What is enlightenment?
Enlightenment entails coming out of the dark by shedding false beliefs and engrained unfelicitous behaviour; increasing awareness, particularly of humankind's universal connectedness; a readiness to transcend narrow self---interest (corporate and personal) in order to put clients, employees, and other stakeholders first; and to promote a corporate environment which recognizes people's needs to balance the material and spiritual aspects of their lives, allowing them to develop their full potential as productive human beings and create true, marketable added value.

Leadership from within
An essential mark of the type of leadership that one might call enlightened, is that it comes from within. An enlightened leader is driven by his own convictions, which give him the strength to overcome obstacles - not the brutal strength of willpower, but the soft and warm, continuously flowing strength derived from the feeling that you are doing something worth doing. A force like the water in a mountain river, which surges around rocks, takes dead drops fearlessly, rips trees off the banks where necessary, or simply changes course, unstoppable in its journey. This inner force manifests itself not in rage; it is never threatening, humiliating or demanding. It is not compelling but patient: focused, not on result but on contribution. All exertion is made in a joyful mood, spiked by thrill and expectation; the mood of a child which in play develops its abilities by exploration of their outer limits.


Level 1: Awakening awareness
Moments of reflection, followed by a clearer perception of reality. (This may occur on an utterly pragmatic level. You may become aware, for instance, that the 'tried and true' way of directing employees is no longer effective, that new times require new ways. For many leaders and managers, this is a giant step forwards. Most simply live their agendas, and, beyond the immediately apparent, hardly notice what goes on in their organisations, leave alone in the world at large.) The awakening awareness brings about a new type of rootedness - not in pay dirt, but in your own body, the greatest source of inner strength.

Level 2: Awakening social consciousness
Development of a clearer view of the role played in other people's lives. (This used to be a mark of middle age, the onset of maturity, but is increasingly seen in relatively young people. Apparently humans are now maturing faster, possibly as a result of richer information about the world we live in. ) Enhanced sense of connectedness on interpersonal level. Productive urge: the longing to seriously do something with your life energy, to create something of substance.

Level 3: Awakening self-respect
Increased sense of self-worth, fortification of the will as an instrument for the expression of the inner self. Development of the will as an instrument for shaping the world. Nascence of ambition to 'make a difference'. Authenticity as guiding principle for all activities.

Level 4: Awakening 'heart power'
Allowing yourself to become aware of your heart's promptings not just in your private life, but also while at work. By extension: admitting feeling to the corporate realm. The next step is the installation of feeling as the touchstone for all professional conduct - not instead of the will, but above it, as a kind of supreme judge. Awakening 'heart power' is at the core of all forms of personal transformation.

Level 5: Awakening connectedness
Birth of a new sense of connectedness: with others, and with your inner self. Taking ownership of the talents you were given, specifically in the sense of (great power implies great responsibility) shouldering the responsibility for your own power. What effect do my actions have on others? Walking your talk: conduct in accordance with new insights. Increased powers of communication: the conscious use of communication to involve others.

Level 6: Discovery of the secret
Discovery of the true nature of leadership: focus on a greater good than personal well-being. Comes with more acute awareness of your own inner strength, your talents and your capacity to change the world. (This discovery can be a powerful experience, which, alas, in some subjects leads to a sense of omnipotence, or even megalomania, so that further growth is blocked, a common trap for gurus of all persuasions.)

Level 7: Assuming the stance of a leader
Inception of a clear vision, a coherent conceptual framework and devotion to a self-transcending cause - either declared, e.g. by publicly working for a cause, or 'secretly', as a transformative force within organisations with essentially selfish goals. Initiation of activities, either on request or of your own accord, that help others with the development of their own leadership.