what does spirituality have to do with leadership development?

I have been engaged in numerous discussions lately in leadership groups and have noticed an interesting trend: It doesn’t take very long for the conversations to swing into territory we’d consider spiritual.

Whether we are centering ourselves through breathing or relaxation before an important presentation or finding ways to be “more present” and engaged when interacting with others, today’s leaders are stepping over into territory once only defined as “new age.” The coaching community not only recognizes this, but already integrates mindfulness into their coaching sessions. Leadership books like The Zen Leader show us how to get out of our own way by flipping to new levels of consciousness. Mind-over-matter principles don’t seem to be enough anymore. The spiritual side of leadership appears to be coming out of the closet and into the mainstream.

I came across this article called The Progression of Power which offers an interesting perspective on leadership over the ages and how modern spiritual concepts are influencing today’s leadership style. It’s easy to see why books like The Zen Leader are answering the need for leadership at a higher level (preview it here).

One of the keys to becoming a better leader seems rooted in this universal connectedness that we call spirituality. Is this a fluke or a serious trend that will impact business operational style as well as environment? I’d love to hear what others think.

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