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Nilima Bhat teaches us about “Shakti Leadership: Embracing Feminine and Masculine Power in Business”

What is Shakti Leadership? 
“Too many people, men and women alike, have bought into a notion of leadership that exclusively emphasizes traditionally masculine qualities: hierarchical, militaristic, win-at-all-costs. The result has been corruption, environmental degradation, social breakdown, stress, depression, and a host of other serious problems,” explains author Nilima Bhat who in her 2016 book with Raj Sisodia shows us a more balanced way, an archetype of leadership that is generative, cooperative, creative, inclusive, and empathetic.

While these are traditionally regarded as “feminine” qualities, we all have them, she insists.

“In the Indian yogic tradition they’re symbolized by Shakti, the source that powers all life,” explains Nilima, who has packed her book with exercises and inspirational examples.

In the book, she and Raj show how to access this infinite energy and lead with your whole self. Male or female, leaders who understand and practice Shakti Leadership act from a consciousness of life-giving caring, creativity, and sustainability to achieve self-mastery internally and be of selfless service to the world.

This is fun: As a part of the Mumbai book launch of “Shakti Leadership” in 2016, the co-authors engaged in this tete-a-tete about Conscious Capitalism and Shakti Leadership.

The talk begins with Nilima asking Raj to demystify Conscious Capitalism. Raj, one of the co-founders of the conscious capitalism movement, does so with elegance and brings out the profundity of the idea in a surprisingly simple manner.

He then tosses the ball to Nilima, asking her about Shakti. She unravels the deep, powerful concept, inviting the world to claim their Shakti, to co-create a world that works for us all.

Click here to watch their conversation. 

Visit the authors at

And click here to watch a 2020 interview with Nilima on “Thank God It’s Monday.” 

About Nilima Bhat

A facilitator of personal transformation, coaching individuals and organizations in their quest for conscious evolution, Nilima is an international speaker and trainer on organizational culture, conscious business, women in leadership, and self-awareness for work-life balance, as well as Indian wisdom and wellness traditions.

Nilima spent 10 years heading Corporate Communications and PR for major corporations such as ITC-Welcomgroup, Philips India, and ESPN STAR Sports.Nilima graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in Life Sciences and Biochemistry, followed by a diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.

She later qualified as a yoga teacher from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre and is a teacher-practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.A trained dancer and choreographer, she has co-founded a professional dance company (Sri Shakti) whose mission is to de-mystify Indian dance and spiritual sciences for international audiences.

Having lived and worked for 10 years overseas (Singapore, London, Hong Kong), Nilima returned to India in 2004 with her husband to set up a leadership consulting firm, Roots & Wings and an integrative medicine practice, Sampurnah. They are recently published authors of My Cancer Is Me, outlining their holistic and integrative approach to cancer.

A corporate refugee turned yogini, Nilima is now a global missionary. She travels the world leveraging her corporate experience and 17 years of consciousness-based health and growth practices to help build enduring institutions and change-agents, especially women, who can lead the planet to sustainable solutions and positive impact.

Her mission is the same as that of our publisher Berrett-Koehler: Creating A World That Works For All. She also writes a column titled Shakti Speaks initiated by a leading Indian media house, aimed at restoring gender relations and based on dialogues within Women’s Circles.

Her integral approach synthesizes best practices and paths from around the world, and is customized to meet audience needs. Her particular expertise is in developing Body Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence (BQ & SQ).Nilima has delivered leadership training and facilitation for Microsoft, Whole Foods Market, Tata, Societe Generale Bank, Vodafone, and YPO, as well as academic institutions and developmental organisations such as Indus International School and SKS Microfinance.

She is an active supporter of the Conscious Capitalism movement and Women’s International Networking (WIN).Having lived over 50 years and heroically journeyed many times, through her mother’s cancer, father’s near-fatal car accident and brain injury, husband’s cancer, and her own search for meaning from a sudden sense of failure in a thriving corporate career, Nilima looks back with amazement at her bucket list of world destinations that has very few places left to tick off.

An avid traveller, Nilima has found great meaning in leading or joining Peace Pilgrimages to the world’s sacred spots, from Kailash and Mansarovar in the Himalayas, to Machu Picchu and Titicaca in the Andes. Comfortable in every culture and socio-economic setting, from cleaning toilets to dining with CEOs and interviewing world leaders, Nilima speaks five languages and truly calls the whole planet home.