Perhaps the greatest passion and purpose in my work life is to make a positive difference to the strength of the human spirit through great leadership in business. Why? Because I believe it matters to business performance, the quality of our lives as well as our ability to sustain life on our planet.
Leveraging the human spirit to optimise business performance is undoubtedly commercially smart. Capable people purposefully doing smart things, really well inevitably leads to more money. However, to me there is little doubt that nurturing and leveraging the human spirit in business leads to benefits well beyond results and shareholder returns. Every leader in business has a double-edged opportunity to achieve better outcomes for their organisation and, while doing so, to positively impact the quality of people’s lives and health of the world.
Contemplate for a moment the reality that in one-way or another, most of our lives are impacted by working or by the outputs of the business world. For many people, living an independent life means at least one person in a household must work. Even those of us who are not active participants in a workplace receive goods and services that are the outputs of many different businesses. We live in communities where business decisions impact our lives almost every day. Regardless of how we interact with the world of business, the decisions made, actions taken and outcomes achieved have the potential to reach out and impact us.
Irrespective of where they do it, people talk of their spirit being energised or drained through their work. People and circumstances we encounter through our work impact our self-belief and love, our courage and strength of determination, the humility and compassion with which we live. I regularly observe people who are enriched through their success and happiness at work bringing the same spirit and capabilities to other areas of their lives.
With more people with strong spirits living on the planet, we will have more kindness, better decisions, and greater tolerance, forgiveness and understanding. The business world offers such a rich opportunity to nurture the human spirit through our teams and by working in the best interest of people and the planet. Through both the outcomes created and the example provided, people in business have the opportunity to make a positive difference for us all.