We've all met the customer service rep who hates humanity and the computer technician with the people skills of a python. Holmes believes everyone is uniquely qualified to do something, and the key is finding that thing and fueling it. Think of it as a 21st-century version of the personality test that asks individuals to rank activities: Would you rather build a model airplane or write a love sonnet?
And personal satisfaction may even be more important in a difficult economy. When every employee is asked to do more with less, attention to personal satisfaction can yield higher productivity and better morale, even at a time when morale usually erodes. Indeed, knowing what makes an employee tick on a personal level may be the key to a company's bottom line. "Employee satisfaction and personal satisfaction come from within," Holmes says. "When you help people understand themselves and what makes them happy, they are prepared to work in a dump or a pig sty."
SPIRIT SEARCH AS BUSINESS TREND
Holmes' own personal quest began while he was working on global change and business strategy for an international banking group. He grew interested in how each individual's worldview affects business perform-ance, and began doctoral research on the topic at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. "I found that 94 percent of people aren't doing what they want to be doing," he says. "If you're not doing what you want to be doing, you're never going to be satisfied. And only when you're doing what you want to do will you perform at your highest level."
Holmes saw other indicators of the personal satisfaction zeitgeist as a business trend. He began tracking "the human consciousness movement," which he describes as simply people interested in spirit, in terms of dollars spent. "The trajectory of that as a phenomenon is currently higher and faster than the technology industry was in the '70s," says Holmes. "What that tells me is that there are huge numbers of people buying this, interested in it, and that they've been doing it for years."