Leading with wisdom and Buddhist practice

P.T. van den Berg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Buddhist practice can be argued for contributing to the development of leading with wisdom. Wise leadership is a complex concept and therefore difficult to train directly. However, by distinguishing the constituent elements of leading with wisdom, it can be easier to manage. The model presented consists of the three dimensions of charismatic, moral and strategic leadership. By encouraging these leadership dimensions prospective Buddhist leaders may lead with more wisdom.
The latent trait of charisma can be further developed by studying the Dharma, which may lead to more conviction, and by speaking eloquently about it. A problem for a Buddhist charismatic leader can be the accompanying modesty that makes the leadership less visible. Although other Buddhists will see and praise the valueof this modest behavior, many other people will regard it as a weakness. Buddhist leaders must be aware of this and remain authentic.
Moral leadership can be developed by discussing moral issues with teachers and fellow-Buddhists. In addition to the application of moral rules, the value of real compassion with victims of unjust behavior should be emphasized. This does not mean that you only feel sorry for others, but that you appeal to their own strength.
Strategic leadership can be stimulated by learning to face reality and view the situation without being bothered by illusions. This requires not only full awareness of the outside world, but also of the inner world. A Buddhist should open the eyes for own karma and try to overcome it or at least not get caught up in it.
By combining scientific research into leadership and Buddhist philosophy, some advise is given that can be integrated in existing training programs for Buddhist leaders.
Keywords: charisma, morality, strategy, Buddhism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuddhist approach to global leadership and shared responsibilities for sustainable societies
EditorsT.N. Tu, T.D. Thien
PublisherReligion Publishing House
ISBN (Print)978-604-61-6256-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • charisma
  • morality
  • strategy
  • Buddhism


Dive into the research topics of 'Leading with wisdom and Buddhist practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this