Soul at Work
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"Working with Margaret Benefiel has helped me, in a short time, become grounded in Spirit in my corporate workplace. The power and productivity of this spiritual work gives me hope that leaders can encourage people to bring their whole selves into the workplace and that this will lead to more tangible and positive organizational results."--Kerry Hamilton Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing, BJ's Wholesale Clubs
In the last ten years, dozens of books about spirituality and management have demonstrated the yearning for spirituality in the workplace that exists in people like Kerry Hamilton. No longer content to abide the widening chasm between their deeply-held values and the all-too-common business practices they encounter, these readers long for congruence between their values and their work. They wonder whether the days of the giants of corporate character like Johnson & Johnson, businesses who believed that integrity and profitability could co-exist, are gone for good. Are we living in a state of business and organizational entropy? Are we doomed to endless repetition of the Enron, Worldcom, and Global Crossing scandals? Must integrity and profitability now be opposed? What has happened to American business, healthcare, and non-profits in the last forty years?
Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations demonstrates vividly that another way is possible, based on the contemporary restoration of the partnership between integrity and profitability. Soul at Work translates the core of what companies like Johnson and Johnson stood for forty years ago into contemporary forms. Soul at Work shows, through compelling stories of contemporary businesses, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits, how integrity, profitability, and personal and organizational transformation are all of a piece.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 août 2005
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781596271531
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1348€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Soul at Work
Spiritual Leadership in Organizations

Margaret Benefiel
Copyright 2005 by Margaret Benefiel,

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.

The author thanks the editors of The Leadership Quarterly for permission to use selected passages that originally appeared in different form in The Second Half of the Journey: Spiritual Leadership for Organizational Transformation, The Leadership Quarterly 16, no. 5 (2005).

Individuals portrayed in this book have consented to being quoted and named. They do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions with which they are affiliated.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Benefiel, Margaret, date
Soul at work : spiritual leadership in organizations / Margaret Benefiel.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references ( p. 155 - 159 ).
ISBN 978-1-59627-013-8
1. Leadership. I. Title.
HM141.B425 2005

Seabury Books 445 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016
An imprint of Church Publishing Incorporated
Printed in the United States of America

Foreword by Andr L. Delbecq
Introduction: Soul at Work
1. S OUL AT W ORK : Six Who Manifest It
The U2 Community
Sisters of the Road Caf
Reell Precision Manufacturing
Greyston Foundation
Southwest Airlines
2. B EHIND THE S CENES : Leadership for Transformation
Sisters of the Road Caf : Genny Nelson
Reell Precision Manufacturing: Bob Carlson
Greyston Family Support Services: Theresa McCoy
HealthEast: Joe Clubb
3. L EADING FROM THE I NSIDE O UT : The Inner Life of the Leader
Genny Nelson: Inner Nonviolence
Bob Carlson: Deep-Flowing Stream
Theresa McCoy: Compassion
Joe Clubb: Prayer
4. H OW L EADERS L ISTEN : Spiritual Discernment for Transformation
Historical Development
Discernment and Leadership
5. B ROADENING THE B ALANCE : Honoring What Really Matters
Southwest Airlines
Greyston Bakery
Document Management Group
6. N URTURING THE N URTURERS : Caring for the Whole Organization
Mercy Medical
Our Lady s Hospice
7. K EEPING G ROUNDED : Remembering the Cause behind the Causes
Sisters of the Road Caf
Sophia Housing Association
Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
8. H OW O RGANIZATIONS L ISTEN : Corporate Discernment
Reell Precision Manufacturing
Mercy Medical
Greyston Foundation
9. P UTTING I T A LL T OGETHER : Spiritual Leadership in Organizations
Individual Spiritual Transformation
Organizational Transformation
Sustaining Spiritually Grounded Leadership
Organization as a Whole
Getting from Here to There
At the Beginning

The Spirituality and Work movement encompasses a new interdisciplinary area of study. It draws upon theology, wisdom literature, metaphysics, mysticism, psychology, social psychology, sociology, biography, leadership, and organization studies. Small wonder as with most new intellectual syntheses, much of what is credible in this early period remains embedded in scholarly exchanges. Consequently, what is essential too often remains veiled behind the specialized languages of foundational disciplines. This leaves many frustrated practicing managers as well as students in higher education longing for a sensible distillation that is wise and readable without being simplistic.
Margaret Benefiel gifts us in Soul at Work with a perspective on the leadership dimension of this new area of study that cuts the Gordian Knot of complex conceptualization and esoteric language. Utilizing a limited number of business cases that contemporary organizational leaders will readily identify with, she gently opens the door to leadership spirituality. Each vignette contains rich exemplification that is memorable. Inferences are then carefully drawn regarding the spiritual journeys of leaders (part 1) and the impact on the overall organization (part 2).
Professor Benefiel is a knowledgeable theologian. She knows what to look for in the lived experiences of these leaders and their organizations in order to capture their spiritual journey. Then her theological insight enables her to provide lucid and tight reflections for both leadership and organizational culture. She does this well, but never drifts into esoteric theological or spiritual language. Soul at Work is a conversation regarding contemporary workplace spirituality that would be inviting in any company cafeteria or introductory university class.
Such clarity requires that the author be both wise and clear. Professor Benefiel is wise because she lets the manifestation of Spirit in each individual and organization speak for itself. In this she affirms that the Spirit blows where it will, and does so in the individuality and particularity of both person and organization. Yet she is clear because she is able to step back and provide theological interpretation and lessons provoking the reader to engage in careful reflection.
The novice needs such a guide to comfortably enter this important new literature. However, the book also holds great value for the well-read since the stories are vivid, illustrate first-order spiritual principles, and can be used as provocation for dialog at any level of depth or rigor.
Soul at Work is a good read for all of us interested in workplace spirituality. This perceptive little book invites the reader into a user-friendly conversation that contains memorable, grounded illustrations drawn from contemporary organizational life, focuses the reader on spiritual essentials, and allows the reader (or teacher) to probe at any depth that might be desired.
Andr L. Delbecq, DBA, FAOM, FACPE
Thomas J. and Kathleen L. McCarthy University Professor, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

This book, even more than most, is the product of many people s efforts. I am grateful to the many people who opened their hearts, minds, and workplaces to me, generously giving of their time and thoughtfully reflecting on my questions. Thank you to all of you - I could not have written this book without you.
I am grateful to Beckey Phipps, with whom I discovered contemplative writing, co-authored two essays, and sowed the first seeds of this book. I am grateful to Linda Triemstra and the other staff of the Gordon Conwell Writers Publishing Workshop, who taught me how to write a book proposal and believed in this book when it was merely the germ of an idea. I am grateful to the Lyman Fund and to Salem Quarterly Meeting of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, who awarded me grants to cover interview expenses. I am grateful to my agent, Sheryl Fullerton, who was a champion of this book from the beginning and who walked me through the vagaries of the publishing world. I am grateful to my editor at Seabury Books, Ken Arnold, who offered fine advice that helped make the book much stronger, and to his team, who did excellent and timely work every step of the way: Patti Byrns, Amy Davis, John Eagleson, and Parul Parmar. I am grateful to Andre Delbecq, mentor and friend, who has always inspired me with his spiritually grounded presence, even in the most difficult meetings, and who graced this book with a thoughtful and affirming foreword.
Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts, provided a prayerful, inspiring atmosphere and excellent spiritual direction for week-long writing retreats during three different stages of the book. Friends generously prayed for and encouraged me, enduring my highs and lows through my e-mail updates and supporting me through thick and thin. Family and friends who read drafts offered many helpful suggestions and helped me see with new eyes - thanks to Susie Allen, Virginia Buck, Paula Hart, Joyce Gibson, Cynthia Knowles, Judy Locke, Diane Nettifee, Kara Newell, Debbie Spratley, and Paul Wagoner. Friends with whom I shared contemplative writing days helped me stay spiritually grounded and encouraged the first tender shoots of each chapter - thanks to Brita Gill-Austern, Monica Manning, Sile O Modhrain, Sharon Thornton, and my steadfast writing friend, Cathy Whitmire. Pat Kelley and her team worked tirelessly to provide outstanding transcripts of interviews, often on short notice. Aer Lingus personnel, especially Elaine Doyle and Damien Duffy, helped ease the task of writing on the plane on my many long trips between Boston and Dublin. To each and every one of you, thank you so very much.
Most of all, I am grateful to my husband, Ken Haase, who faithfully edited drafts, encouraged me when my energy flagged, endured my preoccupation with this project, patiently put up with piles of papers in the dining room far longer than he should have had to, and loved me through the whole process.

What do U2, Southwest Airlines, and Reell Precision Manufacturing have in common? They all manifest soul at work. Soul a

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