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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ethical Leadership and Wealth: A Buddhist Perspective

According to Gunawardana (1979:170):"The Buddhist tradition placed great emphasis on the importance of the king as a leader of men. The stability of the social system as well as the proper functioning of the whole universe depend on the conduct of the king".   This essay describes two ideal leadership types, the Cakkavatti and Bodhisattva kings, from the Buddhist literature.  Each of these Buddhist kings will be shown to have unique ethical approaches to the issue of wealth.  Following a general discussion of wealth from the Buddhist perspective, the Cakkavatti and Bodhisattva  leadership types will be argued to capture the process of wealth generation and distribution, respectively, together providing a complete ethical approach to wealth. Thus, a particular leader may enact a particular mix of these two ideal leadership types to formulate a comprehensive ethical approach to wealth.

Material from this essay has been incorporated into The Essence of Leadership: A Cross-Cultural Foundation, which is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.