The notion of meaning and purpose has crept into the language of business in the past couple of years. It has become a part of the standard vocabulary of most leadership talk when it comes to both strategy, leadership development and culture.
Yet, many people still get a bit uncomfortable when the conversation travels on to the importance of Soul and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) for leadership. Which when you think about it, is really odd.
Because what is Purpose really but the language of the Soul?
Purpose is not something which can be readily measured, quantified or qualified through standard norms. We know we long for it without really knowing where this longing resides or where it came from. We cannot prove to anyone when it is there or not there, but we know when we feel it. We cannot prove that it will make life better, but we innately know that it will.
Purpose is the language of the Soul. It is one of many Soul conversations that is detrimental to truly remarkable leadership.
When looking into what commonalities truly great leaders share, it is the connection to their Soul and embodiment of spiritual intelligence. I have yet to meet one who is truly connected to their Soul, who are not at the same time succesful in their endeavours. Really great leaders have great results in their organizations because they are connected to their Soul.
By truly great leaders, I mean those who for instance understand how to live a balanced life while still creating results for their organizations, those who understands the importance of a nurturing work-environment and know how to provide it, and who understands that there is no opposition between taking care of the planet’s resources and securing the financial resources.
In my research into spiritual intelligent leadership, I’ve spoken to successful leaders around the world and in many different companies. One of them is Laura Zumdahl, who is the CEO of a non-profit organization in Chicago called New Moms, which is changing the future for young moms experiencing poverty and homelessness in the Chicago area. Under her leadership, New Moms has doubled in size, expanding its geographic footprint and capacity to transform the lives of mothers and children in Chicago. Laura is also a regular columnist for Nonprofit Pro and a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council. She’s also recognized as a thought leader in the nonprofit sector.
I asked what her advice is to those leaders who wishes to embark on a journey into greater success and to leave a positive mark on this world. And her advice, as she said, is not your standard Harvard Business answer on the strategy you can use in your company.
Her advice is to examine your soul as a leader. To pay attention to the deep longings of your Soul.
Laura says, “in the fast pace of our world, we shut down the urges that are calling for our attention. But we need to take the time and do the work to connect to that part of ourselves if we really want to be the best we can be as a leader – and as a human being. If we have to be really good leaders of our companies, we have to do our own personal work first and not run away from what is calling for our attention”.
Listen to a clip of the interview I did with Laura and many others here: https://maikenpiil.com/sq-leadership-page/