Can leaders in business today be spiritual?

I happen to be a believer in the power of meditation.  From a meditative space, I gain qualities that are undeniably “unique”.   For me I experience myself as being far more grounded with a higher degree of “clarity” {more so than say my ordinary mental state (OMS)}.  A space free from the distractions of emotions and reaction, my perspective changes.  I’m operating on a higher plane.  Imagine having a 360 degree view of the issue at hand and the awareness of what to do about it.  This is why meditation is my spiritual practice.

But I wonder –  can business leaders today be spiritual?

A quick browse through the internet I see a great deal of acknowledgment given to meditation and mindfulness.  You have groups like The Energy Project doing research on human energy potential and it’s impact on employee well-being.  Many of our contemporary though leaders and writers, give audio and wrote time to the benefits of slowing down, while urging all of us to “get on board”.  Yet in small to mid-size organizations, these contemporary ideas simply get little to no traction.  Instead of mindfulness practiced by owners and management, employees are told to do more with less.  Decisions are reactionary based and typically in response to cash-flow related issues.  Employee well-being is marginalized.

Small businesses are still the majority employers throughout the country.  which means that a majority of Americans work under managers who operate from old beliefs systems (cultural), while directing from out-dated relationship models (personal).  What is needed today is a new perspective on values – born from personal spiritual practices – that are the foundation for a holistic way of leading.

“Greatness as a leader, and beyond that as a human being, requires the vision to see more and exclude less. It means looking inside ourselves more deeply as well as outside ourselves, beyond self-interest and immediate gratification. It means not just resisting the deep impulse to choose up sides to avoid uncertainty, but also challenging our blind spots and wrestling with our infinite capacity for self-deception.”… Tony Schwartz, CEO, The Energy Project*

The key is to build a strong case for spiritual based training among manager looking for growth opportunity and improvement.   Some indicators to consider in potential candidates for this are:

  • Managers wanting more meaning in their lives
  • Managers wanting better relationships in their lives
  • Managers wanting quality time
  • Managers wanting financial success
  • Managers looking for change

We must look for ways to recognize managers in flux and connect them with opportunities to re-align themselves with that which burns deep inside.  An exploration of the self is only way to bring that inner fire to the surface.  Once they’ve reconnected with their deepest purpose and values, they will in turn, become the change we all wish to see.

I believe that people, regardless of their company size or industry, deserve a chance for a better workplace.   The issues we face together are formidable, and our old points of reference no longer provides us solutions.  The place where a shift must begin is in the capacity of our leaders.  With more attention given to the benefits of a leader with a spiritual foundation, we engage a new way of seeing our world.

A spiritual practice gives us a greater clarity and vision on to the world around us.  I encourage anyone in a leadership position to consider the potentials of developing a deeper relationship with the self.   Whether it is through a meditation practice or personal journey, this deeper connection with “what’s inside” will make your life infinitely better.  Reach out to me at gtilley@tengraces.com if you would like to discuss ways on how to start your practice.

 

*https://theenergyproject.com/why-great-leaders-see-more-and-exclude-less-2/

 

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Where has “sensible” leadership gone?

Read the following article, then think to yourself – does this sound familiar?  Do we have working conditions in this country that are this absurd?  Where have sensible people gone so that such an article can be true?

Here is the article by Elizabeth Anderson (Vox.com):

How bosses are (literally) like dictators.

The primary focus of the article is on the corporate cultures of some of the biggest companies in the world and how “un-friendly” these cultures are to their most precious resource – their people.  The story highlights examples how these companies abuse their employees all for the sake of an increased bottom line.  Basically it’s about the money and definitely not about conscious capitalism (although, several of the companies mentioned in the article are considered thought leaders in their respective industries).

The question that comes up for me in this piece is this – where is the individual in this story and why have they so given up on their good judgement?  I am reminded that these “bosses” and “co-workers”are people like you and me.  They are well educated and trained.  They are apart of something greater.  Yet they’ve give up their own essential values and morality for something outside of them (read: money, power, acceptance, etc.).

If this article is true and many bosses are like tyrants, this is a very disturbing insight into our corporate cultures.  It begs the question  – What needs to happen at the level of management and leadership to recover our moral compass?

 

Do we stumble when we look up?

I am on this kick about what it means to thrive in the world today. It’s been in my conversations (many others apparently have this question as well), my readings, my audio books…even my walks are consumed by this topic as I navigate the trails near my home.

I feel like myself and so many around me have been moving through the world, looking down, as if unsure what our next steps will be.  I also look down from my burdens – self-doubt, shame, depression, guilty – what I like to call my human condition.  So heavy are these burdens, that looking up seems impossible at times.  From this place I (we) sustain.  We get by.

Yet, I am pushing myself toward a different way of being in the world.  A way of moving that allows me to expand; not contract.  A walk if you will, where my head is up and my chest is open.  Although the pathway may be rocky (life), I seem to glide over the bumps and ruts effortlessly.  My vantage point is now 360.  My orientation broader and brighter.

So I encourage my readers to consider this for a moment.  Noticing from which space you operate.

Nose down and introspective?  Or head-up and open?

I have come to realize, best intentions aside, there will be days that I experience both as I modulate working to find the balance.  But I’m rather positive that I (we) can move through the world looking up, without stumbling.  And if we do, it’s only temporary, as if to keep us mindful of the effort we need to put into being alive.  The rocks and ruts will always be there.  It’s all in the approach.

Peace.

The unsustainable

“Well the word that comes to my mind is…thrive” my friend throws out during one of our weekly check-ins.  We had been talking about how we and those we knew were always in this place of “just getting by” in our respective lives.  Then he hits the nail on the head.  He goes for it all –  “what would it be like to thrive?”

I could feel a shift in me simply hearing the word as it penetrated my ear.  I repeated the word back to him and experienced that same feeling again.  A feeling of power.  Something positive and actionable.  Whole shit!  He was on to something.

So of course this got me thinking about why I don’t use this word more – in my work and in my life.  Why I hear so much about “sustainable” practices and not how we can have “thriving” practices or lives. Is it me or is this a collective thing?  Have we given up on a life better lived?

When we thrive, we operate from a place of openness and kindness.  We are no longer weighted down by fear or anger; the drivers behind so much of our modern strife.  We see the world as bountiful with opportunity.  There is enough for both you and me.  We are energized.  The grip of stress, which causes our dis-ease, let’s go allowing us to breath and circulate.  When we are thriving, there is no more need for disconnecting or numbing out.  We want to be connected and alive.

So with so many potential benefits, one would wonder why we don’t hear the word more.  It is probably a mind shift that has to take place at the level of I  –  as in “I have to use the word to describe my work and my life”.  If in fact we are what we think, the inclusion of the word thrive would be a practice worthy of serious contemplation.

As we wrapped up our call, I thanked him for the insight. It was another rich conversation leaving both of us with something to ponder.  As I disconnected the call, the following thought was present for me  about my life  – thinking sustainable is in many ways, unsustainable – in that it could never give me the dynamic, rich life I seek.

 

 

 

 

Where is the humanity?

A brief scan of the news this morning made me realize the constant struggle for personal freedom and rights of value.  The news is littered with examples of the dynamic tension between the individual and the powers that be.

The rights of the individual basically boil down to what we collectively can agree on.  So I want to think about what I can do to promote freedom and free thinking.  Looking at the world around me as a blank slate – as in never experienced before.  Not trying to make the world fit into something that I know or are comfortable with.  Maybe even be “uncomfortable” with what I see and experience.

This is the greatest test of my humanity.

100

This is my 100th post…no small feat.  I have, in my writings, wanted to share my life, with all the ups and downs; to be revealing and open in my impressions of the world around me.   These were my intentions from the start, and I almost didn’t make it.

Why?  As I mentioned in my post yesterday, taking action to remedy one’s life can be scary and that scary usually takes the shape of a part of this question – what if I fail?  Several times this fear of failure stopped me.

But here I am, 100 blogs later.

So what’s next for me?  I don’t really know, but I promise myself this…

To live large.

To continue to blog.

To fail.

And to share all of it with you.

Peace.

A leap into the unknown

Sometime, the best of plans simply don’t pan out.  In this case, I’ve come to a point in time where I need to make a decision…the road has forked and it’s time to move in a different direction.

The question is always – what exactly is next?  Will the road ahead be better maintained and full of pit stops?   Or is it a long, slow Nevada stretch of nothing that must be endured.  Will I leap and land on my feet? Or on my backside?

Here’s where the rubber meets the road.  It’s up to me.  Regardless of the direction, it’s about how I respond to the challenge ahead.  It’s about the perspective for all roads have something to learn from and unique sites of their own.  Taking action is what it really about.  With out action, our lives become stale and stuck.

So I am humming this tune to myself as I prepare to let go of that plan that I had clung to the past 6 months.  Looking down and putting one foot in front of the other (creating movement) I now begin to make change happen.

Scary?  Yes, the unknown has that power.  Worth it?  Definitely.  Becoming stuck and all the emotions that come along with that space are far worse for me then the unknown.  My power comes alive in the action. That aliveness is the catalyst for my growth.  A new dynamic is created.  And it radiates out of me.

So I leap and the thrill begins.

(Here is a simple, yet effective formula to consider when making a change in your life.)

Awareness,  for a short period of awaiting, brings acceptance which then creates the the momentum of action. (the four A’s)

Contact me at gtilley@tengraces.com if you have questions on the four A’s