Dr R Balasubramaniam (Balu), a physician by training, founded the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, one of India’s leading development organizations while he was still a medical student. He is a Mason Fellow of the Harvard University and has a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a former Frank H T Rhodes Professor at Cornell University and an adjunct Professor at the University of Iowa, USA. He mainly teaches and lectures on issues related to Leadership, Globalization, Managing and Governing NGOs, Poverty and Development, and Global Health. He was also the Visiting professor of the Vivekananda Chair at the University of Mysore. He is also the founder & Chairman of Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement, an organization devoted to public policy research and advocacy in India.
Balu has the unique combination of being both a leadership practitioner and an academician and has more than three decades of experience in leading and developing organizations. He teaches courses at the Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore, SDM Institute of Management Development, Mysore, Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, Cornell University, USA. He is now associated with the Vivekananda Institute for Leadership Development (VLEAD) at Mysore, an institution that is engaged in building leadership in the not-for-profit, for-profit and the Government sectors in India.
Balu is an adviser and consultant to various organizations working in the fields of health, education, and community development and provides leadership coaching/mentoring to senior management of large corporations in India. He regularly runs leadership workshops for corporations, government departments, non-profits and universities, both in India and in the United States. He writes in local English and Kannada dailies and blogs regularly, mostly about Leadership and Development issues.
The courses on leadership that he teaches are: ‘Leadership for global citizenship’, ‘Enlightened Leadership’, ‘Exercising leadership in the public and non-profit sectors, and ‘Leadership for the social sector’. He also runs a unique workshop called ‘Leading the Vivekananda way’, which draws leadership message and strategies from the life and writings of Swami Vivekananda, the great Indian monk who lived in the nineteenth century.
Enlightened Leadership combines the principles of Adaptive Leadership that he studied under the renowned leadership practitioner Prof. Ronald A. Heifetz of the Kennedy School, with concepts of ‘Mindfulness & Observership’ from the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.