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

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Chapter 18
The Leader's Goal: Continuous Improvement

Spiritual leaders seek one superordinate goal: continuous improvement. They seek improvement of self, their core of co-workers, and all other stakeholders--customers, suppliers, consultants, and the rest. They seek to enlarge the pool of self-led leaders.


CONTRASTING SPIRITUAL AND OTHER LEADERSHIP APPROACHES

Many of the methods and styles defined in nonspiritual leadership literature focus on the science of leadership and management. They emphasize organization, authority, role rankings and formal relationships. Those experts who do focus on human relations aspects of leadership do so, often, from the perspective of reaction against the scientific methods and a disillusionment with hard science. Yet, even the human relationists focus on science as the path to truth about leading human beings. Nevertheless, scientific management methods have fallen short as a way to understand and relate to other people in productive ways.

The world has, of course, gained much knowledge and useful technology from the work of management scientists. Our physical, organizational, and emotional lives are fuller as a result of the application of the scientific process. The work of management scientists is useful, as are their insights and their dedication to seeking the truth. But, also needed, is the spiritual assurance that our relationships with our co-

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