Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership
I was skeptical about reading Sarah Alexander's new book 'Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership: From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life' – I'm not spiritual, never have been, but nonetheless it was one of those books I just could not put down.
Sarah has written a book that provides a completely different approach to leadership. It focuses on our inner foundations that are essential to effective management and leadership, and she divides the topic into seven key principles that constitute the structure of the book.
She teaches the reader how to quieten their mind and listen to their intuitional guidance – that little, often suppressed voice within that I've definitely kicked myself for not listening to in the past. Her contributions were both thought provoking, insightful, and provided a clear path to becoming a leader within both our personal life and our professional career.
I was fascinated by the sub-title 'from manager to leader in your own life' and how this relates to leadership per-se. Sarah highlights that effective leadership is down to our own ability to lead ourselves first, through mindful awareness of our thinking, attitudes, behaviours, and intentions. The book, surprisingly, actually resonates with things that I kind-of already knew – for example, the more we focus on ourselves, and become in tune with what our gut instincts are, the better we can lead our self, and the better we lead ourselves, the better we can lead others. Sarah draws on her own experiences, and also on examples from prominent figures such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey to illustrate her strong, well-reasoned points.
I found her writing style friendly and approachable, whilst still being engaging and stimulating. She kept the book grounded in her continual reference to her own personal experiences, revealing much of her painful history to demonstrate how she herself has developed the inner foundations needed for leadership. The book ultimately sets out the value of security within ourselves, and encourages a constant referencing to our instincts or intuition and a robust faith in our own destiny.
The book highlights how our upbringing, our education, our experience in our professions can actually inhibit and restrict us in the actions that we take as leaders, and it teaches the reader methods to see past these restrictions, and gives us the same 'fresh' yet invaluable perspectives of someone new to the business. I even tried her meditations (the audible versions are downloadable), which I actually found remarkably useful.
Personally, I have always endeavoured never to be the 'business tyrant' in the workplace, and although I feel as though I do a good job of managing my employees in a respectful and considerate way, the book provides readers with effective ways to deal with disputes and other challenging situations, and finding win-win situations for all involved. I have certainly taken on board the messages of 'Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership', and (although I'm amazed to say it) I'll be meditating a lot more in future!
Reviewed by Kenny Stevens of PASSION for the PLANET radio