Is there space for spirituality in leadership?

On Saturday 19 October at The Hub, Robbie McPherson shared his experiences of running leadership development workshops. He has worked with senior executives in banks, the police service and other contexts where spirituality might not seem to have much chance of air. What he talked about was how he sought to bring the focus to meaning and purpose, moving beyond concerns of efficiency and effectiveness. Some of the development experiences included taking senior leaders into central Australia and spending time (precious time!) in the desert. For some of that time, the leaders are alone in the desert, in silence.

So one of the themes of Robbie’s talk was about the importance of slowing down and just being. Robbie was asked, “What is it that the leaders get from this experience? What do they bring back?” Robbie said there was no haste to reduce the experience to “outcomes”. The experience precipitated personal change. It was an organic process. It enabled people to take off masks. It enabled them to be authentic, to be unafraid to be authentic, and to trust in where it might lead.

This is a taste of the conversation with Robbie, facilitated by Claire Jankelson over a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon with around 30 people, many new, and some whose first encounter with Spirituality, Leadership and Management went right back to the first conference held at the University of Western Sydney in 1998. We invite you to add your comments to this post – those who were there, and others who would like to comment on this topic.

Cheers, Glenn Martin

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