Bookcase Bio Computers and Brahma

Spirit Intelligence
By: David R J Powell
Publisher: Addenda
Price: $49.95

From bio-computers, boiled frogs and Brahma to Ohm’s Law, laminar flow, and the “woo-woo factor”- the index of David Powell’s Spirit Intelligence reveals his book to be fairly wide-ranging romp.
The subhead is “175 practical keys for inspiring your life and business”; its tagline -“beyond emotional intelligence”. The last is because Powell has gone for more wholistic approach.
In his model, emotions are only part of the picture, representing just five of the 16 cylinders needed to rev up high-performance people. The rest are divvied up between body (3), mind (3), and spirit (5). What the book provides, says Powell, is the “spirit intelligence keys to fire up and sustain you and the people around you on all 16 cylinders”.
So just what is spirit intelligence?

Underutilised potential
Management asked Powell about the book and his own beliefs when he visited Auckland last month. The conversation, like the book, ranged from generalised laws of physics (why, for instance, do the pendulum swings of nearby cuckoo clocks always end up in synchrony?), to his own passion for awakening people’s underutilised potential.
“Most people,” he mourns, “perform far below their capacity.”
Changing that involves addressing the whole person and “spirit” is the essential element. From the Latin “spirare”, to breathe, it is defined by Powell as the core of person’s being.
“Your spirit is the watcher, the observer, the initiator behind the constant ‘doing’ of mind, body and emotions.”
This spirit grows and evolves through life experiences, and its ability to make the best life choices is spirit intelligence. So far, so esoteric, but Powell has bundle of pragmatic approaches and suggestions that tackle some primary management issues – from defining purpose and working with vision to building team rapport, and creating clear plans of action.
He draws strongly on the laws of physics to help illustrate how the same laws operate in the much less tangible world of metaphysics.
“My experience is that these laws are reliable and constant because that’s how the universe works,” says Powell.

The laws of gravity
For instance the laws of gravity that say larger mass equals bigger attraction help explain why powerful vision does much better job of attracting people than plain job description.
The reliability of such universal concepts is cited as reason for not dismiss ing this book as just another management fad. Powell also believes it’s the only management text to use PERT (programme evaluation and review technique) “graphical planning” tools for defining action plans. The PERT planning method starts from success vision and works backwards to identify the steps for getting there.
Not that this is just book for business. There’s plenty of takeaway for individuals, parents, families or community leaders, says Powell.
The result of seven years’ work, it reflects much of his own life journey.
Born in the UK and trained as an engineer, he arrived in Australia after driving overland for year through such places as Nepal, India and Thailand. That proved “powerful experience” which helped prompt more inward journey of personal discovery including exploration of yoga, meditation and psychology.
(The “woo-woo factor”, by the way, is stuff from more esoteric realms that, for some, proves bit beyond current credibility limits.)
After switching from chemical engineering to IT in 1984, Powell discovered his interest in corporate education out of necessity when he became general manager of 200-strong team that had been badly hit by retrenchments.

Body – mind – emotion
While motivational training was obviously called for, there was no budget for it – so Powell took it on, utilising the sort of body-mind-emotion approach that had permeated his own learning.
It worked, and by 1993 he was running his own executive training company Corporate Leadership. These days, he has an international clientele ranging from banks and telcos to government agencies and non-profit organisations – among them such biggies as IBM, Ericsson, Optus, Telstra, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank.
Powell says the book was driven by his own sense of passion and purpose to address some of the world’s many woes.
“We only play two games on the planet – survival and business. That last is played all over the world by churches or kindergartens, small enterprises and large corporates. So business is screwing the planet up faster than everybody else and if we don’t get more whole-person awareness into business, this won’t change.
“I don’t want to be held accountable for not doing more to achieve this. And who else is providing such concise range of tools for firing up the whole person?” M

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