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The Enlightened Leader. An Introduction to the Chakras of Leadership

  • ID: 686992
  • Book
  • January 2009
  • 284 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The stark cases of ′endarkened′ leadership that we have seen in recent years force us to think of fundamental change. But these are merely the alarm bells. It is time now to pay attention to the causes, the underlying assumptions that have for so long remained unquestioned – and to a working alternative. The search is on for a type of leadership that incorporates not just material values, but human values as well. A type of leadership that goes beyond exploitation and personal greed, and that we may justly call ′enlightened′.

What would this leadership look like? How is it cultivated in self and in others? And how do you make it work? In The Enlightened Leader corporate culture consultants Peter ten Hoopen and Fons Trompenaaars, whose work for global organisations gives them unique insights into leadership across all cultures, take the scalpel to some deeply engrained, but nefarious management theory, and show the way to healing, opening fresh fields of ambition, new degrees of passion and creativity.

To promote the needed awareness, the authors introduce ′The Chakras of Leadership′, a model of leadership that differentiates seven levels of human energy use. Inspired by Yoga philosophy, it serves a prism that makes us look at leadership from seven distinct perspectives. The companion Chakra Test at [external URL] profiles the extent to which the seven aspects of leadership are developed, whether positively or negatively. The visualisations give a nuanced overview of one s internal energy economy. The ideal is full spectrum energy expenditure, with all levels in harmony, and positive direction.

The authors′ wealth of stories, sharp wit, and self–deprecating humour make The Enlightened Leader a challenging and inspiring read that has the capacity to be life changing.

A synthesis of the best western thinking about human motivation and eastern wisdom teachings, The Enlightened Leader is a profound exploration of the meaning of leadership. Anyone who is concerned with the deep roots of success in business will benefit from reading this pioneering book.
John Gray, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics

This book will certainly not convince everyone, nor should it, but it is a point of view worth to consider. It makes you think.
Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel–Lucent

Rarely do the worlds of business and spirituality come together. In this book, they blend wonderfully. The authors don′t pretend to have all the answers but challenge you as a reader to seek your own. This is serious stuff AND it is sometimes hilarious to read. If you ever want to read a management book in bed, here is one.
Twan van de Kerkhof, Managing Director European Leadership Platform, Chairman Foundation for European Leadership

The Enlightened Leader is probably the most important book on leadership of the year. A must read for everyone keen on sustainability and respect for humanity. A book that posits man as the end, not the means, informed by the consciousness that we are all intimately connected.
Albert de Booij, Founder and CEO Speakers Academy

Our world needs and deserves sustainable leadership. This means changing business concepts, attitudes and leadership behaviour. I recommend The Enlightened Leader for both (future) leaders and teaching professionals.
Ivo Matser, CEO TSM Business School

The time has come for humanity to make its mark. A time for people to be authentic and aspire to achieve their highest nature. A time for leaders, especially, to create the right environment and energy for this to happen and multiply. Thank you, to Peter and Fons, for this most important work at this most important time. This is a MUST read for all ready to embrace and support a changed and improved world.
Sandra Macleod, Group Chief Executive, Echo Research

We have long thought that models and concepts of leadership can only be based on the ideas of the (European) Age of Enlightenment. Peter ten Hoopen and Fons Trompenars show us older sources of inspiration and consciousness that really shed light on the essence of leadership.
Wessel Ganzevoort, Professor Organisational Dynamics and Innovation, University of Amsterdam

This book is a wonderful guide for transformational leadership, wherein leaders and led transform each other and which instils a form of change that engages peoples′ enduring needs. At last we encounter writers bold enough to address the ideal of enlightenment, an all–encompassing wisdom growing out of lives carefully examined.
Charles Hampden–Turner, Author and Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge

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Author s Note.


A Lofty Notion.

The survival of the happiest.

What is Leadership?

Definition and size–up.

Leadership and management – related yet fundamentally different.

Endarkened Leadership.

Historical context.

Leave your brain outside and bring your body indoors.

Double standards in standard curriculum.

Warning: don t engage in duplicity if it ll make you sick.

The conscience–free corporation.

Imposition of will – how much of a future?

What is Followership?

The leading role of the follower.

The high art of inspiring others to lead.

What is Enlightenment?

Practical and ideal enlightenment.

What is Enlightened Leadership?

Leadership from within.

How valuable is the corporate personality?

How to Reach Enlightenment.

Honesty as a first step.

The will as aid and obstacle.

Enlightened Leaders Speake Out.

Bill George, ex–ceo Medtronic: Commitment to a purpose or mission.

Dee Hock, founder of Visa International: Induced behaviour.

Robert E. Staub: Love generates more profits.

Andrew Cohen, spiritual leader: Becoming one with your destiny.

Aviv Shahar, founder of Amber Coaching: A new type of awareness.

Jim Dreaver, management guru: Being present without agenda.


The Seven Chakras of Leadership®.

Why chakras.

Chakras as containers of meaning.

How does this work in practice?

The chakras and the human phases of development.

Chakra Test helps to see your own chakras.

1. Root Chakra: Survival.

The chakra of survival.

The chakra of our relationship to the material world.

The one you neglect at your peril.

The root cause of many problems.

Short term orientation killing long term potential.

Some fundamental stuff.

Root Chakra dominant: Case Bob H. – boom or bust.

Root Chakra disdained spurned: Archetype Edwin D. – the return to dust.

Paradox at the Root Level.

2. Sacral Chakra: Relationships, Creativity.

The chakra of connectedness and creation.

A problem–chakra par excellence.

Sexuality – suppression or celebration?

Feel free to feel.

Do not identify with your feelings.

Emotionality as chocolate mousse.

All great art comes from the gut.

Competing for best cooperation.

What role for relationships?

Gut feeling.

Creative sparkle.

Sacral Chakra wide open: Archetype Francis W. – beloved by all.

Sacral Chakra dominant: Archetype Carlo F. charming till the grave.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra: Respect, Willpower.

The chakra governing manifestation of our will.

Power and how to apply it.

Women s weak spot.

Women s special gift.

Willpower and how to gain respect.

Inner–Directed Push or Outer–Directed Pull.

An enlightening intermezzo.

Imposition versus attraction.

Solar Plexus Chakra never woke up: Archetype William D. – the handicap of comfort.

Solar Plexus Chakra dominant: Archetype Roger T willpower masquerading as detachment.

4. Heart Chakra: Love.

The chakra of the heart – in all connotations.

A force for the good.

The chakra of insight into human nature.

The chakra of turnaround.

A private example.

Leadership with Heart–Power.

Courage and caution, passion and control.

Heart Power and the lack of it.

Heart Chakra wide open: Archetype Manous D. maternal love and courage.

Heart Chakra seized up: Case John D. – the poverty of cunning.

5. Throat Chakra: Communication.

The chakra of a yearning for purity.

The chakra of communication – verbal and non–verbal.

Nexus where inner and outer world meet.

The path of integrity.

A look in the mirror.

Throat Chakra in clinch: Archetype Agnes W – strained voice over–used.

Throat Chakra wide open: Archetype Norbert G. mission driven voice.

6. Third Eye Chakra: Insight, Intuition.

The chakra for contact with the higher self.

The third eye helps see more dimensions.

The third eye and the pineal gland.

Intuitive leadership – when to bring into play?

How to strengthen your intuition.

Everyone starts enlightened.

Integration is of the essence.

Egomania galore.

Ego as the destroyer of value.

Third Eye Chakra wide shut: Archetype Mary Z. – clueless in wonderland.

Third Eye Chakra wide open: Archetype Herman D. – an eye for coincidences.

7. Crown Chakra: Universal Consciousness.

The chakra of cosmic consciousness.

Exalted state of being, or cunning pretence?

Subtle massage in the service of exploitation?

The chakra that transcends all.

Reconciliation across a wide spectrum.

Is there life beyond Maslow?

Crown Chakra dominant: Archetype Trevor M. – Sanctity First.

Crown Chakra blossoming: Archetype Y.H. – the Enlightened Leader.

Balanced Energy Economy.

How hallowed is the highest?

Running on All Seven.


A Higher Reality in Sight.

Liberation from inner tyranny.

What is wisdom?

How is wisdom attained?

The Wisdom of the Sea Urchin.

Clarity is achieved by eliminating distractions.

Obstacles on society s growth path.

The Courage to Stand Up.

A desirable shift of focus.

Corporate Social Responsibility – a cosmetic exercise?

Business as Agent for World Benefit.

The work Ahead.




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Peter ten Hoopen
Fons Trompenaars
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