The following excerpt is copyrighted material. It is excerpted from the upcoming book: Yoga of Leadership by Pomerantz, Lang and Eiting.
Anxiety, malaise and even depression often run rampant among leaders, who have no time for reflection and processing. Our leaders experience the same ‘burn-out’ many of their too-pressed employees complain about. They don’t sleep enough, or well, they experience chronic stress, and they are often adrenaline-addled caffeine junkies. How do today’s executive leaders re-charge, calm busy minds, protect time and space for reflection and meditation– not to mention creative thought? Does leadership take more ‘down time’? Doesn’t creating vision and strategy, a leader’s main job — require space? There are significant ways of approaching time, thought, the mind and body connections that can be ultimately valuable to the practice of leadership which are provided by yoga whether a leader takes it on as a practice or not. Yoga is a practice that allows leaders the ultimate in leadership mastery: the ability to train their mind for inner freedom, happiness, and peace. Yoga impacts the body chemistry at the level of experience and at the source of the pain; it balances the nervous system. So much of leadership is about the BEING of a leader, and yoga is one path to access mastery in being able to BE. So, this inner freedom coupled with the ability to be the being of a pure leader brings wisdom, peace, neutrality and compassion to the bottom line business results of any organization. It is the next level of leadership that our global businesses crave.
Using the powerful simple tool of awareness to access the difference between great leaders and exceptional leaders will allow you to get in control of your behaviors, increase your freedom of self expression and positively improve your impact on others. The tool of awareness is the secret to the way we impact others. Everything comes from it: motivation, leading others, mastering yourself, making a difference, getting results.
What can yoga possibly offer leaders? To the casual observer, the comparison might seem strange – even remote. In many ways, the practice of yoga provides a wonderful practical metaphor for leadership. You could argue that leadership is about achievement, about winning, and about money, whereas yoga is nothing about such worldly goals of capitalism. You’d be right. However, in order to “succeed” in yoga, which we realize is a very Western way of thinking, one must master certain basic intrinsic and universal principles that require thought, learning and practice. The very elements of being that one must master in yoga are profoundly powerful as key tools for success in leadership.
Leadership, like yoga, is ultimately a solitary pursuit, often in the company of others. In both cases, breakthroughs are hard won yet occur as exquisitely simple insights.
Yoga provides tools to survive and thrive in an increasingly complex world. Peace, balance, strength, confidence. What leader couldn’t use more of these? The principles and lessons of yoga have a direct and profound impact on how leaders create and operate their organizations, even if those leaders never take up the practice of yoga. Our nearly finished new book, Yoga of Leadership, will give you the access to those secrets.
IN YOGA OF LEADERSHIP YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO:
- Find, create, and manipulate time to your advantage.
- Choose a response instead of a reaction.
- Flip your switch from stress to freedom.
- Move from unintended consequences of behavior to legacy and intended impact.
- Shift from chaos to clarity.
- Train your mind to direct it towards inner calm, happiness, personal and organizational health.
- Create harmony and balance using the most powerful antidote to stress.
So, while we put the finishing touches on the book, let us know your comments and thoughts on this topic!!
UPDATE: Book is READY!