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Book: Leading with Wisdom

By Peter Pruzan and Kirsten Pruzan Mikkelsen,
together with Debra and William Miller


With permission from the publisher, bi-monthly we post an excerpt from the book
with 2 leader profiles:
> Click here to download the bi-monthly excerpt


Leading with Wisdom: Spiritual-Based Leadership in Business portrays an emerging global culture. This ground-breaking book offers the experiences and perspectives of 31 top executives from 15 countries in 6 continents. It is based on extensive personal interviews. These are business people who express from first-hand experience what it is like to lead a business from a spiritual basis. They tell down-to-earth, real-life stories about how spirituality and rationality can go hand in hand in leadership and life.

Their words of wisdom demonstrate that executives who lead from a spiritual basis can achieve success, recognition, peace of mind and happiness, while at the same time serving the needs of all those affected by their leadership.

Written in an engaging style, where the special ‘voice’ of each leader is heard, this book will be profoundly valuable to business leaders at every level and for all people who want to lead with integrity from a spiritual basis.

Published in South Asia by Response Books, a division of Sage Publishing (www.sagepub.in)
and other parts of the world
by Greenleaf Publishing


"This book cuts right to the chase in speaking about spiritual-based leadership in a business setting. With high ranking corporate officials from the likes of such multi-national companies as Motorola, Franklin Covey, Infosys and Ernst & Young - the book takes a chainsaw to the myth that a stringent corporate culture devoid of human values is the best path to success. It tears at the fabric of the stereotypical consciousness that business is just business - by allowing these corporate executives to share their experiences which exalt characteristics such as compassion, humility, service, and intuition in daily business."
The WorkLife Monitor
Read the full review and listen to a podcast of an interview with co-author Peter Pruzan

Leading with Wisdom is an absolutely sensational book. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t wait to share it with the leaders I meet.
Patricia Aburdene (USA): author of Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism and, together with John Naisbitt, of Megatrends 2000: Re-inventing the Corporation

I found the profiles in Leading with Wisdom to be absolutely fascinating. I could feel the identities of the leaders and their business challenges, even as I appreciated the variety of their spiritual orientations and religious traditions. What I particularly like is the book’s realistic premise that ‘it is enough to realize that these executives have achieved their leadership position while being spiritual’. This is a book for those of us who are naturally sceptical to read, ponder and possibly allow ourselves to be changed by.
Sandra J. Sucher (USA): Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School; author of The Moral Leader: Challenges, Tools and Insights and Teaching ‘The Moral Leader’

Leading with Wisdom is a milestone in moving conventional thinking forward to a time when we will look back at the present and wonder how people could have led from anyplace other than a spiritual centre. This artificial vacuum — this ‘hole in the leader’s soul’ — has been a root cause of much pain, stress and damage done in the name of free-market capitalism. This book can help leaders become whole—to be fully alive, vital and engaged in what they do.
John Renesch (USA): Businessman-turned-Futurist; former Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of New Leaders Press; author of Getting to the Better Future

Leading with Wisdom is a fascinating attempt to capture the essence of the timeless in the tapestry of our times. The authors bring together very credible voices in corporate story-telling. The book will take the reader on a voyage of self-discovery. It may just as well provide a fundamental shift in the way we look at the very purpose of business. It is a trend-setter and a refreshing contrast to conventional success literature.
Dr Debashis Chatterjee (India): Professor and Head, Leadership Centre, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

Compassion, humility, love, and at times even responsibility, are rare attributes in today’s corporate world. Leading with Wisdom shows how these attributes can lead individuals and organizations to excel. Reading it is a deeply enjoyable and enlightening journey into the potential of spiritual-based leadership. I warmly recommend it!
Elena Bonfiglioli (Belgium): Director, Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Chair of the Business Group, European Academy of Business in Society


Leading with Wisdom is a rare gem: a truthful, reflective, inspirational text from the front lines of business management. It is a radical interpretation of business as a mission, as a purposeful pursuit that goes to the heart of our existential quest, fulfilling humankind’s ultimate reasons for being. If only this book will pave the way for such interpretation, it will have achieved a tremendously important objective.
Marcello Palazzi (Netherlands): Founder-President, Progressio Foundation; Co-founder, Spirit in Business (EU and USA)

This book is full of eloquent stories. It profiles people who are breaking new ground and leading the way towards a more humane role for business in the world. This is a book that will appeal to your mind, your heart and your soul. It will give you the courage to live and lead and love from a more integrated place.
Dr Judi Neal (USA): President and CEO, Association for Spirit at Work; President, Judi Neal & Associates; author of Edgewalkers

A marvellous challenge to conventional thinking about leadership and the purpose of business in society as well as support for leaders at all levels seeking authenticity in expressing their spirituality in day-to-day decisions and actions. My one wish is that the inspiration of this journey in spiritual-based leadership will reach tomorrow’s leaders, many of whom are sincerely seeking this reassurance that spirituality and leadership are mutually reinforcing.
George Starcher (France): President, European Baha’i Business Forum; former Director, McKinsey & Co. (Paris and Milan)

This inspiring book is an authentic account of spirituality in business. The Pruzans engagingly demonstrate that spirituality need not be separated from business practice. The documented examples of extraordinary business leaders show that spirituality can survive and flourish, even in large-scale business organizations.
Dr László Zsolnai (Hungary): Professor and Director, Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University of Budapest; Co-founder, European SPES Forum (Spirituality in Economics and Social Life)

Leading with Wisdom provides a wealth of intimate insights into the critical importance of our inner compasses in guiding our very purpose for providing leadership to others. Without this well-developed sensibility, no number of policies, rules or systems will provide the much-needed accountability of our leaders for their actions and impacts.
Dr Simon Zadek (UK): CEO, AccountAbility; Senior Fellow, Center for Government and Business, J.F. Kennedy School, Harvard University; author of the award-winning book, The Civil Corporation

This is an odd and dangerous book — and utterly delightful. Odd, because the authors, who obviously know their game, try to obfuscate things with their attempt to fit subjective ruminations of 31 astonishingly likeable business leaders into an objective scheme. Dangerous, because this book will change your mind; you’ll find yourself re-weighing many pieces of your life. Delightful, in every sense of the word: brilliant, light and nimble, and shining with love. It’s a great leadership book!
Dr Jack Hawley (USA): bestselling author of Reawakening the Spirit in Work: The Power of Dharmic Management and The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners

Leading with Wisdom shows us that it is possible to be a human being in the business world, and not be reduced to being simply a ‘human doing’. It invites us to ask ourselves what kind of wisdom is needed to lead today’s organizations, and how we can access this wisdom.
Dr Josep M. Lozano (Spain): Professor, ESADE Business School, Barcelona; Director, Institute for the Individual, Corporations and Society

Leading with Wisdom touched my heart as a leader. But not only did it deeply appeal to my feelings; it also heightened my conscious awareness of the roles of wisdom and love in the art of leadership.
Maria Helena Gomes (Brazil ): Vice President for Latin America, AyurVida S.A.; former President, Olsten do Brazil Ltda

This book highlights the role of businesses in service to society. I truly enjoyed reading this in-depth analysis, brought to life with real-life examples.
Dr Ajay S. Mookerjee (India/USA): President, Harvard Business School, India Research Centre; Country Head, KPMG Business Advisory Services; former Managing Director for Asia, Capital One

So far no one has been able to break into the intellectual fortress: how leaders understand and relate concepts like spirituality, leadership and wisdom, and how they integrate and apply them in their daily life. But Leading with Wisdom pierces a big hole in its walls. A hole through which the reflective reader will be able to glimpse what one day will be the standard way to conceive of the purpose of business in society, and of what business leaders need to do to integrate the inner truths they pursue with the external responsibilities they face.
Dr Maurizio Zollo (France/Italy): Professor, INSEAD, France; from September 2007 Professor, Bocconi University, Italy and Director, Bocconi International Center for Advanced Management Studies

Leading with Wisdom shows that one can achieve leadership positions while being spiritual but is not tempted to claim that people will be more successful in business if they are spiritual. At no point are the authors trying to ‘sell’ spirituality or to ‘translate it into a set of tools’. Spirituality, as experienced by the leaders in this book, is their personal journey which is a source of inner strength and humility.
Dr Marjo Lips-Wiersma (New Zealand): Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury; past Chair of Management, Spirituality and Religion Interest Group, American Academy of Management


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This website was last updated  29 December 2018