Rajeshwar Upadhyaya, Editor-in-Chief, The Leadership Review

Rajeshwar Upadhyaya, Editor-in-Chief, The Leadership Review

May 8, 2015

The leader is increasingly required to be ‘whole-hearted’.

Konusuke Matsushita born 1894, never formally schooled, set up the Institute for Peace and Happiness through Prosperity (PHP). ‘…the ultimate ideal of PHP Institute: to bring peace and fulfillment to human society by assuring both spiritual and material abundance’.

Whole-hearted leaders are largely balanced and stable emotionally, anchored spiritually and engage with the world in a compassionate way.

The self actualiser of Maslow (19 qualities); the divine qualities (21 of them) listed in the Gita Chapter XVI, Karen Horney’s ‘the undivided person’, the Buddha’s ‘him alone I call a brahmana’ talk (Canto XXVI of the Dhammapada), all point to the integrated person optimising his time in the world of time space and causation.

In fact, a level V leader mirrors much of this kind of leader and examples of Gandhi, Mandela, Lincoln, etc., are almost mythic. While they come across as idealised, the reality is not far from the ideal — a deliberate alignment between the speaker and spoken; between action and thought; between saying and doing.

Dr Venkataswamy of Aravind Eye Hospital is a text book example of a whole hearted leader. In this issue, we have profiled Shobha Murthy who demonstrates similar courage.

What can get us to do business with kindness; supervision with empathy? Create prosperity for happiness? Fight the need and greed dilemma?

At a recent talk held in Mumbai, with creative directors from all over the world, many participants commented that as they walked around the street they saw many very poor people but noticed that they were happy, cheerful and energetic. This seemed a little counter intuitive until someone called out, “It’s just proof of how much we don’t need.”

The ‘human being‘ has lost his way in ‘human having‘, and is therefore trapped into ‘human doing‘.  Our modernist ethos is a consumerist ethos; a Faustian quirk — to have or to be?

Whole-hearted leaders choose being over having, always.