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Treading the Noble Eightfold Path: A Leadership Development Strategy in a VUCA World

Joan Marques (Woodbury University’s School of Business)

Developing Leaders for Real: Proven Approaches That Deliver Impact

ISBN: 978-1-80071-365-9, eISBN: 978-1-80071-364-2

Publication date: 13 May 2022


This chapter invites leaders to tread the Noble Eightfold Path as a constructive and rewarding practice. It discusses two major instructional steps, each including a series of personal reflections and suggested exercises.

Step 1 explains the Four Noble Truths, which confronts us with the many ways we suffer through our challenges. Leader developers are encouraged to clarify the first Three Noble Truths through a process of contemplating, reflecting, meditating and sharing. Step 2 explains the fourth Noble Truth, also known as the Noble Eightfold Path, which offers a pathway to end our suffering. The Eightfold Path consists of eight contemplations we should practise at all times: (1) right view, (2) right intention, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood, (6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness and (8) right concentration. Participants may obtain best insight into step 2 by focussing on the issues they identified in step 1.

Using the Noble Eightfold Path in the development of leaders illustrates the importance of engaging in leadership practices that elevate wellbeing of the self and others, by practising a set of interrelated behaviours, which could be described as a process of connecting the heart with the mind. The strategy discussed in this chapter may appeal to leaders who aspire choosing the high road and aim to keep their conscience as clean as possible, while paving a constructive and sustainable global path towards acceptance, understanding, respect and collective wellbeing.



Marques, J. (2022), "Treading the Noble Eightfold Path: A Leadership Development Strategy in a VUCA World", Gray, H., Gimson, A. and Cunningham, I. (Ed.) Developing Leaders for Real: Proven Approaches That Deliver Impact, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163-173.



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