Chapter 8 Transforming for good

There isn't enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.

Gautama Buddha

The world is desperate for great leadership — more specifically, for mindful leadership. Suffering abounds in our personal and professional lives. The greatest opportunity for leaders is not to accomplish monumental tasks but rather to alleviate suffering. Given that we spend a significant part of our lives at work, organisational leaders in particular can make a profound difference — and at a much deeper level than we typically think.

When we see people as whole human beings, with private struggles and secret dreams, personal demons and public virtues, deep wounds and unique gifts, and, above all, a deep yearning to really matter, we begin to lead them as though they really count and to draw out their whole selves. We see that a job can be about more than salary — it can be a source of meaning. We see that the core purpose of all economic activity is not solely to produce economic wealth, but also to produce greater happiness, peace, wisdom and understanding. We see that we cannot separate our economic life from our personal life and our relationships, that everything we do is part of an integrated whole and creates a net effect in happiness or suffering.

We also see that the practices required for great leadership are precisely those that make us great human beings. The ultimate objective of mindful leadership is not some goal ‘out there'; ...

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