The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with Their Feet on the Ground


Who will succeed in the twenty first century?

Today's creative business leaders already know the answer and it's not about cutting overhead downsizing or meeting next quarter's budget.  Corporate leaders of the twenty-first century will be spiritual leaders-- grounded in vision, integrity and intuition--and they will know how to nurture these qualities in others.

Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman have been training top executives for ...

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Who will succeed in the twenty first century?

Today's creative business leaders already know the answer and it's not about cutting overhead downsizing or meeting next quarter's budget.  Corporate leaders of the twenty-first century will be spiritual leaders-- grounded in vision, integrity and intuition--and they will know how to nurture these qualities in others.

Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman have been training top executives for more than twenty-five years.  They have distilled the experience of the hundred wisest businessmen and women they know into nuggets of just-in-time wisdom that take no more than a minute or two to read.  You will discover:

*       The twelve qualities of twenty-first-century leaders

*       How to make breakthrough decisions with intuitive ease

*       The visionary's ability to think twenty years down the line

*       How to spot and correct integrity problems in your organization

*       How to create a mind-set of prosperity in yourself and your company

Drawing on insights and observations from legendary CEOs like Bob Galvin ofMotorola and Ed McCracken of Silicon Graphics, The Corporate Mystic also offers spirited solutions to the day-in, day-out problems of business.  You'll learn what these visionaries with their feet on the ground say about:

*       Giving and receiving honest feedback

*       Ending destructive turf battles

*       High-firing people who drain your energy

*       Handling big wins and big losses

*       Protecting your creative think-time

*       And much much more.

Whether you're a new hire or already division chief The Corporate Mystic is a book to nourish your soul and light your path to professional success.

Hendricks and Ludeman draw on their 25 years of experience in training top executives to prepare this "wise little book" (Publishers Weekly), which offers practical inspiration and case histories and combines spiritual values with bottom-line realities. 240 pp. National print ads. 18,200 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The authors of this wise little book have been consultants to corporations for 25 years. From their experience working with some 800 executives, they deduce that the corporate leaders of the 21st century will be spiritual masters ("corporate mystics"), and that already boardrooms are replete with mystics who are in on the secret that organizations are collective embodiments of spirit. In business for their heart and soul as well as for their wallet, they have beaten back the fear that robs the less hardy of their authenticity. With their ability to focus easily and nondogmatically on the task at hand, these "visionaries with their feet on the ground" are also problem solvers who inspire commitment, speak plainly, listen well, manage projects and create wealth. Wealth begins in the human soul, the authors say as they expound on powers of positive thinking, and at this point the book becomes a how-to manual culminating in four 10-minute exercises for attaining wealth-producing qualities of mysticism. Author tour. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553374940
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"Leadership is going where nobody else has gone."
-- Bob Calvin, former chariman, Motorola

If you will open up to being a source of integrity, vision, and intuition in your organization, you step into leadership regardless of what niche you occupy.  Many people wait to be instructed or reminded to take full ownership of these powers.  The Corporate Mystic knows that real power and real fun comes from being a source.  When you are the source, you take full responsibility for bringing into being the corporate culture you want.  Everyone can be the source, and when they think they are, they are.

If you are willing to let go of your resistance to being a source, you claim a type of spiritual power that others can feel.

Leaders are comfortable with being a source of integrity, vision, and intuition.  They seek to be producers, not consumers of these three rare commodities.  Inspired leaders, though, have something extra.  They are committed to everyone else being a source.  In other words, they are committed to being a source of sources.  This takes them out of the power game.  If you set yourself up as the source of something while disempowering those around you, look out.  It may feel great for a while, but the costs are enormous.  You risk playing Daddy or Mommy to people who are still looking for someone to take care of them.  Boardrooms are not immune from this problem.

Imagine what could happen in your organization if everyone were trained to be a source of integrity.  In a work space in which everyone felt connected to the source of integrity, miracles would happen every day.  All the energy usually wasted on cleaning up integrity breaches could be channeled into creativity.

The same thing is true for vision or intuition.  Imagine the power of an organization where everyone was empowered to be visionary.  In our corporate training workshops we get to see this happen week after week, but it never fails to move us.  A typical situation is that one person in a room of twenty will be the only one operating in the visionary role at the beginning of the workshop.  Usually this is the CEO or highest officer; frequently it is the person who arranged for the training to take place.  After three days of work, though, the picture is very different.  All twenty are now taking responsibility for being the source of vision for the company.  The energy in the room is humming with shared excitement.  Everyone is on the same frequency because everyone is a source.

Source is where the creativity comes from.  It is also where the profits and the fun come from.  People who connect with source get to inspire creativity, profits, and fun.  Everybody else gets to sit on the bench and grouse.  In this part we will explore how to go about becoming the source of integrity, vision, and intuition in your organization.

The surest mark of mystics at work is how they handle integrity lapses. Remember, mystics are not immune to integrity breaches, but they are quicker to fix them than the average person.

Part of the mind-set of the mystic is to greet feedback gracefully.  Mystics take care to appreciate both the message and the messenger.  They thank and often reward the person who says "You've broken an agreement" or "This isn't fair." Most people do not get this kind of direct feedback because the messenger is afraid to give it.  Mystics typically place a higher value on truth than they do on their own comfort.

They are quick to acknowledge lapses they have perpetrated.  They can say things like "I realize that I broke our agreement" and "I was not telling you the truth when I said...." Although they may make far fewer mistakes than the average person, they are quick to say "I made a mistake here" or "Looks like I was dead wrong on that issue." People with low self-esteem cannot admit mistakes or cop to a broken agreement: Being right is all they've got. Corporate Mystics will tell you they made a mistake as quickly as they'll tell you the time of day.

Mystics do not waste time with regret; they put their energy into solutions. Sometimes it's as simple as telling whatever truth wasn't told the first time around.  Other times you must handle the wounded feelings of the person on the other end of the perpetration.  An agreement may need to be renegotiated or an apology issued.  Whatever the action, you won't know until you raise the question: "What needs to be done here to fix this and move one"

Once you have determined that a painful phone call has to be made, it is wise to do it before you do anything else.  Integrity problems fester faster once you know about them but before you've acted on them.  Usually, what is required is a communication or an action, and sometimes both.  If your employee has been stealing from Widow Smith's account, you have to replace the money, fire the employee, and give the widow a full accounting of the story.  Act quickly and leave no loose ends.

The mystic's response can be broken into four steps.

First: Face squarely what happened.

The number one cause of integrity disasters is looking the other way, not facing them straight on in the early stages.  Some of us postpone it for a lifetime.  An example: A man who headed one of America's largest companies was having an affair with a charismatic woman, a vice-president some years his junior.  As the buzz began to spread through the organization, his top aide told him that he needed to face the situation squarely.  The aide later said that his boss literally looked out the window and changed the subject! The cost of not facing it squarely escalated quickly.  Soon, with the board of directors on his back, the boss issued a heated denial, saying that he and the vice-president were "just friends." Nobody believed it, and time showed why. Later, after the axe had fallen, the two were quietly married.

The question remains: Why not just face things squarely and cop to them? The answer is the fear that most of us carry with us from junior high school on: We don't want to get caught and look stupid.  Mystics know a secret that cures them of this fear: By the time we start getting scared of being caught and looking stupid, we've already been caught and we already look stupid.  We have caught ourselves.  Might as well admit it cheerfully and get on with it.

Second: Accept the situation.

Suppose you have cheated on your taxes.  The first step--facing squarely what happened--means that you drop all the denial, excuse making, rationalizing, and avoidance.  You admit it: You cheated.

Accepting goes deeper.  It allows you to have a deep-body experience of reality.  You haven't accepted something until you feel a shift deep in yourself.  This may take time.  It means giving up your final resistance to the truth.  You accept the part of you that is a cheater.  You acknowledge your greed, your irresponsibility, and whatever else motivates your cheating.  You accept your cheating history, assuming it's happened before, and you open up to learning everything you need to know about the role cheating plays in your life.  Accepting is a very comprehensive action.  It may take months, not minutes.  However, the moment you truly accept something, no matter how long it takes, you create an open space from which to create a new way of being.

Most of us are kept from genuine acceptance by two barriers.  First, we often do not want to accept unpleasant or unsavory aspects of ourselves.  But until we have faced and accepted these aspects--"I'm an alcoholic" or "I cheated"--there is no clear space from which to generate change.  Second, many people think that if they accept something they will be stuck with it forever. There is a rich paradox here.  Not accepting something as it is keeps it in place.  Accepting it begins the change process.  We have it upside down.  We need to understand that a full, deep-body acceptance of reality, exactly as it is, provides the springboard for change.

Three: Make a choice.

Now you must choose.  Choosing has enormous power, especially if it comes from a clear space of acceptance.  Failure to choose a new path of action causes as many integrity breaches as not facing or not accepting.  The ordinary person thinks that not choosing keeps lots of options open.  The mystic knows that not choosing keeps us mired in confusion and energy-draining drama.  Perry Barlow faced a difficult choice when he took over as CEO of an Australian land-development firm.  The preceding six months had been tied up in a dispute of whether to proceed with a resort-development project that violated an Aboriginal sacred site.  The previous CEO's reputation had been eroded in the struggle, and Perry had been called in to bail out the company.  He called a news conference his first day on the job and announced that the project would be scrapped.  He became a hero overnight to the environmentalists, one of whom steered him to a piece of land that was beautifully suited to the project.

Four: Take action.

The fourth step sets you free.  It asks you to focus on action:

What do you need to do right now to set the situation right? Suppose you have faced and accepted that you cheated on your income tax.  You have taken the third step, choosing to pay the money you owe.  What is your fourth step? Is it to write the check and mail it? Is to write the IRS and tell them what you've decided?  You don't get back into integrity until you complete the necessary action step.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Heart and Soul at Work
How to Recognize a Corporate Mystic: Twelve Characteristics of Twenty-First Century Leaders
The Mystic as Leader: Becoming the Source
Ch. 1 Integrity: Leadership by Inspiring Authenticity
Ch. 2 Vision: Leadership by Inspiring Clear Intention
Ch. 3 Intuition: Leadership by Calling Forth Full Potential
The Practical Mystic: Spirited Solutions to Everyday Business Problems
Ch. 4 Inspiring Commitment
Ch. 5 Communicating with People
Ch. 6 Managing Projects
Ch. 7 Creating Wealth
The Disciplined Mystic: Four Ten-Minute Practices for Enhancing Integrity, Vision, and Intuition
The Last Word
The Seven Radical Rules for Business Success
About the Authors
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