Talking Spirituality in the Workplace with Nicola Martin

Photographers Inc portratThis week we are sharing the story of an incredible lady, Nicola Martin who I was blessed to meet during her visit to Ottawa. Nicola introduced herself to me, and shared her knowledge of Sister Leadership, and how she carries that connection to spirit in every moment of her life. So today we’d like to introduce you to Nicola Martin, a business woman who has held many positions of governance including Depty Chairman of Focus 2000, Chairman & Trustee of the Cerebral Palsy Society Endowment Fund,  General Manager of Annies Marlborough Ltd, and more—and who sanctifies everyday experiences in gratitude and celebration by carrying her spirituality with her into all aspect of life.

What is Sanctifying Every Experience in Gratitude and Celebration (SEEGC)?  Sister Leadership defines it as appreciating with gratitude and awe an experience with all senses and holding enough space inside to be curious to ask fundamental “How is it important to me or others?” questions.

This week's Spiritual Intelligence theme is
This week’s Spiritual Intelligence theme is
Sanctifying Every Experience

SEEGC is to need to get to the root cause of what is fuelling a behaviour, action or thought, and what deeply ignites purpose in life. Gratitude is seeing what is rich and good around you and expanding your awareness with the learning from overcoming fears. The greatest time of growth is when things are challenging and unknown.

Nicola is a wonderful example of tapping the root cause of value and behaviour. She carries God with her in every choice, and trusts that guidance implicitly.

When did that big moment of trust in God begin, when did she absolutely stop doubting?

She shared with me the story of climbing the Camino in Spain. Before leaving for that challenge, she was full of reasons why it could not happen. She was alone, she couldn’t leave work, she wasn’t physically fit enough for the challenge.

Amongst all of this doubt, “This voice came over my right shoulder, ‘You’re not going to Spain alone, I’m coming with you,’” explains Nicola.

“Eighteen days later, I found myself at the base of the Pyrenees. God promised me he’d get me through the Pyrenees, he promised me he would get me over it, and he did. It was a hard day. And afterward I realized very quickly that he had honoured his word. It was a real challenge of the mind body and soul.”

So how does this translate to the workplace, and women leading in business? Well, that’s quite simple. With that total trust Nicola has in God, she is able to carry it into her work environment.

“In my workplace I use my faith a lot, and I have a strong belief that God has put me into situations to help sort them out. There was one particular situation where I think that because I know the voices of God, and when I heard the warnings or words of wisdom, I had the ability to do this in business. I’ve been chairman of the board for organizations in New Zealand. Sometimes when I see something or feel something or get an idea that something’s not quite right, I will ask God to show me what’s going on.

“There was particular case where I was working and I knew there was something going on. I could see it, but I didn’t know the source of the problem. So I went to my office and shut the door and said, ‘God, show me,’ and within 20 minutes he showed me the first thing, twenty minutes later he showed me the second thing, and twenty minutes later he showed me the third thing. It was quite shocking what I discovered.

“It was good my boss wasn’t there because it gave me 24 hours to sort out what I needed to do to fix it. And when I went and told him the next day what I’d found, I said I have a plan and we executed that plan.

“He said to me how do you know these things? I said, well, do you want my business answer or do you want my Christian answer? And I said my business answer is because I’m really good, and then I told him the story of how I prayed.

“Because I leaned on God doesn’t take away from being really good. I am really good at what I do, but part of what I do, I cannot diminish the fact that the reason I’m good at what I do is because God helps me. I’m his agent in the workplace. And we often forget that God is central to everything that we do. God is central to daily life, and we can use God in the workplace.

“You just ask. You just ask for God to be involved in your business, to be your business partner and to help you work through. And it’s the simplest thing.

“I’ve been in very complex situations, very complex and very challenging, and God has always been at the centre of it. He’s given me things to do that the human part of me is going , ‘Really?’ you’ve got to be joking. And once I do it, surprisingly God is right. And I go, ‘Really? Wow, I shouldn’t’ be surprised.’

“I think we need to start putting God everywhere. He doesn’t want us for just the out of work hours. He wants us 100% all of the time.”

When I asked Nicola if she’d like to leave us with one last impression, she had this to share with us on Sister Leadership: “We need to freewheel with God. If we’re controlling everything, we’re not giving the opportunity for God to enter our lives.”


Sister Leadership would like to thank Nicola for being so forthcoming with her spirituality. It is uplifting to hear of her stories, from the Pyrenees to the workplace to all parts of life. As she says, if only we had the courage to talk about our spirit in more contexts—whether you define that bigger guidance as God, or intuition, or serendipity, or the universe (your approach to sprit is your approach, so call it what you like)—then women and men wouldn’t need to feel less competent for following their instinct/soul/gut/intuition, etc.

Can you share any stories of bringing spirituality 100% into your life? What sort of reactions have you had in being forthcoming about your beliefs, and how have you been impacted by those reactions?

We invited you to share in the comments. This is a conversation worth having.

Till next week,



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