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Contemplative leadership

Simpson, Peter; Tredget, Dermot


Dermot Tredget


The leadership of change involves both an engagement with uncertainty and an expectation to be the one to provide certainty for others. This paper will reflect on the nature of contemplative leadership, suggesting that it involves engaging with this paradox in a manner that will sometimes please but will also disappoint within a culture that favours the active over the contemplative. It is argued that contemplative leadership is characterised by the pursuit of truth with integrity and perseverance and will prioritize community over organisation and relations over task.

Whilst acknowledging the potential for dialogue with many contemplative traditions, both ancient and modern, the arguments here will draw mainly upon early Christian monastic spirituality. This will make a contribution to the conference theme on ‘the purposes of leadership’ and to the emerging literature on spirituality in the workplace.


Simpson, P., & Tredget, D. (2007, December). Contemplative leadership. Paper presented at 6th International Studying Leadership Conference

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 6th International Studying Leadership Conference
Start Date Dec 13, 2007
End Date Dec 14, 2007
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords leadership, spirituality, contemplation, values, virtue, truth
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 6th International Studying Leadership Conference


071213 Paper Draft Simpson Tredget Studying Leadership Conference 2007.doc (114 Kb)

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