To be a leader requires knowing what to do, and why to do it. Enthusiasm, motivation, skill and knowing how to do things right is not enough. We have to know whether it is the right thing to do. For that, moral leadership is required. Moral leadership has two central aspects: understanding our true self and serving others. True leaders need knowledge of the self that gives access to an inner moral compass that guides our activities and gives direction for those who follow us. A clear and simple directive has come to us through the ages: “Know Thyself”.
Leadership is about “who we are” and “what we do”. Along with learning to act as a leader, we must possess the characteristics, behaviour and habits of mind and heart of true leaders. True leaders have the courage to confront the meaning of existence. They have the courage to live in a manner that offer meaning to others, By their example, they inspire hope in others that they too can become one of God’s noble works. Such leadership transcends organisational leadership and also moral leadership. It is life leadership. Such leaders enter within their own hearts and souls, engage in self-analysis, and connect with the spiritual force within themselves. They become connected to the limitless spiritual power within and radiate unmatched strength of character and will. Yet they are the most humble and compassionate of leaders. True leadership is not acting in a certain way; it is a reflection of who we are within.
Many focus on the routines of life, such as waking up, getting dressed, eating, driving, working to earn a living, coming home and repeating the cycle the following day. We go through life growing up, having a job, raising a family, retiring and then passing away. We wonder if that is all there is to human existence. Those who raise this question cannot rest until they find answers. They conclude that there is a higher power within that guides us. That inner spiritual power is the source of morals, virtues, power and life. It does not matter what name we call it — whether God, consciousness, soul — that power is within, enlivening each of us.
Once we contact the eternal spiritual power, we connect with the source of the qualities of true leaders. We automatically and effortlessly inculcate the virtues and characteristics associated with great leaders.
The second aspect of leadership is service. Great moral leaders of history have said that service before self was the key to a full and rewarding life. A leader must be a servant first. It is by serving others that we earn the right to lead them. We may act as leaders, but we must be servants to lead meaningfully. How is it possible?
Those who are spiritually aware see the same power enlivening all creation. A life of service is based on deep spiritual and moral principles that are understood and internalised when we contact the truth within. Intellectually understanding service does not provide the conviction we need when we are tested, as we most certainly will be, by people and circumstances.
Becoming a true leader is about becoming a true human being. Leadership is a product of deep, ongoing self-analysis. It is about choosing a life committed to spiritual growth and service. If we tap into spiritual sources within, we will become leaders whose lives will inspire others to follow and who will be a blessing to those we meet. We need dedication and perseverance to achieve anything. For those who turn towards the spiritual path, moral leadership will come without fail. We do not need to act or pose. Our moral leadership and spiritual strength will flow from our words and actions and will reach the hearts of others as naturally and inevitably as a stream flows towards its source.