How do leaders emerge from ordinary lives? Every group naturally gives rise to leaders who guide it to a shared goal. Yet some leaders fail, while others succeed. Some are destroyed by a flawed strategy, or by the overwhelming stress of their role. And when crisis arises, leaving us crying out for great leaders, there is a constant threat that such a figure will not appear, leaving the infamous "leadership vacuum" that has become such a chronic problem in our modern society.
In the deeper reality of the soul, a family in disarray, a company without vision, or a nation struggling to adopt a new level of freedom needs to respond to hidden spiritual drives and needs. Once this is understood, countless leaders can rise to the highest levels of greatness. Inspired leadership is established in being, where there is no need to adopt a strategy for climbing to the top. As you unfold your potential for greatness, you unfold the same potential in others. They will naturally turn to you for guidance and leadership in the way forward, and one day they themselves will be able to provide enlightened leadership to others.
With our minds we may see chaos, but the soul knows there is an underlying order, and seeks to find it. Until we turn to the quiet wisdom of the soul, we will continue to fall back upon old habits and stale answers in response to new challenges. We will stay mired in pointless struggles and confusion. But when we do understand the ways of the soul, and draw on them, someone will emerge to cut through the fog. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela undertook their journeys based on the soul's awareness (however much we clothe them in mythic status). They used this awareness to tap into a source of wisdom that remains constant throughout history and is available to us all.
The Soul of Leadership, copyright © by Deepak Chopra, is published by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Used by permission. Read an interview with Deepak Chopra.