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5 Shades of 21st Century Leadership: Lessons Learned From Dalai Lama

A few weeks ago, I got back from sunny San Diego after attending the 16th Annual International Leadership (ILA) Global Conference. The theme of the conference wasConscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of Our Collective Realities.

Personally, I felt right at home; anything global with a diverse, inclusive, change conscious feeling about leadership seemed to me like a cherry on top of a decadent dark chocolate cake. Further, the global shift many of us anticipated a decade ago just hit the west coast and blasted through North America, all the way through over 40 countries. Jokes aside, it was a priceless experience! Why? In my blog “ 9 Reasons to Engage in Global Leadership Conferences”, you may find some real answers.

But today, I am sharing something slightly different. I was happy to see the teachings and principles of Dali Lama are starting to gain big traction and success, not only within small and medium businesses but also within Fortune 500 companies. You must be wondering HOW & WHY?

Answers are in the business and educational contexts, especially global business, and perspectives, with the following types of leaderships geared for the 21st century:

1. Conscious Leadership – Modeling compassion, empathy, and understanding! A new concept worth exploring by examining the best ways to develop and create cultures of meaning. For some, this may be a lot to digest, but if you look at Whole Foods Market, you might be surprised what they are doing at their Academy for Conscious Leadership through their Conscious Capitalism model.

2. Compassionate Leadership – Incorporating compassion into business life by helping others instead of being “self-centered” is the way His Holiness, Dalai Lama, sees the need to integrate compassion not only in our daily lives but also a business. Further, in his opinion, women are more compassionate and are necessary for leadership roles.

You can check out more information about Compassionate Leadership at Institute for Compassionate Leadership and Compassionate Leaders.

3. Mindful Leadership – Or non-judgmental awareness through leadership presence! According to Bill George, in Harvard Business Review, mindfulness helps you become a better leader. Through my interviews with thought leaders in business and sports, I found additional fascinating commonalities among high-impact individuals and teams beyond their overall high-performance. All of them had highly developed Emotional Quotients (EQ).

In most cases, EQ was built on an adamant foundation and principles of mindfulness and compassion. More details and findings will be shared soon in my books.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them,at least don’t hurt them.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

4. Responsible Leadership – Accountability for business decisions go beyond stakeholder’s best interest! Responsible leadership is a new path and course of actions that focuses on the environment, community, future generations, and overall global impact.

Excellent examples of companies with responsible leadership practices, products, and operations are Burt’s Bees, GE, The Body Shop, Starbucks, and my favoriteBen & Jerry’s (Hint: Chocolate Therapy) just to name a few.

“When you realize that you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct It.”     ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Additional perspectives on responsible leadership can be found in this Forbes article: Responsible Leadership In An Unforgiving World.

5. Transformational Leadership – Innovative, motivational, and purposeful cutting-edge leadership is an excellent example of the 5th shade of 21st-century leadership! If you are wondering how transformation occurs in organizations, you may want to start by cultivating the executive mentality within your team and organization. This was the case not only with Apple but also IBM and 3M in addition to other Fortune 200 companies.

By jumping on present opportunities and challenges, while offering flexibility in finding the optimal solution, this approach lets your team set themselves up for fast transformational success.

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