Two Birds in a Tree
Timeless Indian Wisdom for Business Leaders
By Ram Nidumolu & Chip Conley
Narrated by Jim Manchester / 6 hours 31 minutes
Looking back to the ancient knowledge of the Indian scripture, the Upanishads, Ram Nidumolu finds the core philosophy of sustainable leadership that's needed today. In this remarkable book, he uses a powerful parable from these scriptures to create a business vision that our world desperately needs. "There are two birds, two sweet friends, who dwell in the selfsame tree," says the Upanishads. The first bird, dwelling on the lower part of the tree, lives "in sorrow and anxiety." Unable to see beyond the branches, it hops around compulsively indulging its appetites, eating every fruit, sweet and sour. The other bird, higher up, can see the whole tree and the wider world-this perspective puts it in touch with its innate sense of being, the quality of existence that it shares in common with all other living beings and the natural world. Content, it "looks on in compassionate silence" at the other bird. Ram Nidumolu's beautiful book on business leadership uses this allegory to highlight why many businesses are distrusted by the public and contribute to social ills like environmental destruction, wealth inequality, and climate change: they mimic the bird on the lower branch. But can business, compassion, and stewardship really coexist? Ram's surprising insight is to hearken back to ancient wisdom traditions to reclaim their lessons for acting in accordance with our connection to Being.Two Birds in a Tree uses evocative parables and stories from the Upanishads to introduce Being-centered leadership. Being-centered leaders are guided by an innate sense of interconnection-the good of the whole becomes an integral part of their decisions and actions. Using the experiences of over twenty trailblazing CEOs, as well as those from his own life, Nidumolu describes a four-stage road map every aspiring leader can use to reconnect business to the wider world-to the benefit of all. It is time, he writes, to "look up from our rickety perch on the lower branch of a storm-tossed tree and begin the journey to the higher branch."
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