Spirituality in the Workplace?



Yesterday I attended a daylong retreat with successful, mid-market business leaders from across the country.  We were all gathered to listen to the wisdom of Adyashanti, a renowned spiritual teacher.  Yes – business leaders flew from all corners of the U.S. to spend a day focused on exploring and experiencing spirituality.  Even a decade past this would have been unheard of but is becoming less out-of-the-ordinary.  Adya opened the day referring to David Brooks’ new book on character (The Road to Character) and the distinction of eulogy virtues and resume virtues.

It seems that agreement is emerging across disciplines and ideologies regarding the need to attend to both types of virtues: it make us better humans and thus better leaders.  Resume virtues extol our achievements and the value we bring to the marketplace; they are focused on external success.  Eulogy virtues are core to our inner life and fulfillment and are spoken of at our eulogy:  kindness, honor, humility, compassion, etc.  Brooks claims that our culture focuses on the former and has resulted in The Big Me.

Examining our inner life and re-connecting with our eulogy virtues requires reflection, discipline and courage.  The resume gets you in the door, emotional maturity very often determines your success. These days most business leaders are familiar with Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence.   In my work as an Executive Coach I am often hired to help leaders develop more emotional maturity, which may include  how to lead with a sense of calm and confidence, increase awareness of their impact on their teams, how to inspire and motive others, manage stress and reactivity, and more.  Anyone wishing to make progress in these areas will want to spend time cultivating their eulogy virtues. 


brainpickings article:

The Art of Stumbling:  David Brooks on Character, “Resume Virtues” vs. “Eulogy Virtues” and the Humility Code of Living a Meaningful Life

NPR audio interview:

Take it From David Brooks:  Career Success Doesn’t ‘Make You Happy’


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