As some of you know, I spent many years in management consulting prior to landing my current gig as a Senior Vice President in a Very Nice Company. That consulting experience drilled certain propensities into my brain for processes, charts, and matrices. I love a good flow chart.
So naturally, when thinking about solutions to help people connect business to spiritual life, I often approach matters in this way, looking for patterns or principles that can boil down complex ideas into simple roadmaps to help us move from A to B.
Not that you can put God into a box.
A Spiritual Leadership Matrix
The idea here is to help you gauge where you are on your leadership-spirituality journey, as a starting point to think about where and how you need to grow.
Here’s what you do.
Rank yourself on a low-to-high scale on two different levels.
The first, on the Y-axis, is to answer the question,
In other words, do you really trust that God is in control of your circumstances at work?
- Do you believe that God will take care of you, regardless of your situation?
- Do you believe that God can help you find the pathways you need to take?
- Do you believe he is involved in your life at all?
It’s one thing to say, but quite another to actually believe in your heart of hearts. Rank yourself low to high, depending on how you would answer that question.
The second question on the X-axis is,
“To what extent do you believe you are expressing God’s purpose in your work?”
Do you believe that what you do each day is an expression of God working through you?
- Do you believe your daily tasks and activities are a means of expressing God’s spirit in your workplace?
- Do you think that God can work through you to influence and others towards His greater good?
- Do you believe that you are making a difference in the lives of others, whether employees, co-workers, customers, suppliers or shareholders?
Rank yourself low to high, depending on how you would respond to that question.
Now. Where do you find yourself on the matrix?
The Four Quadrants
1. Spiritual Arrogance
The leader who ranks high on Experiencing God’s love, but low on expressing God’s love is caught up in his own spiritual life, but not aware of how it might influence others. The result is a Pious or spiritually Self-indulgent behavior which most likely leads to isolation and lack of connection to others in the workplace
2. Burnout and Depression
The most miserable place to be would be the low-ranking box for both the X and Y axis. Here is one who does not experience God’s love, and who also does not express God’s love at work. Bad situation. Typically, this would be the person who feels burnt-out and depressed. Or perhaps it is expressed as an apathetic and empty outlook with very little sense of purpose or direction at work.
3. Anxious and Insecure
The flip side of this is when one is trying to express God’s love at work, but is having trouble drawing from the security and safety of God’s love. In this case, you are busy trying to do the right thing, but constantly worried about it. You are in a state of uncertainty and anxiety, lacking confidence because you are not grounded in an ability to trust God for the outcome of your work.
4. Authentic and Influential
The ideal is obviously to be in the top-right side of the box, where you experience God’s love and you are also expressing God’s love at work. This would be the basis for an authentic, influential leader, marked with a calm, confident and connected attitude towards work.
Depending on where you land, the opportunity is for each of us to move towards the top right box by practicing spiritual disciplines, getting involved in a caring community, finding mentors, and using practical tools to become the leader God has called you to be.