Before we comment on the importance of spirituality in corporate leadership and the transformation it can trigger, we must understand what spirituality is. Because of the myths associated with spirituality and our own ignorance, we are confused. Rituals, practices, and superstitions of religions are considered a part of spirituality. Spirituality, at times, is advocated as that state where a man becomes a renunciate. It is assumed that spiritual people look a certain way, wear a certain kind of attire, and live an ascetic life. But all this is not true.
Spirituality is the science of the Spirit or the Soul. It is the way to eternal bliss, peace, and joy. It is being enlightened with the truth of who we are - not the body, mind, and ego but the Divine Soul, the Atman, the Spirit. With this realisation, the way we look at the world changes, and the way we look at people changes. Our interactions with people change. Our priorities change. Therefore, it can completely change a workplace and corporate leadership.
To begin with, spirituality helps us realise the pointlessness of material pursuits. A spiritually evolved being knows that we come with nothing and we go with nothing. Hence, while he may have aspirations, it has little to do with personal gains. He becomes altruistic. He is content with satisfying his need and is not overtaken by greed. Such a person has transcended his ego and mind. With spirituality, one realises: I am nothing. Alone, Thou Art; that God is everything. Without God we are nothing. There is humility. Therefore, one is free from the agony caused by the ego — arrogance, anger, jealousy, or the misery created by the mind — stress, anxiety.
He has tamed the mind which is a monkey and turned it into a monk. He knows that this world is not real, but an illusion. He handles everything with equanimity. Spirituality is all about realising the truth, so honesty becomes an integral part of life. He treats everybody, his colleagues, subordinates, and peers, not just in a ‘humane’ way, but with reverence because he has realised that we are all the Divine Soul and not what we appear to be. We are all one. He imparts and practices his own wisdom and realisation.
His own behaviour sets an example and becomes a benchmark. He strives to foster a sense of oneness, a sense of self-worth at all levels at work. This positivity becomes a source of inspiration and has a direct impact on the well-being of employees, performance, and productivity, besides creating a holistic work environment.