Spiritual Leadership: How to measure it?

Let’s start by defining what spiritual leadership through the writings of Danah Zohar (in her article Spiritually Intelligent Leadership).

“What makes a great leader? Some say it is the ability to give a clear sense of direction. Some, that it is the ability to make tough decisions. Others that great leadership is the ability to command and control, or, conversely, to inspire loyalty in those led through strong emotional empathy. I think that great leadership depends primarily on vision—not just any type of vision, but one that we can appreciate (bodily), intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

A vision is something we reach for, something we aspire to, something that is the glue of our enterprise, the driving force, the vitality within it. When we are touched by a vision, our deepest values come into play and we have a sense of abiding purpose to our enterprise. In our world today, the thing we are most lacking is leaders who can convey vision.

One reason that visionary leadership is in short supply today is the value our society places on one particular kind of capital—material capital. Too often the worth or value of an enterprise is judged by how much money it earns at the end of the day, or how much worldly power it gives us over others. This obsession with material gain has led to short-term thinking and the narrow pursuit of self-interest. It is true that any kind of enterprise we want to engage in requires some kind of financial wealth if it is to succeed in the short term. But for leadership to inspire long-term, sustainable enterprises, it needs to pursue two other forms of capital as well: social and spiritual.”

Danah Zohar does not mention the use of intellectual and technical capital. However they exist and encompass all the know-how of the organization. With regard to the social capital, you will find definitions in the book of the economist F Fukuyama, « Trust: The Social Values and the Creation of Wealth »; it can be measured by the level of trust in the company, empathy among people and individual involvement in the welfare of the community.

How to measure the spiritual capital of a company or leadership?

For D. Zohar, it is based on 12 principles:
• Self-Awareness: Knowing what I believe in and value, and what deeply motivates me
• Spontaneity: Living in and being responsive to the moment
• Being Vision- and Value-Led: Acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living accordingly
• Holism: Seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging
• Compassion: Having the quality of “feeling-with” and deep empathy
• Celebration of Diversity: Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them
• Field Independence: Standing against the crowd and having one’s own convictions
• Humility: Having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one’s true place in the world
• Tendency to Ask Fundamental “Why?” Questions: Needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them
• Ability to Reframe: Standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture; seeing problems in a wider context
• Positive Use of Adversity: Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering
• Sense of Vocation: Feeling called upon to serve, to give something back

And tests on spiritual intelligence or leadership began to be developed on the basis of 21 skills split up into 4 dimensions: Self-awareness (ego, values, construction of the world …), awareness of others (interconnection), self-mastery (stressful situations, setting work of his beliefs and values …) and social mastery (role of leader, teacher, facilitator of change, compassion…).
The objectives of these tests beyond the individual results are the awareness of self-motivations and values and the provision of new insights in terms of behavior. Being a « spiritual » leader in an organization is not a utopia but a necessity for the economy to be sustainable. This can be done only through a change of motivations. This is what intelligence leadership is about.

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