Authenticity and Spiritual Intelligence are co-related. Being an authentic leader is an art to be mastered over the lift time. In becoming authentic, it is the same as spiritual awakening and development. The more authentic you become, the higher your spiritual intelligence is.
Yet authenticity is not a concept that can be explained in one sentence or even a book. However, it can be felt and understood through stories. From these stories, you can relate to, resonate with, disagree with or even by inspired by, based on your own values and your life experiences to date.
I will share a couple of stories to illustrate the co-relation between authenticity and spiritual intelligence.
Recently, I watched an interview with the Dalai Lama. The interviewer mentioned that the Dalai Lama once said that he would be open to a female successor and that female must be attractive; otherwise, there is no much use. This remark is naturally controversial.
How you respond to his remark is a reflection of your level of authenticity and spiritual intelligence. Some may get upset by his comment; others would not. Now bearing in mind that English is not his mother tongue. So, those who would take no offence by his remark is because they understand the essence of his message.
The Dalai Lama has simply pointed out the very human nature, that is: we all like seeing beautiful things (e.g. people, babies, puppies etc) because they pleases our eyes as well as our other senses. Naturally, the female successor has to be attractive from the outside to get people’s attention first. She also has to be beautiful from the inside. In order to channel the inner wisdom from the inside and influence people, she has to be authentic.
Here is another female meditation instructor, who is beautiful to look at, sounds beautiful and intelligent and walks gracefully. As a whole, she looks like a Goddess. And she wants to help people to enjoy love and intimacy and create a trustful life partnership. So she decides to design and facilitate workshops on love and intimacy. The workshops have gone really well and people have been inspired one way or another.
However, a controversial fact about her has come to light. It turns out that while she is preaching all the good practices for love, intimacy and sacred relationships, she is having a love affair with a married man.
Now let’s see how people with different SQ level may respond after discovering this controversy. Say, we scale SQ from 1.0 to 10.0, where 1.0 being the most basic and 10.0 being the most advanced.
SQ 1.0 – 2.0 people may respond in two opposite ways. One may say that “She is such a beautiful soul and a Goddess. I was so inspired by her workshop. There is no way that she would do such thing. This must be a fake news.” Denial.
The other may say that “She is beautiful from the outside but a hypocrite. How could she do such thing? I feel cheated.”Judgmental.
SQ3.0 – 4.0 people may say that “She is definitely beautiful and her workshop content was useful. Oh well, she is also a human. No one is perfect.” Trying to be indifference or objective.
SQ5.0-6.0 people may say that “Her workshop content was good. I guess she was trying to help herself by helping others. However, I now have questions about her credibility and integrity.” Now the value system is in spotlight.
SQ7.0-8.0 people may say that “Her work was good. I did find the content alone very useful. Credit to her for making such effort. However, I must admit that I did feel a disconnect somewhere but could not quite put my finger on it. It was as if some depth was missing. Now I know why.” The lack of depth is being picked up.
Guess what, SQ9.0 – 10.0 people probably have nothing to say. In fact, it is most likely that they would not have been drawn to her or her workshop in the first place. This is because they are the most discerning and can only be drawn by authenticity.
So why the differences? It really is just the reflection of our own life experiences and conditions at the given time. We all progress at different timelines.
As we become more authentic, we are raising our own spiritual intelligence. With the higher SQ, we develop the deeper self-awareness of our own values – who we are, what we believe in, what we stand for and what is the right thing to do (for the right reasons and even at the right time).
Whether you are in the corporate world (as CFO or COO of a company) or the spiritual world (as a Tai Chi teacher or Reiki master teacher) or in both worlds, being authentic is what sets you apart from the others.
It is important to understand and own our significant presence, our power of influence and the impact of our influence. This can only be channelled from our very core, the inner beauty and the inner universe when we are being authentic.
It is even more important to make “being authentic” a lifelong commitment - walk the talk; practice what we preach; not 40% of the time, nor 70%, nor 99.9% but 100% of the time at least. Who we are is how we lead.
I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes, by Lao Zhi from Dao Te Ching:
To know others is intelligence
To know oneself is true wisdom
To master others is strength
To master oneself is true power