Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Recently I came across a book review of "The Radical Leap" - A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership by Steve Farber Hardcover, 192ppPublisher: Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc.Pub. Date: April 2004 . You can purchase it on-line at www.800CEOREAD.COM The book reviewer was Jack Covert.

The Radical Leap by Steve Farber is a book that has been out since April of last year. In this business book fable, Steve plays himself (a leadership coach) and he learns from his new friend Edg about Extreme Leadership. When you think extreme, think skiing or surfing. Part of the experience in extreme sports is taking the risk and wiping out. Steve (or Edg) says the same is the case for leadership. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to learn and get better.

Over the course of a week, Steve learns the four tenets of Extreme Leadership -- Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof: LEAP, get it? He also has to put them into practice when he finds out his friend Janice is about to get fired from her dream job. There is a great cast of characters, an interesting plot, and a wonderful twist at the end.

Here's a favorite quote from the book:

"Relationships in the world of business...are won by paying nearly obsessive attention to the needs, desires, hopes, and aspirations of everyone who touches your business. By knowing not only when to stand firm--there is such this as tough love--but also when to sacrifice some of your own short-term needs in order for us all to be successful in the long run. And by proving through your own actions that you really love your business, your customers, your colleagues, and your employees." Jack recommends we pick it up as our next airplane read and says we won't be disappointed. I'm going to do just that!


" Churning and churning water does not produce butter"


Buddha Speaks Biz

Monday, May 30, 2005


My apologies to those of you who have been loyal in your vigil of this site. You will have noticed that I was not submitting my daily reflections over the past few days.....technical glitches prohibited our daily insertion of inspiration from the Buddha. So to catch up here's a few to inspire us for the day:

"Better than a hundred years lived in ignorance, without contemplation, is one single day of life lived in wisdom and deep contemplation. Better than a hundred years lived in idleness and in weakness is a single day of life lived with courage and powerful striving".

"The fool who does evil to a man who is good, to a man who is pure and free from sin, the evil returns to him like dust thrown against the wind."

"As a solid rock is indifferent to the wind and rain, so the wise are indifferent to criticism and praise".


Buddha Speaks Biz

Monday, May 23, 2005


"Whoever offers sacrifice, or whoever gets others to do so- all these are following a course of merit benefiting many others."


Buddha Speaks Biz

Saturday, May 21, 2005


"In whatever person malice is engendered, in that person love should be made to become, also compassion, also balance".


Buddha Speaks Biz

Friday, May 20, 2005



Is it possible in our present economic environment to create workplaces where social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs of individuals are met? As employers or investors, does our responsibility run deeper than economic equation and a purely competitive relationship? One place to look for guidance in response to these questions, is to the ancient wisdom of the Buddha.

Buddhism is not against free enterprise. It does, however, suggest that there be a much closer and deeper relationship between financial gain and the well-being of society. How business profit contributes to the betterment of the community/society is the issue. Shareholders and business leaders have, in Buddhist thinking, a responsibility to create an ethically-based holistic community within their organization and contribute to creating a better society. This is not an issue of philanthropy, it is an issue of intention.

“The critical difference between our present business model and Buddhism relates to the idea of intention”, says Dr. Lloyd Field, CEO of Performance House Ltd. “If our intentions are motivated by greed, hatred or delusion, the outcome of those intentions and the actions prompted by them will inevitably be human suffering, and this includes our own personal condition. Suffering is the lack of “will” to do good, it is also distress, pain, poverty, illness, etc.”
Free-Enterprise has a limited “code of values/ethics” as part of it’s ethos- what values there are come from the societies legal systems.

I believe that we are entering an era of “Enlightened Capitalism”, where the bottom line is no longer the only reason to be in business. The Noble Eight Fold Path of Buddhism is an appropriate starting point to bring “Buddhism into the Board Room”. Thereby drawing a connection between our economic system, dukkha, and a Path forward that allows people to be their best- compassionate, wise, caring selves.

It consists of the following eight principles:

Right Understanding
Right Thoughts
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

In future columns we will elaborate on these principles and the path to enlightened leadership as well as feature enlightened business leaders. We would like to hear your stories of what you’ve learned on your own personal journey by following these principles. My hope is that you will optimize your peace of mind, health and energy, love and relationships, achieve financial freedom, set worthy goals and ideals, and gain self knowledge and personal fulfillment.

Wishing you the very best in business and in life.....

Buddha Speaks Biz


Leaders learn experientially, not theoretically. So what then, are the experiences “enlightened leaders” need to learn to succeed in business and in life. Enlightened leaders like, Arran Stephens, Stephens symbolizes the very essence of the modern day CEO for the “New Economy”.

Arran Stephens started his entrepreneurial journey on 4th Avenue in Vancouver decades ago as the owner of an organic restaurant. Even in those early days he was known as the “hippie capitalist”. Today he’s the CEO and Founder of North America’s largest producer of organic cereals, Natures Path Foods. (www.naturespath.bc.ca)

He runs his company like his life. “It’s all a journey—and he adheres to a strict code of ethics.” Treat the soil like you would your own children….with tender loving care and they will grow healthy and nurtured. Arran begins his day at 4:00 a.m. with meditation during which time he says he receives inner guidance and wisdom to take on the challenge of running a multi million dollar company that spans the globe.

Since the beginning, his wife and family have not only been at his side but have been valued employees as well. They share a compelling faith in a higher source and purpose and their lives reflect that.

Shareholders who might have thought that by hiring a Buddha into the CEO chair would have been a recipe for disaster , cutting into profits and efficiency of operation are now embracing the new “enlightened leader” in an attempt to distance themselves from Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom and the Martha Stewart syndrome. Creating profits with integrity are replacing profits for greed. Examining a company’s charitable giving record and it’s view on a sustainable environment are just as important to a prospective employee today as to whether or not they get their birthday off, a dental plan, or a lock up rack for their bike.

Ian Wilkinson, CEO of Radical Entertainment (www.radical.ca), says that he wants his employees to be a part of the decision as to which non profit organization they should partner with, notice I said “partner” with…not give to. Wilkinson is not interested in riding the wave of popular sentiment to just give for the sake of giving and to swap a “photo op” for a cheque presentation. Wilkinson favours “adopting” a charitable cause…. with the employees not only giving money but becoming personally involved with the charities mission and the clients they serve. So as you can see enlightened leaders create enlightened companies that in turn create enlightened employees which results in an enlightened community. And as Arran Stephens says…”look after your children and they will grow to be nurtured and healthy”.

So what’s the Biz Buddha saying about doing business in the New Economy and why is the new acronym for CEO; Chief Enlightenment Officer not Chief Embezzlement Officer. The answer lies in “Awakening the Buddha Within”. Those of us who embark on spiritual paths are motivated in different ways: Some of us want to know the unknowable, others want to know themselves, still others want to know everything. Some people want transformation, others want miracles, many want to alleviate suffering, help others and leave the world a better place.

Most of us are seeking love or fulfillment in one way or another. Everyone wants inner peace, acceptance, satisfaction and happiness. We all want genuine remedies for feelings of despair, alienation and hopelessness. Don’t we all want to find spiritual nourishment and healing, renewal and a greater sense of meaning? Contrary to popular belief you don’t Awaken the Buddha Within by attending a weekend retreat at Saltspring Island or by purchasing a set of tapes from an infomercial guru at 2 a.m. Like any successful voyage you need to at least have a road map, compass, and know the truck stops along the way.

Hopefully, as you join me on my own personal journey of discovery and transformation, we will together seek to awaken the buddha within and achieve the same happiness in business and in life that we so richly deserve.

Your contributions and comments are most welcome.


Buddha Speaks Biz


The Buddha taught a down-to-earth wisdom that is still deeply relevant today. Each day, thanks to a collection of quotations, authored by William Wray (Arcturus Publishing), we can begin each morning with a quotation that hopefully will bring about fresh insight to help free us from the deep conditioning of our minds and to point us towards making revolutionary changes in our everyday lives on a personal, social, spiritual, and business level.

Each of the Sayings- many of which are drawn from the very latest translations of the Buddhist suttas- show a great depth of experience and understanding. Reflecting on them on a regular basis will help you and I take significant steps towards enlightenment.

"Those who make channels for water control the water; makers of arrows make the arrows straight; carpenters conrol their timber; and the wise control their own minds"


Buddha Speaks Biz


When we look at the Eight Fold Path in the teachings of Buddha, we can identify ways in which we conduct our life and our business and quickly determine if we are in right action. Morality invloves speech, action and the way we gain our livelihood. Right Speech concerns the truth, holding the words of truth in mind, and speaking from the truth in a way that is true. This doesn't mean that these words remain as a set of ideas which we as individuals have identified with and tried to claim. These are the words of truth discovered in experience and spoken in a way that causes no harm.

Words are all important. Our experience of the world is forged out of the ideas that we carry with us. If we avoid not only lying to others but also lying to ourselves, everything will not only be freed from the distortions we have imposed but will become purified and therefore more translucent and luminous.

Right Action is a direct result of refined ideas. If our words are of the nature of greed, hatred and delusion then must our action be likewise. How different are actions that arise out of their opposites: generosity, compassion and understanding.

Right Action in business is no different than Right Action in life...they are all intertwinded. In my zeal to accomplish those goals in my life that I saw as essential to my success, I would "push the envelope" so to speak. It's called skillful manipulation. How many of you have done the same, by telling people what they want to hear as opposed to what you really believe is the truth. Politics and Sales sometimes are kindred partners in crime.

The Dot-Com bust was a direct result of so many untruths being told that eventually the people being lied to woke up and said....okay no more money unless you can prove to us that you have a history of truth, integrity and honesty. As a result, those companies that have been grown "organically" with a proven track record, survived and the venture capitalists stopped funding the " get rich quick "....ego based (It's all about me and my accumulation of as much wealth as possible in the shortest period of time) start up's with no "soul" and certainly without a code of ethics.

This was Wall Streets "Armagedden" ...a perfect example of how the absence of Right Action is viewed by the Universe ....with a karmic display of disgust, dire personal and financial consequences, and massive retribution. All that was missing was the locusts.

Buddha Speaks Biz