Friday, March 4, 2011

12 Principles of Spiritual Leadership

Some bits of wisdom to chew on from a condensed version of an adaptation of a presentation given by Will Keepin at Schumacher College, Totnes, England, July 17, 1997.  

1. Motivation transformed from anger and despair to compassion and love. We seek to work for love, rather than against evil. The Dalai Lama says, "A positive future can never emerge from the mind of anger and despair."

2. Non-attachment to outcome. To the extent that we are attached to the results of our work, we rise and fall with our success and failures, which is a path to burnout. Failures are inevitable, and successes are not the deepest purpose of our work.

3. Integrity is your protection. The idea here is that if your work has integrity, that will tend to protect you from negative circumstances.

4. Unified integrity in both means and ends. Integrity in means cultivates integrity in the fruit of one's work; you cannot achieve a noble goal using ignoble means. The end does not justify the means.

5. Don't demonize your adversaries. People respond to arrogance with their own arrogance, which leads to polarization. The ideal is to constantly entertain alternative points of view so that you move from arrogance to inquiry, and you then have no need to demonize your opponents.

6. Love thy enemy. Or if you can't do that, at least have compassion for them. This means moving from an 'us-them' consciousness to a 'we' consciousness. The 'them' that we talk about is also us.

7. Your work is for the world rather than for you. We serve on behalf of others and not for our own satisfaction or benefit. We're sowing seeds for a cherished vision to become a future reality, and our fulfilment comes from the privilege of being able to do this work.

8. Selfless service is a myth. In truly serving others, we are also served. In giving we receive. This is important to recognize, so we don't fall into the trap of pretentious service to others' needs and develop a false sense of selflessness or martyrdom.

9. Do not insulate yourself from the pain of the world. We must allow our hearts to be broken-broken open-by the pain of the world. As that happens, as we let that pain in, we become the vehicles for transformation. If we block the pain, we are actually preventing our own participation in the world's attempt to heal itself.

10. What you attend to, you become. If you constantly attend to battles, you become embattled. On the other hand, if you constantly give love, you become loving. We must choose wisely what we attend to, because it shapes and defines us deeply.

11. Rely on faith. Cultivate a deep trust in the unknown, recognizing the presence of "higher" or "divine" forces at work that we can trust completely without knowing their precise agendas or workings. It means invoking something beyond the traditional scientific world view.

12. Love creates the form. The mind gives rise to the apparent fragmentation of the world, while the heart can operate at depths unknown to the mind. When we bring the fullness of our humanity to our leadership, we can be far more effective in creating the future we want.

In closing, as we enter the third millennium, we are urgently called to action in two distinct capacities: to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture, and to serve as midwives to an emerging culture. These two tasks are required simultaneously; they call upon us to move through the world with an open heart-meaning we are present for the grief and the pain-as we experiment with new visions and forms for the future. Both are needed. The key is to root our actions in both intelligence and compassion-a balance of head and heart that combines the finest human qualities in our leadership for cultural transformation.

No comments:

Post a Comment