Posted by: ginalazenby | May 2, 2013

How to flourish under feminine leadership

I have had a very enjoyable morning watching the interview I did with Gopi Patel. The conversation was so rich – I watched it twice and felt very inspired. It’s hard to edit it down to a short segment as there are so many useful nuggets! (Link to video)

Dadi Janki the 97 year old head of the Brahma Kumaris

From our conversation I pulled out a piece where we talked about our initiative last summer where we organised events that sought to bring soul awareness to feminine leadership through Dadi Janki’s wisdom. I continually marvel at how Dadi is such a wonderful role model for women because she is so active and runs such a huge operation and yet her demeanour is one of great calmness and peace.

We joked that Dadi says she doesn’t “run” the organisation “God runs it”. Gopi points out that Dadi “runs the spirit of the organisation very well.” An interesting distinction. What I am fascinated about with the Brahma Kumaris (BKs) is their ability to produce so many global and local programmes by galvanising a massive network of volunteer effort.

Gopi sheds some light on how this is done.

It is a very different approach to the way most of us know how organisations are run so it is insightful to hear her reveal their way of doing it on the video.

Gopi said “so much of the organisation’s growth has been led by the individual growth” of the people, and that the organisation has flourished in an organic way where people are not ‘followers’ but are initiators. Most of us are products of a culture and education system where we expect to be told what to do … here the BKs rely on the individual’s personal sense of direction.

Leadership by women embedded in the constitution

The person needs to clear the obstacles that reside within themselves so that, as Gopi says “my path becomes clear for me, so I am able to express and communicate what I see to enable something new to happen”. When you give people this level of self responsibility you create a very different culture and as Gopi explains, the BK constitution set out right from the start in 1936 that the leadership would be by women. What an amazing vision the founder had. Watch the video of the conversation with Gopi.


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