India’s vast agrarian community is in great need of leadership development at a grassroots level. Contrary to popular theories, rural development is not limited by ignorance and literacy but by a lack of awareness as to their innate capabilities as leaders. When empowered to initiative, with support systems to provide relevant skills and micro lending based guaranteed financial support, miracles can happen. The muse: a local grass roots initiative figuratively dubbed: Barefoot Leadership.
Farmers in rural India do not need and cannot apply the ethos of modern management methods. Their legacy of traditional wisdom integrating faith, tolerance, placing others above self, respect for elders, consideration for the weak and impoverished, placing process above outcome, and people over performance, has ironically emerged as the 2020 paradigm for leadership. Sadly, the oft-myopic urban intelligentsia can only accept such truths when they are uttered from the mouths of over-educated and over-engineered institutional methodologies.
Organic leadership can be an innate human condition limited to outliers. For the majority, leadership traits are cultivated through the rigor of conditioning and training. As executive coaches we nurture leadership development in all walks of life using an approach of Eastern spiritual wisdom integrated with Western psychological organizational interventions.
Coacharya would like to extend this model and develop barefoot leadership across rural communities to create leadership competencies. We hope to accomplish this by use of proven organizational interventions based on mentoring, coaching, facilitation, training, and action learning — based on our own traditional models and wisdom. These include yogic and tantric meditation practices and scriptures from the Upanishads supplemented by the psychological applications of Appreciative Inquiry, Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology and Neuro Linguistic-Programming. The ultimate goal is to elicit awareness of self and a discovery of one’s life purpose, en masse.
The Barefoot Leadership initiative is our humble contribution to India’s rural majority.