Go Outwards to go Inwards

I finished reading this excellent book: The Outward Mindset by The Arbinger Institute. Rarely does a leadership book resound so deeply with me. I found myself highlighting large chunks of the book, and I wanted to share some of the choicest passages from the book with you.

The basic premise of the book tells us that we need to change our mindset and see people as, well, people instead of objects or obstacles to manipulate, push, persuade, or overcome. They are people with their own internal needs, challenges, wants, objectives, hopes and dreams. When we see truly see people for who they are and what they want, make our work about serving them, and constantly adjust to make sure we see people for who they are, we create better families, communities, and organizations.

This is far from a “soft skills” book. Getting this right creates a strategic competitive advantage which cannot be replicated. It creates record breaking profits, low turnover rates, and drives real business results. This set of ideas have been used by SWAT Teams, non-profits, and multinational corporations.

This is similar to the premise of Listen & Lead by Richard Himmer which I wrote about in my two previous posts here and here. This books flows nicely from these other linked articles.

I have seen the power of these ideas in over a decade of my volunteering effort with BAPS, and BAPS Charities. While no one has formalized these ideas in this non-profit organization, I have seen its spirit everyday. The results have been breathtaking as a small organization founded in early 20th century India in a tiny village has grown to become one of the largest international India-based non-profits in the world with a host of activities impacting millions and thousands of centres globally.

I would say that if Arbinger really wants to see how deeply the Outward Mindset is embedded in an organization, they should carefully study BAPS.

Here are the excerpts:

In whatever a person does, his or her mind-set comes through, and others respond to this combination of behavior and mindset. This means that the effectiveness of an individual’s behaviors will depend to some significant degree on that individual’s mindset.

Seeing people as people rather than as objects enables better thinking because such thinking is done in response to the truth: others really are people and not objects.

When my mindset is outward, I am alive to and interested in other people and their objectives and needs. I see others as people whom I am open to helping.

Not caring to notice or be moved by others requires something of me that takes a tremendous personal and social toll: it requires me to feel justified for not caring. I find justification by focusing on others’ faults, real and imagined.

Are there people in your life, either at work or at home, whose needs, objectives, and burdens you resist seeing? How about people that you don’t resist—people with whom you are open, curious, interested, aware?
As you compare these relationships, what differences do you notice in how you feel and act? Can you spot any blame in what you tell yourself about others or any self-justifying narratives that you’ve come to believe

The most troubling areas of our lives will be those in which we resist what the humanity of others invites us to see. This is a hopeful truth.

What is the cost of an inward mindset? When people focus on themselves rather than on their impact, lots of activity and effort get wasted on the wrong things.

Think about the times in your life when you have felt most alive and engaged. Who and what were you focused on in those moments—on yourself or on something bigger that included others?

Real helpfulness can’t be made into a formula. To be outward doesn’t mean that people should adopt this or that prescribed behavior. Rather, it means that when people see the needs, challenges, desires, and humanity of others, the most effective ways to adjust their efforts occur to them in the moment. When they see others as people, they respond in human and helpful ways.

This approach to measuring one’s impact requires nothing but a willingness to stay in regular conversations with others about whether they feel one’s efforts are helping them or not.

While the goal in shifting mindsets is to get everyone turned toward each other, accomplishing this goal is possible only if people are prepared to turn their mindsets toward others with no expectation that others will change their mindsets in return.

For all these reasons—as well as because widespread mindset change happens in large measure in response to those who change first—being able to operate with an outward mind-set when others do not is a critically important ability. It is the most important move.

People misunderstand the most important move we are talking about if they think that working with an outward mindset when others refuse to do the same makes a person blind to reality or soft on bad behavior. It does neither. In fact, what obscures vision and exposes people to more risk is not an outward mindset, which stays fully alive to and aware of others, but an inward one.

If you start with changing mindsets, behavioral transformations can happen quickly.

Whether in rethinking community policing or resolving labor- management disputes, when people see situations that need to change, the temptation is to immediately apply a behavioral solution. That seems like the fast approach. But if mindset is not addressed, it is usually the slow approach to change.

We’re not trying to have a homogenized group of people who work in the same way. Everybody works individually, but they work toward a collective solution. It’s about taking difference and focusing together on results.

Without realizing it, too many leaders assume that the role of leadership is to control.

When I try to impose my ideas on others and thereby refuse to allow them to think, I end up getting in the way more than I end up being helpful. It’s not my job as a leader to have the solution to every problem.

The Schoolteacher’s Lessons and Choosing Yourself

We fail to grow during this time of isolation because of a few unconscious lessons we learned during our time in school. The antidote is to choose ourselves.

We wait too long for others to choose us. We wait for the right schools, universities, employers, partners to choose us. We wait for someone else to give us permission to do what we really want to do. To learn what we want to learn, to make what we want to make.

Self-directed learning via online courses and books are more abundant than ever before. But my mind goes to why we so often fail at following through, on learning ourselves, or insisting that we get the right credentials.

On waiting for someone else to choose us.

The Seven Lesson School Teacher

Meet John Taylor Gatto.

John Taylor Gatto from The Ultimate History Lesson

He was New York State’s and New York City’s Teacher of the Year for 3 years. He took underperforming kids and made them into smart, interesting, curious, and well prepared individuals. In short, he did what great teachers do.

It was during the last year where he won the Teacher of the Year award that he wrote a very public column in the Wall Street Journal announcing that he was quitting teaching for good.

He said he was done harming kids.

He believed that the real lessons of school were very different than what we believe them to be. These lessons are:

  1. Confusion: Schools teach us everything, disconnectedly. Math is different from history is different from science is different from language. But true education is meant to be an in-depth understanding of the world and to develop a skill set that can serve us navigate it. That is how the world functions. Everything is meant to be integrated. Schools teach unrelating everything from everything. It isn’t until much later years where the synthesis of these things come together.
  2. Indifference: Classes are strictly divided into a timetable. English is homeroom, Science is second, and then math. You can have a great teacher at the front of the class, but when the bell rings, you must stop and just shut off your brain and rapidly go do something else. No wonder we struggle at finishing long term projects that matter in our lives in our adult age. No wonder we struggle to keep focus on doing deep work, which is where mastery and greatness happens.
  3. Position: Students are numbered, and they are put in a strict position. You know what your position is, and you don’t like to deviate from it. I see this (and it’s happened with me as well), where it is very difficult to relate and connect with people of different age groups, different socio-economic factors. We know our position, and our world starts revolving only around people in the right class, the right subjects, the right position. This is not the way the real world is supposed to work. No wonder we are so divided. Why we struggle to see the other person.
  4. Emotional Dependence: The golden star stickers in the report card, the permission to go use the bathroom, the rankings and class performance charts. They all teach us that we need someone else to bestow their good graces upon us so that we may express our individuality. There is value in this of course. When we are small children, we need this to teach us social norms to function well. But after a while, we keep chasing the golden star sticker in everything we do, from the universities we want to go to, the jobs we pursue, the vacations we take. Everything is a signal waiting for someone else to validate us and give us permission to be. There is no outlet to fight against this.
  5. Self-esteem dependence: Of course a result of the above issue is that our confidence is highly tied to how someone else approves of us or not. You are constantly evaluated and judged. A quiz a day, a test a week, exams, etc. Most of us remember the relief of the summer vacation. When we returned from these vacations, we ourselves know how little we remember from what we learned the year before. Instead, it was only the things that we were interested in that stayed with us. But despite that, the grade we get can devastate us or make us.
  6. Intellectual Dependence: Someone else always sets the agenda of what we need to learn, and how we must learn. We wait for instructions. Someone tells us we are Wrong (with a capital W) when we get something incorrect. I have barely used the tools from my English classes in school, but yet back then there was a correct way of doing things and an incorrect way. We are supposed to learn self-evaluation. But instead, we wait for others. This carries over to performance and annual reviews in jobs. Instead of focusing on continuous self-driven improvement, we wait for someone else.

Of course the question becomes, if schools are so ineffective, how else are people supposed to learn? But learning was always supposed to be a self-driven thing. And teaching kids to be motivated to self-learn, self-evaluate, and chase their own interests and how it relates to everything else is supremely more powerful.

This isn’t about becoming drop-outs. This is about understanding the hidden lessons we have learned in school and what it has done to us. I highly recommend looking through John Taylor Gatto’s books (do we even have the concentration to read a full book anymore?) to think about alternative ways of learning.

It is heartening to hear things changing. A great family friend whom I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with last month told us she was homeschooling her two kids. She comes from a conservative Hindu family, and she herself has a PhD in Chemistry from a major American university on the west coast. It was amazing to see her insistence on this.

Forced to stay at home, many of us with kids are waking up and are faced with a choice to either hand our kids a screen so they can distract and entertain themselves, or engage in serious self-directed study and learning. Self-directed being the key here.

Consider looking into the unschooling, self-direct learning movements, and home schooling movements if you have kids. These children have and can grow up to be marvelously well rounded and successful people (that’s what the data shows).

In the meantime, we all need to unschool ourselves a little bit as well. The mental baggage can slow ourselves. Being aware of it is sometimes all we need to unload it.

In short, we need to choose ourselves.

That’s how we make this time of isolation into a time of productivity. Where we let our own self-directed curiosity guide us to grow. That is because ideas are powerful.

On great ideas

Ideas are the real currency of this century. I’ve gotten work without resumes and cover letters, just through the strength of ideas. This week alone, I was contacted on Twitter by an entrepreneur for a major (at least for me) business transaction based on the strength of my ideas. I’ve gotten large consulting projects through cold emails and the strength of my ideas. And of course sharing those ideas.

I’d like to encourage all of us to please do share your ideas! What are you learning? What are you thinking about? What are you curious about? Help me be of service to you by either making me a sounding board or someone who can recommend a book, course, or resource to guide you through your curiosity.

I share one idea a week. Consider signing up for it in a weekly newsletter below:

The Prince’s Exile

Life can take us the highest peaks of life and bring us down in a moment. The following is a true story seldom heard off in the Western world of a prince that saw both and how it defined his legacy that teaches us how to manage change.

It was the night before his coronation as the king of the land, a moment of jubilation for everyone. 

The king, the ministers, and even the citizens of the land were impressed with Prince Rāma. He had been the perfect prince.

Patient and noble, generous and kind, fair and just. He traveled far and helped the kingdom prosper. He defended the weak when enemies tried to attack the further borders of the kingdom. He maintained diplomatic ties with neighboring rulers and strengthened peace and prosperity across the land.

He was also the oldest of the king’s sons. When the king decided to step down from his responsibilities, it came as a surprise to no one that the perfect Prince Rāma to become the heir-apparent.

Everyone except the handmaiden to the Queen.

The handmaiden to the Queen was a superstitious lady, nosy and bothersome. She had the habit of finding faults in even the best of situations, and in the best of people. Scheming was in her nature, even when it had nothing to do with her.

The Queen was excited about the coronation of her step-son the following morning. Despite being a step-son, they had bonded like mother and son. She saw him as her own son.

“But what of your son, my lady?” said the handmaiden as she helped the Queen prepare to attend the dinner that evening in the royal court.

“What do you mean?” said the Queen.

“If Prince Rāma becomes the King, your own son will live in his shadow. He will be subservient. And who knows? Perhaps the good prince may cease to be so good with the newfound power,” said the haggard handmaiden.

“Do not be so insolent when you speak of your Prince and your future King,” said the Queen firmly.

“Sorry my lady! I am just an old woman who knows nothing and just rambles. Of course. Don’t mind me,” and with that, she went about her business and left the Queen.

But the seed of doubt was planted.

Better men than him have gone mad with power. What if he hurts my own son? What can I do to prevent this?

The queen could barely eat dinner. After the dinner with the court, she went to the King and started talking.

“Oh King! You are my husband, and today I want to ask you of a favour the night before you step down. Do not deny me this wish.”

“Anything! Ask! I have never denied anything you have asked and today is a happy day for tomorrow my Rāma will take my place!”

The Queen was silent was a while, and the King looked at her expectantly.

“Say it! I will not deny you. I swear by my honor as a king and your husband.”

“Then hear me oh great King! If your vow to me right now is true, I wish that my own son be crowned the king and that Prince Rāma be exiled into the forest.”


It was an age with the word of the King was bound by honor. If a great man made a vow, upon his life he had to fulfill it no matter what.

“Ask anything else but this! What has come over you? This is the first I have heard talks of such madness!”

But the Queen was firm. She did not relent no matter how much the King tried to console her. No matter how much the King tried to show her reason.

He is the right person for this.

He will treat you well. He sees your son as his very brother.

Rāma has never hurt anyone unjustly.

No, no, no.

The Queen remained firm and the King was left without words. He fell to the floor and became like a ghost, unable to tell his son what he was honor-bound to fulfill.

Morning came and the kingdom did not know what was to come.

But the old handmaiden of the Queen had heard everything. And soon, the message went out.

In corners of the palace, and then the kingdom, the citizens were aghast! They thought it was a rumor.

Until Prince Rāma woke and received the message.

On the morning of his coronation, he received a message that changed his destiny. So close to the culmination of his power, he remained stable. Neither upset nor elated, he had taken his impending coronation with the same equanimity with which he took this message of his exile.

He went to meet his father the King and his step-mother the Queen to confirm the news. His silent father could barely speak, but the news were confirmed.

He immediately went to his quarters, removed all the finery he wore, and prepared to leave the Kingdom. His very home.

Before he left, he went to seek the blessings from his father and his step-mother as well. He remained unaffected by the dualities of honor and shame. When the fruit of his life was snatched before his very eyes, he dealt with the tides of fate with calm, with joy and happiness.

No, that is not my wedding photo. It is a still from The Rāmāyan, a serialized adaption from his life. This is a still that shows the actors that play Rām and his wife Sitā in garb.

I have been thinking a lot about Prince Rāma this past week.

When he faced such an extreme event (and many many many others) over his lifespan, he showed that it is possible to live a life of equanimity.

I’d like to make the case that it is this peace of mind that should be the very goal of our lives!

Perhaps your life has been turned around overnight. But like Rāma, we too can learn to have peace of mind.

I’ve been reading this book The Elephant in the Brain that makes a convincing case that close to 90% of the things we do in our life are to signal to others, improve our social status, and receive attention for it.

The schools we attend: we go for the most prestigious schools so that we can signal to others about our intelligence.

Our professions are often a way to showcase either how smart and capable we are based on the companies we build or the job titles we hold.

Even the charity we work we do is often fused with the thought of the recognition and social status we receive from it.

Our homes, cars, and many other parts of our life are often done to signal to others that we are smart, good-looking, successful, and capable people.

Rāma had all these things going for him already. But it was ultimately his ability to have peace of mind that makes hundreds of millions of people remember him, even centuries after he is no more.

It was his peace of mind, his ability to stay calm under the extreme dualities of life that makes us remember him.

It was his character that mattered more. It helped him then, and it makes us remember him now.

And this is the case with life.

We chase all external signals of success, status, and affiliation. Countless more people have done that already.

Status, success, affiliation goes up and down. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. But is only peace of mind that can keep you still. Peace of mind can give you more than any status, success or failure can give you.

Unless you make a deliberate attempt at making peace of mind the ultimate goal of life, it will not happen. Until we make signals of status the main goals of life, we cannot find fulfillment and meaning.

Studying the life of great people like Prince Rāma can be more instructive on how to live life and achieve something meaningful in life.

I hope that you too will make attaining peace of mind your ultimate goal in life.

If you are interested in reading the story of Prince Rāma, popularly known as The Rāmāyana, I can recommend 2 versions:

  1. A shorter version with beautiful paintings found here.
  2. A longer version here.

Both are non-affiliate Amazon links.

It’s one of the greatest epics of the ancient world and I highly recommend it.

I hope you are doing well through these times and the story of Prince Rāma above will give you pause and give you something to think about as you start this coming week.

Please share this with others who might appreciate the message here and join our tribe.

The President and The Swami

photography of mirror building
Ivey Business School, London

It was a cold November evening in London. The sun had started to set by 4 PM.

Our days would start at 8 AM when the sun was barely visible. By the time the day would end, it would be dark again.

But on this particular day, after a hasty dinner, a group of fresh faced business school students were crawling back to the school. Dressed in suits and heels, their legs and ears were shivering in the subzero temperature as they walked across the campus to the session, ready to impress.

The big firm was coming today. One of the most prominent management consulting companies was over to recruit today. They had driven a few hundred kilometers to visit this campus, and find the best and brightest of Canada to join their firm.

It was an informational night. Their goal was to talk about their firm (but everyone already knew all about it of course). But really, their goal was to get a feeling of the people and get an insight on who might be the right material for their firm.

The presentation ended, the cocktail hour began. And everyone immediately swamped the one partner who was there.

Everyone started asking questions, hoping to impress and leave just enough of a mark to be memorable and make their odds of getting the job more likely.

What’s it like to work as a Partner? What are some of your biggest challenges? What do you look for in a candidate? How do you progress? What’s the most interesting challenge you’ve faced?

The partner was quick in answering all these questions. There was a practiced manner in his answer, as if he had encountered these same queries dozens of times before.

It’s very challenging but very interesting…

Yes, this one time I advised the CEO of a major auto firm…

Of course, here’s my card. Good talking with you…

He was polite, to the point, and cordial.

The crowd cleared away. I was convinced that this wasn’t the job for me at that age. I decided I could just be me (something very hard for me at the time) and have an actually meaningful conversation.

I wandered over to the partner as the hour came to an end, and all the business cards were handed away to the eager b-school students, who would undoubtedly send him an email the next day saying what an absolute delight it was to talk with him.

He looked exhausted. Turns out, he had just flown in from Europe the day before, and he had to come here for recruiting. No one had asked him about that. We had a good conversation about that.

But there was a genuine question burning inside of me that I wanted to ask him: “All these years you’ve been at the firm helping others turn their businesses around. You’ve worked with Fortune 100 CEOs. You’ve traveled the world…”

The partner got ready to give a rehearsed answer to a question he was anticipating. What do you enjoy most about all this? was perhaps the question he thought I would ask.

“…in all this time, what have you learned about yourself?”

He paused. He looked away for a while, staring into the space. He turned to me and said:

“You know, I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. No one has ever asked me this question. I…don’t actually know.”

This is the real question that I am obsessed with. In everything we do, what have we learned about ourselves?

I think this is the real challenge of leadership at the highest rungs of corporations, governments, non-profits, and even start-ups. Leaders are obsessed with creating a great company, serving customers, serving their employees. They constantly upgrade their skills, their tools to make them more productive, more informed, more ready.

And perhaps that’s you too. Relentlessly trying to change everything that the world throws at you.

And it’s never enough. The world moves forward. The day ends and each peak conquered becoming unfulfilling after a while.

Of course this is unfulfilling. There is a lot of criticism of capitalism that asks the question: how much is enough? We expect Wall Street to change, to not demand such expectations from companies. We expect businesses to stop marketing to us, making us desire things we don’t really need.

We criticize a culture that is bent on shopping, binging on TV and movies, and being in a perpetual state of adolescence.

And nothing changes. It is unfair to criticize the system without looking at the root cause of all this.

I believe this outwards orientation is at the heart of everything.

This doesn’t apply just to corporate CEOs, government officials. This is not just about leadership at the highest levels, but it’s about you and me. Those who are trying to live together everyday.

But there is a different model of leadership, of being, that also exists. One where “enough” is a natural byproduct. One where it is much easier to get into action, work, and have the wisdom to stop.

That’s what this is about.

Few Americans have heard of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. But for more than a billion people, he was the most popular President of India. A rocket scientist, an inventor of low cost stents, an author of books, amongst many other things.

He was a humble man. When he won the most Presidency by the widest margin in the history of the country, he had barely 1 bag of clothes to pack as he moved to the Presidential mansion.

He was loved deeply. His mission was to put “Wings of Fire” in children to make them soar beyond whatever circumstances they faced.

He himself came from a humble background. Born to a fisherman’s home in a Muslim community in a corner of India, it was his curiosity and focus on his work that helped him climb up to the highest ranks.

But this isn’t about his accomplishments.

It is about his realization in the last decade of his life that inspired him to make a radically different set of choices. This, more than anything, became the final calling of his life. Sharing this insight became the most important project of his life, more than launching rockets and inventing medical devices.

What realization was this:

“Who am I really? Am I so-and-so with a certain past and a certain body and personality and certain roles, talents, weaknesses, dreams, fears and beliefs? Others may define me in these ways, but that is not who I really am. Who I really am can only be discovered through deeper questioning and exploration, and through a subtler experience of that which is beyond all ideas about myself. It can only be revealed when the mind is quiet and no longer telling me who I am. When all the preconceptions about myself are stilled, what remains is who I really am: consciousness, awareness, stillness, presence, peace, love and the Divine. You are that which is nameless, and yet has been given a thousand names. “

Since that moment, his work became to talk about this vision about how to manage in the unprecedented changes that we face.

It was his experiences with the great Hindu teacher Pramukh Swami Maharaj that brought him this realization.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj (left) with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (right)

The outcome of this?

He wrote in his final book, Transcendence:

“No maneuvers are required anymore, as I am placed in my final position in eternity.”

A profound feeling of satisfaction and completeness. But not one that makes one inactive, unengaged from the world. But a freeing realization to engage more deeply in life and strive to make a greater impact.

I believe that is what we need more than ever. This newsletter is really about the vision that Dr. Kalam had while holding the hand of Pramukh Swami Maharaj:

“In a revelatory flash, I realized that the struggle between happiness and unhappiness that had so far been the story of human existence–and the struggle between peace and war that had been the history of the human race–must change. I heard in the silence of his grip on my hand ‘Kalam, go and tell everyone that the power that would lead us to eternal victory amid these struggles is the power of good within us…The vision would be greater than any other goal ever aspired to by humanity.’ “

This is what we need more than ever right now. It is not an abstract aspirational aim, but a real state to cultivate.

Please join me as I spend the next year going through this theme. It is this vision that we want to explore.

It is not about religion or meditation or mindfulness, but something that engages the whole intelligence, body, emotions, and soul. This vision will take us down many paths. It will take us through the fields of psychology, business, economics, culture, spirituality, history, leadership, and a whole host of other disciplines.

This is about becoming the complete person. And this has massive implications for our economic systems, how we lead businesses, organizations, our families, and our communities.

Join me as I try to understand the pieces of this vision and how to put it all together. And please do share with other friends, colleagues who might be interested in this. It makes a difference.

How do you think the world would look if this is how leaders led? If you led your life from the place Dr. Kalam writes about?

How to Lead: Empathy, Trust & Respect

Our models on leadership are broken. We know a lot about WHAT it takes to be a leader. We know good leaders are meant to have a vision, motivate others, forge a path, and take their team there.

There are also many truisms related to leadership. For example, Simon Sinek says ‘Leaders Eat Last’. They lead by example, etc. But what’s often lost is the HOW behind it. Behind the lofty words and intentions, there’s a big void where practical skills are ignored.

Continue reading “How to Lead: Empathy, Trust & Respect”

The Secret Spirituality of Leaders

At the top of the tallest sky scrapper in the city, we were sitting in a cozy executive lounge. I was meeting with the CEO of a major national bank, a chance encounter where I was not his employee nor interviewing him for anything. I was not there to sell him anything either.

The conversation we had there was a conversation I saw repeated over and over again. Whether it be in homes of successful entrepreneurs or in late night conversations with powerful government officials in Switzerland. 

I was trying to grasp and understand what made them unique. Often coming from nothing, these incredible men and women have started large organizations: startups and corporate behemoths. They carry considerable influence and power. I have always been curious to know how do they handle life, the tough decisions they face daily.

Leading anyone, let alone yourself can be exhausting. Startup founders, entrepreneurs, and real change-makers face a lonely journey to the top. We see short-sighted thinking, we see mental breakdowns. We see politics and drama play out. 

But in many cases, we also see resilience. We see incredible strength of character. We see growth and progress, and real empathy to do the right thing, even in the face of ridicule. We see values and principles.

In speaking to me candidly about their ups and downs, they have confessed one thing that we barely ever talk about in any of the thousands of articles that are being churned out daily about success, productivity, entrepreneurship, pop-psychology.

It is this: Faith in a Higher Power is the ultimate source of strength.

They have all admitted to prayer as a source of strength as well. One CEO of a major global fashion brand said: “Everyday, I pray to God to give me the strength to do this work. Because I alone am not capable of doing this myself.”

This person is worth $200+ million dollar.

I’ve seen this played out so often. And yet, most success literature doesn’t talk about this at all.

It almost seems that we are hiding from this truth in trying to be secular. Mindfulness and meditation are safe placeholders for spirituality, but they are incomplete. They are aids in deepening your faith, but not an end in themselves.

The true lessons of spirituality are not tied to one particular religion either, they are universal. And these lessons can help us be better leaders. Either for our teams and organizations, or in our private lives as we lead our families and our lives.

That’s what this publication is about.

It is about embracing faith. This is not about proselytizing. For true spiritual principles are timeless and not bound to any particular religion.

The only thing required is faith to move forward and deepen a relationship with your true self and a higher power.

Everything else follows from that.

Has Faith Played a Role In How You Lead?

If so, share your thoughts below on how exactly faith and spirituality helps you lead yourself and others better.

Does Leadership Training Work?

Leadership is not a noun. It is a verb. Leadership happens daily, in practice.

At its heart, leadership training is about passing on skills to people so that they can effectively read, listen, influence, inspire, coach, and guide themselves and others.

  • To read yourself effectively, you need to be introspective. To read others, you need to be empathetic.
  • To listen to yourself, you need to create space to let the inner voice speak. To listen to others, you need humility and openness to see the world differently.
  • To influence yourself, you need the tools, strategies, and guides to work on the right things. To influence others, you need to coach them, ask them the right questions to let them grow themselves. You also need integrity, strength, and decisiveness.
  • To inspire yourself, you need a powerful “why”. To inspire others, you need to connect the work with their big purpose.

Can leadership training teach this?

I believe it can plant the seeds for these qualities to emerge in the right people in the right situation. And the more seeds you plant, the higher the likelihood of them sprouting, growing, and flourishing.

A training session can last for 1 day or even 1 week. But it’s up to the person to change their values, mindset, beliefs, and actions. That work is done on a daily basis.

That’s what actually matters.

Frequent Leadership Training is exactly what can help nurture the plant as it takes hold and grows.

Overcoming ingrained habits, mindsets, beliefs, and values can take a long time. Just like losing weight, starting a new diet, you need constant reinforcement, motivation, and recognition to keep going.

So, Leadership Training can work—really well! As long as it happens frequently. As long as one builds atop another. As long as the person has an interest in getting better as a leader.

In those situations, yes it can work.

I’ve led leadership workshops in rooms where the entire audience was completely disengaged. It took everything in my power to connect with their current challenges to make some of them interested in it.

I’ve also been in rooms where eager people who had just been promoted were looking for ways to be more valuable to their organization and their teams, and were committed to being active, engaged, and consistent practitioners in this process.

The later group wins. Always.

Your Thoughts

What has been the most effective leadership training for you? Did it even take place in a traditional professional setting or elsewhere? What was more valuable about it? Share your thoughts below to help others.