Putting the soul back into business


Putting the soul back into business

When you read the media, when you watch television it is easy to think that the world has lost it. Groups waging war on each other, countries struggling, companies practicing fraud or mindlessly sacking people for a little bit of extra profit. I know there are other beautiful things happening also. Unfortunately these stories hardly make it to the media. So we might be left to think that the world and companies have lost it. Whatever IT might be. But what if this is a necessary stage companies need to go through? What if this is part of a process most of us are familiar with but never looked at it from a bigger perspective? What if…?

The process, or pattern, I am talking about is the hero’s journey, or Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. This pattern is found in many narratives around the world and is about finding ones calling, responding to this calling, facing challenges/fear/death, emerging from the depths, doing the right thing and victory at the end. Of course there is more to it than these few words but think about it. Isn’t the hero’s journey about responding to your calling and (almost) losing your cause, your purpose, your soul?

When you look at the media, isn’t this what (some) companies go through? I am sure they all started with a noble cause, creating the soul business, their sense of purpose. What if they are at that stage where they found the treasure, or what they think is the treasure, the Holy Grail and now it is time to return, the time to make a decision to return to the ordinary world. Or as you can read on Wikipedia “Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.”. This is where we as business trainers, coaches facilitators come. “Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience. The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.”

What if our sole purpose is to help those businesses return to the ordinary world, to help them remember their calling, to listen to the sound of their soul again? What if we, as trainers, coaches and facilitators, are to be those guides (I don’t like the word rescuer). The guides that help companies and individuals to reconnect with their soul and their purpose. I honestly believe we can be those guides no matter what contribution you make. It can be a large cultural change program or it can be a small time management course that you are delivering. In all aspects it is important to connect with the true vision and values of the company and people you work with and use that as the heart of any activity you carry out for your client. Of course this needs to be somehow aligned with your own values otherwise you end up having an internal personal conflict and are not as effective as you could be. Only then you are able to make a sustainable positive impact that does have a ripple effect on its environment, even after you have finished your contract.