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An Interview with Dr. Stephen Payne on “Leadership and Spirituality: Transforming the Workplace” Part 3 of 3

April 19, 2009

BJM: In the columns you write for InsideWork, I’ve noticed you use these cards which help people calibrate their spiritual state. That sounds kind of weird. And I mean that in the kindest possible sense of the word…

 Dr. Stephen Payne: Spirituality in the workplace can be a broad and daunting topic. In my coaching I discovered that business leaders understand the concept of tapping-in to the power of God, but they lack effectiveness in translating that into leading their organization better because they can’t quite see how to move forward. The spiritual calibration cards help leaders reflect on their own inner state in any moment or on any topic. I think of each card as a signpost that helps me move forward in the God direction.

Once again, you’re using words that I am afraid will send many folks in business and management heading for the hills. When you say things like, “My cards help leaders reflect on their inner state,” you’re giving us a lot of credit, that we’re not just a bunch of robotic, shallow, lug-heads driven only by the dollar. Do you expect people in business to actually be aware of their inner spiritual state? To know what that means?

 Not in those words, maybe. But all successful leaders understand the power of developing a greater level of self-awareness. Last week in London I did a development session for a group of leaders where I started by saying that I call my spiritual state “My inner equilibrium.” I talked a little about the clear correlation between my equilibrium and my leadership performance. Then I asked them what they called their spiritual state. I was shocked at the ease with which they produced names: self-confidence, contentment, spirit, success-focus-see how they are all amazing qualities of the Holy Spirit. It ain’t what you call it, it’s what you bloody do with it.

So if I go to your Princeton seminar, will you be instructing us like a stuffy Princeton professor or what?

 Careful what you say about Princeton professors, Brad. The truth is I’m just as much a practitioner of these ideas as anyone who attends. It’s a workshop with groups of business leaders sharing their approaches. One of the most important components of the workshop is the sense of community that will be formed as we each share our experiences of God’s Spirit in our own work situations. The participants will learn from each other as much as from my material.

That’s fantastic-I could use more friends… But what about after the workshop is over? Is it like church, where we all go back to work and forget the whole thing as soon as the crap hits the fan?

This is where working with businesspeople is great. They believe in accountability. This seminar has a rather surprising finish on this topic.Which is…

Don’t leave me hanging Doc.

What? You want me to reveal my secrets to the man who refers to me as “Monty Python with a Briefcase”? Would you like to buy a dead parrot?

I called you that because you really do sound like the Python guys. I’ll have you know that I used to memorize those Monty Python skits when I was in high school. Listen to this (imitation of Michael Palin from Monty Python): “NNNNNNNOOOOOOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is: surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency….our three weapons are…”

Good grief… Are we about finished here?

It would seem that we are, yes. What’s the name of the seminar?

 It’s called the Leadership and Spirituality Workshop.

And where is it?

 Princeton; on May 31 – June 1.

And what’s it called?

 I have to go now Brad.

(In a fake British accent) Brilliant! God save the Queen! Fish and Chips for all my mates!

Bradley J. Moore will appear with Dr. Stephen G. Payne at the Princeton Theological Seminary event Leadership and Spirituality: Transforming the Workplace on May 31 and June 1, 2009.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2009 11:18 am

    memorial day…
    we will be having a tasting that weekend on the other side of the country.

    sounds like the two of you will be in your element and having a good time.

  2. April 28, 2009 1:37 pm

    Very fun interview! I can tell you have a good relationship with Dr. Payne.

    As I said before, I hope this event goes well for the both of you.

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