[Video] The Purpose Of A Leader

In this video, we’ll continue our series on ontological leadership, or leadership as a way of being and examine the purpose of a leader across 4 quadrants.


Video Notes:


  1. Define the purpose of the group
    1. Without a meaningful and clear purpose it’s impossible to develop a high level of morale and motivation in an group
    2. People need to know the purpose of what they’re doing
    3. Without leaders who believe in the purpose, communicate it, follow it and make sure the members work in accordance with it, motivation and productivity die or are never given birth to
  2. Establishing Values
    1. Define the values and principles that leaders and members will stick to when making decisions
      1. Values
        1. Must be clear and easy to understand
        2. Must appeal to the people in the group
        3. Must help people make responsible decisions
        4. Must be cross-culturally meaningful
      2. The leaders should also have a clear view of the groups “citizenship”
        1. How the group will act as a responsible member of society
          1. In the same way an individual citizenship would
        2. Group citizenship is the application of Buddhist right view and right company to groups instead of individuals
  • The Leader’s Character
    1. Leader’s main purpose
      1. Leader’
      2. Clarifying purpose
      3. Defining values
      4. Building faith
      5. Making right decisions
    2. A leader with character and integrity makes the best type
      1. This different from “technical” skill
    3. Buddhism offers a list of “7 character traits of an ideal person” that you should strive for if you want to lead with character
      1. Understand principles and causes
        1. Leaders should be able to identify the causes of problems and the principles that should be applied to solve them
      2. Understanding objectives and results
        1. Should
          • Know the meaning and objectives of the principles they live and work by
          • Understand the work they are setting out to do
          • Understand the reasons behind their actions
          • Have an idea about what will happen in the future as a result of their actions and whether these results will be good or bad
        2. Understanding themselves
          1. Leaders should know their strengths, aptitudes, abilities and virtues and be able to correct and improve themselves
          2. They should be aware of their personal weaknesses and the weaknesses of the group
        3. Understanding moderation
          1. Should practice moderation in speech, work and action
          2. Should not undertake useless action just to satisfy their egos or for self serving reasons
            • Should only commit to action that will benefit the organization for which they are responsible
          3. Understanding the season and the efficient use of time
            1. Know the proper time for actions – What should be done and how, and then perform these actions efficiently
          4. Understanding the group
            1. Groups have rules and regulations. They have culture and traditions.
            2. The individuals in the group have needs that should e dealt with, and served well
            3. Good leaders know that not only their own character but the character of their group and understand their responsibility for developing and nurturing that character
          5. Understanding people
            1. Should be able to know differences between individuals
            2. Should know how to relate to people well, what can be learned from them and how they should be praised, criticized, advised and trained
          6. Overcoming The 8 Worldly Concerns
            1. Becoming upset when someone insults you
              1. When someone with an untrained mind gets insulted, they become angry
                1. The person with a trained mind asks themself:
                  • “What is the motivation of the person insulting me?”
                  • “Is this person competent to hold an opinion?”
                  • “Is the opinion justified?

If it’s justified then try to learn and make progress from the mistake

If it’s unjustified take it as an opportunity for being praised

  1. Becoming too happy when someone praises you
    1. The trained mind asks itself
      1. “What is the motivation of the person praising me?”
      2. “Is the praise being given by someone who understands what has been accomplished?”
      3. “Is the person’s judgement valuable or do they just want to make you happy or flatter you because they want something in return?
    2. Feeling depressed when you fail
      1. The trained mind will analyze whether the failure is due to mistakes or external circumstances
        1. If it’s due to mistake, try to see if anyone can be learned for the future
      2. Feeling to happy when you succeed
        1. Subtopic
          1. The trained mind
            • reflects on the contributions of others and the circumstances that made success possible
          2. Feeling hopeless when you become poor
          3. Feeling overjoyed when you gain wealth
          4. Feeling upset when you don’t get recognition
          5. Feeling too happy when you achieve fame
          6. The pattern
            1. Celebrate joyful events without becoming to attached to their meaning
              1. in the present or as a predictor of the future
            2. Clearly evaluate perceived internal and external factors and their relevance to you


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