Leadership is not about giving orders. True leaders serve. Servant leadership has many meanings. Vijay Eswaran favors this one: “Service above self.” Servant leaders put others’ needs first.

Inspired by Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, and Mahatma Gandhi, Eswaran has developed a list of the five C’s of servant leadership.

Care. People, not products, are an organization’s real assets. When leaders take care of people, the people take care of customers.

Clarity of Vision. A servant leader must clearly communicate a vision to unify the team and ensure that all members know their roles and feel essential to reaching the goal.

Core values. A leader’s values define the company and the leader. Servant leaders practice truth, honesty, acceptance, and compassion, characteristics that will guide an organization on the path to its leader’s vision.

Commitment to Growth. Investing time in people shows them that they matter. Servant leaders help people to be their best and to create growth in the organization.

Creating a Will to Sacrifice. Servant leaders often do not choose to lead. They become leaders by sacrificing for a greater good. Sacrifice is powerful and can unite everyone in the organization and motivate everyone to succeed.

Vijay Eswaran practices the principles of “ahisma,” meaning nonviolence, followed by Mahatma Gandhi, and expanded to include ethical behavior. He follows these beliefs in the corporate world where ethics often give way to profits.He has shared his wisdom in several books. One, “The Sphere of Silence” is based on the ancient wisdom of practicing silence, a Vedic concept, though it is not focused on any one religion.

The “Sphere of Silence” has three paths: duty, knowledge, and devotion.

Sixty minutes each day in the “Sphere of Silence” enables people to slow down and consider where they are and where they are going.

Vijay Eswaran graduated in 1984 from the London School of Economics with a degree in socio-economics. In 1986 he earned an MBA at Southern Illinois University. Now, he is executive chairman of the QI group, a conglomerate of e-commerce businesses.

Eswaran has received many business and philanthropy awards and is one of Forbes Asia’s top 48 philanthropists.