Tuesday, February 14, 2012


BizTimes (Karen Vernal) - I begin this article with a confession… I realize that while I have wanted to write an article about Leadership and Spirituality for some time, I have also experienced “writer’s block,” resistance or just plain fear. I think I have been afraid to offer these reflections for fear that readers will not think it “businesslike enough.” And yet, we learn from our clients that spirituality is an integral part of their growth and development as leaders, whether they use the language or not.  And so, I offer these reflections.  Have you considered what spiritual means for you? We have been struck by the recent reflections of clients who somehow appreciate that the deep inner work they are doing, individually and collectively, is in the realm of spirituality.  Recently, after a team retreat, one of the leaders said to my colleague, “You have an amazing way of blending spiritual and corporate.”

I stumbled upon this description of spirituality from the Wellness Center at Ohio State University.  It captures the dimensions of spirituality that resonate with my experience. “Spirituality is not religion. While the definition of spirituality is different for everyone, here are some common themes associated with spirituality: The idea of a process or journey of self-discovery and of learning not only who you are, but who you want to be. A connectedness to yourself and to others. Spirituality is personal, but it is also rooted in being connected with others and with the world around you. This connection can facilitate you finding “your place in the world.”  A higher power, whether rooted in a religion, nature, or some kind of unknown essence.”  I would also add that spirituality strengthens our ability to be fully present in the moment.

Spirituality proposes a challenge of reaching beyond your current limits. This can include keeping an open mind and trying to better understand others’ beliefs.  Spirituality often embraces the concept of searching and moving forward in the direction of meaning, purpose and direction for your life. We should use our business and companies not to exploit neither to delude, but used them in the spirit of service to others; and in serving our brothers and sisters there is a great spiritual joy.

People sitting in this room today are potentially the leaders of the next generation. What difference do we want to make in our lives to do something positive in the service of God, in the welfare of the world. That is the question we must ask if our life is to be meaningful. The greatness of India historically is people who ask these questions. ... We have devotees who are members of this temple who are industrialists with tens and thousands of employees; we have doctors, lawyers, engineers and they are very productive, creative and successful in the business world, the medical world and the professional world. You don’t have to be a simple pauper to be spiritual. You can be powerful, you can be dynamic, you can be successful in the society but everyday they clean their hearts by chanting the Holy Names; they raise their family with compassion and love for the soul and they are trying to use their influence and their power to uplift the humanity, and their lives are meaningful, worthwhile and perfect.

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