‘I am interested in spirituality. But I am an avid businessman. I am confused. How do I do business spiritually?’ A good friend of mine – Nirav Somaiya – asked me this question. I had a simple answer to his dilemma.
Spirituality is merging the spirit of one with all. A person who sees divinity all around is highly spiritual. Similarly any person who goes beyond himself and his family to a larger social family which could be a community, a village, a district, city, country and so on is a highly spiritual person. What it means is that the more people we include in our consciousness, the more spiritual we are.
So what is the link between business and spirituality? Most organizations are run on the typical business model of boss and workers. But in business, if you want to delve deeper into spirituality there has to be a shift in this pattern – from a boss to parent and an employee to a child. Following this pattern, all employees are not just employees, but our children.
This is possible when you share your time and wealth with the people around you. It works in a give and take format. The more you give the more connected they feel towards you. An association like this would enhance the productivity of the firm tremendously.
We have seen in many communities, how the children start learning the tricks and trade of the family business at the early ages of 16-18 years. We start boosting their morale with more responsibility as they start learning the expertise and methods of business. As the child grows he automatically gets accustomed to the incoming responsibility and we start sharing authority and wealth with them. Why does this happen? Because they are our children. When we treat our employees as our children, they will have the same feelings for their employer – not as a boss but as a parent. If this bond is built, we will be gifted with more trustworthy people and the business will grow dynamically. One step further into this kind of relationship is that of master and disciple (Guru and shishya). When we attain this level the business will reach new heights and new realms of expansion.
My Master used to share this statistic, ‘In the year 1800 there were 1,25,000 universities in the single state of Chennai (Madras)’. What it means is that all universities were actually industries which produced goods, where everybody as a trainee was working as a disciple to the Guru who was also the CEO. It is no surprise that just some years ago India was referred to as Sone ki Chidiya meaning the golden bird.
The relationship of master – disciple (Guru-shishya) is of ultimate reverence and that of surrendering. In such an environment the people work not for salary but out of love for the guru
We have a programme called ‘Converting Industries into Universities’ in which our endeavor is to bring about this dynamic change in the employee – boss relationship. This whole process is an arduous one. This shift of attitude could take between 12 to 24 years to develop on both the sides. This often brings about a new era at the work place where each team grows, prospers and operates from an inspired space of individual leadership catapulting the entire organization to new heights. We have successfully proven this model in many organizations including the 100-Crore brand Baggit (founded and run by my wife Nina Lekhi).
A Super Leader takes care of all the people like his/her children and so he/she is able to grow and develop their potential and at the same time inspire them to give their best.