Foundations of spiritual leadership
Gilbert W. Fairholm published “Spiritual Leadership: fulfilling whole self needs at work” in 1996. Fairholm reports on original research into work meeting both economic and spiritual needs. “Work has become the centrepiece of our lives. Whether we like it or not, work has become the fountainhead of values in our society, the site of our most useful social contributions. Work is the place where most of us find our sense of full meaning. The organization (community) within which we work is becoming our most significant community. For some, work is replacing family, friendship circles, church and social groups.”
Mirvis (1997) wrote about the interest in fundamental values at work; “lacking continuity and connection in so many other settings, many naturally look to their organization as a communal center.”
Mitroff & Denton (1999) described a need for meaning and purpose at work, “the ability to realize my full potential as a person” Having good colleagues and being associated with a good organization were both highly rated dimensions in their research.
Spiritual leadership has roots in three models of leadership.
• Transformational – James McGregor Burns used the term “transformational leader” in the 1978 work Leadership. The leader enables change for the better in the followers and thereby the organization is bettered.
• Servant – In 1970, AT&T executive Robert K. Greenleaf (1904-1990) wrote a short essay entitled: "The Servant As Leader". To lead is to serve the members and the organization to enable achievement.
• Charismatic – (Jay Conger & Rabindra Kanungo, 1987, 1988) Charismatic leaders convey an inspirational vision and a sense of extraordinary mission.
Model of spiritual leadership
Gilbert W. Fairholm published a model of spiritual leadership (Fairholm, 1996). The characteristics of Fairholm's model included:...