ON A RECENT TRIP TO BANGKOK, my thoughts centered on how to best serve my client. Traveling internationally had become routine. Little did I know that, on this trip, the teacher would become the student, and I would receive some valuable lessons on leadership.
Weary from a full day of flying, and bleary-eyed from a lack of sleep, I checked into my Bangkok hotel, hailed a cab and high-tailed it to the Grand Palace. This was my only opportunity for siteseeing on this trip. I had seen other palaces, like Versailles, a testament of power and wealth. But the Grand Palace, with its temple, gold roofs, and statues of Buddha, served as a reminder that inner peace and outer peace are mirrors to one another. It made one want to sit, observe and take a deep breath.
The lesson: Leaders cannot bring peace and harmony to their team until they cultivate peace and harmony within themselves.
On my cab ride back to the hotel, I wondered how many companies would be better run, how many customers and communities would be better served if leaders mastered themselves before leading others.