For long businesses have been driven by financial outcomes, largely supported by the quality of minds in the organization or, simply, the IQ- intelligence quotient. Subsequently, they realized that employees are not mere minds but emotional beings. Thus, their energies shifted onto appealing to their emotional side to enhance camaraderie and defuse conflict, the EQ- emotional quotient.
This two-pronged approach has been the saving grace of businesses, but today, in the VUCA++ world, a poignant question arises.
Is this enough?
How are leaders and organizations preparing themselves to counter the challenges of today’s world?
At Regal Unlimited, we believe that it is imperative for leaders & organizations to embrace a third dimension in leadership We call it SQ- the spiritual quotient.
What is Spiritual Quotient?
Spiritual Quotient measures the ability of a person to operate from a state of Being (not knowing or doing) enabling them to be authentic, empathetic yet detached.
Research published in academic circles has identified the term, ‘Spiritual Intelligence’ as the ability to access higher meanings, values and purpose and act in accordance with them.
It is said that the greatest power anyone can tap into is in the soul.
At the Bangalore headquarters of the GMR Group, chairman Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao donated a sizable portion of their property to create a special, thick-carpeted, sound-proof, religion-neutral meditation room where the management can meditate and pray.
“To manage in today’s volatile world, inner excellence is the key. I have been using our meditation room for this purpose,” he noted.
Benefits of developing Spiritual Quotient- SQ
A sense of purpose
It drives clarity of purpose, both as an individual & as a professional, aimed to increase focus and resilience. This, in turn, enhances their motivation levels, resilience, and decision-making abilities.
SQ-led leaders are attuned towards extrasensory perceptions, i.e., intuition. All creativity and bold decision-making stem from this ability to perceive what others can’t. They tend to think deeper and reflect better, helping them stay several steps ahead of their peers.
Intelligence + Spiritual Quotient = Wisdom.
In a world full of clever people, only the wise stand out. Rest, ChatGPT can manage!
Ability to look beyond current reality
SQ magnifies the leader’s vision as they leap into the unknown.
GM Rao spends nearly 45 minutes meditating in the morning and another 30 minutes before bed at night. He believes that that was the path to his intensified mindfulness.
“It helps me empty my mind and prepare for the next day. In practical terms, it calms me and improves my EQ.” he said.
Getting out of one’s way
Unconsciously (very often) leaders get in their own way! SQ provides access to such deep awareness and allows leaders to work on self-limiting values, blindspots, beliefs, and behaviors. This understanding translates to inner excellence and reflects this inner calm outward.
Setting the right organizational culture
An SQ-driven leadership ensures that the leader embodies organizational values, they become a ‘brand’ that resonates with the entire organization.
Mr. Narayan Murthy, at a lecture organized by the Satya Foundation, said,
“I decided to use honesty, transparency, and integrity as a competitive advantage for Infosys in the marketplace. I knew it would enhance the pride, enthusiasm, and energy of our employees. It meant lots of hard work and extra expenditure for the company..”
Your enduring legacy in a networked world depends on the ability to operate at the confluence of IQ, EQ, and SQ.
What advantages do SQ-led leaders have over others?
The primary benefit for SQ-led leaders is Progressive Optimism; a holistic balance of courage and hope despite uncertainty. This certitude is a product of self-confidence and staunch belief in one’s vision.
A study published in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies found that leaders who scored higher on measures of spiritual intelligence were more effective in their roles.
Another study published in the Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion found that spiritual intelligence was also positively correlated to leadership competencies. In addition, leaders scoring high on spiritual intelligence were likelier to adhere to ethical and transformational leadership practices. (https://doi.org/10.1080/14766080509518564)
SQ enables leaders to operate from a state of ‘detached attachment’ enhancing intellectual & emotional maturity to stay grounded.
Mr. Sanjay Lalbhai found solace in his guru, Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, way back in 1994, even while Arvind Mills was riding a boom. Unexpectedly, when the bust came, and the company nearly went bankrupt, he declared without hesitation that having a spiritual anchor was a help during these stressful times.
“It puts things in perspective, helps you cope with the ups and downs in life,” he said.
SQ augments resilience and agility for individuals to become all-weather leaders. The ‘detached attachment’ attitude makes one flexible to meet changes and challenges resolutely.
SQ-led leaders understand that organizations are but part of a larger ecosystem, the society. The future and fortunes of one are inextricably linked to the other.
Corporate leadership constantly seeks a positive image that pictures business as a holistic part of society. To build this narrative, businesses now put distinctive efforts to demonstrate their efficiency, social awareness, and response to national problems.
And this, we say, can be achieved only with a leader who is inwardly focused, introspective, authentic, forward-looking, and optimistic – well, by an SQ-led leader.
– Brand culture: The spirituality of Tata, by Tim Girvin
– The Leader on the Couch, Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, Wiley Publishers