Spirituality in business - Pipe-dream or x Factor?
Having run small, medium and large businesses, the one overwhelming truth I have learnt, is that business and spirituality are not mutually exclusive and injecting spirituality is, in fact, essential in achieving a healthy and successful business. As in all aspects of life, every-thing is energy and the same principles apply to running a successful business.
Remember that spirituality is natural, universal and possessed by all humans. The word “spiritual” comes from the Latin word spiritus, which means breath or breathing. To be spiritual is to be aware of the non-physical or energetic realm so spirituality in business is looking at the “life force” of the business and what you breathe into it through core values and ethics. Whilst many people live superficially through the ego, when they tune into the energetic aspect and live life from the heart: life is richer, more fulfilling and in the case of business: way more successful.
The “company” itself is not some mystical entity – it is made up of the consciousness of the energetic beings that work there and the culture is the soul of the company. Nothing breeds success like success and if you consider that we are all connected and that like attracts like; if the mass consciousness of a company is based in joy and abundance, the company will attract more joy and abundance. By the same token, if the company is run by fear/ego and focused on lack, it will experience more lack, as will its staff.
People who have developed the spiritual side of their life typically have a quality of lightness (raised energy/vibration), appreciation, humour and abundance. Having spiritual people in an organisation brings a sense of wellbeing, enthusiasm and optimism to life, even in the face of adversity. Spiritual people don’t take themselves too seriously – they are fully engaged in life and they radiate this energetic state to other staff members and customers alike.
Understandably, there is a clash between this point of view and the existing culture of many businesses. Big business is generally considered controlling, impersonal, hierarchical and focused solely on making profit. However, businesses flourish when you balance spirituality and solid business practices and more and more corporations are waking up to this fact. All businesses need a sound structure, financial controls, plans and rules and when you harness the energetic aspect too, the growth and success of a business becomes limitless.
Key spiritual values embraced in the business context include honesty, integrity, compassion, cooperation, accountability, service excellence, trustworthiness, respect, intuition, quality, honouring staff contribution, dedication, creativity, change management, social responsibility and giving back. Whilst many companies publicly acknowledge the importance of a triple bottom line (a commitment to people, planet and profit) in reality, few really embody this commitment.
Bringing ethics and spiritual values into the workplace do lead to increased productivity, profitability, employee retention, customer loyalty and brand recognition, however, it is imperative that the management embody these principles too (rather than chase personal advancement and gain or exhibit double standards) or it will have the reverse effect.
Management reputation is built slowly and easily destroyed as actions speak louder than words. Management that preaches one thing and does another is not respected for long and it is almost impossible to rebuild a reputation once it has lost credibility.
By the same token, people who have lost respect for the company or live in fear at work do the minimum and eventually become the enemy within.
The work force is a company’s best asset and they should be encouraged to realise that they are the masters of their own destiny and have a choice to be there. When people choose to be part of an organisation, they do so with passion and purpose. Once you have lost your passion for the business you are in, there is only one choice to make and it is yours. Either find a way to buy into the company you are with or find a new company that will make you happy and passionate again. Life is to short to hate your job – remember that abundance is a universal concept and a paid salary is just one of the many funnels that financial abundance can come to you.
In order to maximise success, companies must offer a greater sense of meaning and purpose for their staff, as these are the people that deliver on the companies promise. The best talent looks for organisations that reflect their core values and provides opportunities for personal development. A good manager delegates responsibility, empowers their staff and gives credit where credit is due. Whist money is a strong motivator; it is not the only aspect of the job that people consider. Acknowledgement, credit, fulfilment, an interest in their well-being and a growth path are also important factors.
When there is a corporate vision based on its people, those people feel ownership of the business, imbue the vision and strive towards its common purpose
Top 10 spiritual actions as a leader in business (you can be a leader in any role)
Put in a clear structure and Human Resources policy and always be fair and consistent – there should be one rule for all…. including yourself. When your staff understands that there will be no exceptions to the HR rules (even for you), they accept them, feel more secure and move their focus onto their jobs.
Consider the culture of a business as the soul of the business. Always be clear on your intentions and ensure that the staff follows suit, as the energy of your collective intention is what people pick up and respond to.
Have integrity at all times – even when no-body knows.
When you are green you grow, when you are ripe you rot – stay curious, the best leaders continue to grow themselves by asking the right questions – when you are facing an issue ask yourself “What would it take for this to be resolved?” This opens up the possibilities and solutions present themselves.
You are in business to solve problems so welcome them instead of getting caught up in the drama and playing the blame game. You can then identify the core issue and the solution much quicker. Remember that every problem has a solution (worst case scenario – it may cost money)
Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, remember that you have magnetised it into your life and its happening FOR you and not TO you. Asking “why?” puts you in victim mindset. The quicker you can surrender to the reality of the situation, the quicker you will see the solution with clarity. What you focus on magnifies so count your blessings and not your problems.
Be present at all times and ground yourself daily: grounded + present = objective.
Establish a balance between work and play – it will make you more effective in all aspects of your life as your work is just one aspect of you. Another consideration is: How you one thing is how you do everything…
Remember that every-one is dispensable, even you. You don’t serve any-one by staying in a job that makes you unhappy – least of all yourself.
Stay mindful of the big picture: The universe is all loving and when you see life as a game, you become a better player. Every-thing is energy!
I hope this will assist you take a quantum leap in your business mindset. Be a leader for whoever wants to follow you rather than a boss who rules by fear and ego.
Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words and your faith stronger than your feelings.