Is there a place for spirituality in the workplace?
Can you effectively intertwine spirituality with leadership and company values?
The answer to these questions is simple.
Yes you can and I suggest you do. And in fact you may already and not realize it.
Spirituality expressed in personality traits such as humility, compassion, intuition and kindness all of which are found in successful CEOs and teams.
To the outside world, the role of CEO can seem like a stressful job focused on analysing data and making big decisions, however a spiritual connection is also required.
Having a philosophical outlook on things like product development and team member leadership can bring out the best in a company.
Just think about what it would be like if you embodied more compassion, kindness and were able to align your emotions better.
You’d have the skillset to manage your team better, elevate your emotional intelligence and maintain a calmer state in stressful, high pressure periods.
So What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality is knowing that our lives bear a significance greater than our everyday existence.
Something far bigger than our biological needs that drive selfishness and anger.
It means we embrace the fact we are a significant part of a greater purpose unfolding in the universe.
It starts with what’s called “An Awakening”.
This very newsletter could be your spiritual awakening because I’m making you aware that there’s more to being a human than just a 5-sensory experience.
Today we’re going to cover:
- The data on spirituality in the workplace.
- Spirituality and leadership.
- Spirituality and company culture.
- A case study on Southwest Airlines.
- Feelings & Beliefs around spirituality.
- Action steps to becoming a more spiritual CEO.
- What’s possible…
Every individual's spiritual journey is unique and there’s no wrong or right way to learn and grow in the spiritual sense but most journeys involve developing a deeper understanding of love, death, wisdom and truth.
The spiritual journey begins with first healing your ego and the trauma you’ve experienced up until now in your life.
These different traumatic experiences influence your feelings and beliefs and by picking them apart and revealing the initial events that snowballed into your current beliefs, you can boost your self esteem and create room for more love.
Opening our heart is an essential aspect of spirituality as it allows you to seperate yourself from your ego and thus create the space needed to be more conscious of the feelings and beliefs you’re embodying.
From there, it’s a continual process of questioning everything you’re thinking and doing to ensure you’re not living based on your ego’s misaligned judgement.
Once you start questioning, you start developing the ability to create a better connection with your spiritual being, other people as well as nature and the planet itself and therefore living more aligned with the world around you.
For a lot of people, they connect spirituality with religion. Your personal spiritual journey doesn’t need to be connected to a faith although it can be. It’s about finding what works for you.
The Data On Spirituality In The Workplace
A study conducted on 133 employees within the hospitality industry who agreed their workplace was a spiritual environment provided the following data.
Participants were asked to rate whether they agreed that spirituality positively influenced certain areas of their work from a scale of 1-6. 1 being Strongly disagree and 6 being strongly agree.
- A sense of meaningful work scored a mean average of 4.9.
- A sense of community scored an average of 4.8.
- Alignment between organization and individual values scored 4.45.
While spirituality is challenging to accurately track as it’s essentially a feeling, this data shows that employees felt that a spiritual workplace environment increased the sense of meaningfulness in their work, developed a stronger community and aligned their values.
Spirituality And Leadership.
A significant change is happening right now as leaders seek to integrate their spirituality into their work. Most leaders agree this integration is only going to benefit team members, company culture as well as company output.
Spiritual leadership is a model of leadership based on; vision, hope, growth, and love. This form of leadership can literally transform a workplace, enhancing team member well-being and cohesion.
Both of which greatly benefit company output.
Spirituality in leadership implies that the focus will be less on formal positions of power and more on people; less on conformity and more on transformation and diversity; and less on controlling and more on partnership, collaboration, and inspiration.
Spirituality in leadership does not require that the leader adhere to a particular religion or that he or she attempt to convince subordinates to pursue a specific set of religious principles.
While leaders who emphasize spirituality may base their leadership approach in Christianity or another religious tradition, they may also have so-called “non-traditional” religious beliefs or may not adhere to any particular religion at all.
Spirituality in leadership is more concerned with the development of employees as “whole people”—people who exhibit compassion to other team members and customers.
It connects our human desire for spiritual survival and community by creating a connected vision across the leader, team members and organization levels ultimately enhancing productivity and commitment.
This style of leadership instill the attitudes and behaviours needed for internal motivation by doing two things:
- Creating a vision and a sense of calling in that leaders and team members feel their life has meaning and makes a difference
- Establishing a social and organizational culture based on the values of altruistic love where team members feel understood and appreciated, and have genuine care, concern, and appreciation for both self and others.
We already know how important it is to have a vision and purpose to all things we do in both our personal lives and business lives.
Spiritual leadership empowers team members with a pursuit of a vision, purpose, or mission in service to key stakeholders that satisfies one’s need for calling and membership.
Individuals who practice spiritual leadership at the personal level have more joy, peace, serenity, and overall life satisfaction.
Spiritual leadership involves the application of spiritual values and principles to the workplace.
The spiritual leader understands the importance of employees finding meaning in their work and demonstrates a genuine concern for the “whole” person, not just the employee.
Spiritual leadership tries to assist others in finding meaning in their work by addressing fundamental questions such as:
- Who are we as a work team, department, or organization?
- Is our work worthy?
- What is our greater purpose?
- What are our values and ethical principles?
- What will be our legacy?
The spiritual leader strives for a workplace that is truly a community, consisting of people with shared traditions, values, and beliefs.
Spirituality And Company Culture
When you think of spiritual impact within your business you are really speaking to the culture of the environment and how culture is lived out daily between management, employees, customers and vendors.
At the core of culture are the values which drive your organization. How those values are communicated within and without the organization establish the foundation for spiritual impact.
Your values represent your philosophical views as well as your organizational priorities and sense of purpose. Your values will directly impact your mission, goals and objectives. What will be key is understanding and defining how these values integrate into the daily work life of your employees.
Our blog post ‘Culture Fuels Performance’ will help you decide your values and elevate company culture.
A Case Study On Spirituality In The Workplace – Southwest Airlines
A research study conducted on Southwest Airlines was designed to analyse the ways spirituality manifested within SWA and answer one specific question.
Is spirituality in the workplace related to organizational commitment, and if so, how?
I’m going to summarise the findings from this 48 page case study but you can read the full publication here.
Before I share a summary of the findings, this statement justifies why Southwest Airlines was selected for this study.
“We selected Southwest Airlines (SWA) for our case study because it appears to have a strong sense of spiritual-based values guiding its organizational goals and practices. In addition, the company has an established track record of excellent organizational performance as well as high employee and customer satisfaction. In profiling SWA we certainly do not want to imply that it is a perfect example of living spiritual values; it has its problems and limitations like other firms. Despite this, there seems to be a genuine sense of spirit and affection in both SWA employees and customers (p. 221).”
The literature demonstrates that applying the spiritual mindset in a workplace will encourage the creativity and innovativeness of employees, which, in turn, enhances their productivity, leading to better overall performance for and by the organization as it relates to job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
The results in this research suggests that when people find meaning in their work activities and feel involved in a spiritual organizational climate, they become happier and healthy employees engaged in a collaborative manner, to apply the full potential to work and bring their entire selves to the organization.
They thus become more productive over the long run compared with employees in organizations where spirituality is ignored or disrespected.
Feelings and Beliefs Around Spirituality
- Everything in my life frustrates me
- I get angry when things don’t go my way
- Nothing in my life fulfils me
- I’m confused about the direction I want to take my company in
- My life feels misaligned
Let’s go through the feelings and beliefs you can adopt to start elevating your spirituality.
- My life is balanced
- I am at peace with the challenges I face
- I love myself and everyone I cross paths with
- I wake up everyday full of happiness
- My personal, spiritual and business lives are fully aligned
Action Steps To Becoming A More Spiritual Leader
Now we have gone through the limiting beliefs and feelings you may want to let go of and the empowering ones you can embrace, let’s look at the action steps you can take to elevate your leadership.
Action Step 1] Be Present:
Being present and living by the moment is quite a robust spiritual thought which was emphasized by many spiritual leaders. Instead of dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future, being in the present brings the best business decisions and evokes mental focus.
Make a point to practice awareness and being entirely present during work and also in personal life.
Action Step 2] Develop a Service Mindset:
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has firmly believed in this principle, whether it was business or in real life. The idea of service is quite selfless and brings out joy to the giver. Follow the motto “Service to man is service to God,” which is a most profound spiritual thought.
Action Step 3] Be a Listener:
While oratory skills are the obvious thing for a CEO, listening practice is equally important. Make a point to listen to your peers, subordinates, and team members. You never knew where good advice or ideas could prop up from! That can happen only with extremely aware listening skills.
Action Step 4] Embrace Spontaneity:
A company needs to follow specific rules, but at the same time, some spontaneity brings out the best. The best ideas of a company product come in the spontaneous talking and bending of rules instead of being stringent. Encourage your team members to be spontaneous in advising and coming up with new ideas.
Action Step 5] Be Humble:
Being a CEO naturally brings the person into a high level of control and authority, but at the same time, being humble brings up a new level of surrender and dedication towards work. Many CEOs such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates display humility despite reaching great heights in business.
Action Step 6] Never Stop Learning:
Spiritual gurus emphasize learning, much beyond academic achievements. Learning should never be confined to only college education or a Ph.D. but a daily process. As a CEO, make sure that learning should be continuous, consistent and also rewarding.
Action Step 7] Believe in Instincts:
Brainstorming on a product or an idea fetches desirable results in business, but the best results at times come with intuitive thought. Trust your instincts which may not always be logical. At times, believing in instincts brings a life-changing outcome, which is non- conformist and brilliant.
Spirituality deeply emphasizes on surpassing limits, which are human-made. A successful CEO should consistently work on breaking boundaries in terms of thoughts.
One of our clients Greg Ragland, CEO of CommEdge LLC had this to say about his time working with Lifestyle Perfected:
“One of the biggest benefits of Nadav’s coaching is that I am more mindful – I spend more time focusing on positive change and results that I want to see in my life, while also being more cognizant of negative signposts that lead to negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. I also have more business, investment, and spiritual knowledge thanks to Nadav’s coaching and insights from his program..”
If you’d like a complimentary consultation on your spirituality or another area of life & business to elevate the alignment within your company, reply to this email or alternatively, you can see our programs for CEOs and for teams here.
We’re also excited to invite you to apply to CEO Circle. A group for CEOs to elevate emotional intelligence, increase impact and legacy wealth. If you are CEO and/or a founder with $1 million or more in revenue or assets apply here.
Sending you love,
& the Lifestyle Perfected team