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A Spiritual Approach to Business
By Rev. Paul V. Scholl

There are many rites of passage experienced by each one of us throughout our lives, but one of the truest tests of our character is when we explore, accept, and display our spirituality in every aspect of our lives. In today's world, that means in our business or career as well.

There was a time during my publishing career that I was confronted with either surrendering my chance for advancement, or accepting myself as a minister in training. Seeing this division within the company, I made a conscious choice to always bring a personal ministry, a spiritual approach, to all my business dealings no matter how challenging it may seem.

For years I watched more closely the effects of management decisions on workers, contractors, their competition, their customers, and the managers themselves. I began to promote more of a spiritual quantification of business problems and resolutions. When working on special task forces or on major projects I would try to extend the questioning of every detail not only to the final bottom line, but also to the bottom line effect on the individuals who would carry out the changes. How will this affect their lives? How will they cope with this in relationship to their current understanding of their duties?

What I observed over the next few years were the tremendous gaps between people's work lives and their spiritual lives. Although most wanted to bring them both together, they were afraid to try for fear that others would find them weak. This reflected in their risk taking with business decisions, and in their belief systems of their own management abilities. This in turn made it difficult to offer themselves and their knowledge to younger men and women as mentors.

Through these experiences I have developed a list of questions that I ask when working with new clients as a consultant. 1) Does management understand the need for infinite correlation within the business, the need of letting everyone perform individually without having to maintain complete control over each action, which in turn benefits the entire company? 2) Does management allow a specific amount of time in everyone's duties for the development of new ideas or creative thinking? 3) Does management base their ultimate decisions on the spiritual effects they will have on the business and the individuals who make up the company? 4) Does management look to keep the company "balanced" through the progression towards a long term and understood goal? 5) Are the current managers teaching their subordinates in a way that will allow them to become greater managers and someday surpass them in knowledge and technique?

Many companies aren't ready for the kind of transformation that asking a line of questioning like this would create, but many others are ready. This is where we, as spiritual leaders and business leaders must have the confidence to set the example for other businesses to follow. We have to continue to ask the questions of ourselves, then of our businesses, and begin to translate our own answers into teachings for those who follow.

Rev. Paul V. Scholl
September, 1995 in American Spirit Newspaper


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