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These 7 actions and 4 questions can help grow your leadership capacity.

Deepak Chopra has asked countless leaders about the secret to their success. They all repeat the same refrain: “I was lucky.”

While luck is part of the formula, there’s more to it, Chopra says. The alternative medicine advocate, author of over 90 books, and Inc.‘s latest cover subject, spoke with Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk on the main stage at the 2023 Inc. 5000 Conference, where he defined good luck as “opportunity meeting preparedness.” Watch the full conversation here.

Chopra should know — he embraced a particularly life-changing opportunity in the 1980s when he encountered Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, at a conference. The Maharishi’s encouragement motivated Chopra to self-publish his first book, Creating Health: The Psychophysiological Connection, despite its rejection from every publisher. Houghton Mifflin ultimately republished it.

Publishing that first book prepared Chopra to seize an even bigger opportunity, when he landed a guest spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show that same year. His appearance catapulted him into the greater American consciousness, and he sold 173,000 copies of his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind the day after his appearance.

Today, Chopra’s the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers; founder of the Chopra Foundation, a nonprofit focused on research on well-being and humanitarianism; and founder of the health care company Chopra Global — which he sold to the Healing Company earlier this year, netting an estimated $20 million, according to his profile in Inc.

In short, Chopra knows a thing or two about leadership. He even has a formula for it, which he shared with a room full of ambitious Inc. 5000 founders using an easy-to-remember acronym: LEADERS.

  • L: Look and listen. “Look and listen with your mind and your heart and your body,” Chopra says.
  • E: Emotional intelligence. “Be in touch with your own emotions. Be in touch with other people’s emotions, which triggers empathy and compassion and joy.”
  • A: Awareness. “Don’t be reactive. Cultivate intuition, creativity, a higher vision and purpose.”
  • D: Dream and do. Because “if you want to manifest the dream, you have to do it.”
  • E: Empowerment. This “happens when you’re not afraid of being criticized.”
  • R: Responsibility. “Take responsibility if things go wrong.”
  • S: Synchronicity. “The magical ingredient,” Chopra says. Some may call it good luck.

Achieving that synchronicity means surrendering to the day’s infinite opportunities and being prepared, Chopra says. To do so, he recommends asking four important questions at the start of the day: “Who am I? What do I want? What’s my purpose? What am I grateful for?”

These four questions will help business leaders stay focused as they pursue their goals, Chopra told the audience. But they should also remember to value happiness, he adds. Of course, leaders need to make sure that they are offering something new, providing a benefit to society, and sharing expertise, he says, but leaders can’t forget about the fun — or personal fulfillment.

“Ask yourself, ‘What would make me happy?’, and your business should be around that,” he says. “Otherwise, you’ll be stressed.”

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