Summary of Leading Beyond the Ego

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Leading Beyond the Ego book summary

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


Leadership consultants John Knights, Danielle Grant and Greg Young assert that  CEOs need a robust moral code to avoid degenerating into ruthlessness, aggression and exploitation. They say firms need chiefs who also are self-confident, assertive and charismatic. This serious overview tells executives how to become “transpersonal leaders” and explain why they must turn to values, ethics and empathy for guidance. The authors detail the kinds of intelligence leaders need, explain how even insensitive bosses can become transpersonal, and make it clear that a good leader must be a “good person.”

About the Authors

The editors and authors, all from the LeaderShape Global Consultancy, are: chairman and co-founder John Knights; CEO and co-founder Greg Young; director Danielle Grant; and contributing authors Sue Coyne, Jennifer Plaister-Ten and Tony Wall.


“Transpersonal leadership” replaces obsolete command-and-control. It goes beyond the leader’s ego. 

Authoritarian, ego-driven command-and-control leadership no longer works. The 21st century needs leaders who act based on ethics, altruism, empathy, sustainability and collaboration. “Transpersonal leadership” extends beyond customary limits and breaks new ground; it’s leadership for the modern age.

Transpersonal leaders are self-confident, self-aware and empathetic. They function outside of the constraints of ego and arrogance. They are committed to self-development. These ethical leaders have a social conscience and care about the greater good. As authentic leaders, they present the same face to everyone all the time and practice enlightened leadership.  

Transpersonal leaders have three forms of intelligence: rational, emotional and spiritual.

The way transpersonal leaders think draws on three kinds of intelligence:

  1. “Rational intelligence” (RI) – This type of thinking depends on “serial neural connections” hard-wired at birth.
  2. “Emotional intelligence” (EI)

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