Updating ancient wisdom for leadership capital

March 12, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Sometimes good managing is a matter of making the best use of the capital at your immediate disposal.

In his book “Two Birds in a Tree” Ram Nidumolu utilizes the Upanishads, ancient wisdom texts from India, to find guidelines for leadership. He emphasizes the concept of Being, a fundamental reality that is beyond and prior to all attributes and limiting definitions. The concepts sound exotic, but they employ basic concepts of being able to look past one’s immediate desires and think about the long term as well as about the greater good.

A being-centered leader, Nidumolu asserts, needs to have and to recognize four kinds of capital in the workplace. They are:

  • Material capital, which describes the material wealth produced by the business and includes the stock of material gods and services as well as physical capital and infrastructure used for production;
  • Human and social capital, which is the value of human resources and social interactions describing the humanistic wealth of the business;
  • Natural capital, which is the stock of available natural ecosystems and biodiversity for providing valuable natural goods and services; and,
  • Being capital, which describes the extent of business integrity, trust and other foundational values within business.