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Working with values


Professional life flowers best in situations where collaboration and partnership with others is the norm and where there is mutual trust and understanding.

However, when employees are driven to deliver results on the basis of unhealthy comparisons, there is trouble. When the Bhagavad Gita speaks of the need for action and remaining detached from the fruits of one’s action, it is saying what our elders often repeat to us: To work with detachment.

Sometimes, hierarchy can help smooth the flow of development. An atmosphere of mutual trust and give and take can ensure that participation is democratic. There are spiritual models of functioning based on hierarchy that do promote spiritual growth. There are, however, also holistic models that are more flexible and that ensure a two-way flow, where every aspect of our lives – physical, psychological, emotional and social – is integrated.

This model requires participants to have spiritual and emotional maturity. A head honcho would combine intellectual prowess with compassion and kindness and enforce discipline without stepping on toes. The strengths of each individual would be tapped and together a family of employees is created, anchored to eternal values.

A value-driven organisation has a different mindset. The open way of functioning ensures that each individual is valued for what he can contribute. No unfavourable comparisons are made. If at all, comparison is only meant to create a higher benchmark and so is aspirational.

Too much emphasis on academia and brilliance and on rewarding results has sometimes given rise to lopsided priorities. What often get rewarded is superficial success, and not long-term commitment and loyalty to the organisation or mission.

The business world is changing. Management practices are now increasingly including a spiritual perspective. There is so much more listening than talking. There is a greater sense of cooperation and collaboration in a spiritually empowered marketplace.

Although the younger generation is much more market savvy than the previous generation, they do require spiritual inputs to cater holistically to changing environments and values. The words love, acceptance and transformation are back in circulation in the workplace, thereby giving less room for authoritarianism.

New Age spiritual teachers are faced with the task of conveying in contemporary easy-to-understand terms the priceless messages contained in sacred texts of yore that explain eternal values, so important for right thinking and living, whether at home or at the workplace. There is an effort to find what unites rather than divides. The quest for eternal values like love, peace, joy and fulfillment are being given fresh lease of life.

In the pursuit of holistic development of employer and employee, a professional worker is required to be not just excellent in his job but also display evolved qualities that make him less militant and more cooperative, less of a complainer and more of a doer. The more the employee is engaged in service of others, the less he tends to focus on selfish motivations and ends that might sometimes egg him to veer off the straight path. And service thus rendered with a positive and wholehearted approach can only add to common benefit.

Definitely, there is a place for professional excellence in your working life. But that has to include also spiritual progress that will get reflected in the quality of work you do as well as in the manner in which you relate to others in the workplace and outside.



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