Spiritual Leadership

The Light for Organizations ministry is now offering spiritual direction groups for leaders. These groups help leaders discern how the Holy Spirit is moving in their lives and within their organizations. They also give leaders the opportunity to hear about how God is working in other organizations.

When leaders share their experiences and hear about others’ experiences, the reality of God is reinforced for them. Membership in a spiritual direction group can also help leaders open up to fuller participation in the life of the Spirit. Spiritual direction groups offer these benefits, but they also provide leaders the opportunity to develop spiritual leadership.

Spiritual leadership comes through leaders who have an inner life that serves as a source of inspiration and insight for them. By connecting with a higher power, leaders gain the conviction that their organization’s core purposes will be fulfilled as well as the ability to achieve those purposes in ways that support the leaders’ health and well-being. In addition to benefiting leaders, spiritual leadership also benefits organizational members and the organization as a whole.

Spiritual leadership benefits organizational members by helping them gain a sense of calling and community. Leaders achieve this by:
(1) Co-creating a vision wherein both leaders and followers experience a sense of calling which gives their life greater meaning and an avenue for making a difference,
(2) Influencing the organizational culture so leaders and followers have a sense of membership, feel understood and appreciated, and have genuine care, concern and appreciation for both self and others, and
(3) Supporting employees’ inner life development practices that help them be more self-aware and draw strength from their humanistic, spiritual or religious beliefs.*

Spiritual leadership benefits the organization as a whole through organizational members’ sense of calling and community. Their sense of calling translates to higher life satisfaction, while their sense of community increases commitment and productivity and decreases burnout.** Additional benefits of spiritual leadership include organizational innovation and learning, sales growth, ethical behavior, and social responsibility.***

I encourage you to learn more about spiritual direction and to consider joining a spiritual direction group.

Share your insights:
Which spiritual practices or form of spiritual direction do you engage in to cultivate your spiritual life? How has your leadership and your organization benefited?


*Fry, L. W., and M. Nisieiwcz. 2013. Maximizing the Triple Bottom Line through Spiritual Leadership. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

**Yang, M. & Fry, L. W. 2018. The role of spiritual leadership in reducing healthcare worker burnout. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 15:4, 305-324.

***Sandra, D. & Nandram, S. 2019. Driving organizational entrainment through spiritual leadership, Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, DOI: 10.1080/14766086.2019.1585280

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