What are the qualities of an authentic leader? It's the question that Deepak Chopra, author of The Soul of Leadership, attempts to answer. "We all have a still place inside us that is the source of everything that gives our lives meaning," he writes. "This is the soul, and it is the place great leaders turn to for their inspiration." It's time to get deep.
Chopra lists 10 basic principles that function as a template for getting in touch with your soulful side. The first is the idea that leaders and followers co-create each other. This means allowing your followers to express a need and for you to answer them. It is also maintained that the outcome of any situation is defined in advance by the vision that goes into solving it - so it's your inner qualities that determine results.
Another important quality a true leader possesses is the ability to play the different roles that their followers require. One day you might have to perform as a motivator to spur your colleagues on to achievement; another day you might find yourself having to be a team builder to fan the flames of cooperation. Perhaps most importantly, leading from the soul means giving of yourself. Can you supply trust, stability, compassion and hope?
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today