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Leadership and spirituality

Leaders & Spirituality

One aspect of the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care is that leaders must demonstrate comfort with spirituality. This can be very hard if your inner elastic band is still telling you that spirituality is only for ‘those people over there’. It is even harder if you or someone you love have had bad experiences where spirituality has been used as a weapon of control.

Cynthia Payne, a former CEO of an aged care provider and now the Leader of one of our Affiliate organisations, Anchor Excellence shares a personal and challenging time she has experienced as a leader and speaks on a particular spiritual practice she has nurtured over several years. This has allowed her to build up her spiritual muscle, which in turn gives her stronger inner resources to embrace all that leadership, and indeed life, throws at her.

Spiritual muscle might seem a strange expression, but I find it’s a useful way to explain what happens if we attend to this dimension of ourselves. Spiritual practice incorporated regularly into your patterns of living grows a place in you that you can then go back to more and more easily for rest, recalibration and restoration.

Which spiritual practice, and how often, is a question to be explored by each person and community. If you don’t know where to start, perhaps go back to our ConnecTo model. How connected do you feel with self, others, creativity, nature and/or something bigger, something beyond yourself? Perhaps there is a community of faith as part of this picture, perhaps not. What is most important to you? How are you attending to this in your life?

Integrated spiritual care cannot be realised in your organisation if your leaders are not modelling engagement with this aspect of life. I hope this is an encouragement to some and a positive challenge for others. If you are really stuck, contact me and we can have a quiet conversation to help you find your way.

This article was written by former CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia, Ilsa Hampton, in June 2021

Postscript:  ‘At the time of writing this article, one of our proof reading volunteers died, aged 81. I called on her almost as soon as I started working in this role in 2016. Although she rarely left the house due to health challenges, she was still a keen reader and writer. She had an outstanding understanding of grammar and was finely tuned with her attention to detail. She helped with these newsletters and also many of our larger publications. She was also my mother. Vale Rachael Hampton’.

Link to Guest Contributor Article: Yoga to improve resilience and leadership impact by Cynthia Payne, Anchor Excellence.