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There is a Way for Leadership and Spirituality to Coexist

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Exploring the path to successful leadership through spiritual alignment

This may look odd at first glance but I do strongly think that they both go together well and support each other in a virtuous cycle. As the leadership guru once had said management is doing things right and leadership is doing the right thing.

What makes a leader out of a manager then?


Wisdom, arete in ancient Greek, has been a core discussion throughout the history of philosophy. Many like Thales, Pyhthagoras, Socrates, Platon, Aristo, Xenon, Epikuros, Plotinus, Thales and others found wisdom essential to knowing ourselves and to live a happy, content life.

Imagine yourself as someone trying to climb the highest tree in a forest. You are diligent, hard working, delivering and one day you did achieve your goal and climb the highest tree. As you look from the top view all across the land standing below you, you then understand you are in the wrong jungle. Would it not have been good if you knew in which jungle you would like to make all your efforts? That would be nice, is it not?

You may also argue the person in this example would not have known that s/he is in the wrong jungle unless the efforts in that jungle were not made. That is true indeed. The thing is, mistakes are not bad and they are there to teach us something. The problem is that many people get angry at mistakes and the cause & effect cycle losing the big picture. Hence, they do not learn from their mistakes.  Wisdom does not develop overnight. It takes time and effort. As it develops within us, we become more flexible. open, accepting. forgiving, embracing, learning, discerning and serving.

This is a a lifelong journey which starts with self-awareness. And self-awareness starts with holding a mirror to ourselves. Stand in front of a mirror and look at the image of yourself in the mirror. You are not only the image in the mirror. You are more than your face and body. You are a spirit born into a body of flesh and bone for a limited time on Earth with the only aim to learn from your physical existence. You are an immortal spirit experiencing a wordly experience. You are a droplet in the vast ocean of Love and Truth. You are not the ocean as the ocean is greater than the sum of droplets, but you possess the potential inside you.

Self-awareness is about remembering our True Source, our unique reason to be present in this life, and to act Truely. I call this 3 T – Absolute Truth, inner Truth and acting True. Also called Dharma, Swadharma and Prajna in Vedic teachings in ancient India.

After taking about IQ (the intelligence quotient) EQ(which stands for emotional quotient) has been quite popular in leadership and self-development. IQ is related to ME and EQ is related to WE focusing on inter-personal relations name it at work, life, family, love, friendship and whatsoever. Yet, we humans have a SQ which is the spiritual quotient that is related to our relationship with our inner potential, the divine order and acquiring wisdom. You again see the same 3T above?

Leader is a human and leadership is about influence. We cannot give what we do not have. Hence, we cannot influence without receiving. It is because of the cosmic principle of duality which also appears as cause and effect. SQ helps us develop wisdom to first to know ourselves and then to notice and accept the diversity in life. Without understanding the diversity, one cannot accept things as they are and gets stuck in the small cause-effect relationship without seeing the big picture. The big picture coming from SQ helps find our meaning, read the invisible message of life, hear the calling inside us, perceive where life is leading us to and live in balance and harmony. As the western and eastern sages say, middle wayis the right path.

A leader without wisdom cannot find inner balance and harmony with the universe. Thus, s/he cannot  act with temperance which is the balanced way of behaving in social life and responding to outside stimuli.

Leadership is a true arena to test our abilities. Knowledge and wisdom because it is about influence. There is no influence without people. People will not follow unless they see a reason to follow you in modern times with so much more freedom in their lives. Fear has been a tool to lead people throughout the human history but the moment the strongest loses power the weaker ones jump over to end this relationship of fear. True leaders therefore influence others through role modeling, inspiring, striving for ideals, showing grit, deciding for the best of others and acting with virtues.

In summary, a true leader is the one that makes apositive impact in the lives ot others leaving a legacy of love and respect. Wisdom is the only way to make that happen. Knowledge is not alone enough. The mind alone is not enough. A true heart can help a leader make a true impact and SQ (spiritual quotient) is the core faculty.

If you have any doubts, look at where we are as Sapiens in the evolution of the mankind. Homo-Sapiens means the knowing man. Knowing has not been enough to transform the world yet. There are still power battles and wars for limited resources. We are still fighting because of not accepting our religious and philosophical differences. There still millions of people dying out of hunger and poverty when in another part of the world people can spend extravagantly, over-eat and throw excessive food to trash. There are still many people without access to quality medical care, education and justice. Millions of women and children still face violence around the world.

As droplets coming from the same One Source, knowing is not enough for a better world where people can live with equality, fraternity and freedom. We need a new type of leadership based on wisdom and spirituality. We need go beyond Sapiens and become Homo-Noeticus, the conscious human or the wise man. This is a quantum jump in human conscioussness and conscioussness is the result of enlightenment which happens through the development of wisdom.

Leaders with wisdom inspire hope and set an example for others to grow. The butterfly effect then soon can change the world for the better.

Could you now see why leadership and spiritualy co-exists?


Kenan Kolday


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