The Soul of a Leader: Finding Your Path to Success and Fulfillment

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Overview

Demonstrating the principle that soulfulness at work is a way of being and doing, this guide provides new perspectives on the qualities of leadership. Three main sections elaborate on the themes of choosing the path, staying on track, and persevering to the end. Drawing from interviews with outstanding leaders—including Tom and Kate Chappell, the founders of Tom’s of Maine; Bob Glassman, co-chairman of Wainwright Bank & Trust; Desmond Tutu; and The Edge of rock band U2—and supported with guided questions in each section, this book is an essential addition to the bookshelf of anyone who wants to lead with soul. In an environment where leaders are rewarded for their drive, decisiveness, productivity, and long work hours, the spiritual well-being of a leader may get short shrift, and harm can come to both the leader and the organization this individual serves. Challenging the assumptions that effective leaders must sell their souls, cut corners, cook the books, and let go of their vision, a new model of spiritual leadership is offered. Teachers, parents, committee chair leaders, and other individuals in organizations of any size are exhorted to aim higher and lead with soul in any sphere, large or small.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Speaking both to individual and organizational spiritual transformation, the author's inspiring message will likely earn her book a receptive audience."  —Publishers Weekly

"Today's global community desperately needs leaders with soul. Margaret Benefiel's groundbreaking book meets that need beautifully, by teaching principles of soulful leadership, illustrated with stories of real leaders who practice them. Required reading."   —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner, Nobel Peace Prize

"Margaret Benefiel demonstrates the value of spiritual leadership and a practical way to carry it out. She brings to leadership theory and practice the new depth thoughtful corporate leaders have been seeking."  —Gordon Self, vice president, organizational advancement, Caritas Health Group

"Working with Margaret Benefiel has helped me, in a very short time, become grounded in spirit, both in my everyday life and in my corporate workplace."  —Kerry Hamilton, former vice president, director of marketing, BJ's Wholesale Clubs

"Breaks the mold of leadership books. Benefiel helps me to dare to dream, battle for my soul, and break through the barriers that keep me from succeeding."  —David Batstone, professor and author, Saving the Corporate Soul and Not For Sale

"Powerfully inspirational and eminently practical. Through the use of stories culled from interviews with leaders with soul, [Benefiel] provides excellent guidance as to how to lead with soul."  —Jerry Biberman, editor, Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion

"Stories are woven together to provide inspiring lessons for all of us who seek to build depth and spirit at work."  —Lee Bolman, author, Leading With Soul

"Margaret gives you real-life examples and practical steps to take in your own setting and create the kind of organization you envision!"  —Charlotte Roberts, coauthor, the million-selling The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook

Publishers Weekly

According to Benefiel, theology teacher and CEO of ExecutiveSoul.com, the Western ideal of leadership demands that modern leaders adopt a Lone Ranger mentality; emphasizes the bottom line; and rewards drive, decisiveness, productivity and long work hours-while paying scant attention to inner and spiritual development. Benefiel outlines her principles of soul formation for leaders through true-life stories, such as those of Tom and Kate Chappell of Tom's of Maine, and the U2 guitarist The Edge, who worked with musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans. Benefiel also writes about lesser-known leaders who have concentrated in the development of their moral grounding as well as their account books. Speaking both to individual and organizational spiritual transformation, she highlights the importance of following one's heart and daring to dream through a program of practicing gratitude, perseverance and seeking out spiritual guidance. The author's inspiring message and endorsement from Desmond Tutu will likely earn her book a receptive audience, but the repetitive, sometimes saccharine execution may deter all but the choir to whom she is already preaching. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction
Spiritual directors who work with groups and organizations will find this book valuable and relevant.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824524807
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 956,651
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Benefiel, Ph. D., author of Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations, is an internationally known expert in the filed of spirituality and leadership. CEO of ExecutiveSoul.com, she serves as Chair of the Academy of Management's Management, Spirituality, and Religion Group. Author of numerous articles and co-editor of a previous book, Dr. Benefiel teaches at Andover Newton Theological School in Boston and the Milltown Institute in Dublin, Ireland.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     13
Introduction: The Leader's Soul     15
Choosing The Path
Following the Heart   Tom Chappell   Kate Chappell   Meg Clapp   Ken Melrose     25
Paying Attention     26
Taking the First Step     28
Stumbling     30
Finding Partners   Medrice Coluccio   Tom Henry   Samuel Karff     35
Speaking the Heart's Truth     36
Seeking Resonance     38
Inviting Partnership     39
Daring to Dream   Morsi Mansour   Medrice Coluccio     52
Assessing What Is     53
Finding the Heart's Hope     55
Dreaming     56
Staying on Track
Keeping Mission at the Fore   Bob Glassman   Anita Roddick   James Sanger     73
Focusing on Something More     74
Sharing the Vision     75
Returning to Mission     78
Practicing Gratitude   Tom Henry   Meg Clapp   Tom Grant     88
Receiving Work (and Colleagues) as Gift     89
Pioneering Practices of Gratitude     92
Creating a Culture of Gratitude     94
Battling for the Soul   Gus Tolson   Tom Hefferon   Jean Quinn     101
Keeping People First     102
Committing to Ongoing Development     105
Staying True to Values     109
Persevering to the End
Breaking the Cycle of Violence   Desmond Tutu   Genny Nelson   Clarena Tolson     119
Seeing Compassionately     120
Interrupting the Cycle     125
Forgiving     133
Persevering to the End   Tom Chappell   Kate Chappell     139
The Individual Leader's Spiritual Transformation     143
Organizational Transformation     148
Dark Night     159
Dawn: The Unitive Way     161
Finding Spiritual Guidance   Tom Chappell   Kate Chappell   Desmond Tutu   Jean Quinn   Samuel Karff   Tom Henry   Gus Tolson     168
What Is Spiritual Direction?     169
Historical Background     170
Spiritual Direction with a Particular Focus on Leadership     171
Conclusion: The Soul of a Leader     177
Notes     183
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Fine Follow-up to Benefiel's Exceptional First Book

    In THE SOUL OF A LEADER spiritual leader and author Margaret Benefiel makes yet another powerful addition to the library on how to restore sanity in our lives and in our hunger for success. As in her first very successful book SOUL AT WORK in which she offered invaluable suggestions and keys to unlock the door to restoring sanity to this brutal world of self focus, in this book she leads the reader through the journey of finding a better and more satisfying way to accomplish success in the workplace by examining not the usual indices for measuring 'success', but instead gradually informs us of the power of dream and vision and shared concern for those around us as she guides us through many examples of men and women who left their 'prominent but unsatisfying' lives to seek a future rich in personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

    The sections that exemplify her genuine concern for the betterment of people's lives include 'Following the Heart', 'Finding Partners', and 'Daring to Dream'. Once she has given examples of important people who have demonstrated these principals Benefiel further supports her goals by discussing 'Practicing Gratitude' and 'Keeping the Mission at the Fore'. Her book closes with sensitive chapters on 'Breaking the cycle of Violence', 'Spiritual Transformation', and 'Finding Spiritual Guidance'. Benefiel wisely chooses a method for summarizing the various planes of development she shares by ending each chapter with a terse 'Conclusions' section followed by a brief series of 'Queries' - a method that requires the reader to reflect and in reflecting, grow to the next step.

    Benefiel's writing style is warm and supportive and never approaches the 'preachiness' that often obscures similar messages by other authors. This book is simply a book of wisdom, warmly distributed, from an author who has found a significant and helpful calling: she is truly a Spiritual Guide. Grady Harp

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