For any concept to be useful in the practical, what will it do for me now, world of business, it must be defined in a way that is operational.

Few words are more fuzzy than spiritual or spirituality. The very concept seems to defy any concrete definition. Let me suggest that an ultimate defintion may be well beyond our capability, but developing a definition that is useful is not.

In some places spiritual capital is being equated with participation in formal religion. I find this unfortunate because my own experience does not lend credence to the idea that formal religion has any exclusive patent on spirituality; although for most, the discipline of formal religion is the training ground for spirituality. The Templeton Foundation is funding research and John Templeton has done an admirable job in his pioneering promotion of spirituality and its link to health, business and general well-bing.

Spirituality simply refers to our aspirations, our guidance, our connections not founded in the material world, but rather from some source, we regard as more noble. I think there are two key components of spirituality in the workplace that are of genuine value, assets, to the organization. The first is the degree to which members of the organization are committed to an ennobling purpose; and second, the degree to which shared values serve to guide ethical behavior.

A worthy purpose, the impulse to do something significant, to make a contribution to humanity, is the most fundamental form of motivation. Great leaders instill a sense of noble purpose in their followers and thereby create human energy.

Shared values, the discipline of adherence to a code of values within a group, is the basis of trust and sociability. Just as low-trust societies are economically handicapped, so to are low-trust companies.

To the degree that an organization can enable, support, or encourage a depth of personal morality and dedication to a noble purpose, it possesses spiritual capital.