The University of Greenwich
School of Business Masters in Transformational Leadership and Change (MTLC)
LDRP 501 Theories & Practices of Leadership Essay on: Leadership and Spirituality: A Transcendental approach
By: Tesfaye Mamo Woldesemayat
The theory of Leadership has evolved gradually and now is developing into, as Bass and Riggio (2006) agree, a new paradigm of conceptualization; namely, transactional or transformational. Sanders et al (2003) argue that the journey of leadership is mainly to connect to a higher influence. In this sense, the influence of transformational leadership through charisma, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration is not the end of the journey. They further argue that a new model that enriches and extends transactional and transformational leadership is transcendental leadership-the inclusion of spirituality in the continuum.
This essay tries to review the issue of spirituality in a transcendental leadership model and how it contributes to the effectiveness of leaders. The essay discusses the basic concepts and dimensions of spirituality, ethics and servant leadership and how this emergent model can enrich the existing transactional-transformational continuum.
Spirituality and Transcendental Leadership defined
Sanders et al (2003: 1) define spirituality as “That aspect of life concerned with ultimate purpose and meaning in life, which translates into a commitment to God or a higher power, recognition of the transcendent in everyday experience, a selfless focus, and a set of beliefs and practices that facilitates a relationship with the transcendent”.
This definition fully agrees with what Covey (2004) says as the soul’s search for meaning, in that there is an inner desire to live a life of greatness and contribution, to really matter and make a difference. Therefore, the search for meaning and leaving legacy is considered as innate in all...