“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle’s wisdom is as much relevant centuries later, in the globalized business village of today. Though humans have an average life of 80 years or 30,000 days, we seem to restrict ourselves to approximately 20-30 activities (writing, reading, speaking, eating, thinking, planning, etc) that we repeat – with little variation. Strangely, we never develop SOPs (standard operating practices), to do whatever we do and whenever – joyously, enthusiastically, meaningfully, and perfectly! On the contrary, irrespective of our knowledge, we display the same erroneous habits, despite unpleasantness, failures, disharmony and growing frustration.
Who could have predicted that the cause of the next economic downturn would be a virus?! Aside from the global human toll, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruptions to the way businesses operate. The many unknowns surrounding the virus – such as the duration of its spread, the possibility of additional waves, the volatility of demand and supply and the all pervading uncertainty – make it difficult for companies to adjust and plan for the future.
So, how is the Covid-19 pandemic shaping the future of our operational excellence?!!
Operational Excellence – an ideal descriptive term; clearly defines applicability and objective of an operating enterprise, has great cachet at the highest executive levels and is incorporated into the working culture by organizations committed to being the very best. When applied to our life, the key question could very well be ‘How do we deploy our greatest resources – time and talent’ to grow and generate more satisfying returns from the “businesses” of life – including family, profession, community and self? Not taking the time to replenish the energy needed to keep up one’s resources base, could mean running fewer, less profitable businesses, particularly in the post-Covid 19 phase!
Many of us have allowed ourselves to go around thinking that we have the “secret” to success by juggling everything in our lives. The truth may well be that continuous living on the edge has sent all our elaborate plans crashing down and spike our stress levels.
Despite a myriad of commitments, deadlines, and things that need to be done immediately, the path of balance comes from personal, professional, and financial success, built with the notion that all are required and neglecting any one will eventually impact the others.
So how does one achieve this critical mix of balanced quality?
We know of Intellectual intelligence (IQ) and more latterly, the importance of Emotional intelligence (EQ) in health, happiness and work success; how about the third ‘Q’ in the hardheaded world of business, leadership, managing others – ourselves and our careers – lives – ‘’Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)’’ ?
While our academic education was focused around rational intelligence, and some of us may have trained in Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence is the science of human energy management that clarifies and guides our awareness. Allowing access to a full range of human capabilities required to succeed and prosper in life and work, it provides individuals with the capability of sustainable performance under extraordinary circumstances. Results can include an ability to stay calm and focused in the face of crisis and chaos, a more selfless and altruistic attitude towards others and a more enlightened and relaxed perspective on life. It is our ultimate intelligence.
Developing Spiritual Intelligence awakens a deeper awareness of oneself as a source of many intangible talents and immense potential. When consciously developed and applied, it becomes the ground within, to anchor a stable sense of security.
An investment in strengthening your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) & SQ can help master complexities, achieve greater effectiveness and make the churning dynamics of global business less of a challenge and more of an opportunity.
Author Scott L Peck’s timeless classic (The Road Less Travelled) mentions the opposing forces of entropy and life force. Entropy or the death force, pulls us down into withdrawal, indifference and listlessness. Our (ultimate) intelligence immunizes us against this force, and invests us with a powerful sense of life.
The number of cases is increasing every day, and we still have no cure. People are working under the confines of their houses and the future looks uncertain. For now, all we can do is be strong, healthy, safe, balanced and fight this virus!