The Buddha and the Badass Review: Learn 5 Best CEO Traits
The Buddha and the Badass (2020)
- Practical entrepreneurial hacks
- Find peace during stress
- Learn to transform self and work culture
- Get inspired to work on your unique value proposition
- Not too different from his bestselling book
- Mindvalley over-promotion
- Techniques are new, but some insights aren't
- Not-so exclusive content
This is a review of The Buddha and the Badass, which is Vishen Lakhiani’s latest book, released in June 2020. Vishen Lakhiani is the visionary and transformative founder of Mindvalley, a powerful learning platform that integrates insights from the game-changers themselves. It is a global education movement that revolutionizes business while advancing humanity.
Vishen’s 2016 New York Times bestseller, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, resurfaced in the spotlight when the 19-year old Bianca Andreescu revealed that it was one of her conditioning secrets when she defeated Serena Williams in the 2019 US Open. She is now the reigning champion of both the US Open and Canadian Open.
Before we continue unearthing some magic, allow me to manage some expectations. The first part is my book review, followed by my takeaways. Those are the top 5 CEO traits I resonated with (even as a non-CEO) as I devour this page-turner.
Quick disclaimer: some links here are affiliate links. That means, shall you decide to get the book through this post, Amazon will give me a small commission for promoting this book. This book doesn’t actually need my promotion because I’m pretty sure this will gain traction in the months ahead. So, get it now while it’s fresh. Also, continue reading to know how to get it free! Win-win, fair energy exchange, if I may say. So, let’s begin!
Pros and Cons: The Buddha and the Badass Review
The book comes from the perspective of a CEO. So, we could surmise that as one of the book’s disadvantages. While it generally is about self-transformation and practical hacks to cultivate a growth mindset, Vishen seems to overlook the fact that you must be in a managerial position to be able to implement innovation within the workplace. Moreover, he utilizes a case study approach that highly promotes his own company, the Mindvalley (that’s why I recommend that you get it free if you want to uncover the secrets, but you don’t like upsells).
Another drawback I see from this book is that it comes 4 years after a bestselling book. So from that context, we are expecting a much greater comeback from Vishen. However, this book may fall short of that “bigger and better” expectation. While content is exquisitely revolutionary, it may not be for those who have read the Code of Extraordinary Mind. Also, Vishen loves quoting great thinkers–they are so popular it may not sound so novel to you at all.
Saving the best for last: The Pros
The book’s subtitle is The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work, so it’s selling proposition is how to transform your workplace into a highly efficient working group where collaboration, creativity, and appreciation thrive. The book will teach you how to optimize work habits and will teach you step-by-step how to cultivate an innovative work culture ala Google, that has nothing to do with how well-compensated your employees are.
The Buddha and the Badass, however, would still work best for the budding entrepreneur, or to those experiencing creative blocks in growing the business. The book offers unconventional ways to start a community of badasses, as you become the intuitive entrepreneur who does it like nobody else. So, quite interestingly, Vishen offers a “formula” that would be uniquely your own. Sounds paradoxical? Why don’t you just find it out yourself by signing up to Audible.
Vishen will give you an idea about the CEO mindset. Moreover, startup executives can execute these. Even a non-CEO can actually benefit, because these are practical insights for self-growth. You are your own CEO, to begin with.
While this book seems similar to The Code of the Extraordinary Mind (only with icing on top), allow me to enumerate the top 5 revolutionary takeaways I found from The Buddha and the Badass. I am a non-CEO, but I found every inch of Vishen’s insights helpful, as if I already am a CEO. This list too is just the tip of the iceberg.
The 5 Best CEO Traits I Learned
1. On being ‘unfuckawithable’
Unfuckawithability is equanimity. Vishen defines it as being “truly at peace and in touch with yourself, nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity can touch you”. More or less about self-awareness and growth mindset, but he writes a whole chapter about this, which thoroughly enumerates the rules and the means on how to be unfuckawithable.
2. Talk about not what you are doing, but what you plan to do
This resonates well with me, simply because this is what I do when I want an ambitious project to be done. All of my creative projects were successfully executed using this way of thinking–having a vision as if it already happened. While I was just reading between the lines about this as a manifestation technique, Vishen clearly explains this as creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy.
While “do not play small” seems like a vague lecture from a mentor, Vishen articulates his point so well by introducing (at least to me) the importance of aspirational goals, just like how Google does it. Above all, Vishen fluently reiterates how failure is a wonderful ingredient to success.
3. Don’t infect the mind of others with disempowering beliefs
Vishen relays a story about a Mindvalley newbie who wants to pull off an “I want to speak to the manager” and converse with him personally. She was dismissed and was told by her colleagues that Vishen is so busy, it would never even happen. So, Vishen debunks the myth that CEOs are unreachable, and yes, he does “coffee dates” with a new employee.
His advice: never allow a simple assumption to hold you back. Complaints are healthy, and assumptions are deadly. Above all, never interpret an action or a thought that is disempowering to you. Why? That brings us to lesson #4.
4. Beliefs are one’s important assets, not skills
Beliefs are important in building an environment of a beautiful collaboration. Vishen is a hardcore proponent of self-innovation. Change is his utmost priority. Consequently, the changes he implements towards the growth of self and organization are always anchored in personal beliefs. Skills can be learned, but beliefs hold so much power it can revolutionize a whole community. In the same vein, Vishen reiterates the importance of what makes their hiring process unique.
5. Learn from Richard Branson
Vishen is an enthusiastic storyteller. While he loves sharing anecdotes about his funny habits and vulnerable self, he is never adamant about sharing his thoughts. And his experience with other visionaries is never kept a secret. That includes sharing his multi-billion question to Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, during a trip to the Necker Island.
And so he asked Branson: If you could sum up your success in one paragraph, what would you say is the secret? Branson answered this with a pause, and it has something to do with the value of the community.
Hey, this is one of the most exciting chapters of the book that deserves your own experience of it!
Badasses are all about humanity, community, advocacies, and self-growth. While entrepreneurs may care about money, the world is now at an evolutionary period where service, compassion, love, and equanimity trump financial goals. Badasses do not concern themselves about petty stuff, because in the greater scheme of things, love conquers all. This is not what we learn from business school, and this is what a successful CEO offers us step-by-step in The Buddha and the Badass.
A Mindvalley exclusive content supplements the book. These are how-to videos, from questions to ask yourself as you commence, to a fun and unique activity you can actually implement in your own organization. While I think those links are around the web, it’s a cohesive list for your Buddha and the Badass self. So, all you have to do is click, and then take it from there.
Be ready to come out of quarantine with your most badass self yet! The book is so new I’m not quite sure if it would stay in Audible for free forever. So, if you’re still not convinced, sign up to Audible and use your credit for this book. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. You may also click on the image below to check the price and format options via Amazon.
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If you’re from Southeast Asia like our man Vishen, try Amazon Prime for exclusive access to Amazon Originals, free domestic and international deliveries, and more!