Co-Charismatic Leadership: Critical Perspectives on Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership

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Simon Robinson and Jonathan Smith Co-Charismatic Leadership: Critical Perspectives on Spirituality, Ethics and Leadership. Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. (This book may be available at: Peter Lang)

Current theories of leadership, spirituality and ethics are inadequate for the global, rapidly changing and complex environment in which leaders work today. Emerging from this book’s critical analysis comes a new theory of leadership: co-charismatic leadership. This does not mean leadership focused in ‘charisma’, or the special qualities or charm of an individual. Charisma originates from the Greek word for gift or grace. Rather it emphasises the relational nature of charisma, as both shared throughout the community and dependent upon mutual relationships within the community. The charismata are in effect virtues, to be practised in the community by all members, hence the ‘co’ in the title.

The authors argue for a leadership that enables virtues, informed by the ongoing narrative of and dialogue in the community, to be practised in the community and beyond. These virtues enable the practice of responsibility, and taking that responsibility for ideas, values and practice is itself central to leadership. Through the practice of responsibility everybody in the organisation becomes a leader in some way. The task of the authorised leader is to enable all this. This book will appeal to both practitioner and academic audiences alike as it provides an engaging mix of theory and practical application which tests and applies the concepts explored in a range of practical case studies.