Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Yoga As A Foundation For Positive Leadership  (#545)

Tracy F. H. Chang 1 , Rebecca N. Baelen 2
  1. School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University , New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
  2. Graduate School of Education , University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Leadership styles have proliferated in organizational leadership research. Among them and relevant to positive psychology and positive leadership are transformational, authentic, servant, inclusive, and spiritual leadership. This paper reviews these leadership styles, comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences, as well as identifying the core processes and attributes underlying these leadership styles. We propose that yoga is the root and foundational to positive forms of leadership. Yoga means “union” – the obliteration of individuality and the experience of universality. In another sense, Yoga is a system of methods that allows one to experience the reality of this universality. There are four ways to bring about this experience of union – through the intelligence (Gnana), emotions (Bhakti), external actions (Karma), and internal actions (Kriya). We discuss how these four types of yoga are expressed through positive leadership styles – transformational leadership through intelligence, authentic leadership through emotions, servant leadership through external actions, and inclusive and spiritual leadership through internal actions. We will discuss the implications of this connection for leadership development.