A filmmaker named Gotham Chopra was premiering his new documentary called “Decoding Deepak” about following his father, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, around the world for a year. I am personally connected to the Chopras, so I probably would have seen the film regardless, but I didn’t expect it to be quite so good.
Here are some of the leadership and marketing lessons I took away from the film:
1. Be a guide, not a dictator. The thing about a spiritual guru is that sometimes people expect them to live by example. Deepak, however, is not a vegan (or even a vegetarian). He isn’t fanatical about meditation and sometimes doesn’t have all the answers. Yet if people want to live a more extreme version of life, he doesn’t steer them away. His leadership helps guide without prescribing. In a world where plenty of people want to tell you what to think, who to marry and what to believe, his message is that you can believe what you want to believe.