Channel the Warrior Sage over Spring Break

Hello to all from the middle of the Easter holiday, Passover,
spring break, and the end of the 2012 first quarter! Regardless of
what your are focusing on this week, I hope you have time to reflect on lessons from the past, personally, spiritually AND professionally. That is what my column in April’s edition of Smart CEO is all about; the universal truths that the ancients figured out for us. Below is just one of them from the archetype of the Warrior Sage. Ponder it when you have a moment alone during this busy season.

“When Calm, Prepare for the Storm. When Chaotic, Remain Tranquil.”
16th century Japanese Samurai [1]

When searching for new ways to reinvigorate our teams, we often think a totally new approach is necessary. However, when delving into any realm in search of answers -religion, politics or even leadership development – certain universal truths become apparent that have been present for thousands of years. With a bit of tweaking, these ancient core principles and strategies can be reinvented for effectiveness in today’s business world.

Enter the Warrior Sage. This archetype can be found in many cultures. In Japan, it is exemplified in the Samurai tradition by figures like Miyamoto Musashi and Yaguy Munenori. In India, enlightened leaders such as Rama, Dronacharya and Arjuna have inspired millions. In Western culture, King Arthur, Joan of Arc, and Queen Cordelia are examples of great Warrior Sages.

These Warrior Sages embodied principles that gave them access to their intuitive wisdom and fortified them in the face of their challenge. How can we apply the warrior sage characteristics of great courage, strength and wisdom for leading people to victory today? Several patterns emerge from studying these sages that drive performance in current organizations:

A Warrior Sage uses wisdom to defeat an enemy (or fight for a cause, or succeed in business). Surprisingly, warriors do not have to take up arms. True wisdom grants you the ability to apply other means of achieving victory as seen in the cases of modern, non-violent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Had they taken up arms against their opposition, they certainly would have met with defeat. To deny that they were great warriors endowed with courage, strength and wisdom is to deny the great depth of character they exhibited in leading their followers to victory. On the other hand, if arms weren’t taken up against a tyrant like Adolph Hitler, the Allied Forces would have met certain defeat during World War II.

Does your management team possess the wisdom to choose the appropriate means for victory? We would love to hear examples of when your “warrior” leadership remained calm in a storm and chose the correct strategy to win.
Look forward to hearing from you,