I promise I’m not about to get all Halle Krishna on you. There seem to be some commonplace traits that all successful leaders have. We can name most of them off the top of our heads, without really giving it much thought: charisma, personality, experience, confidence, happiness. However, there is one common trait that most people either overlook or simply don’t recognize. They have a healthy spiritual life.
Primary disclosure: I’m not going to tell you that you need to join a specific religion or how to attain spiritual health.
The importance of a solid spiritual foundation was revealed to me by a business coach and mentor of mine around 6 years ago. He told me something very basic; if I wanted to be successful in business, I would need to have a good relationship with God (I am Christian) and a good relationship with my wife and kids. Everything else would fall in to place.
In order to win in business, you need to have your priorities straight. God first, family second, business third.
– Art Williams
I think that most people realize that they need a good relationship at home. If they don’t have one, it’s typically because they don’t know how to have one. But they know they need one. That’s why I’m not writing about it. I think most people miss the need for a healthy spiritual life.
That being said, let me elaborate on what I mean by “a healthy spiritual life”. I am a Christian, so a healthy spiritual life for me is a strong relationship with God. For an atheist, a healthy spiritual life may mean a close connection with other humans on a meaningful level, as science recognizes that every living thing is connected by the energy we share. A healthy spiritual life is not the same as having a religion or belief in God, though it can include them. It is, in my opinion, about knowing who you are and where your spiritual beliefs fall, then living in to that healthily.
Executive coach and entrepreneur Jeff Giesea has recently discovered the truth in, and subsequently evangelizes this pattern. Here’s what he has to say about spirituality leading to better leadership. Have a read and consider your spiritual life.