Transformation of the Follower: The role of spiritual leadership

Research Cluster

Speaker:Charmaine P L Choong
Date: Monday 4 October 2010
Time: 3.00pm
Location: Xfi Conf Room 1

Further details

The paper centres on the relationship between the nature of leadership and the transformation of followers. The aim is to examine the notion of ‘stillness’ (Bennett, 1997:1-6) in the context of spirituality and its potential role in a concept of transformation? Transformation is to be explained as modelling the leader’s behaviour. The follower perceives that the process of transformation leads to harnessing their potential, thereby enabling them to achieve their desired goal/vision (Hanges, et al., 2000:134). Burns (1978) suggested that such process results in change in the follower from ‘everyday selves’ to “better selves”. Many Christian researchers have argued that spirituality has a direct impact on leader-followership especially in stillness of the mind (Sweet, 2004: 31f). They believe that transformation has to do with inner change: the basis is the heart and mind (Bennet, 2004:120; Stott, 2002; Wolters, 2005:35). Spirituality is the creative presence of the ‘Other’ which enables one to exist from nothing at every point as when the self begins to experience the coming on of possibilities and answers (Edwards 2001:243).  
This paper attempts to examine the notion of savouring ‘stillness’. Does it characterise certain transformation distinctiveness?  If so what are those characteristics? Can a model be formulated that is relevant in the context of the world today?  Karen Armstrong in her presentation,’ The Value of Unknowing’ have asserted that a reflective quiet space to untie the knots in the mind is the answer. Stillness and quietness exudes profound spiritual experiences like calmness and breaking down of barriers that cloud the mind (Macdonald, 2010:47; Pereira, 2010:8). What lessons, learning and hope does spiritual transformation hold for the corporate market place (Randall, 2009)
Key words:  Leadership, spirituality, transformation.