Spirit in Business – The Early Years
In the mid-1980’s I was fortunate to be living in the Bay Area of northern California. With trepidation I had moved there with my ex-husband who was in chiropractic school. I was welcomed by the most professional, highly educated, open-minded, free-thinking, creative people that I had ever met. I fit right in and began a rapid evolutionary spiral that seemed to just be gathering mach speed when I moved with my husband to North Carolina.
Even in the 80’s the San Jose Mercury News and the local Business Journal newspapers had separate columns entitled “Spirit in Business”. Networking was a big thing in Silicon Valley and most of the many organizations and meetings I attended had a Spirit-based theme, whether it was marketing, management, sales, or simply cross-pollination of various industry representatives. I chaired one of the oldest women’s business networking organizations – Professional Connections for Women – which had been started in the early 1970’s as a dare to women from Gloria Steinhem to create our own “girl’s network” to complement the “good old boy’s” network. Every speaker that we sponsored had a speaking theme of Spirit. It was so wonderful to be able to talk openly about spirituality within business parameters!
When I moved to NC I took a more traditional approach because that was required of me. I learned to speak of Spirit in very Christian terms, and quoted the Bible in order to better speak the language of the locals. It took almost twenty years before Spirit in Business hit the mainstream of Corporate America, and many books have been written with this theme since then. In the meantime I had not given up my own convictions of ensuring that Spirit WAS and IS incorporated into all business. I served as Director of Training and Development for several large corporations, and often I was approached by people who recognized that even though my semantics didn’t always blatantly show it, I was definitely talking about taking Spirit into business as I presented my training programs. I wrote a weekly newspaper column, “Business Basics” for The Enquirer Journal newspaper, and readers often contacted me about the different kinds of approaches I took to dealing with regular business topics.
Today I am totally open about my spiritual convictions, and society is more ready to receive what I have to say. Other trailblazers like me have helped to make the way clear so that people can claim Spirit and incorporate that major aspect of life into all of the roles they play. It is so much easier now, and I am grateful that I live in a country where I CAN claim my convictions without persecution!!