Monday, August 27, 2012

‘The Transforming Leader: New approaches to leadership for the twenty-first century’ – Ed: Carol S. Pearson

Ego's craft
"Much of my own understanding of Buddhism comes from my years studying with the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa, who arrived in North America in 1970 as a young but already accomplished meditation master intensely committed to making a genuine link between Western culture and the wisdom tradition he had inherited. He shed his monastic robes and became immersed in the language, idiom, and questing minds of his new Western students. As a teacher he was delightful – inquisitive, magnetic, wise, playful. This was my first and most powerful encounter with a leader operating from a place beyond age.'
"According to the Western Buddhist definition, ego is the process of fabricating certainty. A sophisticated, moment-to-moment process freezes, judges, anticipates, and assumes what is going on, driven by an unconscious anxiety that something is missing, something needs to be secured. But reality can't be secured, ego's mission can never be accomplished. Thus, ego's process is the source of misunderstandings from the most trivial to the most profound and is at the root of a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction.'
"While this process is ongoing, any indication of threat sends it into high gear, producing elaborate self-justifications, fantasies, and fears. Trying to suppress, rationalise, or override ego's process just adds to the struggle. According to Buddhism, the primary antidote is to relax the momentum by establishing a different kind of ground, one that is not ego-based, through the practice of mindfulness.'
"While many leaders practise formal mindfulness meditation as an ongoing support for their work, not everyone is motivated to adopt such a practice. However, anyone can apply the foundational principles of meditation to their everyday leadership."
(pp. 111-2, 'The Transforming Leader: New approaches to leadership for the twenty-first century' – Ed: Carol S. Pearson – Harper)

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