“It’s your destiny to do this work. You are the complete package.”
My coach wrote this in an email to me today. She is talking about work that I had largely abandoned after I left my last corporate gig (Avaya), over three years ago. I started on this coaching path back in 2003, learning what I needed to about connecting with individuals in a way to wake them up, bring forth their divinity, and enable them step into their own power. It has been wonderful. And it has not been enough.
The passion that I have not let my heart fully embrace for the last few years is transforming workplaces by bringing the human spirit into companies. When this happens, people thrive and companies are that much better—with their customers, for their shareholders, and to their employees. I fooled myself by rationalizing that I was changing workplaces, one person at a time, through my individual and corporate clients.
Several years ago, when I was still at Avaya, I joined a group called the Association for Spirit at Work (ASAW). It’s a national organization whose mission is to nurture and support the human spirit in the workplace. They use the term spirituality. I use the phrase human spirit. I drifted away from this organization after I started my own coaching and consulting firm, thinking I had to put my “cause” on the shelf in order to focus on starting a business. And deep down, I wondered what I could do from the outside, if what I did from the inside could be so quickly undone after I left. I didn’t want to feel the hurt and I didn’t want to fight the battle. I was tired.
I was a pioneer at Avaya. I brought in speakers to talk about doing the work you love (thanks, Tama, for that wonderful connection we made several years ago), created brown bag seminars about soul in the workplace and sacred space in the office, and showed up at project meetings with a small vase of flowers. I knew intuitively that people needed this, that just as I was waking up to the hunger within me, so were others.
Since that time at Avaya, I’ve been able to round out the picture so that it isn’t just my intuition that tells me this is a good thing to do. Daniel Goleman’s book, Primal Leadership, speaks to the impact of emotions in groups and how our brains are wired differently for the logical part of business vs. the emotional part of business. The book, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, provides the economic basis for paying attention to and developing our right brain faculties. Being able to work with the “soft stuff” is not just about good leadership or feeling good. It’s about being competitive in a global economy.
My own experience with coaching clients is that they don’t need help with engaging better logic. They need help in engaging their own inner voice, the one that knows when someone is not the right person to work with or a project is set up for failure or that they’ve been spinning their wheels needlessly, just to please the Gremlin. And they need additional tools—ones that aren’t analytical in nature but rather organic and girded by bodily and emotional awareness.
I have come home to myself with this work, the work that I’m destined to do—to transform workplaces so that the human spirit thrives. I have not yet figure out how this will look, other than it is a place of the Big Gulp. It is also a joy to know that the work
I do is so much bigger than me. It is bigger than a single individual client. There is boldness in serving at the highest level one is capable of.
My coach told me that I might not see workplaces transformed in my lifetime. But that I could start the work. Get started, keep moving…….