Blending Spiritual Values with Business

The root for value is valor, which means strength. Values are sources of strength because they give people the power to take action. Values are deep and emotional and often difficult to change. Values are the essence of any organization and philosophy for achieving success. Values provide employees with a sense of common direction and guidelines for day to day behavior. The first step in creating an atmosphere of common commitment is to invite the hearts and minds of employees to join the purpose of the organization. Shared missions, values and vision bring people together. They unite and provide the link between diverse people and activities. People who share values or vision are more likely to take responsibility; they are more likely to challenge the limits of convention. Values provide guidance.

Spiritual value is a way of expressing more humanity and recognizes each persons own beliefs. Traditional ways of achieving values do not provide the flexibility and responsiveness necessary for a customer focused stance in a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment. The development of an individual and building on creativity will naturally require spiritual practice e in the process of achieving an organizational goal. The rate at which an individual grows is mostly self-determined. An organizational goal to deliver a product on time within budget may force or inspire an employee to learn new skills and assume greater responsibility in order to achieve that goal. In this sense, spiritual goals and organizational goals are not only compatible, but mutually beneficial.

If we view companies from a broader perspective, we would see that spirituality inspire a new way of doing business, the basic spiritual values in management are Honesty/Integrity, trustworthy, Cooperation, Respect, Patience, Responsibility, Flexibility and Unity.

1. Honesty/ Integrity:

Honesty means that there are no contradictions or discrepancies in thoughts, word, or actions. To be honest to one’s real self and task and inspire faith in others. Honesty is never to misuse that which is given in trust.

Honesty is a clear conscience “before myself and before my fellow human beings.” Honesty is the awareness of what is right and appropriate in one’s role, one’s behavior, and one relationship. With honesty, there is no hypocrisy or artificiality which creates confusion and mistrust in the minds and lives of others. Honesty makes for a life of integrity because the inner and outer selves are a mirror image Honesty is to speak that which is thought and to do that which is spoken. There are no contradictions or discrepancies in thoughts, words, or actions. Such integration provides clarity and example to others. To have one form internally and another form externally creates barriers and can cause damage. Honesty is as distinct as a flawless diamond which can never remain hidden. The worth is visible in one’s actions.

To be trusted and to trust provide the foundation and cohesion necessary for untarnished relationships. It is also necessary to share with honesty the feelings and motives of one another. When there is honesty and cleanliness, there is also closeness. Without these principles, neither individuals nor societies can be functional.

An honest person is one who aspires to follow the highest codes of conduct, who is loyal to the benevolent and universal principles of life, and whose decisions are based clearly on what is right and wrong. Such an individual maintains standards which provide guidance and courage to understand and respect the subtle connections of the world in relation to his or her life. An honest person appreciates the interconnectedness of the natural world and does not misuse, abuse, or waste the wealth of resources provided for the well-being of humanity. An honest person does not take for granted his or her own resources such as mind, body, wealth, time, talents, or knowledge. Honesty means never to misuse that which is given in trust. There would always be the concern that resources be used in a worthwhile way – for the basic human,

2. Trustworthy:

Trustworthiness seems to be a thread running through business development. The market system depends on trust- trust between customers and sellers, between suppliers and manufacturers, between bankers and companies.

For example, if customers had no reason to believe that their purchases would be of adequate quality and had no means of returning defective merchandise, imagine their wariness in spending money on anything.

Similarly, if supplier were habitually paid late and sometimes less than the amount due, they would demand cash on or even before making delivery, which would put many factories in a difficult cash-flow situation.

Trust manifests itself on three levels:

  1. Within the workers.
  2. Among all workers and throughout the organization, leading to greater accessibility and ;
  3. Between the organization and the community in which it operates.

3. Cooperation:

One who cooperates receives cooperation. The method to give cooperation is to use the energy of the mind to create vibrations of good wishes and pure feelings for others and for the task. By remaining detached, objective and influenced by innermost values and not external circumstances, subtle cooperation in the form of wisdom emerges.

Cooperation is one of the most important values needed in today’s organization set up. Every department in an organization depends on the other for fulfilling its

needs for example the marketing department depends on the production department so that it can fulfill the demand created in the market. Here, cooperation takes a stand. Each department and personnel in the organization must cooperate with each other so as to achieve the organizational objectives.

Cooperation requires recognizing the unique role of every individual while maintaining a sincere and positive attitude. Positive thoughts within the self automatically and easily create the feeling of cooperation within the minds of others. The method to give cooperation is to use the energy of the mind to create vibrations of good wishes and pure feelings for the others and for the task. That affects the atmosphere in a positive and subtle way. The collective vibrations of such pure and subtle effort prepare the ground for open and profound deliberations and a successful round of cooperation.

4. Patience:

Patience is a value or quality that is highly demanded in any work of life. No success is possible without this quality. This quality develops will power. A patient man always keeps his cool. He has a balanced mind. He is not afraid of failures and difficulties. There is a very beautiful example that is relevant to patience, the bees collect a drop of nectar from each flower patiently and store it in the honey comb.

People today want quick results and in the process make innumerable mistakes. They become careless and stressed out and lose all their energy just to get the end result instantly. It’s a popular saying that ‘the fruits of patience are the sweetest.’

5. Unity:

Unity is harmony within and among individuals in the group. Unity is sustained by concentration energy and focusing thought, by accepting and appreciating the value of the rich array of participants and the unique contribution each can make, and by remaining loyal not only to one another but also to the task.

Unity is built from a shared vision, a cherished hope, an altruistic aim, or a cause for the common good. Unity gives sustenance, strength, and courage to make the impossible possible. Combining with determination and commitment, unity makes the biggest task seem easy.

The stability of unity comes from the spirit of equality and oneness, the noble values embodied in core universal principles. The greatness of unity is that everyone is respected. Unity creates the experience of cooperation, increases zeal and enthusiasm for the task, and makes the atmosphere powerful and enabling.

Unity manifests in team spirit. It is the feeling of oneness. Unity is the strength of an organization.

6. Respect:

To know one’s own worth hand to honor the worth of others is the true way to earn respect. Respect is an acknowledgement of the inherent worth and innate rights of the individual and the collective. These must be recognized as the central focus to draw from people a commitment to a higher purpose in life.

Respect begins within the individual. The original state of respect is based on awareness of the self as a unique entity, a life force within, a spiritual being, a soul. The elevated consciousness of knowing “who I am” arises from an authentic place of pure worth. With such insight, there is faith in the self and wholeness and completeness within. With self-realization, one experiences true self-respect.

Respect is an acknowledgment of the inherent worth and innate rights of the individual and the collective. These must be recognized as the central focus to draw from people a commitment to a higher purpose in life. International respect and recognition for intellectual rights and originality of ideas must be observed without discrimination. The eminence of life is present in everyone, and every human being has a right to the joy of living with respect and dignity.

In an organization one must respect the fellow coworkers, subordinates, seniors, shareholders, suppliers, customers etc. Respect must be reciprocal. One should give and take respect. Respect their viewpoints, beliefs, physical abilities etc. along with respect comes acceptance which includes acceptance of inherent rights of each person. Lack of respect and acceptance lead to conflicts and hostility.

7. Flexibility:

Flexibility can also be called as adaptability or adjustability. It includes the ability to adapt to changing situations and allowing one’s own beliefs and habits to change as needed. As our world changes at an ever rapid pace, we have to see trends and prepare for them and change ourselves with it.

Flexibility is to learn about ourselves, our own strengths and weaknesses and then work to operate from our strengths allowing others to help us with our weaknesses. It is the ability to transform ourselves to best suit the environment and this should be simple. A person is flexible only if he has an easy nature and not rigid. Flexibility incorporates a change in shape and not nature. A very good example for this is clay, because of the flexible nature of clay one can give it the desired shape but the nature remains the same.

8. Responsibility:

A responsible person fulfills the assigned duty by staying true to the aim. Duties are carried out with integrity and a sense of purpose. Moral responsibility is to accept what is required, to honor the role which has been entrusted, and to perform conscientiously and to the best of one’s ability. The actor has been given the part. He or she should be mindful of that and not wish to be somewhere or someone else. Duties should be carried out with integrity and a sense of purpose.

Responsible individuals work in collaboration. That is true for all tasks and especially important in areas which affect the lives of others. Responsible individuals operate on two premises:

  1. That all participants have something worthwhile to offer, and
  2. That the situation requires a cooperative rather than a competitive environment.

Responsible people do not fall into the traps of inferiority or superiority; they recognize that the optimum outcome cannot depend on one person, one group, or one nation alone.

Responsibility is managing time and resources to bring maximum benefit while accommodating necessary change. Decisions in the consciousness of being responsible for social or global welfare encourage actions which are performed in a selfless way. In taking responsibility for others’ rights, a budget of all assets – mental, physical, and spiritual – needs to be devised. That includes taking into account accumulated and available resources and their efficient and equitable use. Inattention, carelessness, corruption, greed, or lack of judgment result not only in some people or areas receiving nothing, some not enough, and others too much, but also in the unnecessary loss of human lives and natural resources.

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