Strolling easily from one side of the stage to the other, Deepak Chopra addresses the 2,000 members of his audience as if speaking in a face-to-face conversation with each person in the room.
“People who feel self-power are immune to criticism,” he says. “They look at it as useful feedback, negative or passive. They’re willing to take risks because they believe in their vision.”
The planners of the Pershing Insite 2012 business conference had invited him to speak Thursday on the topic of “The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness.” As the author of 18 New York Times best sellers on human empowerment, he is certainly qualified to speak about the topic of leadership. Indeed, Kyle Stock for The Wall Street Journal last year picked Chopra’s book, also titled “The Soul of Leadership,” as one of the nation’s five best business books.
But never mind all that. Deepak Chopra is here to speak to you. And you. And you.
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“A true leader is the soul of a collective consciousness,” he says, and we are all storytellers of our hopes and wishes, heroic strivers of mythological dimensions. “A good story is the story of the hero’s quest, and a good story starts with a dream.”
Martin Luther King had a dream, Chopra reminds us, not an individual dream, but a collective vision. We are, each of us on this planet whirling in space, sharing that vision, and some of us—the leaders—are agents for change and transformation. Chopra won’t get into politics, but it seems obvious to him that President Obama is one such agent of change whose dream is only now beginning to be expressed by the collective consciousness.
Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Facebook, Twitter, the Arab Spring, money, religion, relationships. All create a synchronicity of crisis and opportunity, and out of the chaos emerges the new hive mind of human belief systems and social networks. So, too, do great leaders emerge and shape the reality we perceive.