By: Tom Zender
If there is one thing that almost everyone can agree upon when it comes to spirituality, no matter your religious background or beliefs, it’s that spirituality brings clarity. The words spirituality and purity have long been synonymous. Spirituality can help to alleviate the muddle that comes with stress, and relax our tendency to overcomplicate our environment. When we struggle in life, when we feel lost, it is clarity that we seek. Spirituality provides such clarity in many emotional, relationship, and further normative contexts. Yet spirituality also has the ability to bring clarity into unclear and frustrating business contexts.
The foundation of business is communications. Deals, bargains, and projects are the result of an interaction between people. As this is where all business starts and ends, it only seems natural that clarity should be sought. While the multiple steps that go beyond the initiation of a potential deal are in many cases interwoven with such complexity that few can understand them, the initial steps should always be clear and concise. Within those steps, one should be able to find the motivation of the parties and their goals to be transparent and easily understood. There are deals where this is not the case, but I would state now that such deals are usually instances of one party trying to maximize their gains from the interaction rather than ensuring the best deal for all involved.
Why is this a problem? Well, business is a long term enterprise. The old chestnut of watching who you step on while you are on the way up, because you never know where they’ll be on your way down, is as true today as it has always been. Nothing lasts forever. Therefore, you want to create as supportive a business environment as possible for yourself and your firm at all times. You want to make sure that the continuity of your success is guaranteed through the high potential of help being there when you need it one day. Not to mention the fact that if both firms are trying to maximize their gains with respect to the needs of the other, a better arrangement over time will likely be found – reaping future gains that cannot exist without a continued and trustful partnership.
Thus the best business is always spiritual in the sense that it is clear and honest. It allows parties to minimize the time needed to do their deal, so that both parties can concentrate on other deals as well. It allows parties to develop a stronger network, sensitive to shifts in the marketplace – whether the changes are technological, taste-based, or event driven. There is always a selfish part to business – you can’t just go out of business or take a substantial loss in order to help the other firm. But the existence of this fact, having it out in the open, is as spiritual an act as envisioning the future benefits of treating your partners fairly today. While there are a lot of people out there trying to link business and other parts of the world to our spiritual selves through obscure and abstract theories, this is a very basic way in which good business can be seen as spiritual in nature. Not to mention the fact that business and spirituality are both ways of structuring our search for the unknown conditions that await us aound the corner. Here too, the greater clarity we can retain for ourselves, the better.
For more on this topic read God Goes to Work written by Tom Zender and available online and at bookstore everywhere. This timely book explains how successful individuals and firms are changing the way they do business by accessing and utilizing a vast reservoir of untapped energy. Learn why Spirituality is the basis for success and the most important asset you have in elevating you and your business to a new level of performance.
TOM ZENDER is President Emeritus of Unity that serves over three million people of all faiths worldwide. He is a recognized spiritual leader and corporate executive with decades of success, who has held management positions at General Electric and Honeywell, and was a Senior VP in NYSE and NASDAQ listed corporations. His corporate board experience includes NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.
Reprinted with permission. This article is presented unedited as an opportunity for you, our readers, to gain a deeper perspective of the authors we admire.