Skip to main content

Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita

Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita

Debashis Chatterjee

ISBN: 978-0-470-82926-4

May 2012

224 pages

$18.99

Description

The timeless leadership wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita explained

Although it was written well over two thousand years ago, the Bhagavad Gita (""Song of God""), a revered Hindu religious text, contains an immense wealth of ageless wisdom that speaks directly to the needs of today's business leaders. Timeless Leadership takes this unlikely resource and teases out important lessons on 18 aspects of leadership, from commercial vision to motivation, decision-making, and planning.

Looking in detail at what the Gita has to say about these and other issues of interest to business professionals, Timeless Leadership focuses on one central point: that once the basic thought process of man is improved, the quality of his actions will improve as well, leading to better results.

  • Uses an ancient religious text to highlight and explain key Western management concepts
  • Explores the leadership ideas in the Bhagavad Gita and helps managers and leaders apply them to modern business life
  • Weaves together the threads of wisdom from the Gita to shed light on issues and challenges for leaders at all levels

Covering teachings and ideas that have only got better with time, Timeless Leadership adapts the wisdom of millennia past for today's business leaders.

A Note about the Text xv

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction: The Context of the Gita xxi

SUTRA 1 The Warrior’s Journey Leaders Embrace Discontinuity and Death 1

All Wars Are First Fought in the Mind 3

The Mind Is a Mob 5

The Ego Is a Disposable Idea 8

Leaders Embrace Discontinuity by Dispossessing the Ego 10

The Secret of Invincibility: The Conquest of the Binary Mind 12

Self Is the Cause; Self Is the Effect 13

Hunting for the I 15

SUTRA 2 Invincible Wisdom Leaders Create Alternative Reality 17

Grief, Pity, and Shame: The Mind’s GPS System 18

Creating Alternative Reality 20

Motivation and the Monkey Mind 22

The Leader’s Inspiration Comes from Unselfish Work 23

Unselfish Work Leads to Evenness of Mind 26

Applying Invincible Wisdom: Powered by the Intellect and Driven by Unselfishness 29

SUTRA 3 Karma Yoga Leaders Enter the Timeless Cycle of Action 33

Arjuna’s Dilemma: The Warrior as Worrier 34

Work and Its Secret: Action, Inaction, and Effortless Action 35

Karma Yoga: Work as Worship 38

The Yajna Spirit: Discovering the Timeless Cycle of Work 40

Swadharma: The Case for Righteous Action 42

Work as a Means of Realizing Who We Are 44

SUTRA 4 Timeless Leaders Pursue Purpose as the Source of Supreme Power 47

Rajarshi: The Leader as Sage 48

The Many Faces of the Supreme Power 50

Twenty-Four-Hour Leadership 53

The Return of the Rishi 55

SUTRA 5 Leadership Is the Art of Undoing The State of Detached Engagement 59

How Anchors of the Past Hinder Performance 60

The Art of Detached Involvement 62

Evolving to the Equality of Vision 63

The Art of Undoing 66

SUTRA 6 Leaders Are Masters of Their Minds The Art and Practice of Meditation 69

Separating the Self Image from the Real Self 70

Mastery of the Mind 73

Disciplines of Mastery: Concentration, Detachment, and Transcendence 76

The Power of Stillness 77

SUTRA 7 Leaders Are Integrators The Freedom of “I Am” 81

Context 81

Arjuna’s Journey from Ignorance to Wisdom 82

Timeless Leaders Integrate People and Processes 84

The Leader’s World: A Reflection of Unmanifest Dharma 85

From Ego-Centered to Spirit-Centered Leadership 87

Leaders Liberate Themselves and Others from Suffering 89

SUTRA 8 Timeless Leadership Decoding the Meaning of Life 93

Timeless Leaders Explore the Ultimate Meaning of Life 94

The Multidimensional Meaning of Life 95

Creation Is Sacrificing the Smaller for the Sake of the Greater 97

The Real Meaning of Life Is Contained in Life Itself 98

Meaningful Work: A Synthesis ofReflection and Action 100

SUTRA 9 The Sovereign Secret Timeless Leaders Live in a Self-Organizing Universe 103

Sovereign Self and the Path of Unity 104

The Governance of the Ego: The Path of Disintegration 105

Self-Organization: When Organization Becomes Community 107

The Law of Giving: Being and Becoming 110

SUTRA 10 Leadership Is an Adventure of Consciousness 113

Leading Consciously 113

Silence: The Language of Timeless Leadership 115

The Dynamism of Indivisibility 118

The Pursuit of Excellence 121

SUTRA 11 Timeless Leaders Have Integral Vision 125

Integral Vision 126

Sight and Insight 128

The Pangs of Plurality 130

The Leader as Servant: Being an Instrument of the Whole 132

SUTRA 12 Love Is the Leader’s Essence; Love is the Leader’s Presence 135

Leadership Is Love Made Visible 136

Devotion: The Art and Practice of Leadership 138

Attributes of the Leader as Devotee 142

SUTRA 13 Leaders Command Their Field with the Eye of Wisdom 145

The Leader as a Knower in the Field of Knowledge 146

The Dimensions of the Field and the Knower of the Field 149

Seeing with the Eye of Wisdom 151

SUTRA 14 Leaders Harness the Dynamic Forces of Nature 155

Nature’s Manuscript: The Three Forces 156

How Leaders Harness the Three Forces of Nature 158

Transcending the Dynamics of Nature 162

SUTRA 15 Timeless Leaders Discover Their Invisible Source The Tree of Life 165

The Tree of Life 166

The Invisible Leader 169

From the Perishable to the Imperishable: Quest for the Supreme Self 172

SUTRA 16 Leaders Negotiate the Crossroads The Divine and the Devilish 175

The Crossroads of Leadership: The Divine and the Devilish 176

Toxic Leadership 180

The Return Journey 182

SUTRA 17 Leaders Follow Their Faith The Journey of Self-Giving 185

Faith: The Deep Structure of Leadership 186

Three Kinds of Faith 187

The Art and Science of Self-Giving 191

SUTRA 18 Leadership Is Transcendence The Unity of Two Wills 195

The Source and Resource 196

The Algebra of Attachment 198

Renunciation and Regeneration of the Leader 201

The Path of Transcendence 203

The Unity of Two Wills: The Fighter and the Warrior 207

CONCLUSION Arjuna’s Awakening Practical Wisdom for Timeless Leaders 211

Quiet Leadership: The Practice of

Handling Information Overload 212

Leaders Must First Solve Their Most Persistent Problem 214

Wisdom in Times of Uncertainty: Leaders Deal with Discontinuities in Life and Work 215

Leaders Triumph by Merging Their Individual Will with Life’s Purpose 216

References 219

About the Author 223

Index 225