True Leadership: A Journey of
Self-Discovery and Service
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
What does it mean to be a true leader, and what does it take to be one? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj explores the core aspects of moral leadership, clarifying that true leadership is not about acting a certain way; it is a reflection of who we are within.
What does it take to be a leader? To be a leader requires knowing what to do, and why to do it. Enthusiasm, motivation, skill, and knowing how to do things right is not enough. We have to know whether it is the right thing to do. For that, moral leadership is required.
In my view, moral leadership has two central aspects: understanding our true self and serving others.
True leaders need knowledge of the self that gives access to an inner moral compass that guides our activities and gives direction for those who follow us. How can we achieve this? A clear and simple directive has come to us through the ages: “Know Thyself.”
True leaders enter within their own hearts and souls, engage in self-analysis, and connect with the spiritual force within themselves. They become connected to the limitless spiritual power within.
A reflection of spiritual growth
Many of us focus on the routines of life, such as waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, driving to work or class, working to earn a living, coming home, and repeating the cycle the following day.
Some among us wonder if that is all there is to human existence. Those who raise this question cannot rest until they find answers. They conclude that there is a higher power within that guides us. That inner spiritual power is the source of morals, virtues, power, and life.
It does not matter what name we call it—whether God, consciousness, soul—that power is within, enlivening each of us. Once we contact the eternal spiritual power, we connect with the source of the qualities of true leaders. We automatically and effortlessly inculcate the virtues and characteristics associated with great leaders.
True leadership is not acting a certain way; it is a reflection of who we are within.
Serving others and spiritual awareness
The second aspect of leadership is service. Great moral leaders of history have said that service before self was the key to a full and rewarding life. A leader must be a servant first.
The role of the leader and servant cannot be separated. It is by serving others that we earn the right to lead them. We may act as leaders, but we must be servants to lead meaningfully.
How is this possible? Those who are spiritually aware see the same power enlivening all creation. They see the oneness of God’s creation. A life of service is based on deep spiritual and moral principles that are understood and internalized when we contact the Truth within.
Intellectually understanding service does not provide the conviction we need when we are tested, as we will most certainly be, by people and circumstances.
Tapping into our source through meditation
So, how can we contact the spiritual power that connects us with the source of true leadership? How can we embody a moral leadership that is natural and lasting and will inspire others? It is by tapping into the source of spiritual power within. We call this process prayer with attention, moral concentration, or meditation.
Becoming a true leader is about becoming a true human being. It is about having the courage to confront the meaning of existence. It is about having the courage to live in a manner that offers meaning to others.
Leadership is a product of deep, ongoing self-analysis. It is about choosing a life committed to spiritual growth and service. If we tap into the spiritual resources within, we will become leaders whose lives will inspire others to follow and who will be a blessing to those we meet.
Such leadership transcends organizational leadership. It transcends moral leadership. It is life leadership.
We need dedication and perseverance to achieve anything. For those who turn toward the spiritual path, moral leadership will come without fail.
We do not need to act or pose. Our moral leadership and spiritual strength will flow from our words and actions and will reach the hearts of others as naturally and inevitably as a stream flows towards its source.