SADHGURU ON WHAT THE ROLE ENTAILS AND WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP is not dominance, it is a certain sacrifice. Leadership is not about ruling someone, it is about making someone’s life. Leadership essentially means that you are capable of creating the necessary atmosphere for people to go beyond the limitations they have set for themselves. In the presence of a leader, people are able to do things they would not have imagined or done by themselves. The very fundamentals of leadership are that you aspire to achieve certain things, and take people with you towards the goal. And for whatever reason if it does not happen, you don’t become a bundle of frustrations. These qualities are most essential for leadership. If you have your own issues and concerns, you will never function to your full capacity. So, it is extremely important that the leadership in the world functions as a full-brain process, not as a half-brain process. When I say leadership, it is not just a question of presidents and prime ministers. Whatever sphere we are in, everyone is a leader in some capacity; it is only a question of scale. Whether you are managing and leading two people or one billion people, everyone is some kind of a leader. Any leader who does not feel a deep sense of inclusion, who does not feel that people around him are a part of him, who does not feel a certain sense of oneness with the people around him, he cannot be a genuine leader. He can only manipulate situations for better or for worse. A non-religious spiritual process can play a phenomenal role in this. A spiritual process is about wanting to know the depth of life. This is very essential for a leader because a leader faces constant challenges. Above all, it is most important that a leader is functioning at his optimal or highest level of potential. If you experience tension, anxiety, stress or anger, your body, mind and emotions will not function properly. When you are peaceful and joyful, everything functions well. This is an experiential fact. It is also a medical reality today. Every doctor will tell you this is true. When this is a fact, it is extremely important that we provide our people with a leadership which is of a certain quality – people who are in a certain state within themselves so that they function at their optimal level. Many thousand years ago, there was a king in India whose name was Janaka. Janaka aspired for his spiritual growth and then he found his guru, Ashtavakra. After much sadhana he attained to his highest enlightenment. When he attained, he was so blissful and ecstatic. He followed Ashtavakra everywhere and went to his guru’s hermitage and wanted to live there. Ashtavakra said: “Nothing doing. You be a king.” Janaka said: “What’s the point? These pleasures, the power of being a king, the palace – all these things mean nothing to me. All I want to do is just to sit at your feet.” Ashtavakra said: “What you want is no longer important. You have found what you want within yourself. Now the people deserve an enlightened king. That is important.” Every nation needs a focused and enlightened leadership, not a confused leadership. There was a time when in a society, a few people were spiritual and the rest of the people just went to them for blessings and sustained their lives. Today, with the tools of science and technology, we have brought ourselves to such a threatening situation that everyone in the society needs to turn spiritual. Otherwise there is no survival for this world. With the kind of technology and capabilities we have, it just takes one fool to blow it up. And there any number of those fools standing in the queue to get to the top. Spirituality is no longer a fancy pursuit. It is an absolute necessity for our own survival and the planet’s survival that every human being brings the spiritual dimension into his life. Unless some sense of oneness touches people, especially in the leadership in the planet, self-destruction is a real li-ve threat. Skeptics are quick to ask: “Is such a thing possible?” I want to tell them, do not think of the future of the world on the basis of existing realities. Existing realities on the planet could be changed, because existing realities do not take into consideration people’s will and commitment. Existing realities are just looking at the number of people who were slaughtered today or the number of bombs on the planet. But statistics cannot consider what is beating in the human heart. If only we can stoke that, if only we can stir up what is happening in individual hearts, miracles are possible. Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the government of India in 2017, one of the highest annual civilian awards, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.