Merging ancient wisdom with modern business.
The way businesses react in these times of change, speaks not only to their operational future, but also to their values and leadership. This is a time when many companies may be reevaluating their business and sustainability models or even their employee wellness provisions. Companies that learn to adapt and transform during these times, will have long-term staying power. It is clear that these are not “business as usual” times, but can using ancient yogic wisdom help business during this time?
My own experience is that yogic principles can inform and enrich business practices. I have worked at the nexus is of sustainability, social impact, and international development for the past 15 years, as a professor, adviser, aid worker and diplomat. I became a Kundalini Yoga Teacher to help manage stress and the fast-paced nature of mission driven work. Not only did my yoga practice provide a meditative release, as I began to integrate ancient yogic wisdom into other aspects of my existence, including my professional life, I noticed I was thriving and content. I feel grateful for having acquired a deep understanding of yogic principles as it greatly informs and enriches my leadership expertise and approach to ethical, reflective and conscious business sustainability.
Based on what I’ve learnt and seen along the way, I’m offering this list of practical tips which aim to inspire leaders of business, both old and new, and provide a springboard for conscious reflection about business practices, success and wellbeing:
Collaborate. Competition can be good for an industry when it inspires innovation. Nevertheless, sustainable businesses understand that sharing resources and other forms of collaboration allow us to build better, bigger, longer lasting and more ethical things.
Be transparent. Even if you don’t have to publicly disclose your financial reports, do it anyway. It builds employee and customer trust. Create a culture where profit is shared and celebrated in a transparent way.
Think sustainable. This is not a lesson about green or white washing, or even charity. It is a reminder to ensure that your company adopts practices that respect that the earth’s resources are limited. Think about how your business can prevent further depletion, as a priority over profit.
Know that the era of the separatism is gone. The world is smaller than ever. The shared oneness and unity of all races and ethnicities is the future. Diversity and inclusion are paramount in any sustainable business. Countless studies prove that diverse representation on boards make better businesses. Embrace and honor the diversity in all echelons of business operations.
Think abundantly. There is no limit to abundance. But the key principle is not how much money you can make, but rather how the money flows. . . How much you can give, as well as, make. Don’t only think of abundance in terms of money. The richest people I know were so poor — money is all that they had. Compassion, kindness and impact are also rich forms of capital and can really propel businesses in challenging times.
Create a culture of honestly. We are living in the age of information. Hersey and gossip can destroy a company culture. Create a work environment that values truthfulness, transparency and honesty.
Trust your intuition. Learn to trust your gut. Your inner voice. As a leader, you will never be able to keep up with all the information coming at you, nor finish the day with a clean slate. With access to information 24/7, it’s important to learn to trust your inner wisdom and turn off the distractions.
Have a clean and vibrant office. Since our outer reality (our office) is a reflection of our inner reality (our mind), think of how much mental “clutter” might be cleared in the simple act of having a clean office.
Develop a meditation practice. Yoga, meditation, or even a spiritual practice can really help you and your business. I know, because I’ve seen it in my life and with my clients. Your mind is what creates you, but it can also destroy you. Meditation and yoga provide a wonderful, easy and healthy way to clear the mind on a daily basis, and in turn stay focused on making sound business decisions.