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Dean Dipak Jain and Dr. Deepak Chopra speak with Kellogg students during a previous visit to the Kellogg School.

New Leadership Model Focuses on Self Awareness

Kellogg School of Management, Dr. Deepak Chopra Join Forces to Train Executives in Innovative Approach


8/20/2002 - The Soul of Leadership has been postponed until May 28-30, 2003.

(Evanston, Ill.)  – Effective business leaders are those that first understand basic human needs and how those needs impact every situation and its outcome, according to world-renowned author and lecturer Dr. Deepak Chopra, who together with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University will introduce an innovative model for leadership that centers around this concept.

The Soul of Leadership is being offered as part of the Kellogg School’s executive education program. The session complements current executive leadership training programs offered at Kellogg.

“Business schools must broaden the scope of understanding about leadership,” said Kellogg Dean Dipak C. Jain. “That means going beyond our own discipline, to find new ways to address leadership training. This program draws from the business, medicine, science and physics disciplines to explore the multiple parts of leadership.”

Chopra, who served as a major force in introducing and integrating alternative medicine into the U.S. health-care system, hopes this new leadership model will spark a similar movement in the business community. “American corporations are being called as never before to get themselves out of crisis and show new leadership,” said Chopra. “What is needed is a new era of awareness in this generation of CEOs.”

The model centers on teaching executives to develop a greater self-awareness so that they better understand how their perceptions affect the outcome of business situations. Such perceptions come from the “inner life” of leaders and the groups they lead, and can include troubled spousal relationships, financial strains or other personal challenges.

“We have artificially divided the inner life from people’s [professional] performance,” said Chopra. “This program will show the correlations between one’s inner life and their environment, and then will explore solutions to influence positive outcomes.”

Leaders will explore the unconscious forces – such as personal energy and agendas – that influence others. When they develop a deeper sense of how human beings behave, leaders are better equipped to then identify creative solutions to any situation, no matter how threatening, says Chopra, explaining that leaders and followers co-create one another depending on the need of the moment.

For example, the basic needs of leaders and their followers during a situation such as the September 11 terrorists attacks are very different from the needs of individuals and groups during corporate scandals – such as Enron – or a stock market fall-out. Understanding how to negotiate these varied and emotionally charged scenarios is key to effective leadership.

To illustrate the power of this new model, Chopra will incorporate data from corporate case studies demonstrating that this approach works. Exercises that explore the integration of body, mind, spirit and the environment will help participants understand how to match responses to needs. Chopra points to an example of contract negotiations and pending threats of a union strike. In such situations, all parties involved have a choice – they can react, run away from the conflict or fight it. Or, he contends, they can develop a deeper understanding of human needs and use that knowledge to minimize hostilities and create a relationship that leads to non-violent communication so that all parties benefit.

Chopra refers to this dynamic as the feedback loop: Perception, participation and potential. Program attendees will explore this concept to learn how individual needs influence the perception of situations, thus determining at what level people will participate. This ultimately impacts the potential for all involved.

Chopra has worked with senior executives and corporations around the world, and has lectured at renowned educational institutions such as Kellogg, Harvard Business, Medical and Divinity schools, Columbia University and University of California-Los Angeles.

The Soul of Leadership is the first in what is expected to be a twice-annual executive education program, and is one in a series of leadership initiatives under the direction of Kellogg School Dean Dipak C. Jain.

For more information or to register for the program, visit the executive education page.