Many business executives are increasingly becoming workaholic human-doings, longing to be full and integrated human-beings.
They aspire to live with integrity, where their thoughts, values, words and deeds are in harmony.
The problem is that they don't know how to do so in a business world that is increasingly characterised by complexity, turbulence and greed. Leading with Wisdom provides food for thought for people dealing with these challenges.
It contains stories and reflections of 31 inspiring and compassionate business leaders who care about what is truly important in life and who integrate this awareness and sensitivity into their leadership.
Leaders who search for meaning, purpose and fulfilment both in the external world of business and in the internal world of consciousness and conscience.
Leaders whose leadership is a natural expression of their hearts, minds and souls.
In other words, leaders who lead from a spiritual basis. Such perspectives on leadership are not yet mainstream.
Greed, prestige and power appear to still be prime motivating forces for leaders of the world's larger corporations.
In spite of 25 years of globalisation, poverty is still devastatingly ubiquitous in many parts of the world.
In striking contrast, the compensation packages of top leaders in business, particularly in the West, have skyrocketed, reaching levels that would have been considered impossible only a decade ago.
What is clearly needed is a change in the mind-set, values and principles of our leaders, as well as of those who finance our enterprises, and of those who teach and mentor our future leaders.
At the very minimum, what is needed is an expansion of the concept of 'success' so that it transcends the prevailing myopic focus on short-term financial gains. It can be argued that this rampant greed is gradually being tamed, not just by laws, but also by social and ethical norms.
In the last two decades there has been an amazing and uplifting focus on such perspectives as business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
But when leaders are questioned as to why they and their organisations should promote this new and expanded sensitivity to corporate responsibility, their 'default' answer typically is that it is profitable - an efficacious means to promote classical business ends of increasing earnings and share prices. But how and why should such an expanded concept of leadership develop?
What should provide the motivation for our leaders to find their way in an increasingly complex business world by using a compass that points not only to a pot of gold, but also to a path to deeper meaning and purpose in business?
This book does not provide answers in the form of proposals as to new rules or laws or moral injunctions.
Rather it provides a collage of perspectives in the form of stories of highly respected and successful executives who have integrated their spiritual search into their leadership so as to be "whole" people - leaders whose thoughts, words and deeds are in harmony with their most fundamental truths and longings, both at work and in their private lives.
These stories tell of an emerging culture where business becomes a primary domain for both individual and organisational spiritual growth. Leading with Wisdom: Spiritual-Based Leadership in Business portrays an emerging global culture.
This ground-breaking book offers the experiences and perspectives of 31 top executives from 15 countries in 6 continents.
It is based on extensive personal interviews. These are business people who express from first-hand experience what it is like to lead a business from a spiritual basis.
They tell amazing, down-to-earth, real-life stories about how spirituality and rationality can go hand in hand in leadership and life. Their words of wisdom demonstrate that executives who lead from a spiritual basis can achieve success, recognition, peace of mind and happiness, while at the same time serving the needs of all those affected by their leadership. Written in an engaging style, where the special "voice" of each leader is heard, this book will be profoundly valuable to business leaders at every level and for all people who want to lead with integrity from a spiritual basis.