John Murphy-Sage Leadership and Change Management Guru

Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam* Interview series

(Global Leaders who have Enlarged, Excelled and Evolved into Global Personal Brands)

Dr Amit Nagpal-Tell us about your leadership retreats aimed at creativity, innovation, balance and transformation.

John Murphy-I offer a variety of leadership workshops, ranging from 1-5 days. These experiential events teach people how to empower and free themselves from self-sabotaging mental and emotional energetic constraints. They aim to help people transcend fear-based ego thinking, scarcity mentality and victim-consciousness. As a result, participants tap into more of their true potential. Creativity and innovation are sparked when we learn to “let go” and adapt a more playful, spirited energy. Healthy balance is restored when we say goodbye to the emotional and mental baggage weighing us down. The process of enlightenment is enhanced when we learn to let go of fear, stress, anxiety, doubt, and disbelief. The techniques I teach and the exercises we use in our retreats help people reconnect with original Spirit, allowing them to lead with authentic inspiration and power. First, we transform ourselves. Then we lead by example.

Dr Amit-Very few consultants talk about self management. How do your programs help to reinforce more self-management and accountability?

John-Effective, sustainable leadership and self-management are two sides to the same coin. They reinforce one another. My teachings help people understand and embrace this vital connection. To realize any leadership vision, people have to take responsibility and accept accountability. Leaders must make sure that team members are actively involved, interested and aware of the impact they are having. This requires systems-thinking, connecting content with context. All of my programs are built on this important premise.  

Dr Amit-What are the 10 essentials for inspiring others?

John-I offer 10 essentials in my book Leading With Passion, published by Simple Truths. I suggest 8 more in my book Sage Leadership: Awakening the Spirit in Work. I like to think of these as critical ingredients or inputs. Just try to get productive outputs or winning results without having the necessary inputs. It just doesn’t happen. The 10 essentials in Leading with Passion are Purpose, Vision, Heart, Attention, Integrity, Discipline, Generosity, Credibility, Grace, and Spirit. I suggest using them in this way: Start with purpose to make sure you are doing what needs to be done. Add a compelling vision to give people something clear and meaningful to focus on. Mix purpose and vision with heart to bind with determination, courage and conviction. Add a healthy amount of attention to be present and aware of the now. Blend with integrity to build trust and demonstrate authenticity. Bake with discipline to perform at optimal levels and be accountable for results. Cover with generosity so that everyone gets a share. Serve with credibility so that it tastes as sweet as it is. Give thanks with grace for the abundance we have. Enjoy with spirit and feed the soul.   

Dr Amit-Of the 21 principles for thinking lean, share the five most important ones.

John-A principle is a truth, like a seed that when planted and cared for can turn an acorn into a mighty oak. Having said this, I cannot say that one principle is any more important than another. I offer 21 principles in my book Do More with Less and each principle adds important value. Here are five examples. First, be clear on the value you are providing. Know your purpose and value proposition and stay focused on what matters most. Distraction and confusion will not serve your team well. Second, simplify things. Get rid of the clutter, baggage and waste weighing you down. Third, create flow. Do all you can to get people “into the zone,” a timeless, highly productive state of mind and being. Great athletes use this term a lot. Another key principle is to involve, align and empower team members. Capture the energy, spirit and genius of teamwork. It is also important to recognize the value of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. We must nurture and cultivate our journey with food for the heart, mind and soul. Knowledge can be very empowering.

Dr Amit-Tell us something about your understanding of Taoism.

John-I have been a student of the Tao for many years now. The teachings of Lao Tzu are a wonderful compliment to my spiritual experiences and beliefs. The Tao translates into the “Way” or “Great Current.” It essentially means that everything in the universe is in perfect harmony and balance, yin and yang, and we are wise to align ourselves with this great flow of life. Most people go through life with the brakes on, consciously and subconsciously resisting our true essence. We all grow up with a significant amount of “programming” and it is these programs that end up taking over our lives. We are indeed creatures of habit and many of our habits are not very empowering and productive. They are simply forms of denial and resistance. The Tao, which I meditate on every morning, helps us clear these limiting beliefs and experience true, spiritual freedom. It has had a very profound effect on my life.

Dr Amit-Share some of the activities which you do when you teach “A Course in Miracles”

John-ACIM is a deeply profound and contemplative spiritual experience. It is essentially the manifestation of a channeling of Jesus and his teachings. The trouble some people have with ACIM, aside from denying and resisting it, is comprehending it. It clearly challenges many of our limiting beliefs and programs as human beings. I highly recommend that people start the Course with the Workbook rather than the Text. The Workbook includes 365 daily lessons and mantras, one for each day. It is intended to be a one year course of contemplation and reprogramming. It helps us “let go” and “let flow,” which I write about in my book Beyond Doubt: Four Steps to Inner Peace. By letting go of our subconscious denial, resistance and disempowering perception of the world, we learn to see differently and experience heaven on earth. We vibrate at a higher level of energy, attracting like energy into our lives. This is also referred to as the Law of Attraction. I teach ACIM one lesson at a time, allowing for daily contemplation and experience, as the course is intended. The Text then provides deeper understanding and reinforcement, as does the Teachers Manual. ACIM has changed my life in amazing ways.

Dr Amit-What is the most important factor in change management in your view?

John-There are many important factors in leading and sustaining change. As I write in my book Habits Die Hard, some habits do in fact die hard. We form habits and our habits then form us. Our habitual mind, also referred to as our subconscious mind, is over one million times more powerful than our conscious mind, also known as our will power. Therefore, we have to change our habitual thinking, our subconscious programming, if we are going to successfully sustain any meaningful change. This means we have to learn to see things differently, to change our paradigms and perceptions. A shift at this level can indeed change everything. This is the most important factor in change management to me. And it is a fundamental principle in all of my teachings, writings and workshops. I offer people alternative ways to see the world and their relationship to it.  

*The World is one Family

Brief Profile
Recognized as an international expert on leading culture change, John Murphy helps organizations address this issue head on. The author of 13 books on related topics, and a guest on over 400 radio and television stations, Murphy teaches leaders worldwide how to integrate the culture piece (of OE) with the systems, structural, and “tools” components. John Murphy has written an interesting book on this subject, Beyond Doubt: Four Steps to Inner Peace which was selected as "Editors Choice Best Inspirational Book of 2010" by Allbooks Review in Toronto, Canada.


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