Deepak Chopra

All posts tagged Deepak Chopra

Planting the Seeds of Success

Published February 10, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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As we begin another week, I wanted to share the following information that came to me as a motivational tool to encourage the pursuit of new opportunities and inspire creative new ideas to help plant the seeds of success.

Chopra (2013) asserts that it is common to measure success or fulfillment by comparing oneself to others. This is called object-referral. It means that a person looks outside of themselves for validation. In addition, many of us overlook opportunities for success that exist because of our setbacks or failures or fear of setbacks and failures. The truth is, that the seeds of success can be discovered within every perceived setback. Self-referral, in the meantime, is the process of looking within for validation and guidance, that is if we open our hearts and our minds enough to listen (Chopra, 2013).

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In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson,

“Success means: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Dr. Chopra asks us to take a moment to consider a situation that felt like a failure or a setback. From that perspective, try to identify opportunities that could lead to a path of successful outcomes. Visualize the steps you will take to make that vision a reality. This is an applicable exercise to all areas of our lives. When we stop to take a moment to asses each situation that challenges us if we look closely, we can find the seeds of opportunity that can attract greater success into our lives.

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world … as in being able to remake ourselves.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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Have a great week everyone … and Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate!

References:

Chopra, D. (2013). Creating Abundance. Day 6, The Seeds of Success, Retrieved January 29, 2014, from chopracentermeditation.com: https://chopracentermeditation.com/challenge

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Published January 20, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Today we honor a great leader who was able to communicate his dreams of freedom and equality in a way that touches us all deeply. Let us remember to take a moment to identify, address and release our fears, so that we may clear the way and embrace each moment with a sense of strength, inner-connectedness, wisdom, and freedom. Let the wisdom of leaders like Dr. King continue to inspire us and lead us to our own heartfelt desires with crystallized focus. Chopra (2013) explains this is an effective strategy that can help us manifest what we desire with a clear vision; and doing so will lead us to opportunities that will enable us to achieve the goals we dream about.

In the meantime, stayed tuned … this Wednesday, I will post a short video bio in the About Me section, for those interested in learning more about my back story. This Friday,  I will share the first article I published.

Wishing everyone a peaceful holiday celebration.

Until then … let’s honor and enjoy our freedom.

Stay organized y’all!

Mayr

References:

Chopra, D. (2013, October). Focused Me. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from Chopracentermeditation.com: https://chopracentermeditation.com/challenge/index/5

Cultivating an Ethical Corporate Climate

Published July 31, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The corruption and scandalous behavior of organizational leaders has prompted corporations to set up more effective policies to reduce ethical misconduct. In fact, as a result, many organizations have taken a proactive approach when it comes to cultivating an ethical climate. Recent studies suggest that 90% of fortune 500 companies now employ codes of conduct and new laws require CEOs to sign off on documents that state they have no conflict of interest financially or personally that may cause unethical operations. These are some of the measures corporate leaders take to maintain the trust of their stakeholders. Boatright (2009) posits that there are three kinds of codes of ethics. The most common specify rules for various situations and are identified as codes of conduct or statements of business standards and practices. Another kind of statement addresses core values or the vision of an organization. This is referred to as a mission statement or company credo. These include affirmations of the commitments an organization makes to key stakeholders. The third form is the corporate philosophy which describes the beliefs that guide the company. Philosophy statements are usually written by the founders of new industries, like when innovative technology is developed that introduces new ways of doing business. In addition, there are some companies that develop an aspiration statement which describes the kind of company they aspire to evolve into (Boatright, 2009). These various codes of ethics provide the stakeholders an explanation of the organization’s values and ethical principles that guide their actions.

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The institution examined for this blog post is The Chopra Center for Well-being. Deepak Chopra and David Simon, two highly esteemed medical doctors, created the Center for Well-being to offer a medical facility that integrates both eastern and western medicine to help people experience physical and emotional healing (Chopra & Simon, 2013). Organizations that manage public health and welfare have a responsibility to their clients and a higher need to establish codes of conduct because errors and ethical misconduct in this industry can result in the loss of life. Because of this, stakeholders require assurances of an effective ethics program to detect and prevent criminal conduct. The Chopra Center’s homepage clearly states their goal which is to guide guests and provide tools and healing principles that nurture health and restore balance to help them live a more joyful life. These statements clearly communicate their organizational goals and  the methods they employ as ethical medical practitioners.

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It is important that stakeholders trust the leaders that run a corporation. Ferrell et al. (2013) postulate that the development of an effective business ethics program outlines an organization’s objectives and devise systems to manage, evaluate, and monitor their operations (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). Stakeholders want to feel confident that leaders are engaged in actions that do not include abuse of power or misuse of organizational resources. For example, in addition to stating their goals on the homepage, The Chopra Center website also has a link to their mission statement which professes they exist to serve as a global source for healing and transformation. By clearly publishing their mission statement, their goals, their history, media information, a FAQs page to address questions and other information to address concerns, the Chopra Center website helps minimize risk and manages stakeholder fears by providing a wealth of information with openness and transparency. The information provided on their website displays a formal control of input that indicates is supported by a strong support staff whose shared values help establish a sturdy structural system. In conclusion, the Chopra Center team clearly seems to comprehend the importance of establishing an effective ethical culture because as an organization in the health care industry, it helps them avoid legal issues that could end up with disastrous consequences.

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References:

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chopra, D., & Simon, D. (2013). The Chopra Center for Well-Being. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from The Chopra Center for Well-Being: http://www.chopra.com/welcome-chopra-center

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Leadership and Corporate Culture

Published July 26, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Executives have the power to shape corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Most leaders consider themselves ethical. Some, however, question whether ethics is a relevant component of leadership. Boatright (2009) contends that it is just as important to embrace ethical behavior in public life as well as in private life. Most corporate moguls are under the impression that behaving ethically alone is enough to sustain them as an effective leader. In fact, studies suggest that leaders do not believe specialized skills or knowledge in ethics are necessary to produce effective results in the work place (Boatright, 2009). This is a false perception. Situations arise more often than not in a business environment where leaders cannot easily resolve issues without identifying the ethical implications. This research focuses on the role a leader plays in the development of an ethical corporate culture. It takes a closer look at the importance of ethical leaders and the various roles they serve in an organization.  In addition, this study will illustrate the relationship between ethical leaders and their stakeholders. The analysis will also examine various leadership styles, the impact they have on corporate culture, how they affect ethical-decision making, and draw from examples to support this investigation. The findings of this research will conclude that leaders, who engage in business practices without ethical rules and regulations, will eventually discover that ethical misconduct behavior can easily become an inevitable component in their future.

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Importance of Ethical Leadership

The most successful leaders use their power to shape corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Because they are in the business of making a profit, they design strategies to achieve desired outcomes. Deepak Chopra (2012) reminds us that life is riddled with challenges, obstacles, and situations that leave many individuals asking the question, “Why is this happening?” No matter what advantages an individual may possess – money, intelligence, charismatic personality, a positive disposition, or influential social connections – none of these elements offer a magic key to effective leadership (Chopra, 2012). Managing directors are continually faced with difficult challenges. How they manage these trying situations can make the difference between the prospect of success and the threat of failure (Chopra, 2012). For example, when leaders cultivate an environment of fraud and deceit, they are fertilizing the ground for failure and destruction. In order for an executive to be considered an effective leader, they must have the ability to: (a) guide a corporation to profits for the sake of the stakeholders, (b) achieve organizational goals in an ethical manner, and (c) motivate their employees to adhere to behavior that is in alignment with the organization’s code of conduct.

Consistency also plays an important role for successful executives. The most effective leaders incorporate policies that inspire high performance levels and motivate organizational behavior that goes beyond just observing regulations. When leaders establish trust with subordinates, they earn the loyalty of their staff. In return, employees trust their leaders to protect them from harm in return for their services, dedication, and loyalty. By making choices to work in partnership with their employees, leaders can help them achieve greater levels of success than perhaps even they realized were capable of achieving. Employees who respect their supervisors, feel supported and appreciated by them, are more likely to become motivated and go beyond just achieving organizational goals.

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Leaders and Stakeholders

Stakeholders provide leaders another reason to cultivate an ethical culture. As a leader, it is their responsibility to make sure the company is guided towards the path of success and profit for the benefit of the stakeholders that support them. Executives, therefore, must incorporate effective strategies and hire the appropriate talent to reach desired outcomes as part of their responsibility to the employees, consumers, suppliers, and society as a whole. Ferrell et al. (2013) posit that because stakeholders have the ability to affect corporate policies it is imperative that leaders find methods to use their power to influence positive outcomes. There are five power strategies leaders utilize to achieve their goals: (a) reward power, (b) coercive power, (c) legitimate power, (d) expert power, and (e) referent power. Studies suggest these five power bases can be implemented to achieve both ethical and unethical outcomes (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). For example, a leader that incorporates legitimate power believes they have the right to exert their influence and that others are obligated to accept it. This kind of power is typical in hierarchical environments where leaders are assigned titles and specific positions of authority. In this type of culture, stakeholders readily acquiesce to leaders who command legitimate power. In some instances, however, leaders use this power to engage in behavior that is opposite of their belief systems. These individuals use strict protocol and the chain of command to their advantage. This is typically one way leaders can influence individuals to engage in misconduct. In this setting, it is easier to establish a climate of deceit because subordinates are hesitant to disobey orders for fear of the punishment or termination. The leaders at the well-oiled Enron machine, for example, employed all five power strategies to maintain their grand illusion.

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Leadership Styles

An individual’s leadership style also plays a significant role in shaping the corporate culture and motivating ethical conduct. Glanz (2002) reports there have been many studies conducted to help determine the best leadership styles. Most conclude that effective leaders exhibit varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) empathy, (c) judgment, (d) impartiality, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002). The best leaders, however, continue to expand their knowledge, re-examine outdated business strategies, maintain smooth operations and high production levels, and motivate staff confidence. In his book, Leadership Aikido, John O’Neil (1999) introduced six concepts to achieve victorious leadership skills without harming others. These concepts were inspired by the martial arts tradition of Aikido. He ascribes the following six practices that enable leaders to assess and develop their fullest potential: (a) cultivating self-knowledge, (b) practicing the enigmatic art of planning, (c) speak the language of mastery, (d) allowing values to drive the decision-making process, (e) changing the outcome of failure to one of success, and (f) abiding by the law of unintended consequences. This method of leadership embraces the elements of aikido to help executives identify and overstep five major obstacles that impede progress: (a) failure to grow emotionally, (b) failure to make creative decisions, (c) failure to empathize, (d) failure to manage ego, and (e) failure to overcome boredom and alienation (O’Neil, 1999). Leaders that continue to develop effective leadership skills will most likely achieve higher levels of organizational success.

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The Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process also plays an integral role in how leaders influence corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Hanh (2012) posits that because leaders can get into difficult situations, they must have the ability to handle strong emotions in the workplace in order to maintain effective relationships. To achieve this they must keep communication open and become cognizant to avoid the creation of a negative or repressive work culture. The most successful leaders incorporate practices that help manage strong emotions and become educated on how to utilize these strategies in good times before strong emotions arise. This strategy offers leaders the ability to respond in a more skillful fashion and incorporate effective methods during a crisis (Hanh, 2012). For example, Hanh’s Plum Village organization has developed a culture that incorporates three positive influences of power to guide their code of conduct. They are love, understanding, and letting go. The leaders at Plum Village posit that these three influences of power help in the decision-making process because they are used as effective tools that focus on the release of suffering. Their strategies of operation are designed in a way that does not incorporate punishment or destruction. In addition, they conduct their business practices in a manner that protects the environment and all living things.

Leaders that incorporate ethical choices and learn corporate social responsibility operate a business free of worry and fear concerning their future because their business practices support the stakeholders and the environment rather than exploiting or depleting them. Leaders that possess the ability to listen to their own pain and to that of others are capable of finding solutions for transformation. The most successful leaders learn that ethical leadership can help them realize their goals with the support of their stakeholders. In short, leaders that continue to learn to take care of themselves first, have better knowledge of how to take care of others. This is one effective strategy that ethical leaders use to establish a culture that embraces harmony and respect; one that encourages employees to feel pride and joy.

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Conclusion

Organizations like Plum Village that focus on creating a culture of happiness have produced a community that stakeholders are motivated to invest in. Hanh (2012) posits they have created a model that does not focus solely on profit. They also cultivate a climate to create joy and happiness (Hanh, 2012). Businesses should not have to sacrifice happiness to achieve high levels of profit. Organizations that are destructive, engage in fraud, and operate without regard for stakeholders do not enjoy longevity. Leaders in this arena cultivate an atmosphere of discontent and anxiety. Executives on the other hand, who focus on cultivating a climate that motivates ethical conduct without compromising their ability to profit, are more likely to succeed and maintain the confidence and support of their stakeholders. For a workplace to function successfully and harmoniously there must be a code of behavior that everyone is willing to accept. The most effective method of making sure this is accomplished is for leaders to make it a part of their organization’s culture. The most successful do so by setting an example and participating in a leadership style that reflects ethical behavior. They must also include strategies to incorporate supportive speech and engage in actions that bring content and cheerfulness to themselves, their organization, and the community at large. The findings of this research conclude that leaders who engage in ethical misconduct and cultivate a culture of deceit will achieve disastrous results like Enron unless they embrace effective leadership skills that have the power to shape a corporate culture that supports and motivates ethical conduct.

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References

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chopra, D. (2012). Spiritual Solutions. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Hanh, T. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership Aikido. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.