*Average Read Time: 5 minutes
It seems counter intuitive to even mention spirituality in the same sentence as business. The politically correct among us, in alignment with our constitution and the founding fathers of this country, would perhaps balk at any theory that threatens devotion to traditional separation of church and state. While “state” in this sense is obviously “government”, I would like to explore the extension of this definition for business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees alike to be inclusive of “business”, or rather the state of business. I’m not saying we should require our employees or executive leadership to lead or share in prayer. I’m not saying we should make business decisions solely based on intuitive spiritual guidance. But I do wonder, should we make space in our businesses for spirituality to live? Should spirituality play a role in how we manage our business?
While I’m a firm believer in the separation of spirituality and religion; that being spiritual does not demand one to align with any particular religion, nor if someone subscribes to any particular religion, that doing so makes them any less spiritual. Meaning, spirituality and religion, though related, are not at all mutually exclusive. I myself was raised Irish Catholic but as an adult find more comfort in spirituality than formal religion. I also believe that there is something truly spiritual about pursuing our passions, whether in love, life, or career. To devote 40 hours or more of your week to the pursuit of mastering a trade, a profession, or building a business – in and of itself is spiritual. Such dedication requires devotion of self, devotion of soul, devotion of spirit. It requires sacrifice. So why do we shy away from acknowledging the role spirituality should, could, and does play in business?
If you’ve read past blogs, you know that I’ve spent my career bopping around the fashion industry working for a variety of different companies. While many of those companies were started by passionate people, are still alive today as a result of the passion hundreds or thousands of employees show the individual roles they play within those organizations, I never once felt a sense of soul in any of those companies. Until recently I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing from these companies for me personally. I loved what I did (most of the time). I loved my co-workers (most of them). I loved the perks some of those companies provided, but something was always missing.
As the world began to fall apart this past year, it became glaringly obvious what those organizations were missing. While people all over the country began to suffer for a variety of reasons, many organizations that should have stepped up or stepped in, to provide support, became eerily silent. Obviously, many of them were facing their own struggles however, those that showed up, despite their struggles, did so because they have soul.
The simplest definition of soul is the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. What about the spiritual or immaterial part of a business? Shouldn’t that have soul? Shouldn’t the spirit of any business be what sets it apart from every other? That’s what makes it so magnetic? That’s what gives it magic? That’s what makes it immortal? A business that lacks spirituality, that lacks soul, leaves no legacy.
If you look into some of the world’s most successful CEO’s or entrepreneurs, you’ll often hear them talk about the role that spirituality plays in their everyday lives, their success, and inadvertently, their business – as a physical extension of themselves. Whether it’s dedicated time to journaling, meditation, manifestation practices, prayer, yoga, the gym…all of these great leaders have what one would define as some type of spiritual “practice”. Some type of ritual; morning, afternoon, and/or night, that they adhere to in order to enrich their soul and therein, feed the spirit of their business.
I think as the world evolves the importance of S.Q or spiritual intelligence, in combination with E.Q (emotional intelligence) will separate the impactful leaders of tomorrow from the rather soulless we’ve seen dominate the landscape today. I think it’s obvious that solving the world’s problems cannot be done without soul. That creating a better, brighter, more equitable future for all of us, working to restore our environment and our planet for our children, demands that we lead with soul. After all, soul, by definition is spiritual. If your business has soul, then it must have space for spirituality. If your business has soul, it’s already made space for spirituality. So why not embrace it? Why not celebrate it? Why don’t we encourage it? If nothing else, why don’t we consider the power it can have in a successful future?
Stay safe, stay stylish, stay humble.
Founder & CEO, Love Saves Apparel PBC