My Coming Out – As a Corporate Mystic
Several years ago, I was invited to join a panel session at the Academy of Management’s annual conference. The title of the session was, The corporate mystic: Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual practices into organizational life. The phrase “corporate mystic” embedded itself into my subconscious. It has surfaced a few times during the past few years, most recently as I went through a re-branding process with Jeffrey Davis and the team at Tracking Wonder.
Up until now, I thought it would be presumptuous to call myself a corporate mystic, because no true mystic would identify themselves as such. Therefore, you won’t see that phrase on my website or marketing messages.
However, the words corporate mystic keep popping up in my mind.
My own definition of mystic is a person who is deeply tuned in to a greater sense of reality, a larger vision of what is true. The mystic regularly draws from their inner wisdom, often referred to as their higher self. A mystic can view ideas and experiences from multiple perspectives. Their awareness spans what can be experienced through our senses (plus instruments that aid our senses) as well as that which cannot be directly experienced through our human awareness. The mystic feels interconnected with every aspect of existence, and they live their life accordingly. Their vision of truth embraces the possibility of multiple, concurrent truths. When I encounter a person who I consider to be a mystic, I experience them as drawing from a deep well of wisdom which is greater than their individual knowledge and experience.
Who then, would be a corporate mystic? The simplest answer would be a mystic who happens to work in a business environment, in one of the large corporations, multi-national companies, NGO’s, or non-profits around the world. This person may or may not hold a leadership position within their organization, but their presence has an influence on those around them.
I differentiate the corporate mystic from what some people call a visionary leader. The visionary leader has a talent. That talent is to articulate and inspire others to move together toward a vision. The visionary leader may or may not be deeply tuned in to a greater sense of reality, a larger vision of what is true. The visionary leader may not be able to regularly draw from their higher self, or from a deeper well of meaning and wisdom. They may be able to incite a vision, but they may not be able to create a space that nurtures the journeys of others, nor be a calming presence in times of challenge.
How does a corporate mystic impact organizational life?
They create spaces and opportunities for the people around them to connect with their inner wisdom. Corporate mystics help their colleagues to entertain multiple perspectives, to imagine the unseen, and to connect with a larger sense of reality. They create spaces that nurture the journeys of others. Their mere presence provides calm in the face of storms and chaos.
I think I have done some of that in my various positions of leadership. In a future post, I will provide examples from my experiences as a leader.
I’m admitting to being a corporate mystic. I’m ‘out’ now, and so be it.
I believe mystics do exist in the corporate work environment, though they are not necessarily visible. I desire to help others develop their capacities to become corporate mystics . I think we need more mystics in the corporate world in order to turn the unsustainable trajectory of the very large ship we call “humanity” on planet earth.
If this blog post resonates with you, perhaps you will be interested to participate in an upcoming masterclass that my colleague Maiken Piil and I will be offering beginning September 9, called Leading from Your Higher Self. This intensive personal leadership development masterclass will help you to connect with your inner mystic, your higher self, so that you can make better decisions in complex environments, and be able to lead with a higher level of consciousness and authenticity. [Registration for this masterclass has closed. Please contact us if you would like to co-create a version of this masterclass tailored to your organization].