The selflessness of leaders

March 30, 2020

In a short article published by Harvard Business Review last February, Dalai Lama talks about three styles of leadership – mindful, selfless and compassionate.

They are not mutually exclusive, of course; in fact, one can easily find common features and discuss their complementarity.

But what I’m interested in is the second route – focused on selflessness, and the apparent contradiction between being selfless and the popular view of a leader who is full of themselves. How do we reconcile the two?

And if we don’t, how are we to understand Dalai Lama’s suggestion that best leaders are selfless ones? Discuss this in the context of Buddhist philosophy.