A facilitator of personal and collective transformation, Nilima Bhat facilitates leaders in achieving self-mastery in the areas of business and leadership. Her book, Shakti Leadership: Embracing Feminine and Masculine Power in Business
(co-written by Raj Sisodia
, co-author of Conscious Capitalism
), shows leaders how to lead from a place of service by guiding them through experiences that identify their higher purpose and create cultures of meaning. By harnessing “Shakti” or a deeper feminine “force” of energy, a new type of entrepreneurial culture can be born – one that models humility and compassion, recognizes the value in different kinds of minds, and believes in the wholeness of all things.
“’Business as usual” runs on ego-based power,” Bhat writes
. “Conscious Capitalism runs on Shakti-based power. Shakti is power that comes from an infinite source within you that you can tap into at all times. … Unlike the ego, which can be broken down, no one can take Shakti-based power away from you. … [I]n the yogic tradition Shakti is not an impersonal, inanimate force; it is intelligent and conscious. You can enter into relationship with it. Once you do, it serves you, moves you, and fuels you.”
Bhat leverages her 27 years of corporate experience, conscious leadership and integral health practices to liberate the superhuman, entrepreneurial drive innate to men and women of every culture. The dominant leadership model is essentially masculine and therefore incomplete. She proves that by elevating the qualities and abilities traditionally considered feminine, all will experience personal and collective transformation resulting in creativity, sustainability and success.
“Critically, Shakti brings in the feminine dimension, which is lacking in the world and has been for a long time—if not for all time. Shakti is understood as creative and generative, and is therefore represented as feminine. Men as well as women can tap into it. In the yogic tradition, the human journey is one that seeks to end the duality between masculine and feminine, or Shiva and Shakti. It’s not about ‘separate but equal,’ but about evolving into an integrated and synergistic combination of both.”
Based in Mumbai India, Bhat has used her expertise to help build long-lasting institutions and change-agents, especially women, who can lead India and the planet to sustainable solutions and positive impact. She is an active member of the Conscious Capitalism movement and recently served as core faculty for the Academy of Conscious Leadership for Whole Foods Market. Her assignment included consulting on the design and delivery of curriculum and training for over 1200 of their top leaders. In addition, she has served as guest faculty at Bentley University and Babson College in Boston as well as the Esalen Institute in Big Sur.
A passionate advocate for women in leadership, Bhat is a regular key-note speaker and facilitator at the global WINConferences held in Rome, Tokyo, Prague and Berlin. Her areas of focus are gender-diversity & cross-culture sensitization, stress management, self-awareness for work-life balance as well as Indian wisdom and wellness traditions. Bhat’s holistic approach combines the best practices and paths from around the world and are tailored to meet the needs of her audience. Her particular expertise is in developing BQ & SQ (Body Intelligence & Spiritual Intelligence).
Previously, Bhat spent 10 successful years in Singapore, London and Hong Kong heading Corporate Communications and PR for major corporations. She returned to India in 2004 with her husband to set up a leadership coaching, training & consulting firm, Roots & Wings. Her extensive client base includes blue-chip companies as well as academic institutions and developmental organizations and professional networks such as the YPO, Indus International School, SKS Microfinance and Masoom.
Bhat graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in Life Sciences and Biochemistry, winning the ‘Best Student’ award twice for academic as well as extra-curricular excellence. She has a PG Diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.
A qualified yoga teacher from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bhat is also a teacher-practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. With her husband, she co-authored My Cancer Is Me
, outlining the integrative medicine-based ‘Sampurnah Cancer Program’ developed by her. She is a trained dancer and choreographer, and co-founded a professional dance company whose mission is to de-mystify Indian dance and spiritual sciences for international audiences. Nilima is now focused on building a global network of Shakti-based leaders and entrepreneurs who collaborate to create peace and beauty through fair exchange.
As she has written: “Becoming a conscious leader requires a transformational journey. You do not become a conscious leader just by getting behavioral skill training in ‘what leaders do.’ Deeper, foundational shifts are required to connect you to new and true bases of consciousness and power. The person you are is the leader you are; therefore, you have to make the journey inward to transform yourself.”
Five Questions with Nilima Bhat
What Makes You Come Alive?
Being a facilitator of personal transformation, starting with my own. I come alive at the idea of being here to help build the New Earth. By gathering and building a global network of Shakti-based leaders who hold up and hold steady the foundations of Peace even as they create Beauty with courage and collaborate with Grace and Joy wherever they serve. Dancing, teaching, learning, meditating, on the yoga-mat...I come alive when I can connect with the sacred in all things and connect it with the secular.In a nutshell, being an integral yoga practitioner and teacher. :-)
Pivotal turning point in your life?
An existential crisis or sense of failure after a very successful 10 years in the corporate world. That made me question my life's purpose. It led to my search for meaning and I took up the study of yoga. Shortly after, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer at 40 and this led to a profound turning towards wisdom and wellness traditions from around the world. Eventually to creating an integrative cancer program 'Sampurnah' and my first coauthored book, 'My Cancer Is Me'. And three years later, 'Shakti Leadership' is the latest pivotal turning point as the elixir I bring back from my 'heroine's journey' of coming-into-my-own as a woman and as a leader.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
Raj Sisodia agreeing to coauthor my book, and bringing his formidable networks, scholarship and resources to support the success of the book and getting the message out as widely as possible. AND insisting on being the second author, holding me to the role of lead author. Raj's kindness and generosity has been indispensable to the transformational impact this work is now having.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
With God's Grace, there is none. I have traveled the world and fulfilled all desires. The aspiration now is to make my life as useful as I can. To serve in whatever way, the Higher Will. Nipun Mehta says it best: "Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."
One-line Message for the World?
Let's rise in love, together