On Leadership by lindayy

VIEWS: 771 PAGES: 34

More Info
									                     Sita-pati das

        On Leadership
There are two types of people in ISKCON who want to be powerful
      – those who want to be powerful in the organization,
 and those who want the organization to be powerful in the world.

                This book is meant for the latter.
                                Sita-pati das

                  On Leadership
                              om ajñana timirandhasya
                               caksur unmilitam yena
                              tasmai sri gurave namah

With humble confidence I present my consideration of this subject. I do not think I
have all the answers; however I know with certainty that I am part of the answer.

This material is far from perfect – reading over it myself I see many gaps and areas
that could be explained better and expanded further. There are some ideas which
are not strictly expressed. Still, there is some kickass material in here, and if you
read it now you'll be ahead of the curve.

I would personally relish more discussion on this subject by contemporary
Vaisnavas, and I offer this as a starting point for the conversation.

At the end of the day, as Srila Kaviraja Goswami put it:

jani va na jani, kari apana-sodhana - “Whether I realize it or not, it is for self-
purification that I write this”.
                Sita-pati das

   On Leadership

0. Advisory for Readers from ISKCON
1. The Wrong Idea About Leadership
   1.1 Following the Leader, or Serving The Mission?
   1.2 To "Be A Leader" Means "To Lead"
2. Organizational Structure
   2.1 The Hierarchical Structure Paradigm
     2.1.1 The "Parallel Lines of Authority" Dilemma
     2.1.2 The Community Leadership Dilemma
     2.1.3 The “Reverse Delegation” Dilemma
3. The Success and Failure of the Loft
   3.1 Why The Loft Didn't Work For You
4. Scaling the Network Paradigm
5. Everyone Is A Leader
6. Coming Up
  6.1 The Five Imperatives of Leadership
  6.2 The Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching

                                           Sita-pati das

                              On Leadership
          If you want small, incremental improvements, then focus on changing behaviour -
          redoubling your efforts - and attitude - thinking positively about your situation.
          However, if you want real, substantial improvements - focus on changing your

          - Stephen Covey

          par·a·digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm') n.

          A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of
          viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual

I want to introduce you to a leadership paradigm shift. It's not about tweaking a few things with some
flavor-of-the-moment techniques, it's about fundamentally changing the way that you conceive of
leadership and organizational structure.

This paradigm shift will solve many of the problems that you are facing by taking away the
assumptions and conditions that give rise to them, and it will significantly raise the performance of
your organization, whatever its nature. I'll be using examples from ISKCON, an international
volunteer organization, to illustrate my points, but I've successfully applied these principles in for-
profit and corporate situations as well. These are principles (dharma) that are universal in their
application (sanatana).

0. Advisory for Readers from ISKCON

A caveat for readers from the ISKCON sector:

I recently met with Sankarshan das Adhikari in Austin, Texas. He is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada
who opened the first temple in Austin with Visnujana Swami. He's still living there, and still
represents the set.

He shared with me a quote from a letter written by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada said:

          ...one day you will be the leaders of the world. It is not difficult. You just have to
          work sincerely and intelligently. Krishna will do everything.

          Letter to: Saurabha: -- Bombay 26 November, 1974

Note that Srila Prabhupada specifically mentions two things: sincerely and intelligently. What I am
about to describe to you now is a manifestation of intelligence. It is not a substitute for sincerity, nor
can it work properly without sincerity, nor is sincerity alone sufficient without intelligent
considerations such as these.

Just so we are clear: becoming a pure devotee - following sadhana and regulative principles under
the guidance of a bonafide Spiritual Master - is absolutely necessary and indispensable.

Intelligently understanding the field of activity is also absolutely necessary and indispensable.

As the saying has it: “Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop
wood, carry water.” Leadership is not a “material activity”. An activity is material when it is carried
out without knowledge of the Supreme and with the false conception of the self as doer and enjoyer of
the results. An activity is spiritual when it is carried out with knowledge of the Supreme and
dedicating the activity, the performer, and the result to pleasing the Supreme Lord.

Any activity which requires the coordinated effort of multiple persons to carry it out, requires
leadership. Leadership is therefore a fundamental necessity in all areas of human endeavor.

So Spiritual Leadership, leading with consciousness of the Supreme and free from false ego, is
indispensable, and a worthy subject of contemplation for those who serve the mission of Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, the Six Goswamis, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and
our Srila Prabhupada: to make the whole world Krishna Conscious.

1. The Wrong Idea About Leadership
Unfortunately, many people have the wrong idea about leadership. This includes both people who
fulfill leadership roles, and people who don't. Those who discharge leadership roles do so in an
ineffective or inappropriate way when they do not correctly understand leadership, and those who do
not discharge leadership roles either allow themselves to be mislead, or else render themselves
incapable of recognizing bona-fide leadership when it is there.

The “wrong idea” about leadership is reflected in the language that we frequently use to describe it.
Sometimes we hear the phrase leadership position. This is a misleading combination of ideas.
Leadership is not a position, it is a dynamic role arising from an action. Related to this idea of
"position", sometimes we hear the phrase under a leader. People are not "under" a leader, if they are
following a leader they are behind them. Leading means to be out in front. Leaders do not enjoy a
position or power, they respond significantly to a necessity - in other words, they manifest
responsibility. Due to the fact that they manifest this response to a need in the environment to a
proportionally greater degree than those around them, they "lead" - they get out in front.

When an organization has "leadership positions", and people "under" leaders, it doesn't take long for
that organization to fall behind other organizations where people focus on understanding the present
need, doing the work, making a contribution, and setting an example through their actions. As an
example of such an organization, think of a family where the modus operandi is: "Do what I say,
because I'm your father!", in contrast with one where the husband and father is conscious of and
diligent in his role as steward and protector of his dependents.We are going to look at some of the
underlying paradigms that give rise to the terminology of the wrong idea about leadership, and clarify
the reality of the situation.

1.1 Following the Leader or Serving The Mission?

A common misconception is that followers orbit around a leader. Leaders who think this are to a
greater or lesser degree cult leaders. Followers who think this are cult members. People who think this
but don't buy into it become stuck in the twilight zone, incapable of either leading or following.

My first exposure to this dilemma occurred in 1998 when (then) His Holiness Harikesa Swami left his
service as a formally recognized Spiritual Master in ISKCON. At that time I was serving in
Wellington, New Zealand, and we were hosting Dr Liladhar Gupta, the famous Ayurvedic Physician.
Dr Gupta was disparaging the mentality that had lead many persons to leave the organization or the
process of devotional service along with Harikesa Swami. He said: “Guru does this, Guru does that,
Guru falls down - I also fall down. What is this?”

What it is, is a fundamental misunderstanding about the relationship between leader (in this case the
Guru), and follower.

The diagram below is based on one from the book The Courageous Follower, by Ira Chaleff. This
information is also found in Sri Guru and His Grace, by Srila B.R. Sridhar Swami, and Sri Krishna
Bhajanamrita, by Srila Narahari Sarkara; but it was when I saw this diagram in Chaleff's book that
the conception crystallized and became blindingly clear and obvious.

This is the wrong idea, that followers orbit around a leader. This is a cult situation, and this paradigm,
while it does work to a point, reveals its limitations when it breaks down in the form of persons
falling along with their Guru, or clashing within an organization different parties who follow different

The right conception is shown in the following diagram:

We can see that followers and leaders orbit around a common purpose. Chaleff puts it:

         Just as teachers and students form a learning circle around a common body of
         knowledge, leaders and followers form an action circle around a common purpose.

         - The Courageous Follower

We will come back to this model of leadership again and again, and I will use this to demonstrate how
many problems are not just solved, but simply do not exist when this paradigm is applied.

In Sri Guru and His Grace, the fact that the identity of a person as a leader (in this specific case a
Guru) arises from their relationship with the common purpose is described as follows:

         By the special will of Krishna, gurudeva is a delegated power. If we look closely
         within the spiritual master, we will see the delegation of Krishna, and accordingly
         we should accept him in that way. The spiritual master is a devotee of Krishna, and
         at the same time, the inspiration of Krishna is within him. These are the two aspects
         of gurudeva. He has his aspect as a Vaisnava, and the inspired side of the Vaisnava
         is the guru.

         - Sri Guru and His Grace, p.15

When a leader leaves the action circle the followers and the purpose remain, while the leadership
relationship, which arose from the action of that person, does not. Someone acting in the capacity of
follower may step up to the necessity of the situation and take the leadership role through their action,
or someone may step in from outside the circle. In either case, because the relationship is understood
as a dynamic one arising from quality and activity in relation to a common purpose, there is no
confusion between the purpose of the organization on the one hand, and a person who once took the
lead, but has now ceased to serve the common purpose, on the other.

In Sri Krishna Bhajanamrita this situation is described, along with a prescription for the followers in
such a situation:

         The natural behaviour of the vaisnava devotees is to take complete refuge of Lord
         Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, accepting Him as their principle
         and real shelter. The very life of the vaisnava devotees of the Lord is singing the
         glories of Lord Sri Krishna, describing and expanding the fame of Lord Sri
         Krishna, and discussing the nectar of His transcendental pastimes. [ed: description
         of the common purpose]

         The authorized course of action is to continue, as before, with one's prescribed
         devotional service. One may take guidance through instructions from the vaisnavas,
         as all vaisnavas are considered guru, or "spiritual master", or one may use one's
         own intelligence, duly considering the relevant instructions from sadhu, sastra, and
         guru. In all cases one should continue in one's devotional service.

         - Sri Krishna Bhajanamrita 62-63

It is also made clear that the dissolution of the leadership relationship is intimately connected with the

ultimate purpose that both parties are serving, and the leader's "leaving the action circle" by losing
their relationship to that purpose:

         However, if the spiritual master:
         •   Acts enviously towards 'isvarebrantah', that which is connected with the
         •   is bewildered regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead
         •   is averse to expanding the fame of Lord Krishna
         •   personally refuses to accept hearing or chanting about the glorious pastimes of
             Lord Krishna
         •   has become totally bewildered, listening to the false praise of ignorant persons
             and day by day is more materially contaminated and fallen
         -then the spiritual master must be renounced.

         - Sri Krishna Bhajanamrita 64

Out of etiquette, in some social situations, such as marriage, when a person disqualifies themselves
from a leadership role, the formal relationship remains, and the hope is that the person will again
assume the mindset and activities that give rise to leadership in that context:

         If a man is sullied by a serious offence that causes him to fall, then his wife should
         wait for him until he is purified.

         - Yajñavalkya-smrti 1.77

By extension, we can understand the etiquette of the guru-disciple relationship to be similiar, that if a
Guru moves out of the leadership role through their activity or inactivity, one will continue with their
service waiting until such time as the guru rectifies himself, or manifests one of the specifically
mentioned states which warrant the termination of the formal relationship. There are several historical
examples of persons retaining their formal identification with a spiritual master, but developing a
substantial leader/follower relationship with someone else.

Most formal leader-follower relationships have a social or traditional dimension (varna) that carries
with it certain etiquette, in addition to the essential aspect (guna and karma).

These quoted sections demonstrate that leadership is at its essence a question of activity in relation to
a common purpose, that the relationship between follower and leader arises from their respective
relationships to this common purpose, that their relationship to that purpose is independent of each
other, and that particular leader/follower relations are subject to specific social etiquette.

I have used the example of the guru-disciple relationship here, and touched on family situations, but
the principle is the same for any leader-follower relationship, and as we develop this theme further I
will introduce and illustrate other examples.

1.2 To "Be A Leader" Means "T Lead"

I have from time to time been accused by some people of "wanting to be a leader", with the
insinuation that this represents a contamination, perhaps a desire for followers. Of course Lord
Caitanya has explained na janam na dhanam na sundarim - that we should be free from the desire for
followers, wealth, and beautiful companions. To be a leader does not mean to have followers. To be a

leader means to lead - it means to respond to the needs of the situation to a proportionally greater
degree than others. It means to recognize what the needs of the situation are, what your abilities are,
and to match the two up with courage and determination.

In the book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations Ori
Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom describe the essence of leadership:

         Instead of a chief, the Apaches had a Nant'an - a spiritual and cultural leader. The
         Nant'an led by example and held no coercive power. Tribe members followed the
         Nant'an because they wanted to, not because they had to. One of the most famous
         Nant'ans in history was Geronimo, who defended his people against the American
         forces for decades. Geronimo never commanded an army. Rather, he himself started
         fighting, and everyone around him joined in. The idea was: "If Geronimo is taking
         arms, maybe it's a good idea. Geronimo's been right in the past, so it makes sense
         to fight alongside him."

         - The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations,
         p. 20

Leadership is a question of quality and activity - guna and karma - not one of position (varna). As I
like to put it: Varna is the shadow of guna and karma.

You can lead without a formal position or title, but if you have position without leadership quality and
activity you have only a shadow, and an organization that relies on that is merely the shadow of an
organization, and its outcomes will be just as ephemeral.

Having explained something about this point of misconception, I would like to take this idea and
ascend to a higher level, that of organizational structure. This where the real fun begins.

2. Organizational Structure
In the previous section we discussed the fact that most formalized leader/follower relationships are
subject to some form of tradition and etiquette. This may be social, legal, or organizational in nature.
This formal static dimension is known as varna1 in Sanskrit. Sometimes the formal etiquette
surrounding a leader/follower relationship overtakes the actual relationship itself and can even
completely eclipse it. In this case, as mentioned before, we are left with the mere shadow of the

As an example: previously we cited the advice of the Yajñavalkya-smrti to a wife whose husband has
deviated from his role. In the Vedic civilization divorce is proscribed (meaning: socially disallowed).
Proponents of divorce in the contemporary context present as an argument a hypothetical (or real)
scenario in which a woman is trapped in an abusive relationship. What we see here is a complete
diametric opposition of varna on one hand, the husband role, and guna (quality) and karma (activity)
on the other. Whereas the husband is meant to act as the maintainer and protector of his wife he is
instead abusing her. The relationship in this case is merely a shadow of the real thing. Divorce
proponents advocate realigning the formal position with the reality of the situation: he is not her
husband, ergo: divorce. The Yajñavalkya-smrti advocates attempting, or waiting, for the situation to
realign in the other direction: he should change his activities to meet his formal role.

Leaving aside the complex considerations around this particular issue, which include wider social
effects, let us focus on the essence: the idea that a formalized relationship can eclipse the actual
situation, and become misaligned with it. Let's return to the Apache tribe, as discussed in The Starfish
and the Spider:

Initially, the Apache functioned with a leadership based purely on guna and karma:

         (P)eople would support who they thought was the most effective leader based on his
         own actions or based on his behaviours. And it would happen fairly quickly.

         - The Starfish and the Spider, p.151

Normally a military attack focuses on the formal leadership of an enemy: the King is captured (as in
the classic military game Chess), the capital city taken, the government deposed. However, due to
their fluid, dynamic style of leadership, lacking a formal dimension to target, the Americans found it
impossible to defeat and subdue the Apache right up until 1914, when they finally discovered how to
subvert the Apache leadership paradigm.

         Here's what broke the Apache society: the Americans gave the Nant'ans cattle. It
         was that simple. Once the Nant'ans had possession of a scarce resource - cows -
         their power shifted from symbolic to material. Where previously, the Nant'ans
         gained authoritative power, they began fighting each other for seats on the newly
         created tribal councils and started behaving more and more like would-be
         "presidents of the Internet". Tribe members began lobbying the Nant'ans for more
         resources, and became upset if the allocations didn't work out in their favor. The
         power structure, once flat, became hierarchical, with power concentrated at the
1 The word varna, literally: 'color', is being used here in the sense of “the formalized aspect of a role or relationship
  arising from a particular quality and activity”. This is the essence of the concept that is instantiated as the varna of

        - The Starfish and the Spider, p.152

Leadership is not about entitlement, it is about contribution. It is about understanding your God-given
abilities and contributing them to the common cause. When it becomes a question of entitlement and
not contribution, then formal organizational structures become misused, and the actual purpose of the
organization, whether it is a family, a corporation, or a society, becomes lost amidst the selfish
manipulations of individuals each pursuing their own separated interest.

        In the best interest of human society there must be such divisions of life, otherwise
        no social institution can grow in a healthy state. And in each and every one of the
        abovementioned divisions of life, the aim must be to please the supreme authority of
        the Personality of Godhead. This institutional function of human society is known as
        the system of varnasrama-dharma, which is quite natural for the civilized life. The
        varnasrama institution is constructed to enable one to realize the Absolute Truth. It
        is not for artificial domination of one division over another. When the aim of life,
        i.e., realization of the Absolute Truth, is missed by too much attachment for indriya-
        priti, or sense gratification, as already discussed hereinbefore, the institution of the
        varnasrama is utilized by selfish men to pose an artificial predominance over the
        weaker section. In the Kali-yuga, or in the age of quarrel, this artificial
        predominance is already current, but the saner section of the people know it well
        that the divisions of castes and orders of life are meant for smooth social
        intercourse and high-thinking self-realization and not for any other purpose.

        - Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.13 purport

What we hear described here is an organizational philosophy which resembles our "right idea" about
leadership: different people contribute their respective strengths to a common purpose. We also hear
described another organizational philosophy where the focus shifts from the common purpose to the
"artificial domination of one division over another". There are two different organizational structures
which instantiate these philosophies. One we have already described and illustrated above. The other
we shall now examine.

2.1 The Hierarchical Structure Paradigm

This particular organizational structure, the hierarchical structure, familiar to us in the formal
structures that surround us in contemporary corporate, civil governance, and military contexts,
particularly lends itself to this situation of artificial predominance. It is the triumph of varna over
guna and karma.

Any formal organizational structure is merely the shadow of the actual organization. All students of
organization will tell you this. There are two sets of relationships - the formal org chart, and the real
power relationships in the organization. The hierarchical organization structure, however, is
particularly problematic as a paradigm, in part because it contains power and value inequities encoded
within its very fabric, and the common purpose is missing from the picture entirely! In some
organizations it seems that the purpose has become as much, or more so, to keep your position as it is
to pursue the actual purpose of the organization. At the same time, organizations based on the
hierarchical structure can still function within certain contexts, although they demonstrate the
tendency to slide into the modus operandi that their organizational paradigm encapsulates. Let us
investigate the boundaries of the usefulness of the hierarchical paradigm, the areas in which it falls

down by giving rise to dilemmas, and see how our alternative paradigm resolves these dilemmas.

First of all, here is a diagram to illustrate the manifestation of a hierarchical organization structure:

Power is progressively concentrated toward the top. Responsibility flows upward: “subordinates”
answer to their “superiors”, but superiors do not necessarily have to account to their subordinates.
Control flows downward: “superiors”, or positional leaders, direct and control “subordinates”.

This model lends itself to creating a focus on capturing and holding a position, rather than on
contributing your strengths.

Let's examine a few dilemmas that arise from the application of this model, and show how they are
resolved with a different leadership paradigm. These examples are from ISKCON and will be most
interesting to readers from that sector, although, again, the principles are universally applicable.

2.1.1 The "Parallel Lines of Authority" Dilemma

The "Parallel Lines of Authority" dilemma is a particular situation in ISKCON which is well-known
as bad practice in hierarchical organizations such as corporations or the military, that of having two
line managers for one direct report. In a general sense it is understood to be the tension between the
two different formal authority positions in ISKCON - the GBC and the Spiritual Master.

Specifically you could understand it like this. A devotee lives in a temple. He has two authorities, the
temple president / temple management, who represent the GBC, and his Spiritual Master. Problems
arise in this arrangement because sometimes he gets conflicting instructions from the two. Sometimes
he manipulates the situation to get conflicting instructions, or to take the instructions that he wants to

This is essentially the "parallel lines of authority" problem, in a simplified presentation.

The paradigm that gives rise to the problem is the paradigm of hierarchical structure. The very
language used to describe the problem, that of "lines of authority", is firmly rooted in this paradigm.
Here is a diagram modeling this situation:

You can clearly see the problem here. In the language of hierarchical structures, our poor devotee has
"two separate lines of reporting" - a recipe for confusion and organizational disorder in any
hierarchical organization. The problem is that this problem is not simply demonstrated using a
diagram based on a hierarchical understanding - it's actually a product of using this paradigm to
model the situation at all.

Here we apply our leadership paradigm introduced at the beginning of this article, and observe that it
does away with the fundamental assumptions of power and relationship of the hierarchical model, and
also does away with the "parallel lines of authority" dilemma along the way:

In the network model, rather than focusing on power relationships between the participants in the
organization, the focus is instead on the mission and the abilities of the participants to contribute to
furthering that mission.

Applying this network model we can resolve the "parallel lines of authority" dilemma in practice in
the following manner:

Looked at from the perspective of the temple president (representative of the GBC):

I'm a temple president.
You're a Spiritual Master.
I've got a temple, you've got a disciple.
Let's partner together to make a devotee.

The focus then becomes the mission of creating a devotee, of developing the person in Krishna
Consciousness. There is a synergistic partnership relationship around this mission; not conflicting
"parallel lines of authority".

2.1.2 The Community Leadership Dilemma

Ironically, many ISKCON yatras change from a network organizational paradigm in their early days
to hierarchical organizational models as they grow in size. This is ironic because in adopting a model
to deal with their increasing scale, they have actually discarded an infinitely scalable model for one
that will start to break down fairly quickly as they continue to grow.

Many, if not most, ISKCON temples are now based on models using the hierarchical leadership
paradigm. How many times have people come to a Loft and said to me: "This reminds me of the early
days!" or "This is just like when the temple started in Soho St!" or similar. Modern ISKCON temples
have borrowed the hierarchical paradigm from the surrounding society and applied this to the
leadership and management of the temple. People think that the "corporate model" is more grown-up
and serious. The result is that things have become stuck in the mud.

The hierarchical paradigm is like the static defenses of the First World War. Lines of trenches and
static positions and massive attrition over time. The network paradigm is like the blitzkrieg of the
Second World War - mobile and adaptive. One of the reasons for this change in the organizational
paradigm is a misunderstanding of how to scale the network paradigm. People think that once you
start to get big and serious that you need a serious organizational structure - committees and job
descriptions and so forth. Another reason that's mixed in with this, however, and what kills the whole
thing, is the fact that increasing material resources are at stake, and people want to be able to exercise
control over them, and the hierarchical model lends itself to this. This impurity and a structure that
grows up to facilitate it, or at least lends itself to this, are what have caused the slowdown.

The network paradigm does in fact scale infinitely, and we will discuss that later on. The hierarchical
model, however, does not. The hierarchical model breaks down at the edge of the organization.If you
think about organizations that use the hierarchical model, such as corporations and the military, they
all rely on a system of reward and punishment to maintain the structure. Both corporations and the
military pay their members, and in the case of corporations you can be fired for non-compliance,
while in the military you can be dismissed, or imprisoned.

In order to maintain a hierarchical model, ISKCON yatras are now finding themselves having to pay

people to participate. In areas where an Indian congregation donates or stalwarts collect on the street
they can offer cash, in other areas they have to use immigration into the country as a religious worker
as the payment. Naturally people need to maintain themselves somehow, but here we are speaking
about something else. We can tell it is something else because the hierarchical model of leadership
does not scale beyond the boundaries of the organization's ability to reward and punish, and that's
what we're seeing in a lot of ISKCON.

The local temple has gone from having a monopoly on Krishna Consciousness to being a temple with
a congregation, to now being a temple within a community. Unfortunately, many temples are finding
themselves sidelined in their relevance to the devotional community around them, with alternative
sangas springing up; what to speak of relevance to the wider, non-devotional community - that has
become a complete non-issue. A hierarchical model cannot cope with a community. Hierarchical
models rely on enforced compliance. You cannot enforce this compliance across a community,
because you don't have sufficient resources to pay everyon off, or sufficient power to punish them.

The network paradigm, on the other hand, relies on an infinitely renewable resource: inspiration.
People are inspired to follow because the leader is responding to a need to a significant degree. In this
model the relationship between community and temple is that the temple leads in Krishna
Consciousness, and the community is inspired to follow:

The temple leads by guna and karma - because it is qualified, it is out in front, leading. It doesn't own
the community or control it. It does not demand fealty or respect, it naturally commands it. It is not a
question of entitlement or a monopoly on Krishna Consciousness, it is a question of contribution and
excellence in service.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is revolutionary and it's out of control!

2.1.3 The “Reverse Delegation” Dilemma

The way some people tell it, ISKCON authorities are a robber baron class, enjoying the spoils of the
hard work of the minions of the movement. However, this is generally speaking not the case (as you
already know if you've ever accepted this responsibility). In a lot of cases sincere and dedicated
people are working hard to try to keep the doors open and the lights on in a large number of facilities
worldwide. Unfortunately, the organizational paradigm that they have inherited is working against

Recall that the hierarchical structure relies on a system of punishment and reward to function
effectively. It is not a system that is based on motivation through inspiration or voluntary cooperation.

Payment and punishment drive responsiveness down into the organization. In a corporation the
owners are the ones who get the profit, or wear the loss, so ultimate accountability lives at the top of
the organization. It's the same in the military – the commanders are ultimately the ones accountable
for the outcomes. In order to separate responsibility from accountability and push it down into the
rank and file of the hierarchy, punishment and reward are used.

Since ISKCON yatras have limited scope for punishment and reward, we end up with responsibility
migrating back up to the top of the hierarchy – the phenomenon of “reverse delegation”. Whereas
normally in a hierarchical structure managers delegate tasks to subordinates to take responsibility for,
in ISKCON, the reverse is often the case. Even within the normal operating boundaries of the
paradigm you don't get optimal performance in ISKCON, because the operating conditions are
mismatched. Hierarchies and volunteerism go ill together.

Here's how it plays out in practice: you're thinking, if only I were in charge, I would fix all these
problems and the yatra would be smooth sailing. Next thing you know they put you in charge
(because they can't find anyone else who will take it), and suddenly you own responsibility for
everything. Everyone is blaming you for everything that isn't working, and everyone is calling you up
to tell you when they can't do their service.

It's difficult to find people who will take this challenge. It's basically a suicide mission, one where
waves of invaders keep endlessly reappearing at the top of the screen. You can make incremental
improvements, raise the morale, change the paint job of the building – but without addressing the
underlying paradigm, you're not going to get out of this rut.

People in these yatras will often fondly remember the heyday of yesteryear; often a period where cash
collections were flowing in from some source and the hierarchical structure was able to sufficiently
punish and reward to enforce compliance.

Getting out of this situation can be done – but it will take a paradigm shift across your organization.
At the same time it's tricky – you're rebuilding the plane in mid-flight. You have very real facilities to
maintain and obligations to meet, so you can't simply ditch the whole caboodle and re-engineer.
There are Deity rosters, building maintenance, perhaps a restaurant to staff. I've failed and succeeded
at this one, so I have some insight in what to do (and what not to do). I'm going to write a separate
article about this situation entitled: “You Can Turn Your Yatra Around”. Stay tuned for that one, and
enjoy the rest of today's show.

3. The Success and Failure of the Loft
You may have heard of the Loft preaching paradigm. I've written an article about it, which you can
view online at www.atmayogi.com in the articles section.

I remember distinctly trying to explain what we were doing to one Prabhupada disciple who visited us
in Wellington in 1999. He said: "You don't wear dhotis? You don't do arati? You don't tell people that
“this is ISKCON”? What are you doing?"

Many people have mistakenly thought that Loft preaching means "preaching with hatha yoga". I
addressed this misconception in my article:

          Many Loft preaching centers currently offer hatha yoga classes, but it wasn't
          always this way, nor will it always be this way. Since the wave of the day is hatha
          yoga Loft preachers are riding it... At the end of the day though, when the fickle
          winds of taste change, hatha yoga will go its way; but sadhu-sanga, the essential
          dynamic of Loft preaching, will remain.

We have seen many people try to imitate or emulate Loft preaching using Hatha yoga, and they have
not been able to achieve anything close to the successfully functioning, vibrant and energizing
environments and organizations that exist in Australia and New Zealand and provide significant
manpower to ISKCON yatras.

The reason is that Hatha yoga is not the “active ingredient” of Loft preaching.

The real “secret X-factor”, the real active ingredient (apart from the obvious, “Krishna
Consciousness” – which the temple also has) is the Leadership model that we use. What that
Leadership model is, is not a secret to you, because if you've gotten this far you've just been reading
about it.

Remember what Srila Prabhupada said: sincerely and intelligently. The secret to a successful Loft is
to do away with the hierarchical organizational paradigm, and use instead the network paradigm of
leadership and organization. The Loft success is not due to superficial gimmicks, it's due to this deep
structural paradigm. We can swap the Hatha yoga out any time - it has nothing to do with what we are
doing. What it's about is “natural leadership”. Be a devotee and be in touch with people outside, and
let nature take its course. One of our internal mottos is “Keep it Real”. In other words, it's all about
guna and karma, not varna or org chart position. It's all about adhikara, actual eligibility, not status.

Remember, with hierarchical structures your leadership ends where your organization does. Using the
open leadership model that we do, our leadership extends out into the community around us, and
brings people into our expanding sphere of influence. If you rely on people respecting you for your
position in a hierarchy, you will find your organization shrinking over time.

Loft organizational structures have no positional titles, no org charts. People have roles that they
fulfill, and these are based on what their abilities are, and what the needs of the situation are. When
we talk about “needs of the situation”, what we see are opportunities to engage people according to
their talents and abilities in order to help them develop further.

The guiding philosophy of the Loft is: We Make It Easy.

    ●   We make it easy to come to Krishna Consciousness
    ●   We make it easy to grow organically in Krishna Consciousness
    ●   We make it easy to give Krishna Consciousness to others

I have been involved in Loft operations that have attempted to integrate with contemporary ISKCON
temple yatras, and I have debriefed colleagues who have also been in attempts to do this. My
conclusion is that the limited success up to this point in integrating Loft centers with temples, and in
starting Loft centers attached to temples is due to the different leadership paradigms in play.

Let's look into the situation.

3.1 Why The Loft Didn't Work For You

As discussed previously, many ISKCON yatras now run on a hierarchical model. I've visited a
number of these centers, including ones which are held up as “paragons of organization in ISKCON”.
One thing that I noticed when I visited one famous location, was that there were no people there who
had joined locally within the past ten years. The whole staff were people who were shipped in from
other locations, typically economically or socially unstable regions.

If the mission of a missionary organization is to reach out to bring people in, then these locations have
experienced “mission-drift”. If I were in a really passionate moment, I would say that they have
“ripped the missional heart out of the movement and replaced it with a marble-maintenance program
trapped inside the steel skeleton of a hierarchical structure”. It may be a little exaggerated, but you get
the idea.

Finding themselves in this situation, with resources such as buildings and vehicles, but unable to
recruit and with no forward momentum, some temples have reached out to the Loft and said: "Please,
send us some people to do a Loft here. We have a temple, buildings, and money, but we're just not
recruiting. We need you to come and do a Loft here to help us."

I've debriefed several teams from these expeditions, and I've done some myself. Here are my
realizations and my playbook for this situation.

First of all, you have to realize that:

          Things are the way they are because of the people who are there and they way they
          think. If you want to change the way things are, you have to change one of the
          other two factors.

The way that the people calling you in are thinking, they know what to do, they just don't have the
people to do it. They may not say this up front, but this is what they are thinking, and this is what you
find out when you get there.

The fact of the matter is that they are surrounded by tens or hundreds of thousands, or even millions
of people. There is no shortage of people there. What is missing is the ability to inspire and lead these
people. Remember: a hierarchical structure breaks down at the edge of the organization. Apart from
paying some people to come from the third world to do some out-sourced bhakti, and servicing a
culturally predisposed ex-pat Indian congregation who gradually take over the temple, these systems
are incapable of getting anyone else onboard. If you are relying on the hierarchical paradigm your
leadership stops where your ability to reward and punish does.

As Srila Prabhupada explained:

          The principle is that they should recruit men locally...That is not a good policy
          that for preaching work one has to get men from another country. One has to
          create manpower from the local environment. That is success of preaching.

          - Letter: Brahmananda: December 2, 1969

If manpower is the currency of a volunteer organization, then why should we pour good money after
bad? If a business unit is losing money, then often a corporation will replace the management. In this
case we don't necessarily have to replace the management, but we do we have to replace the
management paradigm. Remember: Things are the way they are because of the people who are there,
and the way they think. We have to address the fundamental causes.

When these fundamental causes are not addressed, attempts to put a Loft operation in place have

Based on the failures and successes that I have analyzed, here is the problem. When it fails, it's
typically because the temple management is thinking like this:

Listen, if it were the fact that all you were missing were some people, then why don't you have them,
and why can't you get them? That's the real question that has to be honestly asked before a Loft
engagement can be successful.

The current situation represents the failure of a paradigm, not simply a lack of manpower. The fact of
the matter is that you are not simply missing people. You are missing the ability to recruit people. You
are missing appropriate expertise. It's quite possible that deep structural causes are behind this, such
as having a yatra that runs on the hierarchical paradigm of leadership. These may not be ready to be
addressed right now, but at the very least, for a Loft engagement to be successful, there has to be an
awareness that not only are people missing, but the expertise needed to get them is too.

Without this awareness, when the Loft team lands, the local management will attempt to slot them
into the hierarchical paradigm. Remember: things are the way they are because of the people who are
there and the way they think. If you are leading a Loft engagement with an ailing yatra, you have to

keep your team out of that organizational hierarchy paradigm by negotiation, compromise, and when
necessary push back. Otherwise you will be absorbed into their story, and the ending will be the same
for you as it already was for them.

Here is the ideal situation. Someone whose project is not doing so well says: Listen, I have this
facility here, and things are not going so well. You have people there – why don't we use the facilities
that I have here to engage your people so that they can have a field to develop in. At the same time
they will develop the project.

Here's a diagram to illustrate this idea:

You might recognize the concept, yes it's the exact same approach that we used to resolve the Parallel
Lines of Authority Dilemma earlier. You see, the following verse from Bhagavad-gita can be an
organizational principle, as well as a personal instruction:

         The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with
         the senses, only for the purpose of purification.

         - Bhagavad-gita 5.11

The goal of engaging people is not to fill up org charts or rosters. It's not to power up your
hierarchical structure – it's to give them opportunities to develop in Krishna Consciousness, meaning
to understand who they are and what they should do. When you do this, the bigger picture of the

organization takes care of itself. We'll examine how and why this is so in detail in a later section.
Suffice it to say at this point just this: varna arises from guna and karma, not the other way around. If
you put your roster, your org chart, your hierarchical structure first, you have the triumph of varna
over guna and karma, shadow over substance. The results of this are the reason why you are having to
ask for help in the first place.

This is the minimum situation that you need to work with:

Temples can get a better result with engagement with a Loft team when they realize: It's not working.
We don't know what to do.

Unfortunately people get stuck in a rut. Even though it doesn't work, they are sure that it's just
because they are not trying hard enough, or applying enough people to it. So as soon as you show up
they want you to join what they are doing, even though it is failing. As soon as you start inspiring
people to participate they want to plug them in to resuscitate their dying hierarchical structure. Note
that terminology – people participate in your network, the hierarchical organization wants them to
join their hierarchical organizational structure. They want to focus on behaviour, redoubling efforts,
and demand a focus on attitude by “not being negative about the situation”. You can inject some life
into the situation temporarily this way - “new” always does - but you'll eventually end up in the same
quandry they are in, unless you address the paradigm.

Whenever I see yatras advertising for people to come and join them from other locations within
ISKCON I think to myself: No one with any sense wants to jump onto a sinking ship. What you need
is not people, it's expertise in how to inspire people to join, and you might also need the courage to
examine what it is in your current paradigm that is failing.

Unfortunately the people who are still left are precisely the ones who are comfortable with the
situation as it is, so the push back is often strong. Oh sure, they say they want more people to come,
and to reach out to the public and all that, but only as long as everything stays the way that it is.

That's why the Loft didn't work for you.

4. Scaling the Network Paradigm
The Leadership paradigm that I've been advocating so far looks pretty good doesn't it? At least it
looks interesting. I've demonstrated its application in several different scenarios at different levels of
organization, and I believe have made a good case for its sastric basis, and its effectiveness.

One doubt may remain, however: "Sure this looks good for a start-up or a small team, but can you run
anything complex or large using this model?"

I've already demonstrated that this model scales out to deal with the newly emerging community
dilemma that temples are dimly becoming conscious of, a scale where the hierarchical model is
breaking down completely. It scales up from a small team level, as demonstrated at the beginning, to
the community leadership level, and operates at all levels in between. It also spreads accountability
and control across the system as it does so, and avoids the concentration of power and resources that
are inherent in the hierarchical model.

Here is how you scale the network leadership paradigm.

    ●   Take your core purpose or mission objective and build an initial team around it
    ●   Break the core mission into sub-objectives
    ●   Build a team around each sub-objective
    ●   Recompose the team around the core objective with the leaders of the sub-objective teams
    ●   Repeat ad infinitum

Let's take a look at some cool diagrams to illustrate the point.

This is your initial and core team. The black circle represents the point leader. This is the model used
to start a yatra, whether it's Srila Prabhupada in the Bowery, Visnujana Swami in Austin, or a
contemporary Loft team in a new city. Small yatras function like this, until someone gets the bright
idea to put a hierarchical control structure in place.

What does the circle connecting the team members represent? It represents trust developed over time
and through communication.

         Our Society is like one big family and our relationships should be based on love and
         trust. We must give up the fighting spirit and use our intelligence to push ahead.

         - Letter: Upendra, August, 6, 1970

The small group dynamic is a family dynamic. A close, tight-knit team shoulder to shoulder, watching
each others back and helping each move forward, accomplishing things together to further the

Interestingly, a guest at Atma Yoga, our Loft preaching center, last night asked me what going on a
mission is like in ISKCON. I reflected and shared with him that in the early days it meant going to a
city or country where there was no Krishna Consciousness movement and starting something from
scratch. These days it typically means going to somewhere where the movement is flagging and
working to revive it. I've done both of these. Each has its distinct challenges, but let's just say that
piano teachers should charge more for pupils who have had previous lessons...

So to scale from here without creating a hierarchical structure, you do like this:

The black circle has transformed from the point leader into the “Senior Pastor”. A pastor is like a
shepard. Each gray person in the circle is the leader of a team that takes responsibility for an aspect of

the mission, which becomes in turn the mission for that team. That leader also takes responsibility for
the care and development of the people on that team, transitioning over time from a doer to a
developer as they are able to delegate more and more of the actual work related to the mission to the
other team members, and put more energy and effort into people development.

People with a real action orientation do not need to remain where they are in the organization, at the
core, progressively further from the edge. If they are not so much in developing other people and like
doing things, they can continue to migrate out to the edge of the network, joining or forming the new
teams as the network expands.

Each team feels ownership of the portion of the mission that corresponds to them, because they do
own it. They own both the process and the outcome. That same pioneering missionary dynamic has
the opportunity to manifest. Entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, risk and responsibility have the
opportunity to manifest. The team and its members may take advice and counsel from outside their
circle, especially initially, but that mission is wholly theirs, and this stimulates their response.

Eventually you are going to end up with something that looks like this:

In this model, span of control is limited. It is not one person with a thousand dependents (who then
falls down taking them all with them). What connects each person with the others is their common
relationship with the mission. Mission alignment is the glue that holds everything together and keeps
it on course. The central mission is shown in red (for those viewing this in color). The sub-missions
are shown as a dotted circle in yellow.

You might notice that this looks very organic, like a pattern of cells. You'd be right. That's exactly
what it is. It's a natural model of organic growth and organization, harmonious with the fundamental
paradigms of this universe.

One deviant management philosophy in ISKCON is this: You have to put all the grhastas on the
payroll (enforce punishment and reward), that way they are dependent and have to do what you say.

If you have served as an authority in ISKCON you've come across this. It's a symptom of an
organizational cancer that will eventually starve itself to death.

ISKCON is meant for creating independently thoughtful men (and women). In the network model
influence is spread throughout the organization by casting the vision of the mission. In other words,
through brahminical leadership. Particular areas of responsibility, such as a temple, preaching center
or restaurant will also have a local controller who rules over access to the facility, protecting it. Sub-
teams will have different compositions depending on their purpose.

Other interesting characteristics of this model are:

    ●   It can easily survive the departure of a leader.
    ●   It can be divided in half and continue to grow as two yatras.
    ●   It can expand unlimitedly.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a leadership paradigm that we can apply to the whole world.

5. Everyone Is A Leader
One thing that we should note carefully about the network model is that there is leadership at every
level. It's not that there are some people in the organization who are “the leaders”, and the rest are
powerless. All members of the organization are responsible for creating the organization and pursuing
its mission through their actions.

Although that model is two-dimensional on paper, it should be understood to be three- or even more
dimensional. There is leadership in every direction, dimension, and sphere of human activity.

Leadership is not the domain of a particular class of people. It is not that some people are leaders and
others are followers. We all lead in some contexts, and follow in others.

        Leadership is an action, not a position.

To lead means to be out in front by responding to a need to a greater degree than others.

We each have an area where we have the potential to provide leadership to others. Because we are all
unique individuals, we are all uniquely suited to something in a way that no-one else it. We all have
the potential to make a significant contribution that meets a need in such a way that it puts us out in
front of others – in other words, in a leadership role.

As His Holiness Sridhar Swami ACBSP explained as the realization of his full life of devotional
service, the essence is: Be Yourself, and make a contribution.

Understanding what our unique significant contribution is helps us to understand where we can
provide the service of leadership.

The essence of leadership is simply this:

        Understand what you are, and be more that.

Ultimately, we are all integral parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna – mamaivamso jiva-
loke, jiva bhuta sanatana. Therefore our activities individually and collectively should be directed
towards serving Him, in order to be holistic and harmonious with Reality.

There are two things there: 1) our activities, and 2) how they are directed, collectively and

Collectively and individually they should be directed to serving the Supreme Lord:

       By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a
       man can attain perfection through performing his own work.

       - Bhagavad-gita 18.46

       'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, is worshiped by the proper
       execution of prescribed duties in the system of varna and asrama.

       - Sri Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya-lila 8.58

While we are all eternal fragmental parts of Krishna, spiritual beings, right now we're having a human
experience – so what is that human experience all about, for you?

       By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect.

       - Bhagavad-gita 18.45

       According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them,
       the four divisions of human society are created by Me.

       - Bhagavad-gita 4.13

Guna and karma are the two terms used in that last verse. Catur varnyam maya srstam / guna karma
vibhagasah. Your organizational role, where you contribute to a wider group of people, is determined
by your qualities and your activities.

What is your unique make up, the one that uniquely qualifies you to step up to a need and fulfill it in a
way that utilizes your talents, gives you the experience of accomplishment, and satisfies your desire
to contribute?

For me, my area of talent and contribution is:

        To provide clarity and direction in situations of confusion and uncertainty.

As you can see, that's what I'm doing now.

You can work towards determining where your area of contribution lies by considering the following

   ●   What do you spend your money on?
   ●   What books do you read?
   ●   Which people do you admire?
   ●   What is it that you admire about them?
   ●   What do you like doing?
   ●   What are you good at?
   ●   What do people know you for – what's your reputation?
   ●   What do people approach you for advice on?

The last one is particularly important. People ask you for advice on something that they consider you
to be an authority on, an area where they acknowledge your natural leadership. When there is a
question of what color to paint Atma Yoga, I ask Prema Yogi. That's an example of an area where he
has talent and can provide leadership by responding to a need in a significant way that puts him out in

I would extend the definition of the essence of leadership in this way: as devotees our mission, the
50% of Srila Prabhupada's work that he mercifully left for us, is to organize the world according to
the scientific understanding of people's qualities and activities and linked with the service of the
Supreme Lord. So therefore, for us the essence of leadership is:

        Understand what you are, and be more that – and help others to do the same.

The purpose of our organizing the mission is to help people to discover their identity and locate
themselves in the service of the Lord. All the engagements that we give to people are designed to do
one of two things:

   1. Help them to discover and understand who they are, both as a servant of the Supreme Lord
      and as an individual with a unique make up and a significant contribution to make.

   2. Facilitate them in making that contribution.

When we focus on maintaining an organizational structure, rather than on helping people to discover
what they are, we miss the point completely. Remember: this is the “Science of Self Realization”, not
the “Science of Insitutionalization”!

We should not be concerned that by focusing on the individual and their needs that somehow the
whole thing will not go on. Krishna has created the world perfectly:

         The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely
         perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly
         equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also
         complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many
         complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

         - Sri Isopanisad, Invocation

Perfect organizational structure is already there, within the people. We just have to connect to it
within ourselves, and help others to connect with it, within themselves.

Recall that earlier I said: The goal of engaging people is not to fill up org charts or rosters. It's not to
power up your hierarchical structure – it's to give them opportunities to develop in Krishna
Consciousness. When you do this, the bigger picture of the organization takes care of itself.

Let me share with an illustration that helps to explain this. You need to have faith that Krishna will
take care of the bigger picture.

While I was serving in Peru I read an article that explained that there was already a surplus of lawyers
in the country and there were no further jobs for lawyers. However, lawyers were graduating from
universities at the rate of 4 per hour.

The reason for this was that universities had encouraged people to study to become lawyers some
years before. At the moment there is a similar situation in New Zealand and Australia, where I am
currently serving. There is a chronic shortage of tradesmen to perform such tasks as building,
plumbing, and gasfitting. In order to fill this skills shortage the government is encouraging
immigration of people with these skills, and is also sponsoring publicity campaigns to encourage
people to study trades.

The irony is that the current skills shortage is the result of the government previously campaigning for
people to neglect trades in favour of tertiary education for professional, knowledge-worker careers,
convinced that this was the future role of Australia in the world economy.

What they have failed to understand is that the perfect social organization already exists, and it is not
necessary to artificially, and speculatively, impose it.

Rather than encouraging people to study something arbitrarily, what they need to do is help people to
understand what they are already are, and further develop that. This will have the effect of
automatically balancing the entire society.

Think about your body for a moment. You know that it is made up of trillions of cells, of hundreds of
thousands of different types. Cells are being regenerated all the time – in fact scientists tell us that the
entire body is regenerated every seven years. Stop to think about that for a moment.

Your body is producing all the right cells that are needed for the harmonious functioning of the body
– automatically.

In exactly the same way, nature produces all the personalities who are needed for the harmonious
functioning of the social body. It's just a question of helping people to understand themselves, not
trying to impose order from above. As we can see, no human being can understand the bigger picture
– all we need to do is understand ourselves, and our relationship with Krishna. This will adjust

People get a sense of themselves in relation to “other”. This means other people, and other forces
which push against them, and that they can push against. In this way they develop a sense of where
their limits are, where their strengths are, what their unique contribution is. By intelligently and
sensitively engaging people in activities specifically for the purpose of self discovery, and
encouraging and supporting them through a reflective process of review and self-analysis, people can
grow in self-awareness through their engagement. These engagements should also be aligned with the
overall mission of the organization.

We shouldn't think that this is inferior to just “doing the necessary”. People will be happier and more
productive when they understand and are able to contribute their strengths to the overall effort. Teams
and organizations made up of these people will be more stable and more productive, leading to
greater long term success.

6. Coming Up
6.1 The Five Imperatives of Leadership

I am currently working on a more detailed book on Leadership, with the working title The Five
Imperatives of Leadership. In that book I discuss what I believe to be the five necessary and sufficient
practices to effectively lead. They are:

   1.   Know Yourself
   2.   Know the Environment
   3.   Build a Team
   4.   Generate Strategy
   5.   Execute

The first thing is to know yourself – who are you, eternally and temporally? What is your relationship
to Reality and what is your mission in this life? What is the unique significant contribution that you
are empowered to offer? I explain further how you can discover this, and how you can create an
organization that can assist its integrants in this journey of self-discovery.

From there you must know the environment. As Srila Prabhupada begins his Srimad Bhagavatam
commentary, his impassioned call to arms for all who have realized their identity as tender hearted
and sincere members of this mission:

         We must know the present need of human society.

         - Srimad Bhagavatam Preface

Environmental factors and your ability to understand them and match them with your own
capabilities, using a fundamental quality of an effective leader: realism, will determine your response
to the situation.

From there, in order to accomplish something significant you will need a team. Building a team
includes developing relationships with others and helping them to identify and situate themselves.
Knowing yourself will allow you to make your contribution to the team. Knowing the identity of the
team will allow you to know the contribution this team has to make.

From there, you generate your strategy based on the understanding of the environment and the
identity of the team. You do generate some strategy before you build your team, as a team of one,
because that's how you get started to build a team. However the ultimate strategy can only be built
once the team has been assembled, because until that has happened you do not know what your
collective capability or contribution are.

From here you execute. There are many considerations in effective execution, including the power of
momentum, and the necessity of adaptation: “the first casualty in any action is the plan”.

These five imperatives then feed back into themselves. Through execution you learn something more
about yourself, you learn more about your environment, you build the team, you generate new

The five imperatives also operate at different levels. What are you leading? Yourself? A family? A

small team? An organization? A para-organization? Are you operating at the self, one-to-one, team,
organizational, or alliance level?

These five different levels are considered, and the application of the five imperatives are discussed.

This book will take some time to finish. It is a work of many years of practice and study.

6.2 The Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching

My Leadership School, the Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching is scheduled to open in

You are already a leader.

When you speak, people listen.

When crisis hits, people look to you to define the situation and the response.

You feel personally accountable for the welfare of your community and the people around you.

You were born at this time and in this place with a purpose - to help to re-establish human
civilization, daivi-varnasrama-dharma, and propagate the yuga-dharma, the sankirtan mission of
Lord Caitanya.

At the Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching we will match your talents with the skills and
abilities that you need to complete your training for your life mission.

In the fire of the Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching the raw metal of your character will
be forged into a powerful instrument in the hands of the disciplic succession.

We will empower you to realize your full potential in your identity as a servant of the Supreme Lord,
Sri Krishna, and your role as a servant of your community.

You will become the change that you wish to see in the world.

At the Sita-pati School of Leadership and Preaching we believe in only one endorsement – results.

There are no grants, there is no money. If you are serious and you have what it takes, you'll make it.

There is always the possibility that this body may be killed before the 2014 date arrives, but have no
doubt: I'll be back.

Your servant,
Sita-pati das


To top