Enlightened Leadership



"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

~ Albert Schweitzer

Few people will argue that we need more enlightened leaders in our world. If you are a student of the art of leadership, if you are a leader in your industry, your community, or your field or area of expertise, I am sure you are already thinking about how to apply the principles and lessons of awakening to your work.

You probably find yourself inspired by stories of great leadership. You are moved by the example of individuals who embody such qualities as vision, courage, compassion, creative thinking, bold decision-making, and selfless service to humanity. You, too, want to be the best leader you can possibly be.

It makes you feel good to be a positive force in helping influence, shape, or direct the creative energy of others. You want to be of service. You like being part of a group, team, or organization that has good chemistry, one where every member or player feels a sense of kinship with each other, and is united around a common goal. You know from experience what it takes to create such unity, and you are willing to take responsibility for making it happen. 

You understand the power of multiplication, and what can be accomplished when a group of conscious, focused people come together in the pursuit of a shared vision. You want to use that power to not only produce great results, but to make your organization, your community-and ultimately, our world-a better place.

If this is the kind of leader you are, or want to be, then whether you think of it in these terms or not, you are definitely on a journey to enlightenment. The greatest leaders in history, from Marcus Aurelius to Martin Luther King, Jr., have been the enlightened ones. This has always been the case. The ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, spoke about the secret of enlightened leadership over two thousand years ago, in the Tao Te Ching his classic guide to the art of harmonious living: 'If you want to learn how to govern… Show people the way back to their own true nature.'


If, as a leader, you want to be able to bring out the highest and best in others, you must have achieved a certain level of mastery within yourself, a true meeting of wisdom and love. Your mind must be clear, your heart open, and you must know how to be present without any personal agenda.

Anyone can be present with an agenda-a self-centered motive-but it takes a very conscious and inwardly free, or awakened person, to be present without one. Only then can you be truly open and available to the untapped creative potential that exists in each moment. Only from that place of clear, loving presence can you build, create, and nurture an enlightened team or organization. You must take time out from your busy schedule to do some inner work. 

Make enlightenment, your own inner peace and clarity, the priority in your life. Draw upon the resources that will feed your soul, nourish your heart, and illuminate your mind. Read the books, take the trainings, and get the coaching that will support you in this process and that will allow you to return to your leadership responsibilities with renewed clarity, vision, and passion. Listen to the voice of truth that comes from deep within you.

This is how you become a great leader. This is how you become a great person-great is the sense of being a true master of your own mind and emotions, an authentically self-realized human being. This is how the world gets transformed: each of us discovering the greatness within us, the truth of consciousness and freedom, and then sharing that truth, that light, with others. The more of us that awaken to the truth within, the sooner it will happen throughout the world.


©Jim Dreaver, 2005