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

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
Spiritual Leadership Visioning

Values, the leader's and those others helping to define the nature and character of the group led, determine the nature of the leader's relationships with his or her followers. The values shared by all members of the team define not only the character of the corporation, but the kind of relationship that exists among them. Shortell ( 1985) suggests a model of high-performance organizations consisting of ten characteristics, including a culture that features a willingness and ability to stretch members by appealing to the whole person. Leaders of these organizations maximize learning, take risks, in short, exhibit values-based transforming leadership. This kind of organization and these leaders reflect deep inner spiritual values.

American organizations face challenges in the future, including fundamental changes in goals, forms of authority, core technologies, and marketing strategies. High-performance organizations offer an eclectic particular model for firms seeking to improve their own performance. High-performance organizations do not necessarily exhibit all of Shortell's ten characteristics, but they rate highly on many of the criteria and are aware of all of them. They are vision-centered, and they are concerned with the inner needs of leaders and followers.

Rue ( 1994) identified seven traits of high-performance companies based on a McKensey and Company study. He concluded that leaders, not managers who relentlessly pursue a vision, drive these companies. They are intense, performance-driven, and demanding. They develop simple structures, provide world-class training, value people skills, and

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