Leading with Wisdom : Spiritual-based Leadership in Business book cover
1st Edition

Leading with Wisdom
Spiritual-based Leadership in Business

ISBN 9781874719595
Published June 8, 2007 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

Many business executives are increasingly becoming workaholic human-doings, longing to be full and integrated human-beings. They aspire to live with integrity, where their thoughts, values, words and deeds are in harmony. The problem is that they don't know how to do so in a business world that is increasingly characterised by complexity, turbulence and greed.

Leading with Wisdom provides food for thought for people dealing with these challenges. It contains stories and reflections of 31 inspiring and compassionate business leaders who care about what is truly important in life and who integrate this awareness and sensitivity into their leadership. Leaders who search for meaning, purpose and fulfilment both in the external world of business and in the internal world of consciousness and conscience. Leaders whose leadership is a natural expression of their hearts, minds and souls. In other words, leaders who lead from a spiritual basis.

Such perspectives on leadership are not yet mainstream. Greed, prestige and power appear to still be prime motivating forces for leaders of the world's larger corporations. In spite of 25 years of globalisation, poverty is still devastatingly ubiquitous in many parts of the world. In striking contrast, the compensation packages of top leaders in business, particularly in the West, have skyrocketed, reaching levels that would have been considered impossible only a decade ago. What is clearly needed is a change in the mind-set, values and principles of our leaders, as well as of those who finance our enterprises, and of those who teach and mentor our future leaders. At the very minimum, what is needed is an expansion of the concept of 'success' so that it transcends the prevailing myopic focus on short-term financial gains.

It can be argued that this rampant greed is gradually being tamed, not just by laws, but also by social and ethical norms. In the last two decades there has been an amazing and uplifting focus on such perspectives as business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. But when leaders are questioned as to why they and their organisations should promote this new and expanded sensitivity to corporate responsibility, their 'default' answer typically is that it is profitable – an efficacious means to promote classical business ends of increasing earnings and share prices.

But how and why should such an expanded concept of leadership develop? What should provide the motivation for our leaders to find their way in an increasingly complex business world by using a compass that points not only to a pot of gold, but also to a path to deeper meaning and purpose in business? This book does not provide answers in the form of proposals as to new rules or laws or moral injunctions. Rather it provides a collage of perspectives in the form of stories of highly respected and successful executives who have integrated their spiritual search into their leadership so as to be "whole" people – leaders whose thoughts, words and deeds are in harmony with their most fundamental truths and longings, both at work and in their private lives. These stories tell of an emerging culture where business becomes a primary domain for both individual and organisational spiritual growth.

Leading with Wisdom: Spiritual-Based Leadership in Business portrays an emerging global culture. This ground-breaking book offers the experiences and perspectives of 31 top executives from 15 countries in 6 continents. It is based on extensive personal interviews. These are business people who express from first-hand experience what it is like to lead a business from a spiritual basis. They tell amazing, down-to-earth, real-life stories about how spirituality and rationality can go hand in hand in leadership and life.

Their words of wisdom demonstrate that executives who lead from a spiritual basis can achieve success, recognition, peace of mind and happiness, while at the same time serving the needs of all those affected by their leadership.

Written in an engaging style, where the special "voice" of each leader is heard, this book will be profoundly valuable to business leaders at every level and for all people who want to lead with integrity from a spiritual basis.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Debra and William Miller Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: Spirituality as the Basis of Leadership Peter Pruzan and Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen  Section 1: Love Janiece Webb, Senior Vice President, Motorola, USA Lars Kolind, former CEO, Oticon, Denmark N.S. Raghavan, Joint-founder and former Joint Managing Director, Infosys, IndiaFrancisco Cañada, Director/Partner, Errepar SA, ArgentinaSection 2: Looking and Listening WithinStephen R. Covey, Co-founder and Vice Chairman, FranklinCovey Co., USARamon Ollé, President, Epson Europe BV, The NetherlandsRicardo Levy, Co-founder and Chairman, Catalytica, Inc., USAAnand Pillai, Head of Centre for Leadership and Management Excellence, HCL, IndiaAlvaro Cruz, CEO, ICM Ingenieros Ltd and Governor of Cundinamarca, ColombiaA.K. Chattopadhyay, Senior Vice President, ACC Ltd Refactories Division, IndiaSection 3: Live It and Serve!James Sinclair, Chairman, Tanzanian American Development Inc., USA/TanzaniaFlordelis F. Aguenza, COO, Plantersbank, The PhilippinesJohn Behner, former Country Manager, Nabisco, El SalvadorG. Narayana, Executive Chairman, Excel Industries, IndiaNiran Jiang, CEO, Institute of Human Excellence, AustraliaSection 4: CompassionNiels Due Jensen, Group Chairman, Grundfos Management A/S, DenmarkRajan Govindan, former Senior Managing Director, Bankers Trust, USACarol Franklin, former HR Director, Swiss Re and CEO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), SwitzerlandNilofer Merchant, President, Rubicon Consultants, USAS.K. Welling, Executive Director, HMT International, Ltd, IndiaSection 5: DivinityAndré L. Delbecq, Director, Institute for Spirituality and Organisational Leadership, Santa Clara University, USAAshoke Maitra, HR Director, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (Times of India Group), IndiaV.V. Ranganathan, Senior Partner, Ernst & Young, IndiaThomas Daugherty, Vice President of Spiritual Care and Values Integration, Methodist Health Care System, USASection 6: PurposeHélène Ploix, Chairman and Managing Director of Pechel Industries and Pechel Industries Partenaires, FranceFederico Cuneo, Chairman, American Glass Products, PeruParantha Narendran, Strategy Director, Eurotel Telecom, Czech RepublicDeependra Moitra, former General Manager Electronics, Lucent Technologies, IndiaAnanth Raman, Chairman, Graphtex, Inc., USAMagnus Vrethammar, President, Finesse, Switzerland & Pergo, UKSection 7: Balance and GraceAmber Chand, Co-founder, Eziba, USAAmber Chand, Founder, The Amber Chand Collection, USASection 8: Harvesting the WisdomEpilogue: Spiritual-Based Leadership beyond BusinessGiving Wings to the Divine Fire A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of IndiaAppendix A: Research MethodologyAppendix B: Business Topics Addressed in the Profiles

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This book cuts right to the chase in speaking about spiritual-based leadership in a business setting. With high ranking corporate officials from the likes of such multi-national companies as Motorola, Franklin Covey, Infosys and Ernst & Young – the book takes a chainsaw to the myth that a stringent corporate culture devoid of human values is the best path to success. It tears at the fabric of the stereotypical consciousness that business is just business – by allowing these corporate executives to share their experiences which exalt characteristics such as compassion, humility, service, and intuition in daily business. Read the full review and listen to a podcast of an interview with author Peter Pruzan - The WorkLife Monitor.