This chapter goes beyond existing discussions of ethical, moral, or values-based leadership and raise issues of how a deeper spiritual understanding of human nature can guide leaders.
Naresh Singh, Professor & Executive Dean, Centre for Complexity Economics and Applied Spirituality for Public Policy, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Spirituality and leadership, both have an intrinsic goal where they incorporate clarity of understanding, vision and collective action and both have the potential to empower an individual or a team, with commitment and productivity. It is one of the rapidly growing areas of leadership. It takes responsible policymakers and leaders to build a nation that benefits multiple stakeholders and all citizens. The aim of the chapter is to explore the concept of spirituality and show how applied spirituality can provide moral and practical guidance for leaders of public policy to take bold and enlightened steps towards achieving sustainable development (SD) goals.
We define spirituality as a way of understanding, inner awareness, personal integration, and a source of values that give ultimate meaning or purpose beyond the egoic self. As such the chapter will go beyond existing discussions of ethical, moral, or values-based leadership and raise issues of how a deeper spiritual understanding of human nature can guide leaders. Some helpful practices like mindfulness are also covered in this chapter.
There are various relevant leadership styles including transformational leadership, servant leadership, moral leadership and participatory leadership. Although each of these has some positive characteristics, this chapter with the help of those characteristics would try to get a deeper insight and understanding of how spirituality can stimulate and add more value, and bring integrity, motivation and strong leadership qualities.
This chapter covers the existing gap in the literature on applied spirituality and leadership and concludes that leadership when incorporated with spirituality plays a vital role in honing the skills of the leaders and changing their perspective towards the team. The chapter will conclude with ideas for discussion among faculty and students and suggestions for further research into the use of applied spirituality for leadership in sustainable development policy.
Published in: Singh, N. and Bhatnagar, D. (Ed.) Applied Spirituality and Sustainable Development Policy, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 117-131.
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