Spiritual values and practices related to leadership effectiveness

Spiritual values and practices related to leadership effectiveness

images (9)Laura Reave
University of Western Ontario,Canada

This review of over 150 studies shows that there is a clear consistency between spiritual values and practices and effective leadership.Values that have long been considered spiritual ideals,such as integrity,honesty,and humility,have been demonstrated to have an effect on leadership success.Similarly,practices traditionally associated with spirituality as demonstrated in daily life have also been shown to be connected to leadership effectiveness.All of the following practices have been emphasized in many spiritual teachings, and they have also been found to be crucial leadership skills:showing respect for others,demonstrating fair treatment,expressing caring and concern,listening responsively,recognizing the contributions of others,and engaging in reflective practice.
What does spirituality have to do with leadership effectiveness?For many years,these fields have been worlds apart:one,an esoteric realm of intangible ideas and emotions;the other,a practical area of scientific inquiry.There has also been considerable antagonism between the two fields.In an article entitled bHow the church has failed business,Q Nash (2001)describes bthe culture of mutual stereotyping that she discovered in over 100 interviews with clergy and business leaders(p. 26).Nash found that clergy expressed a vague but deep hostility toward capitalism and the modern corporation,characterized by suspicion of selfishness and greed and disgust with their bunappealing but necessary function.For their part,business leaders felt that clergy were out of touch and unrealistic.

Spiritual values and practices related to leadership effectiveness

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