The Yoga of Max’s Discontent, a novel by corporate marketing wizard Karan Bajaj, could just as easily refer to the yoga of management discontent. The main character, Max, is a corporate banker who heads to the Himalayas to become a yogi. Enroute he dismantles his beliefs and gains honest humility forged by physical and spiritual duress. It is a wonderful read.
I spoke with Karan Bajaj on the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast where we talked about:
- The parallels between Max (the lead character), a corporate banker who travels to India to become a yogi, and the executives’ journey in today’s disruptive world.
- How Karan’s spiritual practices of yoga, meditation and sabbaticals benefit his career and contribution to the companies he works for.
- Why working for four years, taking one year off, then working another four years helps your career and benefits the companies you work for. (The benefits of disrupting yourself!)
- The role of mindfulness and spiritual practices in enabling a response to disruption rather than a persistent cycle of reaction.
The Management Reaction Trap!
With the pressure on to do-do-do, as if that will slow down change, managers get caught in a cyclical trap adding to their own stress. To work with the ambiguity of the business decision making environment, Karan Bajaj offers his own experience as a yoga teacher, meditator and mindfulness practitioner in the podcast we did. Using these practices allows executive management to choose a more thoughtful response rather than staying in the reactive mode 24/7.
Staying in the present and noticing emotions, then working with them helped avoid a meltdown of the reactor you didn’t hear about during the tsunami in Japan. Spiritual practices have their place in the world today not only to improve the accuracy of decision making but also to reduce personal and organizational stress. Unless spirit is activated in the workplace, there is no fuel for phenomenal performance.
What do you do each day to stay calm, connected to yourself, and to maintain presence with your response to outside events?