Lead by Greatness: How Character Can Power Your Success by David Lapin, rabbi and CEO of Lapin International, identifies corporations which foster of identity and “soul” as subsequently nurturing greater culture and developing economic strength.
Lapin’s book begins by asking the reader to better understand themselves as they are in order to foster this sense of identity or “soul” within themselves. This may appear to some as contrary to other texts on business and leadership which tend to offer instruction on how one should be. For Lapin, this self-realization is accomplished through mapping a “spiritual fingerprint,” or the intangible quality which promotes a notion that “every person is unique” in their character and their decision-making process.
In mapping this “spiritual fingerprint” Lapin asks the reader, among other things, to consider their “value-drivers,” or “beliefs for which we have made, or would be willing to make, significant sacrifices.” In other words, Lapin wants us to identify what’s important to us.
In understanding such value-drivers, a leader can then apply their conclusions to business. For example, a humane and personal conclusion about one’s soul, or identity, can influence one to genuinely aim to increase customer satisfaction and service.
Yet the reader isn’t the only entity to have a “soul” for Lapin. Lapin writes that “entrepreneurs and business leaders manifest a divine spirituality … in the ongoing act of creation” in their economic activity. This creation of value for Lapin “is an activity governed not only by natural principles of economics, but also by universal principles of spirituality.” His intent with such a statement appears to be a justification that corporations too have a “soul,” or for those readers not buying into the spiritual language, a unique identity.
Throughout the text, Lapin provides a number of examples which work to illustrate the benefits of utilizing one’s uniqueness, or their “soul.” Lapin illustrates instances of how fostering this soul can promote success in business and how aiming to foster such a soul within the corporation itself can also lead to accomplishment.
As a result, an entrepreneur or business leader with a carefully understood or mapped “soul fingerprint,” can provide value to others. Further, a corporation with an understanding of itself and such needs can provide value to its clients and customers, increasing its own value.
Ultimately, the reading offers a unique way of perceiving one’s identity and the identity of their business. Whether you are a spiritual person or not, the text provides an alternative to understanding a way in developing success outside of following a”right way of doing things” often present in other readings on business leadership.