Timeless Leadership. 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita

  • ID: 2292863
  • Book
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Praise for Timeless Leadership

"In Timeless Leadership, Debashis Chatterjee returns to the leadership sutras of the Bhagavad Gita to explore the timeless principles of leadership that will enable modern–day leaders to discover the core of their leadership and sustain their effectiveness. His ideas and discoveries will be invaluable for leaders throughout the world who are committed to authenticity in their leadership."

Bill George, Professor, Harvard Business School; former chief executive, Medtronic; and author of True North.

"Timeless Leadership provides a wide canvas for young and emerging leaders to introspect, discover, and chart out an effective leadership journey."

Narayana N. R. Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Limited

"The practical wisdom evidenced is like no other book in modern management literature. Any leader east or west, north or south will gain a powerful perspective from seriously engaging with this book, which I believe is bound to become a true classic."

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Research Professor, Yale University, and CEO, The Roosevelt Group

"Timeless Leadership is both timeless and borderless. It is timeless because the principles of leadership espoused thousands of years ago are contemporary. It is borderless because it transcends all situations of leadership dilemmas, internal conflicts, and ultimate resolutions. My congratulations to Debashis Chatterjee."

Jagdish Sheth, marketing guru and world–renowned author

"Professor Debashis Chatterjee has brought out a refreshing and inspired approach to the Bhagavad Gita in Timeless Leadership. He has skilfully outlined the ideals of our modern society and their applications in managerial life."

Swami Tejomayananda, Chairman and Spiritual Head, Chinmaya Mission

"Timeless Leadership is one of the most profound books about leadership in ages. This book goes way beyond the typical questions about how to motivate people, or how to get people aligned with your vision for an organization. Timeless Leadership guides leaders in how to address the deeper questions of the purpose and meaning of life, and provides ancient wisdom for some of the most difficult challenges faced by modern–day leaders. This book is both intensely spiritual and eminently practical."

Judi Neal, PhD, Director, Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas

"What can ancient Indian mythology teach today s global leaders? A great deal, according to this engaging analysis by Debashis Chatterjee, who considers leadership through the lens of the Bhagavad Gita. Readers will benefit from Chatterjee s close reading of the Gita, as he traces the leadership journey of a classic hero, Arjuna. We learn that leaders reach their full potential only if they overcome the limitations of their ego. They do this by cultivating a mentality that sees reality clearly, not through the faulty perceptions of a mind unsettled by a mob of emotion and conditioned impulses. Chatterjee s leader is courageous but also humbled by the quest for profound self–knowledge that leads to truth and the ability to work with the devotion of love made visible. Anyone seeking clarity about leadership s ultimate foundation will embrace this book." 

  Dipak C. Jain, Dean, INSEAD

"Timeless Leadership is an invaluable contribution to the literature on leadership. In his inimitable style and with an extraordinary gift for compelling metaphors, Debashis Chatterjee brings the eternal truths of the Bhagavad Gita to fresh and vibrant life, ready to be absorbed and applied by leaders of all types of organizations. Prof. Chatterjee has arrived at the simplicity on the other side of complexity, the mark of true mastery of his subject. This book is a treasure, a must read for any one aspiring to be a conscious business leader and a fully realized human being."

Rajendra Sisodia, Professor of Marketing, Bentley University

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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

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Debashis Chatterjee
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