Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips"
by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your
Improving Your Spiritual Self
Your spiritual self has nothing to do with how
often you go to church. Instead, by "spiritual,"
I mean the dynamic between you and those you're
seeking to influence positively: the bond of
trust you're able to create, the level of caring
and the attitude of service you convey, and the
sense of higher purpose or greater good that you
communicate. It's sort of the opposite of
Back in 1996, I was struck by the tributes that
followed the death of industrialist David
Packard. He was eulogized as a can-do genius
who, starting with $538 in cash and an empty
Palo Alto garage, built Hewlett-Packard into a
$31 billion firm and, after IBM, the
second-largest computer maker in America. He was
widely cited as "one of the most influential
figures" in U.S. business history.
But amid the stories of his savvy management and
progressive thinking, there were many anecdotes
about David Packard, the man. An enemy of
pomposity and immodesty, he was remembered for
his generosity, his friendliness, his
attentiveness, and trust in his employees (who
called him Dave). He was as strongly devoted to
people, many said, as he was to technology and
sound business practices.
One friend remembered almost twenty years
earlier when he was a middle manager preparing
to give an important talk and, by chance, he met
Packard in the parking lot. Packard asked him if
he was prepared for his speech. The young
manager said yes, but admitted he was very
nervous. Packard, one of the richest, most
powerful men in America, draped an arm around
the manager's shoulder and said that was only
Then he suggested the manager might find it
easier if during his talk he imagined he was
having a heart-to-heart conversation with his
best friend. "Here was this really human guy who
had immediate empathy with my concerns,"
recalled the then-manager, who now heads another
Another executive remembered having given a
seminar, and Packard, after saying goodbye to
the dignitaries, came over and helped put away
the folding chairs. "He was holding three in
each hand and carrying them down into the
basement. I stopped and thought, 'This is a man
who leads by example.'"
In short, Packard never forgot that character
and kindness never go out of style. His
charisma, enormous by any calculation, was made
greater still by his humanity. And in the final
analysis, that, as well as his company and his
philanthropy, is his legacy. In short, he cared.
That's the essence of this spiritual dimension
that influences people.
Try to be alert to the emotional states of
others. That takes a well-tuned antenna. But
such sensitivity is a definite spur to your
charisma as well as a sign of character and