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The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership
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The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership
8 Key Principles to Leading More Effectively


Other Titles in:
Ethics & Spirituality | Leadership

February 2006 | 176 pages | Corwin
'In this book, Paul Houston and Steve Sokolow sow seeds of wisdom that offer hope and sound guiding principles for America's educational leaders' - Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former Governor of South Carolina

'This book fills a troubling void in the leadership literature by highlighting the vital spiritual side of a leader's role' - Terrence E. Deal, Author Leading With Soul and Reframing the Path to School Leadership

'Houston and Sokolow focus on how leaders can remain true to their core beliefs and still lead successful organizations. This should be required reading for all leaders and prospective leaders' - Vincent L. Ferrandino, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals

'I can't imagine a more timely and important book for educators' - Margaret J. Wheatley, Author, Leadership and the New Science

'Houston and Sokolow have done an extraordinary job of looking beyond the traditional view of leadership to incorporate a spiritual dimension' - Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

'The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership reminds us that the job of leadership is complex, but the actions we take can be very simple and yet have a big impact' - Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association

Busy school leaders rarely have the time to reflect on what motivates them to do the difficult work they do. The authors argue that many of the values, beliefs, and principles that guide and sustain school leaders have underlying spiritual roots. The more in touch school leaders can be with those spiritual roots, the more enlightened their leadership becomes, and the more effective they become in leading others to a better future.

This book offers eight principles of enlightened leadership that, the authors suggest, are accessible to everyone. Each principle is clearly outlined, defined by several examples, and then applied to the practice of school leadership, offering ways for readers to become more mindful of enlightened leadership principles in their own work and lives.

 
Foreword by Dawna Markova
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
 
1. The Principle of Intention
Intention Is a Fundamental Principle of Enlightened Leadership

 
Thought Is More Important Than People Think

 
When Thought Becomes Prayer

 
Spoken and Written Words Are Keys to Manifesting Your Intention

 
Leaders Must Align Their Actions and Intentions

 
Enlisting Spiritual and Nonspiritual Forces to Manifest Your Intentions

 
Using Your “Third Eye” to Manifest Intentions

 
Leaders Use Attention to Focus the Lens of Intention

 
Leaders Focus Energy to Manifest Their Intentions

 
Summary

 
 
2. The Principle of Attention
Attention Is One of the Key Principles for Enlightened Leaders

 
The Role of Attention in the Thinking of Enlightened Leaders

 
The Role of Attention in the Doing of Enlightened Leaders

 
The Role of Attention in the Being of Enlightened Leaders

 
How Enlightened Leaders Maximize Time on Task

 
How Enlightened Leaders Focus Power and Energy

 
How Attention Serves as a Magnet for Enlisting Others

 
How Enlightened Leaders Keep Their Focus

 
How Enlightened Leaders Use Images to Communicate

 
Summary

 
 
3. The Principle of Unique Gifts and Talents
Leaders Need to Be Aware That Everyone Has Unique Gifts and Talents

 
Discovering and Developing Everyone’s Unique Gifts and Talents

 
How to Help Others Cultivate Their Unique Gifts and Talents

 
Enlightened Leaders Facilitate the Sharing of Unique Gifts and Talents

 
How Enlightened Leaders Extend Unique Gifts and Talents

 
How Uniqueness Contributes to the Tapestry of Life

 
How the Divine Helps to Clarify Life’s Purpose(s)

 
Summary

 
 
4. The Principle of Gratitude
Having an Attitude of Gratitude

 
The Importance of Being Mindful of Life’s Blessings

 
The Effect of Showing Gratitude for Help and Support

 
The Importance of Being Grateful for Progress

 
Enlightened Leaders Are Grateful for Obstacles and Adversaries

 
Showing You Are Grateful for Love Received

 
Showing You Are Grateful for Love Accepted

 
Showing You Are Grateful for the Opportunity to Help Others

 
How You Can Show You Are Grateful for Your Gifts and Talents

 
About Being Grateful

 
Enlightened Leaders Experience Boundless Gratitude

 
The Importance of Being Grateful for Divine Guidance

 
Summary

 
 
5. The Principle of Unique Life Lessons
Using the Experiences of Daily Life to Grow Personally and Professionally

 
People Are Given Life Lessons to Promote Spiritual Growth

 
Problems Are Actually Opportunities in Disguise

 
Clouds Do Have Silver Linings

 
Learning Life’s Lessons the Hard Way or the Easy Way

 
Using the Weaknesses Within Strengths to Understand Life Lessons

 
Mastery of Each Life Lesson Opens a Gateway to the Next

 
Endings Create the Opportunity for New Beginnings

 
Summary

 
 
6. The Principle of a Holistic Perspective
Spiritual Truths in the Story of Three Blind Men and the Elephant

 
Enlightened Leaders Are Aware That Everything Is Connected

 
The Butterfly Effect and Its Implications for Leaders

 
Leaders Must Know How the Parts and the Whole Are Related

 
Fractals Can Be a Valuable Tool for Leaders

 
A Holographic Perspective Is a Valuable Tool for Leaders

 
The Spiritual Lessons of Oneness, Unity, and Holistic Thinking

 
Summary

 
 
7. The Principle of Openness
Openness Is an Important Principle for Leaders

 
The Spiritual Aspects of Openness

 
Enlightened Leaders Create Open Systems

 
Leaders Must Be Open to Many Things

 
Opening Your Heart and Mind

 
How Openness Maximizes Growth and Creativity

 
Why Openness Is the Key to Creating Infinite Potentiality

 
Summary

 
 
8. The Principle of Trust
Why It Is Important for Leaders to Be Trusting

 
Why It Is Essential for Leaders to Be Trustworthy

 
Why It Is Important to Trust Yourself

 
Trusting Your Higher Self

 
Enlightened Leaders Must Learn to Trust the Universe

 
Why It Is Important to Give Trust as a Gift Whenever Possible

 
Summary

 
 
Selected Bibliography

"I can't imagine a more timely and important book for educators. Where do we find the courage to continue? Where do we find peace when surrounded by aggression and corruption? What sustains us so that we can remain strong in serving the interests of children? The answers to these questions are in this book. The authors, with great wisdom and generosity of spirit, offer the perspectives and practices that enliven and vitalize our spirits. They have given us more than a lifeline - they have given us solid ground to stand on in the midst of turbulence."

Margaret J. Wheatley, Author, Leadership and the New Science

"Being both a non-believer and a person wary of books whose titles suggest that there are eight principles of leadership, I approached this volume with some trepidation. What I found was a description of leadership that actually transcends the outdated idea that it can be reduced to a few principles or acquired by learning some skills. Instead the book honors its complexity, casts it mainly in terms of creating sound relationships and offers what I would call a posture toward leadership, which I regard as far more valuable."

Richard Farson, President, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
Author, Management of the Absurd and of Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins

"This book is GREAT! The authors have taken a very slippery topic (spirituality & leadership) and made the connection from the spiritual roots to the practical fruits. It's seamless!"

Chuck Bonner, Assistant Principal
Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA

"The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership reminds us that the job of leadership is complex . . . but the actions we take can be very simple and yet have a big impact. There are valuable insights here for leaders at every level."

Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director
The National School Boards Association

"Finally a book that examines leadership from a human perspective! Houston and Sokolow cut through all the leadership jargon and focus on how leaders can remain true to their core beliefs and still lead successful organizations. This should be required reading for all leaders and prospective leaders."

Vincent L. Ferrandino, Executive Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"This book is loaded with insight into a crucial dimension of leadership."

Scott Thompson, Assistant Director
Panasonic Foundation, Author, Leading From the Eye of the Storm

"I felt as though I was having a conversation with God when I read your book . . . as though I'd been blessed with the opportunity to touch the essence, the wonder, the silence of God's presence . . . it felt like a tear . . . Is there a greater or more pure joy?"

Frances Hill, Associate Professor
Northern Arizona University

"I know this book of wisdom will make a difference to the important people who care for our children in schools . . ."

Kathleen Alfiero, Co-founder
i'monair

"In our attempts to improve education, we are snuffing out the very thing that would make it better - human spirit. This book fills a troubling void in the leadership literature by highlighting the vital spiritual side of a leader's role. Schools don't need any more testing; they need a big dose of zest, buoyancy, and meaning. Reviving the spirit is the critical challenge. This book shows us how."

Terrence E. Deal, Author, Leading With Soul and Reframing the Path to School Leadership

"Houston and Sokolow have done an extraordinary job of looking beyond the traditional view of leadership to incorporate a spiritual dimension. They show how enlightened visionary leaders can use their own innermost spiritual principles to bring about the best in themselves to create a working environment that builds on collaboration and sharing. It breaks down the communication barriers that separated us - and builds on the essential concept of connectedness between and among people."

Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director
National Association of Secondary School Principals

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 1 excerpt


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ISBN: 9781412925785

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