OPINION

How to gain success by making management a 'spiritual' practice

The pace of business has become so frenetic over the years that management rarely has time to consider their relationship with employees beyond the obvious.

Managers lead, employees follow and everyone knows what has to be done by the end of the week, month, quarter or fiscal year. We might take a pause for a social hour after work, the monthly pizza party, or the holiday party for those firms that still fund these activities. But these events can easily slide into work-related conversations.

When we throw technology in the mix, we put employees in a situation that they can be connected to work 24x7, something becomes out of balance.

A woman who worked for me proudly told her co-workers that she kept her cell phone on all night, by her pillow, so she could respond to texts that arrived no matter the time. Technology is supposed to complement our quality of life not dominate it. This situation is one example where our deeper core as human beings is being forgotten.

Management, by definition, has a position of influence with employees granted by their authority, expertise in some cases or through the economic power they possess over the lives of those who work for them.  As they seek more work from employees, hopefully leading to higher productivity, it is easy to forget that employees are human beings with feelings, worries, and problems that are normally unseen at work. 

Employees have become accustomed over the years to keeping their personal lives at home and leaving their spirit at the door when they arrive at work.  This practice dehumanizes the workplace; it treats employees as numbers, cells in a spreadsheet.  Management that accepts this dynamic as being the normal way of things are missing something powerful and important.

The old mantra that “if you can’t measure it, you cannot manage it” rules the mindset of many managers.  So, employees become reduced to FTEs, performance ratings, lines coded per day, an overhead costs factor and so on.  This prosaic philosophy leaves much on the table.

Management has a unique opportunity to tap into eight spiritual practices at work that will allow them to access a deep reservoir of energy and success if they begin to treat employees as whole people.  When they begin to treat employees as whole people, they will position themselves and the company to harness the tremendous energy that is at the core of all people.

Management will begin to access the ultimate competitive weapon!

Click here to read a white paper on Management as a Spiritual Practice.

About the Author

Bob Davis has over 35-years’ experience in the federal information technology industry. He has held senior positions with products- and services-oriented, high-tech IT companies during his career. Bob has successfully worked for large- and medium–sized companies, and small businesses. Leadership positions have been held in business development, marketing, and program management. Bob has a doctor of management from the University of Maryland University College. He works for a medium-size company in our industry.

Reader Comments

Wed, Jan 20, 2016

If memory serves, Dr. Branden was a close, personal friend of Ayn Rand.

Mon, Jan 4, 2016 Tom Welsh Washington DC

The late Dr. Nathaniel Branden would agree and amplify the pillars that support the foundational requirements necessary for enlightened well-being. To use a metaphor, the norm is the current "as is" state of treating employee's like commodities; the "future" state takes a different approach as management aligns itself with the idea of personal efficacy as unlimited ceiling, which translates into more horsepower for the organization as a whole.

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