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

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Spiritual Leadership Task Competence

As noted in Chapter 10, the organizational environment within which most people live and work today is changing. The transformation we see is from bureaucracy based on control of physical objects to one centered on organizational intelligence. No longer is the focus of organizational activity on the control and management of materials, parts, and product units. Now the focus is on information. Our organizations are becoming learning organizations guided by and using information (intelligence) as the raw materials of production. And our people are becoming knowledge workers.

The era of the knowledge worker places new demands on leaders. It asks of them new kinds of expertise; new skills, knowledge, and abilities that we normally associate with teaching and learning. To be creditable with today's workers, leaders must be in a continual mode of teaching. Leadership is helping followers be successful in their (the followers') terms. It is directing follower attention to the future. Leaders must gain follower trust and, in turn, trust their followers. They need to appeal to their followers' highest motives. Skill in these capacities may have always been a part of leadership. That it is only now being advocated as past of leadership preparation and theory marks a milestone in our progress.


THE LEADER AS TEACHER

Learning, not physical capital, is the ultimate source of all profit and growth. Knowledge has become more important for organizations than

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