Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to DrTony@Assessments24x7.com!

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 self-centeredness.

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 natural.

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 electronics firm.

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 decency.


Here's to more personal insight,


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