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

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Understanding Spirit at Work

People are anxious for more spirit in their work lives. The recent wave of literature advocating a new age of spiritual awareness attests to this increasingly widespread need (see the bibliography). We've reached a point where traditional management has failed in many companies. What we can call the deregulation of employment--the abandonment of the traditional psychological contract connecting workers to a lifelong career with the company--has effectively destroyed the security and tranquility of the workplace. People need something to repair the damage. For a growing cadre of people--all of my survey respondents-- spirituality is the answer.


THE POTENTIAL FOR SPIRITUAL POWER IN LEADERSHIP

The potential for the integration of spirituality into secular organizations is both positive and necessary. When asked about this extension of what many people feel to be a private and personal aspect of self into the workplace, 63 percent of my survey answered unreservedly in the affirmative. Another third answered yes with reservations (Table 7.1). Their responses come from widespread belief that spirituality is woven into all life's decisions and actions. We see it reflected in the example of people who won't compromise their values to gain power. It relates directly to individual and group success. It is part of caring for others, using the Golden Rule, trusting relationships, and other similar acts people engage in together.

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