The Soul of a Leader

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The Soul of a Leader

Finding Your Path to Success and Fulfillment

This book draws from in-depth interviews with outstanding leaders and offers Benefiel’s profound insights on how to build better organizations and a better society. “Today’s global community desperately needs leaders with soul. Margaret Benefiel’s book meets that need beautifully... Required reading.” –Desmond Tutu

In an environment where leaders are rewarded for drive, decisiveness, and productivity, spiritual well-being may get short shrift, harming both the leader and the organization the individual serves. Challenging the assumptions that effective leaders must sell their souls, cut corners, cook the books, or let go of their visions, Benefiel gives us a new model of effective, workable leadership.

Drawing from interviews with outstanding leaders—including Tom and Kate Chappell, the founders of Tom’s of Maine; Bob Glassman, co-chairman of Wainwright Bank & Trust; Desmond Tutu; and The Edge of rock band U2—and supported with questions for reflection in each section, this resource points towards the principles and tools desperately needed by the leaders of today.

Executives, teachers, parents, committee chairs—whether your service is in an expansive or intimate sphere of life—can benefit from this book's sound strategies for navigating a fulfilling path of leadership.

Reviews and endorsements

“Today’s global community desperately needs leaders with soul. Margaret Benefiel’s groundbreaking book meets that need beautifully, by teaching principles of soulful leadership, illustrated with stories of real leaders who practice them. Required reading.”
Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner

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“Margaret Benefiel has gone right to the source—leaders who have chosen a deeper, more soulful path to building better organizations and a better society. Their stories are woven together to provide inspiring lessons for all of us who seek to build depth and spirit at work.”
Lee G. Bolman, author of Leading with Soul

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“For the new generation of leaders who are replacing the Baby Boomers, please read this engaging book so you can take over leadership with soul and spirit and heart! Margaret gives you real-life examples and practical steps to take in your own setting and create the kind of organization you envision!”
Charlotte Roberts, co-author of the million-selling The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook

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The Soul of a Leader breaks the mold of leadership books. Both practical and inspiring, Margaret Benefiel’s book lays out a path we can follow to make a real difference in whatever world we land. Benefiel helps me to dare to dream, battle for my soul, and break through the barriers that keep me from succeeding.”
David Batstone, professor and author of Saving the Corporate Soul and Not For Sale

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The Soul of a Leader touched the soul of this reader. With her stories of real people struggling to lead with soul in a variety of workplaces, Margaret Benefiel guides others through the important steps of becoming a soulful leader. She does not minimize the difficulties, but makes the journey possible for all committed to this path.”
—Rev. Jane E. Vennard, author of A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice

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“No organizational leaders reading this book can help but find both inspiration and practical, concrete help for nurturing their own souls and the soul of their organization. The author’s deep organizational and spiritual background provides a realistic yet visionary ground for attending the inner life of leaders and the workers of their organizations, in close relation to the practical outer needs of organizational life. The book paves the way for soul-full personal and organizational life that brings the fruits of integrity, shared values, mutual respect, and success, illustrated through many inspiring stories of leaders and the transformation of their organizations.”
Rev. Dr. Tilden Edwards, founder and senior fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

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“This book is a must read for all those who ever considered grounding their lives and work in love and service to pursue a higher calling that just might change the world. Margaret Benefiel is one of the most creative thinkers on spiritual leadership alive today, and The Soul of a Leader is an accessible taste of her brilliance. Like a masterful conductor, she combines theology with science and presents a practical guide filled with case studies and everyday examples that we can all follow in our own spiritual journey.”
Louis W. (Jody) Fry, professor of management, Tarleton State University

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“Margaret Benefiel has written a book that is powerfully inspirational and eminently practical. Through the use of stories culled from interviews with leaders with soul, she provides excellent guidance as to how to lead with soul.”
Jerry Biberman, editor, Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion

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“Benefiel’s gentle yet incisive insights remind us all that leadership at its core is grounded in the soul. Her collection of human stories illustrate various themes that will help leaders nourish their souls and strengthen their leadership.”
David W. Miller, Ph.D., author of God at Work

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“In the tradition of Peter Block’s Stewardship and Robert Greenleaf ’s On Becoming a Servant Leader, Margaret Benefiel’s The Soul of a Leader takes us on a journey into the qualities of knowing and action that are necessary for leading a soulful organization. She does so with stories and images of men and women who made hard choices and difficult decisions, guided by their inner moral compass and a higher purpose. The book tackles subjects that will be welcome by everyone who wishes to make a leadership contribution. The book includes topics such as keeping people first, the power of gratitude, and the need to break cycles of violence that limit our organizational and communal potential. A wonderful book.”
Alan Briskin, author of The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace, and co-author of Bringing Your Soul to Work and Daily Miracles

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“Something is changing dramatically in the world of organizational leadership. No longer is it just enough to meet quarterly expectations and grow the bottom line. Leaders themselves are finding their soul and wanting to grow spiritually in a way that is integrated with their work and family life. And as they grow personally, they begin to feel called to nurture the soul formation of those who work with them in the organizations they lead. Margaret’s Benefiel’s brilliant book The Soul of a Leader provides an inspirational and practical guide to
leading with soul. This will become an important reference book for those pioneers who are leading from the deepest core of who they are, and who are committed to making a positive difference in the world.”
Judi Neal, Ph.D., president & CEO, International Center for Spirit at Work; author of Edgewalkers: People and Organizations That Take Risks, Build Bridges, and Break New Ground

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“Leadership that matters inevitably requires focus, resilience, commitment, compassion, imagination, and a high tolerance of risk—all dependent upon a strength and competence of soul. Benefiel’s understanding of the path of the soul—the quagmires, resources, and triumphs—is grounded, credible, and evocative. This book is worth your time.”
Sharon Daloz Parks, author of Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World

9780824524807
Paperback / 192 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
CROSSROAD, 2008