Ambika Devi On Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Uncertain & Turbulent…

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Ambika Devi On Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Uncertain & Turbulent Times

Trust your intuition and do not be afraid to stand up for yourself. Call a stinky situation just that but do it in such a way that you are not flinging dirty laundry. This is the only way to get the offenders to recognize that you see them and in turn is the way to let them know that you function with truth and integrity.

As part of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ambika Devi.

On a peace-building mission to help people, Ambika realizes your true nature so that you can step out of the churning river of thoughts and activity of the mind, stop wearing insane schedules like badges of honor, and begin their days reinforced with the calmness a meditation practice brings.

With 45 years of experience, 13,000 plus hours of study and having taught over 19,000 people the art of meditation, Ambika will place you precisely on your path using tools from her multiple degrees in fields of study including a Masters in Yoga and Meditation, and bachelor’s degrees in Astrology, and Fine Arts and as an international best-selling and award-winning author and speaker.

Ambika Devi (PhD(c) MA BA, BFA, a.k.a: Yogini Yoda is an extraordinary teacher, guide and coach. She has been called a walking reference library of information with credentials. As an expert in overcoming anxiety, restoring sleep, repairing communication, teaching clear decision-making, sparking intuition, and enlivening your imagination, she will guide you to stabilize your relationships, improve your health, create harmony in your environment that helps you to create the extraordinary life you came here to live!

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I got my first job when I was 14 as an usher at the Bucks County Playhouse in Pennsylvania. As a part of this teen driven team, I helped renovate the lobby and get the theater ready for a new season. It had been closed for several years as a result of a flood. My father took on the position of president and got me the job. My manager was eccentric and flamboyant. I marveled at his outside the box ideas and never doubted any of mine after.

At the same time I started my own business teaching horseback riding on my family’s farm. This gave me a lot of confidence. I got my first car. Later I added braiding the manes and tails of horses for shows at local competitive barns. The area was filled with these opportunities.

I remember leaving high school parties and driving straight to a barn in the middle of the night to ready the horses. I was very independent back then and this gave me a lot of self-empowerment. My parents always supported me and never told me that I couldn’t try something. This self-confidence stays with me today.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t recall making any mistakes until I was an adult. When I was starting out, I trusted people and they behaved with truth and integrity. The older I get, the less I see this. In that first job at the playhouse I got to meet famous actors from Broadway and Hollywood. The theater was filled with creativity and I loved being a part of it. It wasn’t until recently that I began to experience the darker side of humanity.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Mentors that stand out for me are my eighth grade teacher, Mr Lewis. He encouraged us to believe in ourselves and to ask a lot of questions. My professor who over saw my student teaching in university taught me about trusting myself and pushing myself way beyond what I thought were my limits. I assisted her in research and development of a guide book for special artists. We are still in contact today 41 years later.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your organization started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

I am a solo multipreneur. When I was starting out, I did everything myself. The wisest choice that I have made was making the move to entrust great people to take on some of the tasks for me. This gives me more time to be creative. My purpose has always been to help people live happier, healthier lives. The biggest turning point was when I began to task out these jobs and give myself more space and time. Learning to say, That’s enough! Go outside and roller-skate and get some fresh air.” This is what keeps me happy and healthy.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?

When I was doing the layout work for my second book I suddenly lost touch with Ron, my artist who had also done the layout work on my first book. For six months I had no idea what had happened. This dear soul had died and it took his wife that long to get into his records and phone to recover communication with jobs that were in progress. It hit me like a tidal wave.

Six weeks went by and I finally got the courage to begin looking for an artist to work for me and head the art department for my publishing company. I mediated and focused on what I really wanted in a replacement. I remember feeling so distraught and doubting I could ever find anyone to replace him or that they would want to pick up the job where he left off.

I remember sitting outside crying asking Ron’s spirit to help me. The next day I posted to a group and within in hour got a reply. I could just feel that Cata was right from the start and somehow Ron had sent her to me. She still works for me today and is one of the most talented and kind people I have the pleasure of knowing. I am gifted having people like this in my life.

Did you ever consider giving up?

Of course I did! I am human.

Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges?

I am fiercely creative. I just can’t suppress it. When I go out in nature for a walk or submege in water whether it is a bath, a pool, or the ocean, I can reset.

What sustains your drive?

I love inventing and I am driven to partner with others. Sometimes I do get burnt. These scorch wounds hurt but I do believe they also give me the opportunity to test just how loving and compassionate I can be towards other. This infuses the coaching I give to clients.

I’m an author and I believe that books have the power to change lives. Do you have a book in your life that impacted you and inspired you to be an effective leader? Can you share a story?

You are probably expecting me to mention a self enrichment book but it is not. The book that influences me the most in being able to understand life is entitled, In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki. I was given this book in university by a brilliant professor who also taught me to visualize what I want and to see the future in order to create it. The book teaches to praise shadows. In this way we can celebrate the light.

I feel there is too much emphasis on trying to erase the darker sides of things. I disagree. I believe we should radiate light and set an example.

What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?

I am challenged by people who function with a lack of integrity. As pressure in the world mounts, I find less of this in others. Many people are darting around and functioning from fear. This only results in mistakes and burnt bridges.

When the future seems so uncertain, what is the best way to boost morale? What can a leader do to inspire, motivate and engage their team?

I do my best to give love and offer compassion. I am not pushy. Instead, I set an example of peace and unity. There is a difference between hope and expectancy. People need space to create and be productive. I place the focus on support rather than demand.

What is the best way to communicate difficult news to one’s team and customers?

Honesty. If a contract falls through it effects us all. The best way to handle it is to pivot and to be compassionate to my team. I have become an expert at pivoting and refocusing. This is why I am a great coach.

How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?

What I teach is what I practice. Always have your plan A but be sure that you have a plan B and C as well. If you do not have a clear idea of how to cover your own butt and just pounce into risk — you are likely going to either be stuck in the mire or burn out.

Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?

Act as a team. Have a unified focus. This takes leadership and guiding everyone with clear directives. We must steer the ship and keep everyone on the same page. The worst thing that can happen is to have separate factions. This creates coups and tears apart the integrity of the greater.

Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?

The worst is being dishonest with yourself. This turns into untruths with your team and your customers. You absolutely must treat others like family. If you look at customers as commodity, you are never going to succeed in the end.

Many businesses fail quickly because they have not thought everything through clearly. To avoid this mistake, be sure to poll others and get a lot of input. Don’t over extend too far in the beginning. Trying to reach a goal by cutting corners is always going to backfire.

Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.

The first and most important thing is to take care of your health. So many people I see ignore this. Those of us who are leaders can be guilty of taking too much on and also pushing ourselves too hard. This is only going to weaken the body. Ask for help if you need it. I have seen clients of mine refuse this and hurt themselves.

As people become more cutthroat and competitive it is important to keep learning. Technology is growing at such a fast pace that we all have no choice but to stay on the wave and ride it.

Trust your intuition and do not be afraid to stand up for yourself. Call a stinky situation just that but do it in such a way that you are not flinging dirty laundry. This is the only way to get the offenders to recognize that you see them and in turn is the way to let them know that you function with truth and integrity.

A couple years ago I was asked in a casual way to ideate for a hatch-ling company during the pandemic lock-down in the Holistic Lifestyle industry. I believed that given where we had connected on a reputable business site and their industry, that I could trust them. I gave them ideas that they pushed me for on a deadline. This caused me to drop my guard and made me believe that I could wait to negotiate a contract. When they made me their offer it was unacceptable. This was a huge mistake. I did not make them sign an NDA in the beginning and they ran off with my intellectual property. My advice: Protect yourself first always and have a good lawyer!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Rita Mae brown said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” Though Einstein is often cited with this, he was quoting this author as it can be found in her 1983 book, Sudden Death. If you keep looking in the same place and performing the same actions, you are not going to receive a different result.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can connect with me and find my books and blog articles on my site at:

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Thank you for asking me. The pleasure is mine!

Ambika Devi On Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Uncertain & Turbulent… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.