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Ep111 Embracing Spiritual Intelligence for Effective Leadership with Yosi Amram

Tagline

The role of spiritual intelligence in effective leadership.

Bio for Yosi Amram

Yosi Amram, PhD, is a distinguished psychologist, an executive coach catering to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other influential leaders, and a pioneering researcher in the field of spiritual intelligence. Holding an MBA from Harvard University and a PhD from Sofia University in Clinical Transpersonal Psychology, Dr. Amram is committed to enabling individuals to unlock their potential through spiritual intelligence. This profound connection to the core of one’s existence – their spirit, where inspiration and deepest interconnectedness reside – enriches their overall functioning, improves their effectiveness, and enhances their wellbeing.  

Dr. Amram has worked with over 100 CEOs, serving as a trusted advisor and mentor for these leaders across a broad spectrum of businesses. Additionally, Dr. Amram serves as a psychologist, working with individuals, couples, and groups. He is the author of “Spiritually Intelligent Leadership: How to Inspire by Being Inspired,” offering a compelling roadmap that equips leaders to connect with the true source of their authentic power and presence deep within themselves. By utilizing Dr. Amram’s modern integrative methods and practical applications, readers can transform their leadership, and build, manage, and inspire high-performing teams.

Episode highlight

Imagine building your company, going public, and then the board decides to give you a voluntary leave of absence. How would it make you feel? In this interview, Yosi Amram tells us how a leave of absence from his company was a blessing in disguise.  

The board of Yosi’s company gave him a leave of absence because they felt he needed it. Initially, Yosi felt shame for being let go from his company, but later, it provided him an opportunity to find his identity and passion in psychology.  

In this episode, Yosi shares his transition journey from engineering to becoming a psychologist.  

Listen to learn more.

Links

Quotes

  • “I think great leaders can also drop back and lead from behind, which is more of a facilitative role of leadership. You can think about it perhaps in terms of the yin and yang of leadership.”

Takeaways

Childhood Incidents: 

When Yosi was four years old, he learned from older boys that flicking someone’s legs while they’re running or walking could make them trip and fall. One day, he experimented on a boy in front of him. The boy tripped, scraped his knees, and started bleeding and crying. The teacher started yelling, asking who did it, but Yosi never came forward. This experience taught him the importance of not causing pain, suffering, harm, or violence to others.  

At age 9, Yosi went to a movie theatre without his parents and was molested by a stranger. This incident made him feel like there was something wrong with him, like he was damaged goods. He repressed his feelings about this experience and only addressed them in therapy when he was 40. 

Why Yosi Left Engineering for Psychology

During the IPO process of Yosi’s company, his mother passed away. Due to the busy time, he didn’t process her death, which later led to a spiritual awakening. He began feeling the interconnectedness of everything, which resulted in a manic episode, unsuitable for a CEO. The board gave Yosi a voluntary leave of absence, causing him pain and shame. He felt pushed out of the company, which was like his baby.  

Yosi took this time off work to find his identity and understand his strong attachment to his CEO title, leading him to therapy. He decided to pursue a degree in clinical psychology and started mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs. With the money he earned from the IPO, Yosi also became an angel investor. To better serve his clients, Yosi pursued a PhD to become a psychologist.

Influential Groups

Yosi comes from Middle Eastern, Iraqi, and Jewish backgrounds. Middle Eastern Iraqi culture is emotionally expressive, warm, and highly hospitable. In contrast, Jewish culture is religious, emphasizing Socratic methods of debate for truth’s sake and taking responsibility seriously.

Cultural Influences

As Yosi grew older, his interest in spirituality deepened. He joined various spiritual communities, including Jewish Renewal, Buddhist communities, and a particular path called the Diamond Approach, which emphasizes inquiry and a love for truth. All these communities highlighted the importance of service.

Cultural Epiphanies

In the Middle East, people are emotionally expressive, warm, and value physical touch. When Yosi moved to the US, he experienced culture shock; people valued personal space and privacy, which was not the case in Tel Aviv. He grew up in a one-bedroom house with his grandparents and parents.

What Brings Out the Best in Yosi? 

Yosi believes in directness and honesty. He values relationships where people are honest, open, and direct, built on a foundation of kindness and positive regard. He also appreciates regular mutual feedback to keep relationships clear and clean.

Soapbox Moment

Yosi encourages everyone interested in becoming more empowered and inspired leaders to check out his book, “Spiritually Intelligent Leadership: How to Inspire by Being Inspired.” The book is filled with relatable case studies from his work and includes exercises to help people develop spiritual intelligence.

Dr. Yosi Amram EXTRO:

The journey from tech engineer to transpersonal psychologist may seem unimaginable for most. Yet, a combination of childhood trauma, visionary business success, followed by public humiliation, eventually led Dr. Yosi Amram to a surprising place: the study and practice of spiritual intelligence. I appreciated his emphasis on honesty combined with kindness in communication and his findings that developing spiritual intelligence can have even more positive outcomes than emotional intelligence. There were many insights from his interview that I will cherish. Here are a few takeaways:  

  1. Understanding the effects of our personal wounds is foundational to making progress in life.  
  2. Promoting the combination of truth-seeking and fellow feeling leads to wisdom.  
  3. We can learn about creating a healthy society by integrating the virtues of the world’s spiritual traditions into the workplace.  
  4. Interpersonal warmth, learned from Middle Eastern cultures, could be a healing remedy for North American loneliness.
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