Swami, How They Love Ya

An Indian philosopher teaches CEOs how to focus. Go ahead, call him a business guru

Erika Larsen for TIME

The philosopher Swami Parthasarathy (middle), known as Swamiji, founder of the Vedanta Cultural Foundation, during a visit to Connecticut.

The private dining room in Manhattan's timelessly tony 21 Club is packed with more than 60 CEOs, corporate presidents and managing partners. They represent a cross section of mostly midsize New York City-area businesses. There's a biotech exec from Manhattan, an aerospace guy from Long Island, the head of a jewelry firm in New Jersey, a manufacturer of architectural lighting--all of them members of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), an international fraternity of business leaders who have won their corner offices by age 45. This group of BlackBerry-wielding overachievers has filled every seat to hear from a man who will let...

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