and so on.

Dynamic leadership for the future requires people with an expansive and vast vision. And that only comes about when our consciousness is transformed into seeking something higher than that whereby you identify yourself. We are all conditioned by man-made definitions of nation, education and so on.

Never get narrowed by narrow definitions. Rather, expand as a human being. It is a fallacy to be defined by particular societal definitions; you are infinitely more. To be greater human beings requires us to transcend our limitations and reach out in our scope of ideation to the broader world, by expanding our own horizons. The world hardly needs leaders with narrow horizons. The need for the future are those who can work with a totality of energy, which unites people across borders and across psychological divides. Otherwise something within us gets held back.

People are often not total in their functioning because they are imprisoned by certain definitions of themselves. The way of spiritual integration within ourselves is to reconcile our idea of ourselves as being universal citizens. That is primary. With this cosmic point of view, we can step boldly out and share our greatest talents with the broader world.

There is a big lag between people's psychological evolution and the evolution of their knowledge. People have gathered more knowledge, but psychologically we often still like to belong to a particular community. So we get confined by ideas of that. Now while it is good to pay attention to our own culture or our own way of life, this often becomes a great dividing factor when it comes to human consciousness. In our own consciousness we can become narrow without even realizing it! And that is of no help to as far as your inner fulfilment and potential-realization go.

From the point of view of mystical Buddhist teachings, there is no need to compare between people, between communities, between nations. These are concepts which have to bite the dust if humanity is to evolve. Mother Earth is our common home. This cosmos is our common home. That is also the way of an evolved leader, the futuristic leader.

So if you want to truly evolve as a leader you have to dis-attach yourself from narrow tags and definitions. Free yourself from made boundaries and ideas; these hinder your communication with others in one way or another. You see, the problem at the psychological level of not having a cosmic vision is that somehow we are always distrustful of people who do not come from our similar background. Our communication is not perhaps as good and free as it should be. But a great leader is one who can communicate across the board. A great leader is one who can talk to everybody as if he empathizes and understands their background, their point of view, and so on. And that is the kind of positivity which needs to manifest in all sorts of leadership: be it organizational, business, politics or any other pursuit.

The truth of the matter is that for centuries and millennia, man's mind has been repressed into thinking that it belongs to a particular sect, a particular nation and so on. this conditioning has gone so deep within people that even otherwise intelligent people start believing that they are who they have been told they are. But remember, you are much more than what society tells. You are part of the the wondrous vastness which is the cosmos. And so knowing, look at all things in a manner which allow you to grow both internally and externally.

Growth is always a product of freedom. The greater the space to grow, the more the growth will happen. Confining things does not allow them to grow. So if you have space in your consciousness - in other words, if you are not imprisoned by definitions of nation-state, race, religion and so on - it becomes easier for you to grow. And great leadership is all about growth: self growth as well as the growth of those you lead. Now there is another kind of leadership that is a negative. This brand of leadership thrives on dividing people more and more. It thrives on creating barriers between people more and more. On confining people to certain small ideologies and thoughts. But that is not the expansive and positive sort of leadership which the world needs. The earth does not become better through that, and neither does one's sense of individual achievement and fulfilment. What is really helpful for the individual is to not miss the broader dimensions of being. Be a citizen of the world in your mind. Then only is true creativity unleashed in you, free of the encumbrances of boundaries.

All that is valuable in life is found by overcoming suppression of the mind. And narrow definitions always suppress the mind. The way of Buddha was to open people's mind to a degree where they realized themselves to be a part of the cosmic whole. That way, the whole energy of our lives change. We become transformed, we become creative in vision. We become part of something much greater. From that comes great passion and great energy to achieve higher things. And to move on into seeing that whatever we identified with was eventually not who we truly are. Do not look at the world through a keyhole of your ideology. Step out into the open and look at it in totality. And then do you become a total human being and move towards totality in your work as a leader.

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