Executive Vitality™: How Spirituality Impacts Our Vitality

Executive Vitality™: How Spirituality Impacts Our VitalityThere seems to be more purpose in my life and I always feel happier when I am connected to my spiritual practices: meditating, doing gratitude lists, helping others, and understanding I am not in control of events “out there.” Simple things are pleasurable. I don’t become irritated as easily. And in my work life, I am much more productive whenever I maintain my spirituality, even in the face of an upcoming work emergency, the urgent threatening the important, or too many competing priorities.

The trend toward more spirituality or sense of connectedness in the corporate world has been noted over the past several years. In a July 13, 2014 Washington Post article, Bringing Spirituality to Work, Dr. Joyce Russell (Vice Dean and the Director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business) points out that more and more employees and leaders are seeking deeper meaning in their work lives. Part of that is driven by the fact that work is such a big part of our lives.

What if we started doing a regular spiritual practice as a normal activity—during lunch, for example? What if each of us had meditation time, all at the same time? Or if we, as leaders, supported individual meditation in the workplace?

If I asked you to name a company you thought might be supportive of this type of practice, you might mention Google and you would be right. A Google engineer now has the job to “make people happier and the world a more peaceful place” (Googles-algorithm-for-happiness). How? Meditation, logging moments of joy, and wishing others happiness are a few examples.

A very different company is Eileen Fisher. Ms. Fisher started her fashion business in 1984 with $350. It is estimated she is now worth over $210 million and her annual sales are estimated at over $425 million. She, her business, and her employees are thriving, and part of the reason for that is her dedication to her employees’ wellness and mindfulness. Ms. Fisher is noted for beginning each day with her staff in a meditation session initiated by a gong.

For more information about spiritual practices designed to deal with stress and increase productivity while boosting peacefulness, happiness and serenity, see our Breakaway Performance articles Happiness Serenity and Productivity and Your Happiness Quotient.

What can you do as a leader to help introduce a more meaningful engagement with work? How can you help employees connect more with their work and with each other?

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