How Buddhist Philosophy Can Help Leaders
The Dalai Lama is a religious figure who constantly seeks to place him in the midst of the most pressing issues in the world today. As the foremost Buddhist leader in the entire world, his words hold weight over so many countries and devotees.
In his book “The Leader’s Way”, the Dalai Lama pokes his head into business and how leaders can harness Buddhist teachings to lead more responsible, successful businesses. He’s identified six things that every business and organization should have as a company and as values for individual employees:
1. Generosity. Pursuing wealth for wealth’s sake and your own personal gain is going to ruin any company in the end no matter how large it is. Give others credit and make teamwork an important part of your company.
2. Ethical discipline. Money and power aren’t evil if you get and use them the right way. Greed and opportunity can sometimes go hand in hand to give you money and power that’s out of proportion with your own wisdom. In the end, you’re going to follow your evil impulses and will possibly get your company into ruin with your mistakes.
3. Patience. One of the most important things we think a leader should have is being able to withhold a reaction until they’ve thought things over. Patience takes it a bit further and tells you to hold back anger and welcome a dissenting but constructive opinion.
4. Enthusiasm. People have to see that you’re passionate about your business so the effect can transfer to them. You can influence people with your enthusiasm and make them believe in the project or company you’re setting up. Your own passion is going to drive your team to find theirs.
5. Concentration. Spiritual leadership experts know their priorities and don’t lose sight of the important present. They can overcome past failures and worries about the future to work better in the here and now.
6. Wisdom. Good leaders know that change is constant. When you have wisdom, you know how to deal with reality and at the same time accept that your solutions may break down at any time.
The Dalai Lama and we agree that businesses should not be motivated solely by profit. Even if you could say that gaining the maximum amount of profit is your goal, your values are going to let you dirft aimlessly until you don’t find a purpose. Lots of companies right now are working for corporate social responsibility as the best people for their jobs are looking for more than financial gain in their lives.
If you’re wondering what else the Dalai Lama has to say on running a responsible successful business, here are other tidbits of wisdom from his book:
1. Meditation is key to training the mind to make responsible choices.
We think that you should establish mediation as a routine of your day instead of some monumental undertaking. Meditate for the sake of calmness and finding your center again instead of only when problems arise. You may find that fewer difficulties arise when you meditate regularly because you’re always ready with a calm solution.
2. You should always use moral and ethical concerns to guide all your actions and decision.
This is why it’s very important to have a value system for your company. This will always guide on the salient points of decisions and help you resolve anything that comes your way.
3. Globalization and change are realities that leaders must deal with constructively.
Fighting against change is only prolonging the inevitable. With trends changing every years, the life span of companies become even shorter. If you know how to accept the changes that happen and still stay true to your values, you don’t have to worry at all.
In the end, it’s important that you keep your moral standards and meditate on your decisions. You should also espouse the Six Perfections mentioned above and accept change.