Reasons Why People Follow Spiritual Leaders

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Last updated: April 2, 2019

“Spiritual leadership” entails a broad vision (Zinnbauer et. al., 1999, pp. 889 – 919). This vision, in turn, includes the following: 1) extensive influence to major “stakeholders”; 2) identifies the goal & objectives or destination/journey; 3) mirrors elevated ideals/morals/ethics; 4) upholds “hope/faith”; 5) institutes a standard of “superiority/excellence” (Zinnbauer et.

al., 1999, pp. 889 – 919).

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Altruistic LoveFurthermore, “spiritual leadership” involves “altruistic love” which actually covers the following characteristics: “1) forgiveness; 2) kindness; 3) integrity; 4) empathy/compassion; 5) 6) honesty; 7) patience; 8) courage; 9) trust/loyalty; and 10) humility” (Townsend, 1984, pp. 305 – 313). If the aforementioned are exhibited by leaders then employees or subordinates will also show such characteristics in return; employees will surely reciprocate in a positive manner as well” (Townsend, 1984, pp. 305 – 313).

Also, if they are for instance, forgiven for something they did wrong or if managers show kindness, patience, and trust toward their subordinates, the tendency is that these employees or subordinates will reciprocate that as well through honesty, patience, loyalty and other positive traits (Townsend, 1984, pp. 305 – 313). Besides if there is “altruistic love”, the following are surely avoided: 1) apprehension; 2) agony; 3) nervousness; 4) antagonism; 5) bitterness; 6) greed; 7) covetousness; 8) revulsion; 9) dissuasion; 10) depression; 11) “guilt feelings”; 12) conceit; 13) discrimination; and 14) self-centeredness (Townsend, 1984, pp. 305 – 313). Of course, with the emergence of such negative emotions will also mean the surfacing of a not conducive workplace (Townsend, 1984, pp. 305 – 313).Hope/FaithMoreover, “spiritual leadership” engages “hope/faith” which in turn, entails the following: 1) survival/staying power; 2) determination; 3) “does what it takes”; 4) “stretch goals”; 5) incentive/reward & triumph/success may be anticipated (Zinnbauer et.

al., 1999, pp. 889 – 919).Sense of MeaningIn addition to that, employees nowadays, according to several studies, wish for a “deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment on the job” – even more than they yearn for financial rewards and vacation (Zellers et.

al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313). See, when “spirituality” exists, there is a high possibility that positive changes in how employees deal with their colleagues occur (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313).

This occurrence in turn makes these employees more effective in carrying out their tasks and responsibilities (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313). If they have smoothly-flowing relationships with other individuals and they become more productive at work, they also tend to experience the following emotions: “increased joy, peace, serenity, job satisfaction, and commitment” (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp.

303 – 313). Since such may be attained only through “spiritual leadership” then people tend to follow it (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313).

EthicsWhat’s more is that “spiritual leadership” upholds ethics (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313). Of course, if a certain organization advocates such then employees are more “secure” which motivates them to become “less fearful, more ethical, and more committed” (Zellers et. al.

, 2003, pp. 303 – 313). If the workplace is conducive enough and safe enough then employees tend to become more industrious/fruitful, bendable, and imaginative/resourceful (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313).Value of Work“Spiritual leadership” makes employees realize that “work” is valuable by concretely stating the objectives and involving them in the responsibilities that needed to be carried out within the organization (Zellers et. al.

, 2003, pp. 303 – 313). Here, when the employees finally realizes the value of his or her job, he or she tends to conclude that such is his or her “calling” and when that happens he or she then tends to render what is technically referred to as “selfless service to the organization/company, as well as, to their clients” (Zellers et.

al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313). They will also become devoted to their field and to their jobs as well as the career that they are pursuing (Zellers et.

al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313).Cultural Diversity“Spiritual leadership” also encourages “diversity in the workplace” (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp.

303 – 313). If employees are introduced to different cultures and they are taught to understand other people’s ethnicity, traditions, etcetera, discrimination will be avoided and if that happens everybody will be “understood and appreciated” – which according to the “founder of modern psychology” is what man’s greatest essential need (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp. 303 – 313). Since such basic need is attained through “spiritual leadership” people then tend to follow those who are responsible for making such attainment possible or those who are popularly known as “spiritual leaders” (Zellers et. al.

, 2003, pp. 303 – 313).Peaceful RelationshipsAlso, since “spiritual leadership” entails smoothly-flowing relationships within the organization, it also follows that at home (or anywhere outside of the workplace for that matter) the employee lives a peaceful life as well (Clawson, 2008, pp. 1 – 496). This is why individuals can’t help but follow spiritual leaders (Clawson, 2008, pp. 1 – 496).

Spiritual Practices“Spiritual leadership” also practices the following: “praying, meditating, reading inspirational literature, carrying out yoga, writing diaries, etcetera” (Zellers et. al., 2003, pp.

303 – 313). Such practices develop individual management/leadership, professional maturity, as well as, efficiency (Kurth, 2003, pp. 447 – 460).See, all these practices play a large role in the learning, advancement, as well as, utilization of skills & intelligence that they possess (Zellers et. al.

, 2003, pp. 303 – 313).ConclusionOn a final note, individuals follow spiritual leaders because the kind of leadership that they lead involves a broad vision, altruistic love, and hope/faith. In addition to that, an employee may find sense of meaning in it. Also, spiritual leaders uphold ethics. Moreover, value of work is also discovered and cultural diversity is understood. Furthermore, peaceful relationships are attained and finally, spiritual practices are carried out.


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