“I realized that I was not the CEO, our values were our CEO. We made a list of our values and when we made a decision, we evaluated them against not my opinion but our values. As a result we made many decisions that I might not have made on my own and we had full management support for them. Our values, which were based on the 9 Laws described in my book, led us to become an industry leader.” — Ratanjit Sondhe, author, How Oneness Changes Everything
This month at the Patheos Book Club, we’re featuring an unusual new book on business leadership by business coach, consultant and radio and television host Ratanjit Sondhe called How Oneness Changes Everything: Empowering Business Through 9 Universal Laws. Sondhe emigrated from India to the United States in 1968 with no more than a few dollars in his pocket. Over the next 40 years, he grew in success to become the founder and CEO of the international materials science company POLY-CARB, Inc., which was acquired by the Dow Chemical Company in 2007.
Here, he shares more about his new book, and the principle of Oneness.
Why did you write How Oneness Changes Everything?
I wrote this book because I do a lot of public speaking and business coaching, and it seemed that wherever I went and told my life story, people said it would make an amazing book that would be helpful to them. So I decided to capture the lessons that I learned in my life to help others be successful.
This book tells the story of my life in business, but it’s really about developing Spiritual Intelligence, which is an understanding of Universal Laws. Most people know that IQ is one form of intelligence and that EQ is emotional intelligence, but we also have a third kind of intelligence that we need to develop to achieve our full potential. That is Spiritual Intelligence and it begins to develop in us when we understand the Law of Oneness.
What is Oneness?
Oneness is really very simple. It is the deep understanding that we are all interconnected and interdependent. While this is a very simple truth, it’s also very profound and very powerful, because it’s so different from the belief that we are separate and that we need to struggle and compete against each other to survive. We are much better off when we work together to survive.
How did you come to understand Oneness?
I had been introduced to the concept of Oneness as a child, but I came to a point in my life when my business was facing bankruptcy. I spent a weekend in meditation and dug down deep and faced the fact that I had not been fully living this understanding. Once I started to really use my Spiritual Intelligence, everything changed for me.
How did your understanding of Oneness change everything for you?
When I began to understand Oneness, I suddenly realized that my true Purpose in life is the same as everyone’s true Purpose – and that is to add the highest value to all of us, for all of us, because we are all interconnected and interdependent. In Oneness there are no winners and losers. All of us must be made winners. Once I started to run my business that way, it took off and became enormously successful.
Oneness is not a religion but it is at the core of every religion. It is more than a belief, it’s a scientific fact. I am a chemist so I like to look at things scientifically. On a subatomic level, we are all connected. The same energy that powers me powers you. Consider the light bulb. It doesn’t matter where that light bulb is made or what it looks like, it is electricity that lights all light bulbs.
Is this Oneness concept really practical for business today? Does it even belong in the business world?
It’s a great myth that Spiritual Intelligence doesn’t belong in the business world. It is needed as much as education or Emotional Intelligence. My book is filled with stories of how my understanding of Oneness gave me an edge that brought my company enormous success. We face tremendous challenges in our global economy today and we need to develop our Spiritual Intelligence to give us the edge to overcome them.
What’s one example of how your Spiritual Intelligence — this understanding of Oneness or Universal Laws — helped your business to become more successful?
There are many examples in my book, but here is one of them. I realized that for each of us to fully appreciate each other and understand each other, we needed to know how to do each other’s jobs. So I rotated every employee throughout each department in the company until each person discovered their passion. The result was that our ability to communicate with each other improved tremendously, we had people who were doing what they loved to do most of the time, but when we had a rush order and we needed help, almost anyone could fill in for anyone else to make sure we got the job done. This made us very agile and we could outperform others in our industry.
Here’s another example if you have time for one. I realized that I was not the CEO, our values were our CEO. We made a list of our values and when we made a decision, we evaluated them against not my opinion but our values. As a result we made many decisions that I might not have made on my own and we had full management support for them. Our values, which were based on the 9 Laws described in my book, led us to become an industry leader.
You mention 9 Universal Laws that can empower a business. What is the most important of these laws?
After the Law of Oneness, the most important Universal Law or Spiritual Law is the Law of Purpose, which tells us that everyone shares exactly the same Purpose in life, which is to add the highest value to everyone at all times. When you understand that this is your Purpose in life, it gives you tremendous focus and energy that automatically aligns you with excellence. When you live in harmony with these laws, it’s like having the power of the Universe on your side instead of swimming upstream. That has been my experience and I have seen it in the lives of others who have followed this path.
Who should read this book?
This book is for anyone who wants to use their full human potential to grow and to succeed in life. If you’re facing a problem and you’re looking for a new approach, if you’re feeling stuck in ways of thinking that aren’t fulfilling to you or bringing you success, or if you’re feeling stress and want to experience greater harmony in your life and your relationships, you will find something to help you in this book. If you want to read an excerpt from the book you can go to our website, www.onenessbook.com and you can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I post thoughts every day, or you can find more information at our website www.discoverhelp.com.