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PM Open Space event at ABB Ability Innovation Center

Contributed by - Kingsley David

PM Open Space - Industry Practitioners Community is a forum of industry practitioners from companies in and around Bangalore. PM Open Space is supported by organizations like ABB, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. and SAP Labs, spearheaded by PMI Bangalore Chapter.

Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, Founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and GRAAM was the speaker of the day.

Dr. Balu spoke on "Exercising Enlightened Leadership".

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Dr Balu’s is deeply influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and many of his examples were revolving around their beliefs. He mentioned that the values of Seva (Service) and Tyaga (Sacrifice) and the values of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (Truth) propounded by Mahatma Gandhi. He outlined his views that the space of mindfulness and leadership has been born out of the writings of the Buddha and the Patanjali’s Yoga sutras. The rich scriptural wisdom of India, especially the Bhagwat Gita and several other Upanishads helped him shape his views.

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He explained the fact that that, one can never be a ‘Leader’ but one can only exercise ‘leadership’. According to him leadership is volitional, and one can either decide to indulge in it or just step aside and let things go by. Constantly challenging the status quo and never being satisfied with incomplete answers made him more curious. This manifested in several different ways. From founding and building institutions to constantly exploring ways to express the ‘inner-self’, meant that he took on roles that demanded the exercise of leadership. To him leadership is about understanding the SELF, understanding OTHERS around you and understanding the ACTIONS that bind the SELF to the OTHERS around.  Exercising enlightened leadership is being aware of the self, the others and the actions – all at the same time. Having the ability to be attached and yet detached, being active and yet inactive…that is enlightened leadership in action. 

Being mindful and asking yourself questions constantly…What is the real purpose of your existence? What are the things you value the most in your life? These are the vital questions that we must ask and realize in real time. This constant search for discovering that inner YOU and thru that discovery, enabling yourself and others to lead better lives…that is enlightened leadership.

Below are few more of Dr. Balu’s thoughts:

  • How do you connect at a deeper level with people you lead?

 Connection begins the moment you realize that you are inseparable from the other. You can intentionally practice it by observing how you listen. Most of us see ourselves as separate and are listening with judgment coloring everything that we are listening and observing. 

  • How can we balance success and failures?

Success and failures are just two very comparative descriptions. Two opposites like any other – love and hate, pain and pleasure. We need to see both as learning instruments that have lessons to teach. The inseparableness of success and failure is a nuanced appreciation. We need to recalibrate our lives and learn to act with our full 100% with no expectation of the fruits of our actions. True success is in the doing and in the living… and failure is in not realizing this. 

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