Buddhist Leadership?

Opens in new windowOne way to improve our businesses is by looking for global best practices. The more different the approaches we find are (from the way we do things today) the more potential they are likely to bring. But the more difficult they are also likely to be for us to understand or implement.

So, I was interested to read this article on Buddhist approaches to dealing with chaos. Global best practice at staying calm in the midst of a crisis must surely reside with buddhist monks. But their approach of non-attachment to outcome doesn’t seem sit well with a business focus on objectives. Would there be anything for The Churning to learn?

The article lays out three possible approaches. The first is called ‘no more struggle’. This involves meditation, looking at the situation with a non-judgmental attitude, and seeing the situation for what it is without calling it names.

This matches well with Chapters 1 and 2 of Inner Leadership. These contain tools that help us to centre and ground (letting go of ‘struggle’) and then remove any mis-interpretations or ‘mis-blinks’ we might have made about the situation. Meditation is one of the tools that we can use to centre and ground. Non-judgment is one of the methods used to remove mis-blinks and false interpretations. So The Churning seems to have a strong, possibly broader and more structured equivalent to the first approach described in the article.

The second approach is called ‘using poison as medicine’. This involves using difficult situations (‘poison’) “as fuel for waking up”, to create what we want instead.

Chapter 3 of Inner Leadership contains techniques for doing exactly this: for turning any ‘crisis’ into an opportunity. It shows how to look for the ten types of opportunity that exist in any situation. This is about ‘using poison as medicine’ and it is probably more directed towards achieving outer goals.

The third approach in the article is called ‘seeing whatever arises as enlightened wisdom’. This is about learning not to split ourselves off between our ‘good side’ and our ‘bad side’ but instead to dissolve the sense of duality we generally live with. This asks us to “see whatever arises as enlightened wisdom” and asks us to “regard our world as already sacred.”

This is very different from business language and it is difficult to see an equivalent in Inner Leadership.

Is there an opportunity to learn from this third approach? You can read the article and decide for yourself.

The language of the article may be very different from the language of business. But comparing our existing best practice with that of others will always teach us something, either confirming and defining more clearly where our own boundaries lie, or bringing an opportunity to expand our competencies into new areas.

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