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MODULE 2 - SPIRITUALITY IN BEHAVIORS



Spiritual Quotient and Its Role in Organizational Behavior

 

For a long time, the world placed significant importance on Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Proud parents would boast, "My son has an IQ of 210! He's going to be a scientist." This perspective stems from the early 20th century when psychologists created tests to measure intelligence, primarily focusing on intellectual or rational intelligence used to solve logical problems. The higher the IQ, the greater the intelligence, or so the belief went.

 

In the mid-1990s, Daniel Goleman brought a new dimension to the forefront with his research in neuroscience and psychology, emphasizing the importance of Emotional Quotient (EQ). EQ makes us aware of our own feelings and those of others. It fosters empathy, motivation, compassion, and the ability to respond skillfully to both pleasure and pain. Goleman argued that EQ is a basic requirement for effectively using IQ. If the areas of our brain responsible for emotions are damaged, our capacity to think effectively diminishes.

 

Last year, authors Dana Zohar and Ian Marshall introduced another layer to human intelligence: Spiritual Quotient (SQ). They claim SQ is the ultimate intelligence, the kind used to solve problems of meaning and value. Questions like "Is my job giving me the fulfillment I seek?" and "Am I relating to the people in my life in a way that contributes to their happiness and mine?" are at the heart of SQ. The answers to these questions determine whether we find happiness. In matters of personal fulfillment and meaning, IQ and EQ fall short.

 

"Spiritual intelligence," explains Ram Mohan, a Vedanta teacher, "is about the growth of a human being. It is about moving on in life, having a direction, and healing ourselves from all the resentment we carry. It involves seeing ourselves as an expression of a higher reality and understanding that nature is not meant to be exploited. Ultimately, it leads to freedom from our limitations as human beings and attaining moksha."

 

Anand Tendolkar, a workshop leader, shares his perspective: "For me, spiritual intelligence is about pondering my life's purpose. Just being in touch with that question is fulfilling. As I move along this path, deeper levels of myself unfold, leading to fulfillment."

 

Humans are inherently spiritual beings, evolved to ask fundamental questions like "Who am I?" "Where am I going?" and "What do others mean to me?" Answering these questions often drives people to personal growth workshops and motivates them to balance their work schedules to spend time with family. An executive with high SQ might look beyond profit margins and devote time to voluntary work with orphans. Spiritual intelligence also addresses the need to place one's life in a shared context of value.

 

The transformative power of SQ sets it apart from IQ and EQ. While IQ solves logical problems and EQ helps us judge situations and behave appropriately, SQ enables us to question whether we want to be in a particular situation in the first place and may motivate us to create a new one. SQ is not necessarily linked to formal religion; atheists and humanists can have high SQ, while someone actively religious may not.

 

J.L. Holland categorized people into six personality types, each potentially guiding us toward higher SQ.

 

Universe and the Spirit.

 

Integrating SI into Organizational Behavior

 

Integrating SI into organizational behavior can transform personal and professional development. It encourages individuals to seek fulfillment, balance, and purpose in their lives and work. By recognizing and nurturing our SQ, we can create more compassionate, ethical, and meaningful workplaces, ultimately contributing to a better world for all.

 

The incorporation of Spiritual Quotient into our understanding of intelligence offers a more comprehensive view of human potential. It addresses the deeper questions of meaning and purpose, which IQ and EQ alone cannot fulfill. By embracing our spiritual intelligence, we can lead more fulfilling lives, create more meaningful relationships, and contribute to a more compassionate and just world.

 

Conventional Type: The Path of Duty

 

People on this path serve the community by realizing their life's purpose and committing fully to it, often with humanity's best interests in mind. They may choose to associate with specific organizations to fulfill their ambitions. However, they must avoid two common pitfalls: becoming narcissistic and extreme identification with their group.

 

Narcissism can lead to self-absorption, neglecting relationships, and indulging in harmful behaviors. It is essential to address these issues through therapy or spiritual practices before progressing on the path of duty. Additionally, while committing to a group, one must recognize that different values exist in the world and respect them.

 

Social Type: The Path of Nurturing

 

This path involves loving, nurturing, and protecting others, similar to the Mother Goddess archetype. It includes parents, teachers, nurses, and therapists who reach out with acceptance and compassion, providing space for others to grow.

 

It is crucial to be mindful of how we help others, avoiding the shadow aspect of love, which can turn into hatred and revenge if we do not truly love ourselves. We must also avoid suffocating those we seek to nurture, allowing them the space to grow. Effective nurturing requires receptiveness and the willingness to reveal ourselves to others. Modeling ourselves on a great teacher or mentor who has clarified their life can be immensely helpful.

 

Investigative Type: The Path of Knowledge

 

The path of knowledge encompasses a broad range of experiences, from solving everyday problems to pursuing spiritual enlightenment. Scholars, scientists, and those with a love for learning often follow this path.

 

Pursuing this path with clear intentions can lead to profound benefits for humanity, such as research that solves significant problems. However, we must realize that all things are interconnected, and our knowledge in one area can impact others profoundly. It is also essential to avoid using our talents for morally reprehensible work, such as spreading harmful propaganda.

 

Artistic Type: The Path of Personal Transformation

 

Writers, artists, and musicians constitute only 10 to 15 percent of the population, yet many of us walk this path to some extent. The challenge for those on this path is personal and transpersonal integration. They must explore the depths of themselves and harmonize the disparate fragments of their being.

 

This path is closely associated with the brain's "God-spot" activity, making artists open to extreme emotions and eccentric behavior. For this reason, artists are often seen as society's healers or shamans, journeying into the unknown and returning with insights that can heal us all. This process has produced some of the world's greatest art. Throughout history, cultures have treated artists as individuals blessed with special vision, capable of creating profound societal awareness. Consider the great saint-poets like Rumi and Kabir.

 

However, there are pitfalls to watch out for. One is becoming an aesthete, concerned only with form and producing art purely for sensual gratification. Another is becoming a compulsive rebel, resisting order and imagination in their art, fighting committed relationships, and missing deadlines. These extremes represent a turning away from conflict, but when an artist embraces their conflict, they can claim their spiritual intelligence and produce art of lasting value.

 

Realistic Type: The Path of Brotherhood

 

Priti Sen exemplifies the attributes of the realistic type. A caring mother and devoted wife, she is strong, cheerful, and seemingly in charge of her life. However, her teenage son lost both his legs in an accident, and while her shattered husband and other children cry almost daily, Priti is quiet, sensible, and calm. She busies herself caring for her son and building a new life for him. Her ability to accept adversity is a source of strength for her family.

 

Realistic individuals are practical, no-nonsense, and uncomfortable with overt feelings. They personify the virtues of the hero, pursuing the path of brotherhood and justice. They see a connection between themselves and all other beings, forming organizations that bring justice into the world. This involves respecting others' viewpoints and understanding that all people play a role in a larger pattern.

 

Enterprising Type: The Path of Servant-Leadership

 

All human groupings—families, tribes, and societies—need leaders to impart vision, motivation, and purpose. Effective leaders must be confident, outgoing, and comfortable with power. Truly great leaders are servant-leaders, those who serve humanity by creating new ways for people to relate to each other. They put society's good above their own and take society in new directions.

 

Historical figures like Buddha, Jesus, and Emperor Ashoka exemplify servant-leadership. Ashoka, after his brutal conquest of Kalinga, converted to Buddhism and embraced nonviolence. Environmentalists like Sunderlal Bahuguna and Medha Patkar have also led people to reconsider ecological issues. However, servant-leaders must have inner clarity to avoid exploiting others or focusing solely on their needs.

 

Spiritual Intelligence: A Holistic Approach

 

Spiritual intelligence (SI) is relatively new but profoundly impactful. It integrates our need for purpose, meaning, vision, and value in life, affecting our thinking and actions. SI enables us to dream, strive, set complex goals, and seek joy and happiness. It allows us to integrate body, mind, and spirit, transcending the boundary between self and other.

 

Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall define SI as "the intelligence with which we address and solve problems with meaning and value, the intelligence with which we can place our actions and our lives in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context, the intelligence with which we can assess that one course of action or one life-path is more meaningful than another."

 

Qualities of a Spiritually Intelligent Person

 

A spiritually intelligent person exhibits various qualities, including:

 

  • Self-awareness

  • Spontaneity

  • Positive use of adversity

  • Ability to see the big picture

  • Compassion

  • Gratitude

  • Flexibility

  • Open-mindedness

  • Truthfulness

  • Respect

  • Empathy

  • A sense of being part of a larger whole

  • Generosity (in spirit and action)

  • Comfort with being alone

  • Seeking to be "in tune" with nature

  • Seeking to be "in synch" with the universe

  • Non-negotiable integrity

  • Sincerity

  • Ability to face and use suffering

  • Ability to face and transcend pain

  • Creativity

  • A tendency to be curious about fundamental issues and ask "why" and "what if" questions

  • Wisdom

  • Practice of prayer and/or meditation

 

These qualities indicate that SI is the capacity to live in sync with our True Self, which is at the most basic level pure spirit and one with the Universe. This understanding fosters truthfulness, respect, empathy, generosity, sincerity, and wisdom. Living with purpose and meaning becomes natural when we recognize our connection to the Universe and the Spirit.

 

Integrating SI into Organizational Behavior

 

Integrating SI into organizational behavior can transform personal and professional development. It encourages individuals to seek fulfillment, balance, and purpose in their lives and work. By recognizing and nurturing our SQ, we can create more compassionate, ethical, and meaningful workplaces, ultimately contributing to a better world for all.

 

Workplace Implications of Spiritual Intelligence

 

Understanding and applying spiritual intelligence in the workplace can significantly enhance organizational culture and employee satisfaction. Here are some key areas where SI can have a profound impact:

 

Organizational Characteristics

 

1. Culture that Accepts and Values Differences: A spiritually intelligent organization embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued.

  

2. Employee Empowerment: Employees are empowered to contribute to the organization's functioning, leading to greater innovation and job satisfaction.

 

3. Creativity and Innovation: Organizations that prize and reward creativity and innovation tend to attract and retain top talent, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

 

4. Holistic Health: Encouraging and rewarding employees for attending to their emotional, physical, and spiritual health leads to a more balanced and productive workforce.

 

5. Community and Environmental Respect: Policies that respect the community and the environment reflect a commitment to sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility.

 

6. Non-Negotiable Integrity: A culture of integrity at all levels builds trust and loyalty among employees and stakeholders.

 

7. Honest Self-Expression and Freedom: Promoting honest self-expression and freedom within the workplace leads to a more open and communicative environment.

 

8. Employee-Centric Culture: Placing employees first ensures that their needs and well-being are prioritized, resulting in higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

 

9. Generous Management: Management that is generous with their time and resources to develop employees' potential fosters a culture of growth and development.

 

10. Complexity, Flexibility, and Ambiguity: Valuing complexity, flexibility, and ambiguity allows organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and thrive in dynamic environments.

 

Team Level Characteristics

 

1. Equality: Treating everyone as equal fosters a sense of unity and collaboration within teams.

 

2. Value for Each Member: Recognizing and valuing each team member's contributions enhances team cohesion and effectiveness.

 

3. Unity of Purpose: A shared purpose aligns team efforts and drives collective success.

 

4. Trust: Prioritizing trust within teams creates a supportive and secure environment for all members.

 

5. Respect: Treating everyone with respect promotes a positive and inclusive team culture.

 

6. Empathy and Compassion: Demonstrating empathy and compassion for each team member strengthens interpersonal relationships and team morale.

 

7. Generous Information Exchange: Encouraging the generous exchange of information and knowledge fosters a collaborative learning environment.

 

8. Honest Feedback: Providing honest feedback helps team members grow and improve their performance.

 

9. Balance of Fun and Work: Integrating fun and work creates a balanced and enjoyable team atmosphere, enhancing productivity and job satisfaction.

 

Individual Employee Level

 

1. Risk-Taking: Encouraging employees to take risks and explore new ideas fosters innovation and personal growth.

 

2. Open Self-Expression: Promoting open self-expression allows employees to share their thoughts and ideas freely, enhancing creativity and collaboration.

 

3. Respect for All: Treating everyone with respect creates a positive and inclusive work environment.

 

4. Generosity: Being generous with information, compassion, and time builds strong relationships and a supportive workplace culture.

 

5. Seeking Feedback: Valuing feedback about performance helps employees improve and develop their skills.

 

6. Challenging Oneself: Encouraging employees to challenge themselves promotes continuous learning and development.

 

7. Sincerity: Being sincere in interactions fosters trust and authenticity in the workplace.

 

8. Open-Mindedness: Embracing open-mindedness encourages diverse perspectives and innovative thinking.

 

9. Self-Care: Respecting personal limits and taking time to replenish energy ensures long-term well-being and productivity.

 

10. Golden Rule: Treating others as you wish to be treated creates a respectful and harmonious work environment.

 

11. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness and working in the moment enhances focus and reduces stress.

 

12. Love and Forgiveness: Embracing love and forgiveness fosters a compassionate and supportive workplace.

 

13. Honoring Uniqueness: Accepting and honoring one's uniqueness and the uniqueness of others creates a culture of inclusivity and appreciation.

 

14. Goal Setting: Setting goals and focusing on them drives personal and professional growth.

 

15. Laughter: Incorporating laughter and humor into the workplace promotes a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.

 

The 'Fourth Wave' of Spiritual Intelligence

 

Corporations around the world already recognize the importance of a healthy triple bottom line: good fiscal performance, a corporate social investment program that works, and environmental sensitivity. Enter the 'Fourth Wave'—Spiritual Intelligence. Stakeholders now seek organizations that function morally and ethically, with a conscience and a set of strong, non-negotiable values. As David Ogilvy famously said, they want organizations that operate like "gentlemen (or women!) with brains."

 

Recognizing Spiritual Intelligence in the Workplace

 

Spiritually aware individuals often exhibit nonconformist or idiosyncratic behaviors. Their concepts of truth, fair play, and justice feature prominently in their relationships. They raise the moral and ethical bar through their presence, making those who are less truthful or lacking in integrity feel uncomfortable. They are not necessarily members of the clergy or social workers but can be found in any profession, embodying spiritual principles without adhering to a specific religious path.

 

Defining Spiritual Intelligence

 

Spiritual intelligence is not necessarily religious or dependent on religion. It can be defined by criteria such as:

 

A sense of purposefulness

Truthfulness

Compassion

Respect for all levels of consciousness

Constructive empathy

A sense of being part of a greater whole

Generosity of spirit and action

A sense of being "in tune" or "in synch" with nature and the universe

Comfort with being alone without feeling lonely

 

Organizational Symptoms of Spiritual Intelligence

 

Organizations that embody spiritual intelligence exhibit the following characteristics:

 

  • People with a sense of relevance and purpose in life

  • A better work ethic

  • Greater respect for diversity

  • Lower stress levels

  • Less ego, conflict, and gossip

  • Less inappropriate (destructive) competitiveness

  • Better mentoring, nurturing, and supportiveness

  • Lower levels of fraud and theft

  • A better social investment ethic

  • Better respect for and conservation of resources

  • Lower levels of sexual or other impropriety

 

The Sequence of Personal or Organizational Behavior

 

There is a simple, proven sequence to personal or organizational behavior: thought becomes action, action becomes habit, habit becomes character. The character of an organization is visible just before the pinnacle of the corporate organogram. No amount of spin doctoring or PR effort can sustain a positive public perception if the organization is intrinsically spiritually unintelligent.

 

Nature vs. Nurture in Spiritual Intelligence

 

Much like the nature vs. nurture debate, people often ask whether spiritual intelligence is innate or learned. While some individuals may naturally possess a higher degree of spiritual awareness, it is also possible to cultivate and develop spiritual intelligence through intentional practices and experiences.

 

The Role of Integrity and Truthfulness

 

Spiritual intelligence is fundamentally incompatible with deceit and dishonesty. The Discovery Channel documentary on lies highlighted how business executives and leaders are sometimes admired for their ability to deceive "appropriately." This mindset is a reflection of the perverse values of the researchers and interviewees. Other than to save lives, there can be no acceptable justification for lies. Spiritual awareness and lies are mutually exclusive.

 

Leaving a Positive Legacy

 

The long-term goal of spiritually aware individuals is to leave behind a sustainable and positive legacy. Physical assets like buildings may be destroyed, and financial wealth may be lost, but the impact of touching lives in a meaningful way endures. The true legacy of a spiritually intelligent person is the positive influence they have on others, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond their lifetime.

 

Integrating Spiritual Quotient into our understanding of intelligence offers a more comprehensive view of human potential. It addresses the deeper questions of meaning and purpose, which IQ and EQ alone cannot fulfill. By embracing our spiritual intelligence, we can lead more fulfilling lives, create more meaningful relationships, and contribute to a more compassionate and just world. Through intentional practices and a commitment to personal growth, we can cultivate spiritual intelligence within ourselves and our organizations, ultimately enhancing the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

 

The Search, and the Benefits, for Responsible Business

 

Contemporary social research unmistakably shows that people everywhere are starving for leadership—starving to connect with leaders who are believable, trustworthy, and capable of actualizing the changes we need in this chaotic world. While we have had leaders in the past, what we need now are business people who can take the lead in transforming the character of organizations that have contributed to today's world trade turmoil, exploitation of people and natural resources, inequalities of educational and economic access, and global stress from an impossible pursuit of happiness through unlimited desires and acquisitiveness.

 

Indeed, people are looking—albeit skeptically—for business leaders to exercise true leadership. Research suggests, “The Western consumer has begun to expect more than high-quality products and services from corporations. We are, for instance, increasingly concerned about the environment. We worry about the expanding gulf between the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’ around the world. The public is looking for corporations to demonstrate higher values.”

 

Is this a call for more "visionary" leaders in business? No—it’s much more than that. More than just being visionary, true leaders must inspire courage, integrity, trust, and personal brilliance in their colleagues. In short, their leadership must be based on their personal character and must build integrity and character throughout the organization.

 

The Benefits of High-Integrity and High-Responsibility Business

 

The benefits of high-integrity and high-responsibility business fall into three arenas:

 

1. Individual Level: It is simply soul-satisfying, an exercise of our inherently spiritual nature.

2. Corporate and Community Level: It leads to attracting more investors, more business, and more talented people.

3. Human Society Level: It increases our confidence and competence in the power of goodness.

 

The Call for Spiritually-Based Leadership

 

So how do business leaders develop and exercise this level of character? As we shall explore, it springs most deeply and most directly from our spiritual nature. Therefore, the real call is for transformational leaders who base their leadership on their spiritual roots and values.

 

You might be thinking that "spirituality" is much too soft for the hard world of business leadership, or that the world is just not ready for spiritual-based leadership, even if it is "practical." Yet the evidence is compelling—from research around the world and 17 years of experience by this author/consultant on corporate innovation, having worked with over 100 companies on three continents.

 

When Motorola was a client, Bob Galvin was chairman of the executive committee on Motorola’s board of directors. To one group of executives, he described the primary job of leaders as “inspiring acts of faith (‘things are do-able that are not necessarily provable’), spreading hope, and building trust.” When asked how these values relate to the “real world of business,” he replied that executives must develop more than good technical or financial skills. They must develop character in themselves and others. He concluded, “Faith, hope, and trust... Theology is very practical business.”

 

We've known that leadership depends on character for many millennia. Kautilya’s Arthashastra is a classic treatise from India on management written during the 4th century B.C. He insisted on a leader who had a long-term vision and who upheld values such as piety, truthfulness, reliability, gratefulness, liberality, promptness, freedom from vices, and avoidance of harming others.

 

Even in this century, we’ve sung the same song. For example, in 1955, management guru Peter Drucker stated that leaders should lead not only through knowledge and skill but through courage, responsibility, and integrity. But recently, in the well-hyped focus on “visionary leadership,” we have under-estimated or under-valued the relative importance of the character dimension. A study by the Stanford Research Institute gives the real weighting: only 12% of effective leadership is based on knowledge and vision; the other 88% is dealing appropriately with people.

 

Character impacts the leader’s effectiveness with both vision and people. Character expands our horizons to include the interests of those beyond ourselves; thus it can illuminate knowledge and convert it into wiser and more compelling visions. Character also creates resonance between the leader and others; by this, the leader moves beyond "compliance" and inspires inner-driven commitment. In fact, given today's pace and chaos, a true leader is one who can inspire people to take the initiative, based on their own intrinsic values, to implement a noble vision of change.

 

Spirituality in Business Leadership: Success Stories

 

Can leaders with a spiritual basis to their character really succeed in the business world? Take William George as an example. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, a high-tech corporation specializing in products and services to meet the needs of heart patients. George’s approach demonstrates that spirituality in leadership is not about introducing religion into the workplace. As George points out:

 

"Spiritual character is different from religious observance. Religions are institutions each with their own sets of beliefs, rituals, and codes of conduct. When Jesus was asked, 'Which of the Ten Commandments is the greatest?' it was a question of religion. When He answered, 'Love God... and love your neighbor...' His answer was one of spirituality."

 

Love as the Basis for High-Integrity Reputations

 

As stated by Sathya Sai Baba, the global spiritual leader from India, the essence of spirituality is anything that evokes or expresses Divine Love—love that is fearless, unconditional, and selfless. Religions have in common that they were originally formed to lead people to a greater evocation and expression of spiritual love. Love is the basis for all other spiritual values and for character. For example, love in speech is Truth; love in behavior is Right Action (responsible action); love in thought is Inner Peace; and love in understanding/wisdom is Non-Violence. These five core values—love, truth, responsible action, inner peace, and non-violence—are found in all spiritual traditions. These values are also "built-in" to our spiritual-human nature.

 

Sai Baba goes on to say that character is expressed at three levels: individual, organizational/national, and humankind. How do these values show up individually? A clerical person would do his or her best quality work, even if no one were watching. A professional would tell the truth about errors or delays, even if it meant a temporary reprimand. An executive would continually strive to find creative new ways to deliver goods faster, without costly delays to his or her customers. A salesperson would not over-promise what a product would do or overcharge for them. A manager would actively seek to serve people rather than hide behind bureaucratic rules.

 

Organizational Impact: The "100 Best Companies to Work For"

 

Demonstrating the impact of these values at an organizational level is an ongoing study of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in the USA. Fortune Magazine assesses corporations based on five dimensions (with Sai Baba values in parentheses): credibility/trustworthiness (truth, peace), respect (love), fairness (right action, non-violence), meaning of work (right action), sense of family/community (love). Southwest Airlines (#4), People Soft (#6), Goldman Sachs (#7), and Hewlett-Packard (#10) are some of the well-recognized names in the top ten. Overall, these top 100 companies that adhere firmly to high-integrity character have an average growth rate more than 50% higher than the 2,000 or so competitors in their industries. Love, and related values, can actually be synonymous, and synchronous, with great business success. Indeed, the reputations for living by noble values help attract top talent, who then contribute to outstanding growth and performance.

 

Human Society Level Impact: Unity and Healing

 

At the level of humankind, these values create the atmosphere to bring people together to heal conflict and enrich community. They are, for example, the spiritual common ground amidst the diversity of religions. In Stephen Covey’s words, “If we live and lead by principles, we gain the moral authority to unify divisive factions within our circles of influence and our areas of responsibility."

 

For example, why did Isaac Tigrett start the Hard Rock Cafés? He states:

 

"In England in those days, the social classes were still completely separated. There was literally no place in London where a baker and a banker could meet to talk. I wanted to break that system."

 

Isaac decided to open an “absolutely classless” restaurant with a friend and rented a space in the ultra-fancy Mayfair. He opened the first overtly American restaurant in England connected with the youth movement of those times. With his timing, his concept, and the location—it was a smashing success from the very first day. Standing in line were those bankers and bakers, Labor politicians, and laborers. And his employees were just as transformed by working there as the society by eating there. His formula for success? In every kitchen, on every menu, in every staff meeting, on every T-shirt, the mantra was the same: “Love All, Serve All.”

 

For the business boomed worldwide as it did, it took many inspiring leaders, not just Isaac himself. Isaac helped develop these next generations of his business leaders by imbuing business goals and the means of attaining them with noble values, and his leadership actually built character in the process. The reputation of the Hard Rock Café spurred its amazing growth, attracted the right talent, and ultimately became a huge “asset” that turned Isaac’s initial $60,000 investment into a $108 million sale of the business 20+ years later.

 

The Sequence of Personal or Organizational Behavior

 

There is a simple, proven sequence to personal or organizational behavior: thought becomes action, action becomes habit, habit becomes character. The character of an organization is visible just before the pinnacle of the corporate organogram. No amount of spin doctoring or PR effort can sustain a positive public perception if the organization is intrinsically spiritually unintelligent.

 

Nature vs. Nurture in Spiritual Intelligence

 

Much like the nature vs. nurture debate, people often ask whether spiritual intelligence is innate or learned. While some individuals may naturally possess a higher degree of spiritual awareness, it is also possible to cultivate and develop spiritual intelligence through intentional practices and experiences.

 

The Role of Integrity and Truthfulness

 

Spiritual intelligence is fundamentally incompatible with deceit and dishonesty. The Discovery Channel documentary on lies highlighted how business executives and leaders are sometimes admired for their ability to deceive “appropriately.” This mindset is a reflection of the perverse values of the researchers and interviewees. Other than to save lives, there can be no acceptable justification for lies. Spiritual awareness and lies are mutually exclusive.

 

Leaving a Positive Legacy

 

The long-term goal of spiritually aware individuals is to leave behind a sustainable and positive legacy. Physical assets like buildings may be destroyed, and financial wealth may be lost, but the impact of touching lives in a meaningful way endures. The true legacy of a spiritually intelligent person is the positive influence they have on others, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond their lifetime.

 

Implications for the Modern Workplace

 

Understanding and applying spiritual intelligence in the workplace can significantly enhance organizational culture and employee satisfaction. Here are some key areas where SI can have a profound impact:

 

Organizational Characteristics

 

1. Culture that Accepts and Values Differences: A spiritually intelligent organization embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued.

  

2. Employee Empowerment: Employees are empowered to contribute to the organization's functioning, leading to greater innovation and job satisfaction.

 

3. Creativity and Innovation: Organizations that prize and reward creativity and innovation tend to attract and retain top talent, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

 

4. Holistic Health: Encouraging and rewarding employees for attending to their emotional, physical, and spiritual health leads to a more balanced and productive workforce.

 

5. Community and Environmental Respect: Policies that respect the community and the environment reflect a commitment to sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility.

 

6. Non-Negotiable Integrity: A culture of integrity at all levels builds trust and loyalty among employees and stakeholders.

 

7. Honest Self-Expression and Freedom: Promoting honest self-expression and freedom within the workplace leads to a more open and communicative environment.

 

8. Employee-Centric Culture: Placing employees first ensures that their needs and well-being are prioritized, resulting in higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

 

9. Generous Management: Management that is generous with their time and resources to develop employees' potential fosters a culture of growth and development.

 

10. Complexity, Flexibility, and Ambiguity: Valuing complexity, flexibility, and ambiguity allows organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and thrive in dynamic environments.

 

Team Level Characteristics

 

1. Equality: Treating everyone as equal fosters a sense of unity and collaboration within teams.

 

2. Value for Each Member: Recognizing and valuing each team member's contributions enhances team cohesion and effectiveness.

 

3. Unity of Purpose: A shared purpose aligns team efforts and drives collective success.

 

4. Trust: Prioritizing trust within teams creates a supportive and secure environment for all members.

 

5. Respect: Treating everyone with respect promotes a positive and inclusive team culture.

 

6. Empathy and Compassion: Demonstrating empathy and compassion for each team member strengthens interpersonal relationships and team morale.

 

The Readiness for Spiritually-Based Leadership

 

Are consumers and employees ready to embrace business leaders who prioritize spiritual values? The answer appears to be a resounding yes. People are becoming increasingly spiritual and desiring more spirituality in all aspects of their lives. A survey by the Gallup Organization in America found:

 

  • 79% say they have no doubts that God exists.

  • 60% say they have absolute trust in God.

  • 48% had occasion to talk about their religious faith in the workplace in the previous 24 hours.

  • 78% felt the need in their life to experience spiritual growth, up from 20% five years earlier.

 

This data suggests a significant shift towards spirituality among the general population, indicating a readiness for spiritually-based leadership.

 

Model Leaders and Spiritually-Based Leadership

 

Are our model leaders ready to exercise spiritually-based, transformative leadership? A panel of distinguished leaders, including the presidents of Notre Dame and the University of California, plus a NATO ambassador, identified a list of "transformational leaders who not only get the job done but do so in a way that creates trust, creativity, commitment, and ethical behavior." Those selected to be interviewed included a former governor, a US senator, a college president, a CEO in healthcare, and other successful leaders. Their findings include:

 

  • 72% spoke in strong and clear terms of the importance to them of their spiritual traditions.

  • 77% said there is a strong and vital relationship between spirituality and leadership practices.

  • 59% commented that spirituality in the workplace is essential to organizational health and productivity.

 

Lessons from Spiritually-Based Leadership

 

At least two lessons emerge from this study:

 

1. Profound Link Between Spirituality and Leadership: There may be a profound link between the ability to be a transformational leader and a personal sense of spirituality. Spirituality tends to ground us in a greater good beyond the self, helps us value other people, creates in us an aspiration towards ethical behavior, and teaches us that we cannot know or control everything ourselves. When matched with the right skills, discipline, and dedication, a leader can have much more depth and sensitivity.

2. Desire to Integrate Spirituality in the Workplace: The project suggests that there is a great desire to integrate spirituality into the workplace but also a keen awareness of the problems involved. Not everyone speaks the same spiritual language, and not everyone is nurtured by the same tradition. Failure to live up to proclaimed spiritual values could lead to skepticism and cynicism.

 

Ultimately, spiritual values take us beyond ourselves to a realm larger than our own interests. This is what people are looking for today and what the world needs. Peter Drucker speaks of the responsibility we have as business leaders to stretch our interests "beyond the walls" of our organizations.

 

Balancing the Common Good and Organizational Performance

 

How do we balance the common good with the specific purpose of our institutions? This integration can be achieved when leaders take responsibility beyond the walls. They must lead their organizations to performance while ensuring that members of the organization take community responsibility. Any company that successfully integrates performance and community responsibility will thrive. This can occur best when:

 

1. Leadership is Firmly Grounded in Spiritual Principles: Leaders must embody spiritual principles in their actions and decisions.

2. Business Skills are Applied with Excellence: Practical business skills must be honed and applied to achieve organizational goals.

3. High Values are Applied Consistently: Organizations must "walk the talk" and apply high values to their products, communications, and internal management practices.

 

When these elements are in place, the brands of that company take on an allure to anyone interested in high integrity. That reputation will return multiple dividends for corporations and communities in terms of greater investment, greater growth, and a greater abundance of top-quality talent. For the individual, it is deeply soul-satisfying, and for humanity, we all gain greater confidence in the power of love and character to provide for our material as well as spiritual well-being.

 

The Need for Spiritual Values in Business

 

It’s too late to argue about whether spirituality belongs in the workplace. Our spiritual values go to work with us, and it’s time we exercise leadership based on them. We are all called to lead the way to a new story about leadership and spiritual values in business. As stated by Michael Ray, professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business:

 

"The real heroes of today are people dealing with the challenges of a world in chaotic transition. They know the difficulty and suffering that is part of this world. But they also have full faith in their inner creativity or spirit with its infinite intuition, will, joy, strength, and compassion. They know that the joy and promise of life is taking these inner qualities and bringing them forth in a constant quest for the highest for themselves and everyone around them."

 

When we step up to this challenge, this call, to be business leaders steeped in our spiritual values, our companies will take the lead in building the character—and thus the reputation—required for sustainable growth in this new millennium.

 

Enhancing Spiritual Quotient in the Corporate World

 

The corporate world is now fast-moving towards enhancing the spiritual quotient (SQ) of its members. The aim is to increase their productivity and improve interpersonal relationships. It is also a step towards learning to manage stress and its impact on personal lives.

 

In the earlier days, IQ was of primary relevance, but it soon became apparent that people who operated purely through intellect were often poor in handling people issues. Thus came the importance of EQ or emotional quotient, which worked through the emotional aspects of management and people care. However, the rising stress factors in demanding environments have made it essential for organizations to move on to SQ or Spiritual Quotient. SQ is about connecting with our inner essence and enhancing our lives through the understanding of higher life processes.

 

The Evolution from IQ to EQ to SQ

 

IQ: Intellectual Quotient

 

Initially, IQ was the dominant measure of an individual's capabilities. It focused on logical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and intellectual prowess. While essential, IQ alone proved insufficient in navigating the complexities of human interactions and emotional landscapes.

 

EQ: Emotional Quotient

 

The introduction of EQ highlighted the significance of emotional intelligence in personal and professional success. EQ involves the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and those of others. It plays a crucial role in building relationships, empathizing with others, and effectively managing teams.

 

SQ: Spiritual Quotient

 

The evolution to SQ represents a further deepening of our understanding of intelligence. SQ involves connecting with our inner essence, recognizing the interconnectedness of all life, and aligning our actions with higher principles and values. It encompasses a broader perspective that integrates intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions, fostering holistic growth and well-being.

 

The Practical Benefits of SQ in Business

 

Individual Level Benefits

 

At the individual level, SQ provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Employees who connect with their inner values and align their work with a higher purpose experience greater job satisfaction and personal well-being. This intrinsic motivation leads to increased productivity and a positive work environment.

 

Corporate Level Benefits

 

At the corporate level, organizations that prioritize SQ attract more investors, business opportunities, and talented individuals. Companies known for their high-integrity and value-driven culture become magnets for top talent and ethical investors. This alignment with higher principles enhances the organization's reputation and fosters long-term success.

 

Societal Level Benefits

 

At the societal level, the integration of SQ in business practices contributes to a more just and compassionate world. Organizations that operate with integrity and a sense of social responsibility help bridge the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots," promoting equality and sustainable development. This positive impact on society enhances the overall well-being of communities and creates a ripple effect of goodness.

 

The Integration of SQ in Organizational Practices

 

Organizational Characteristics

 

1. Culture that Accepts and Values Differences: A spiritually intelligent organization embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued.

2. Employee Empowerment: Employees are empowered to contribute to the organization's functioning, leading to greater innovation and job satisfaction.

3. Creativity and Innovation: Organizations that prize and reward creativity and innovation tend to attract and retain top talent, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

4. Holistic Health: Encouraging and rewarding employees for attending to their emotional, physical, and spiritual health leads to a more balanced and productive workforce.

5. Community and Environmental Respect: Policies that respect the community and the environment reflect a commitment to sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility.

6. Non-Negotiable Integrity: A culture of integrity at all levels builds trust and loyalty among employees and stakeholders.

7. Honest Self-Expression and Freedom: Promoting honest self-expression and freedom within the workplace leads to a more open and communicative environment.

8. Employee-Centric Culture: Placing employees first ensures that their needs and well-being are prioritized, resulting in higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

9. Generous Management: Management that is generous with their time and resources to develop employees' potential fosters a culture of growth and development.

10. Complexity, Flexibility, and Ambiguity: Valuing complexity, flexibility, and ambiguity allows organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and thrive in dynamic environments.

 

Team Level Characteristics

 

1. Equality: Treating everyone as equal fosters a sense of unity and collaboration within teams.

2. Value for Each Member: Recognizing and valuing each team member's contributions enhances team cohesion and effectiveness.

3. Unity of Purpose: A shared purpose aligns team efforts and drives collective success.

4. Trust: Prioritizing trust within teams creates a supportive and secure environment for all members.

5. Respect: Treating everyone with respect promotes a positive and inclusive team culture.

6. Empathy and Compassion: Demonstrating empathy and compassion for each team member strengthens interpersonal relationships and team morale.

7. Generous Information Exchange: Encouraging the generous exchange of information and knowledge fosters a collaborative learning environment.

8. Honest Feedback: Providing honest feedback helps team members grow and improve their performance.

9. Balance of Fun and Work: Integrating fun and work creates a balanced and enjoyable team atmosphere, enhancing productivity and job satisfaction.

 

Individual Employee Level Characteristics

 

1. Risk-Taking: Encouraging employees to take risks and explore new ideas fosters innovation and personal growth.

2. Open Self-Expression: Promoting open self-expression allows employees to share their thoughts and ideas freely, enhancing creativity and collaboration.

3. Respect for All: Treating everyone with respect creates a positive and inclusive work environment.

4. Generosity: Being generous with information, compassion, and time builds strong relationships and a supportive workplace culture.

5. Seeking Feedback: Valuing feedback about performance helps employees improve and develop their skills.

6. Challenging Oneself: Encouraging employees to challenge themselves promotes continuous learning and development.

7. Sincerity: Being sincere in interactions fosters trust and authenticity in the workplace.

8. Open-Mindedness: Embracing open-mindedness encourages diverse perspectives and innovative thinking.

9. Self-Care: Respecting personal limits and taking time to replenish energy ensures long-term well-being and productivity.

10. Golden Rule: Treating others as you wish to be treated creates a respectful and harmonious work environment.

11. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness and working in the moment enhances focus and reduces stress.

12. Love and Forgiveness: Embracing love and forgiveness fosters a compassionate and supportive workplace.

13. Honoring Uniqueness: Accepting and honoring one's uniqueness and the uniqueness of others creates a culture of inclusivity and appreciation.

14. Goal Setting: Setting goals and focusing on them drives personal and professional growth.

15. Laughter: Incorporating laughter and humor into the workplace promotes a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.

 

The Role of Integrity and Truthfulness

 

Integrity and truthfulness are cornerstones of spiritually-based leadership. Spiritual intelligence is fundamentally incompatible with deceit and dishonesty. Leaders who embody these values create an environment of trust and authenticity. The Discovery Channel documentary on lies highlighted how business executives and leaders are sometimes admired for their ability to deceive “appropriately.” This mindset is a reflection of the perverse values of the researchers and interviewees. Other than to save lives, there can be no acceptable justification for lies. Spiritual awareness and lies are mutually exclusive.

 

Leaving a Positive Legacy

 

The long-term goal of spiritually aware individuals is to leave behind a sustainable and positive legacy. Physical assets like buildings may be destroyed, and financial wealth may be lost, but the impact of touching lives in a meaningful way endures. The true legacy of a spiritually intelligent person is the positive influence they have on others, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond their lifetime.

 

Learning

 

It is too late to argue about whether spirituality belongs in the workplace. Our spiritual values go to work with us, and it’s time we exercise leadership based on them. We are all called to lead the way to a new story about leadership and spiritual values in business. As stated by Michael Ray, professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business:

 

"The real heroes of today are people dealing with the challenges of a world in chaotic transition. They know the difficulty and suffering that is part of this world. But they also have full faith in their inner creativity or spirit with its infinite intuition, will, joy, strength, and compassion. They know that the joy and promise of life is taking these inner qualities and bringing them forth in a constant quest for the highest for themselves and everyone around them."

 

When we step up to this challenge, this call, to be business leaders steeped in our spiritual values, our companies will take the lead in building the character—and thus the reputation—required for sustainable growth in this new millennium. By integrating SQ into our organizations, we not only enhance productivity and interpersonal relationships but also create a more just and compassionate world. As we align our actions with higher principles and values, we foster holistic growth and well-being, ultimately contributing to a better future for all.

 

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