5 Shades of 21st Century Leadership: Lessons Learned From Dalai Lama

by Izabela Lundberg, Featured Contributor

A FEW WEEKS AGO, I got back from sunny San Diego after attending the 16th Annual International Leadership (ILA) Global Conference. The theme of the conference was Conscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of Our Collective Realities.

leadership-responsiblePersonally, I felt right at home; anything global with a diverse, inclusive, change conscious feeling about leadership felt to me like a cherry on top of a decadent dark chocolate cake. Further, the global shift many of us anticipated a decade ago just hit the west cost and blasted through North America, all the way through 40+ countries. Jokes aside, it was a priceless experience! Why? In my blog “ 9 Reasons to Engage in Global Leadership Conferences” you may find some good answers.

But today, I want to share something slightly different. I was happy to see that the teachings and principles of Dali Lama are starting to gain big traction and success, not only within small and medium business, but also within Fortune 500 companies. You must be wondering HOW & WHY?

Answers are in the business and educational contexts, especially global business and perspective, with the following types of leaderships geared for the 21st century:

1. Conscious Leadership – Modeling compassion, empathy, and understanding!

A new concept to be explored by examining the best ways to develop and create cultures of meaning. For some, this may be a lot to digest, but if you look at Whole Foods Market, you might be surprised what they are doing at their Academy for Conscious Leadership through their Conscious Capitalism model.

2. Compassionate Leadership – Incorporating compassion into business life by helping others instead of being “self-centered” is the way how His Holiness, Dalai Lama, sees the need to integrate compassion not only in our daily lives, but also business. Further, in his opinion, women are more compassionate and are needed in leadership roles. You can check out more information about Compassionate Leadership at Institute for Compassionate Leadership and Compassionate Leaders.

3. Mindful Leadership – Or non-judgmental awareness through leadership presence! According to Bill George, in Harvard Business Review, mindfulness helps you to become a better leader. Through my interviews with thought leaders in business and the sports arena, I found additional fascinating commonalties among high-impact individuals and teams beyond their overall high-performance. All of them had highly developed Emotional Intelligence (EQ). In most cases, EQ was built on a very strong foundation and principles of mindfulness and compassion. More details and findings will be shared soon in my books.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

~ Dalai Lama XIV

4. Responsible Leadership – Accountability for business decisions that go beyond stakeholder’s best interest! Responsible leadership is a new path and course of actions that focuses on the environment, community, future generations, and overall global impact. Excellent examples of companies with responsible leadership practice, products, and operation are Burt’s Bees, GE, The Body Shop, Starbucks, and my favorite Ben & Jerry’s (Hint: Chocolate Therapy) just to name a few.

When you realize that you have made mistake, take immediate steps to correct It.”

~ Dalai Lama XIV

Additional perspective on responsible leadership can be found in this Forbes article: Responsible Leadership In An Unforgiving World.

5. Transformational Leadership – Innovative, motivational, and purposeful cutting edge leadership is an excellent example of the 5th shade of 21st century leadership! If you are wondering how transformation occurs in organization, you may want to start by cultivating the executive mentality within your team and organization. By jumping on presented opportunities and challenges, while offering flexibility in finding the optimal solution, lets your team set themselves up for fast transformational success.


Izabela Lundberg
Izabela Lundberg
As a passionate advocate of lifelong learning and thought leadership, Izabela proudly prides herself and ethically serves as a transformational leader delivering global business advisory, coaching, strategy through leadership and organizational development, and innovative learning High-Performance Impact Method™ framework at Legacy Leaders Institute. By aligning and supporting business growth objectives, she works side by side with executive leaders from Startups to Fortune 500 companies. For more than two decades, Izabela demonstrated a unique ability to identify, create, and deliver solutions to complex global business challenges with her unique perspective. As a result, she successfully increased talent and team engagement, performance, revenues, and overall organizational impact in dozens of selected companies. Today, Izabela helps talent and teams come together to accomplish more than ever before with her progressive solutions and worldview (living in six countries, speaking six languages, traveling to over 45 countries, and working with diverse teams from over 100 countries). Besides, Izabela earned a Master of Science in Leadership and Organization from the University of Denver with a focus on Strategic Innovation & Change and Organizational Development & Training. She is #1 International Best Selling author and her book, The World Messenger, that is highly respected by academics, athletes, and business leaders worldwide. To receive a signed copy, go to right NOW! Need to speak with Izabela right of way? Follow & Connect with Izabela on LinkedIn and email her at [email protected]. Game On, Champions!

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