How do serving leaders deal with the constantly changing world? How can we learn what we need to know to create a world that helps others succeed? My friend, the Dalai Lama, celebrates his 80th birthday this month. He is one of the serving leaders who inspired me to share our philosophy of serving leadership.
I celebrate my birthday this week and I thought I might share several ideas I learned for the Dalai Lama. Once you embrace them, it may help you create a better world for our family, friends, communities, and the world. I have spent time with the Dalai Lama and his worldview is something that many people I know find incomprehensible.
My father shared this worldview with me at a very young age and it has been a philosophy I’ve embraced more and more as I travel and meet people from around the world. Currently, we have over 160,000 readers across the globe. They constantly remind me how small the world really is. Let me see if I can share what I’ve learned from the Dalai Lama over the past 40 plus years. My views come from being taught by the Dalai Lama and working with many of the men and women who are invested in helping him share his message.
The first key concept I learned from the Dalai Lama is interconnectedness. This means that all of us are connected. Sounds simple, but realizing this begins a transformational journey of growth and adventure. Through technology it’s easier to understand how we are all similar. Social media is changing how connected we are with the world.
We all have the same hopes and dreams. We want more for our children and grandchildren. We want to be free of fear. We are more similar than different and that provides an opportunity for unlimited potential. As Jesus said, we should strive to help others, not those like us, but those with whom we feel we have no similarities.
The second key concept I learned from the Dalai Lama is everything is interrelated. As we continue to grow and change we discover how interrelated most everything is of what we do. A multidisciplinary approach to life helps serving leaders better understand how the world works. Most of the serving leaders I work with see that things are interrelated. The more we understand how all aspects of our lives are connected the faster we are able to thrive in this time of rapid growth and expansion.
We are entering an era of convergence where many of the different disciplines crossover with incredible frequency. When this happens we see many breakthroughs that could not have been predicted even five years ago. Today’s leaders must be able to bring many different viewpoints to their leadership decisions. We must learn to work with people who have different backgrounds, strengths, and life experiences.
The Dalai Lama believes leaders must be more open to many possibilities as we move through this rapidly changing and expanding age. To achieve this goal, the Dalai Lama invests significant time working with teams of scientists, psychologists, and physicians in hopes of creating a more holistic view of our lives and world.
The third key concept I learned from the Dalai Lama is impermanence. This means things are going to change. Then change again. For me, I enjoy change. For most of my friends and clients, they like to be in control of the changes in their lives. This can create significant emotional distress in the gap between what we change and how the world changes.
Once you make time a constant ally, your life becomes significantly easier. That’s not meant to be insensitive, it means to me that life is constantly changing and evolving. Serving leaders need to help people understand problems are seldom permanent. I find impermanence provides me and the people I work with an ability to get larger view and distance on what they do with their lives. It allows us to detach from the outcomes to help work and improve the process.
When you begin to understand that there is almost nothing that isn’t changing and evolving, you become free of many of the negative feelings you are experiencing. The other side of this is helping others understand how quickly things are changing, but that that isn’t a bad thing. Impermanence just reminds us that we must live in the moment. It helps us understand that we are not always in charge of all the events that surround us and we must learn to accept this.
Today, I’ve shared three key concepts that I learned from the Dalai Lama over the past 40 years. Friday, I share several timeless leadership qualities that help you become a stronger serving leader. See you Friday.