From Chop Wood Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life, by Rick Fields, etc. pp 117-118.
- See your business as an organism, alive, always changing -- a process, not a static institution, requiring continual and spontaneous awareness to be managed effectively. Like the Tao, if you think you know it, you don't.
- Practice compassion and empathy. The basic truth that we are not separate from one another is as central to relationships in business as it is to relationships in the rest of life. Competition is healthy only when we remember that it is also true that we are all cooperating in a much larger task.
- Keep close to the ground. Use common sense and simple solutions. Be wary of acting out of a concept of how things should be. The gut (or hara) is the center for business (informed, of course, by love and wisdom).
- Work on creating a happy workplace. Benefits, like appropriate salary, health insurance, vacations, etc., do not make people happy; they keep people from being unhappy. Happiness in the workplace comes from a challenging and satisfying relationship with one's work.
- Care about your product. You are adding more "stuff" to the environment. Make sure it's in harmony with your values.
- Continually rearticulate the values of the business. The daily demands of every work situation tend to eclipse the deeper motivations.
- Create effective strategies -- it helps you remember that business is a game. It also gives flexibility and strength. The martial arts have taught the Japanese a great tradition of honouring strategy. The wider your choice of possible responses to a situation, the greater your chance of success.
- Always tell the truth. If this seems contrary to the demands of American business, read Gandhi.
- Don't get in it for the money. Recognize that a healthy, growing business needs to be profitable, but in your central intention is to become rich, it's not worth doing.
- Keep the rest of your life alive and diverse. Remember your other priorities. Don't get confused about whether to attend a cash-flow seminar or your child's Christmas play. Take lots of vacations. Meditate or do whatever reminds you that you are not the only person behind the desk.
- Encourage personal growth. It increases productivity.
- Hire people you trust, people who share your values. It's almost always more important than skills.
- Know that the end never justifies the means. The process is it. The end is conditioned by the means.
Be playful. The world doesn't make sense -- don't forget!
Ms. Bush is the founder and director of Illuminations.