Capturing the Heart of Leadership: Spirituality and Community in the New American Workplace

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Pressures that Focus Our Spirit Self at Work

People are making the quest for meaning and congruence with their innermost self a part of their work goals. They are seeking more full personal (whole-person) development from their work, and in so doing are transforming the workplace and the larger society. People are voicing their craving to include inner spiritual needs as well as economic and production needs in the work experience now in ways not known even a few years ago. Leaders and workers alike expect more from their work than just a pay check. They are asking that their values and morals be not only considered, but openly reflected in work cultures. In so doing they are changing institutional structures and transforming their work lives.

My survey of mid-level professionals unanimously agreed that spirituality is a significant part of their work lives (see Table 5.1) and that their inner spirituality effects their values, ethics, and beliefs. Sixty-three percent said their spirituality was very important in shaping their overall ethics and values. The rest (37%) said it was important. None discounted their personal sense of spirituality in shaping their belief systems, including those at work.

The middle-level professionals surveyed identified several reasons why they felt that their spiritual selves were critical to work success. By far, the two most common reasons cited were that our spirituality is the motivating force for all life and it is the guide for life's actions. For them and, I dare say, for most other people, spirituality identifies and clarifies and places in context core values, ethics, and beliefs.

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