The Genesis of Shakti Leadership
By Nilima Bhat
Almost immediately after My Cancer Is Me (which I co-authored with my husband, Vijay Bhat) was published, I knew there was a second book needed as its book-end. My Cancer Is Me (which I co-authored with my husband, Vijay Bhat) was published, I knew there was a second book needed as its book-end.
As a practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, I had spent 10 years in the synthesis of a holistic and integrative model for health, to help Vijay, myself, and our family heal from Vijay’s cancer experience.
I soon realised that health and growth are two sides of the same coin, and that the same Integral Yoga approach could be used to synthesize a holistic and integrated model for personal growth and conscious leadership.
“Holistic” means developing the whole person (getting to psychological, ecological, and spiritual wholeness) and “Integrated” means drawing from the widest and most effective wisdom & tools from around the world.
The Shakti Leadership model arrived out of the convergence of Integral Yoga principles and the Conscious Capitalism movement, in an effort to create a simple step-by-step approach to “Conscious Leadership,” one of its four key tenets.
What began as a personal synthesis for me, to inform my own journey to awakening, wholeness, and self-leadership over the last 17 years, is offered in support of leaders who may not have that kind of time to put things together. It is the “elixir” I bring back from my own Heroic Journey—the likes of which Joseph Campbell describes.
The model includes the most potent, catalytic elements from leadership frameworks, transformational practices, and teachings from around the world. Raj Sisodia and I are aware that we stand on the shoulders of giants and the good work of many authors, clinicians, researchers, scholars, facilitators, healers, leaders, and teachers. While we have looked to credit all sources in the End Notes, we wish to especially acknowledge some key bodies of work, final “pieces-of-the-puzzle” that inspired and enabled this synthesis.
- Joseph Campbell and Maureen Murdock’s work around Myth and the Hero / Heroine’s Journey
- The work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung that refers to Archetypal & Depth Psychology, particularly the “Four-fold Self” model as developed by Brian Skea
- Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, and their Shakti teachings
- The “Deep Dive Model” of Conscious Leadership developed by some of India’s leading facilitators, (part of a consciousness collaborative called “Chittasangha”)
- Paths to Presence, based on the “Enneagram” work of Riso-Hudson
- The “Drama Triangle” by Stephen Karpman and its conscious application developed by the Hendricks Institute
- Polarity Mapping by Barry Johnson and the principles of Tao, the primal Yin-Yang/Feminine-Masculine polarities to leverage
- The Conscious Capitalism model as developed by Raj Sisodia and John Mackey
My contribution is a few last insights and builds that have brought together a self-leadership model that can truly allow for gender reconciliation, leverage diversity and inclusion, and evolve the work-place as well as life-space. We hope you, too, will be able to apply the model in your own way, with a simplicity-on-the-other-side-of-complexity.
Finally, in our effort to offer a complete model, we have served as horizontal “beams” covering many vertical “columns” of specialisation and have been able to include only the essence of each body of work included in this synthesis. Some are taken into a level of detail, while others have simply provided inspiration and principles for us to derive from or adapt. We urge you to go directly to the source of any specific body of work or reference that may call you. We particularly recommend the following books:
- Hero With a Thousand Faces, Goddesses: Joseph Campbell
- The Heroine’s Journey: Maureen Murdock
- Women Who Run With The Wolves: Clarissa Pinkola – Estes
- The Shadow King: Sidra Stone
- Invisible Partners: John Sanford
- Terror, Violence and the Impulse to Destroy: John Beebe
- Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg
- How Remarkable Women Lead: Joanna Barsh & Susie Cranston
- The End of Men and the Rise of Women: Hannah Rosin
- The Myth of Male Power: Warren Farrell
- Awakening Shakti: Sally Kempton
- Prime Time Women: Marti Barletta
- The Athena Doctrine: John Gerzema & Michael D’Antonio
- Conscious Capitalism: John Mackey & Raj Sisodia
- Leaders Eat Last: Simon Sinek
- Synchronicity: Joseph Jaworski
- Polarity Management: Barry Johnson