Does the word “soul” have a place in organizations?
In the world of leadership development, we examine the million dollar question, “What really makes leaders extraordinary?” As I study highly impactful, successful leaders I find they are drawn to a higher calling - a purpose at the depth of their being. They have a strong connection from within and are listening to insights from their soul.
In my 15 + years of working in corporate cultures, the word “soul” was never used. "Soul" never showed up on a development plan or a performance review. I can’t speak for all organizations, but I've had my fair share of working in different types of companies. Most leaders and their teams have big hearts and embody a high level of integrity. They care about their people and want what's best for them. Some lead from a deep place or a higher calling - maybe even their "soul." However, the word "soul" is absent from the corporate vocabulary as it may seem too “out there” or “fluffy.” It can be considered too deep, not business orientated. But is it? People can get hung up on the word, but I say work and live by its definition.
Other questions arise. What if we all came to work connected to our soul, from a place of depth and real meaning? Would we exceed our sales targets, inspire our teams through change, and find new ways to innovate our processes, products, and services? Perhaps. Regardless of the outcome, we'll either increase our chances to accomplishing our goals or at the very least feel better at attempting to attain them.
In Deepak Chopra’s book, The Soul of Leadership, he states that leaders can only give from what they have...
“The soul - that is the core of your true self - is the place you will locate insight, creativity, imagination, and profound intelligence. When you know what is happening at your very core, what you have to give becomes limitless.”
Chopra asks his readers to reflect on the following questions. The answers you provide will shed some light into your soul.
Create your soul profile by answering these questions:
"What's my contribution in life?"
"What’s the purpose in what I do?"
"How do I feel when I have a peak experience?"
"Who are my heroes and heroines (from history, mythology, fiction, and religion)?"
"What are the qualities that I look for in a best friend?"
"What are my unique skills and talents?"
"What are the best qualities I express in a personal relationship?"
What if corporations made it mandatory for new employees to answer these questions on their first day? What if organizations gave people time for reflection and space to start exploring the answers? As clarity increases, employees start playing at a higher level. They begin to see how their talents and skills serve the organization. They'll have a clear sense of understanding to their purpose, values, and how they feel when performing at their best. Give them the chance to connect with their soul and provide an opportunity to unfold and unleash performance from a deeper, more powerful place within.
In times of change and increased levels of anxiety, we need to connect within ourselves now more than ever. How can we be different? How can leaders thrive? They can rise above any challenge by being congruent and connected to their soul. I find that the more connected we are, the more obstacles and issues can surface. Tasks will have to be completed, emotions need to be dealt with, and change needs to happen internally to reach a higher level of consciousness. Persistence and a real sense of knowing is essential.
What if we listened to our souls and intuition, and made decisions coming from that place? Would we be more engaged at work? Would we have more impact in the world? Would it be easier to get out of bed and enjoy every day life?
The answers lie within you - exploring these questions is a good place to start.
Crista Salvatore, Founder of Spark Truth LLC. firstname.lastname@example.org
Committed to creating cultures of wellbeing, where businesses thrive.