Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is Astrology the Next Business Tool You Need?

Let me just say up front that I am an Aquarian. For some people, this may mean a great deal. For others, it may mean as much to them as also pointing out that I am brunette or that I have blue eyes.

Interesting, but hardly meaningful.

Unless, of course, you are someone who finds astrology useful in your life. Like Nancy Reagan or the late Princess Diana or businessman J.P. Morgan. All powerful people who have made decisions that affect hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

Then, of course, the question becomes how much astrology -- defined as “the study of positions and aspects of heavenly bodies with a view to predicting their influence on the course of human affairs,” -- influences your life.

I recently interviewed Steve Weiss, author of a new book, "Signs of Success: The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology" for my Gannett News Service/USAToday.com column.

Weiss made it very clear that while he's been fascinated by astrology for decades, he believes it is only one of many tools we need to understand one another in the workplace.

Still, I would imagine there are plenty of questions about using astrology in business.

How comfortable would you be if your CEO were using astrology to make business decisions? Do you think understanding the 12 signs and their traits could help you make better decisions and understand co-workers, bosses or competitors? Or, should we make astrology part of our Sunday newspaper reading -- along with the comics?



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Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Comics. I know a CEO, whose WIFE believes it so much she consults hers regularly. If I believed in shorting stocks, I would short his.


This is an interesting post, however. I guess we all have our own beliefs and weird insights. But still...

Anita said...

Remember the reaction when it was learned that Nancy Reagan consulted with an astrologer on a regular basis? And yet, many cultures are more accepting of it that some of us may be. It's an interesting discussion, that's for sure, especially when you think of your boss using it....
Thanks for posting.

Steve Weiss said...

Anita - Thanks so much for the column and your open-minded (Aquarian!) consideration of the topic. The obstacle to most discussions of astrology is the knee-jerk reaction to the fortune-telling (yes Rapunzel, I can help you spin straw into gold). While this aspect of astrology is indeed seductive (with perhaps a tablespoon of utility)it diminshes a carefully wrought 5,000 year-old multicultural study of mythic/psychological archetypes ... manifestations of which are probably sitting in cubicles right near yours at this very moment. I of course hope people will buy the book and explore the development of this thesis but let me conclude here with the observation of one highly placed HR executive (quoted in the book). He told me he will sometime inject astrology discussion into a situation when traditional methods fail and colleagues have grown tense. Why? Because not only are some of the personality insights valid...it causes people to laugh. Fun. Now there's an outrageous concept.

Thanks again, Anita

Steve Weiss

Anita said...

I'm all for more laughs at work! And, who knows, maybe just the discussion of astrology will bridge a communication gap for some people.
Best of luck with the book...you've got people talking, and that's always a good thing for a book!

Erika said...

I would be extremely wary of someone who uses astrology to influence decisions that affect my life. Astrology is a humbug, a practice rife with mysticized generalizations that are designed to give people the feelings they're looking for. In my opinion, it's silly and I would prefer that the people who influence my life make their decisions based on expertise.

Niklas Knipschild said...

I don't base everything I do in business on Astrology, simply don't have time for that. But let's suppose I'm preparing to make a big move, such as hiring someone, firing someone, changing careers, or something major. I'll consider my options carefully, and I'll also use Astrology to help me determine if I'm making the right decision.

Do I think we should use Astrology to help in our business choices? Possibly.