The soul of the university: Deliberate leadership and the hero's journey

Andrew Vann

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    There is widespread concern about the spiritual state of the nation and indeed the world. Post the global financial crisis, there has been concern as to whether we have lost our moral compass and whether an unbridled pursuit of materialism might destroy us as a species. There is a crisis of confidence in political and community leadership with a widespread suspicion that the pursuit of money, power and influence at any cost is the dominant motivation of leaders. It is therefore timely to examine the issue of soul and spirituality in leadership and in organisations. I suggest that deliberate leadership, understood as a mindful and ethical leadership practice, is one of the solutions to our problems. To do this, I draw on the schema of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth to examine leadership as a journey and explore the implications for behaviour of leaders at all levels within a university. I explore ideas of the soul at a personal and organisational level and how these have developed from early philosophical traditions to the present day. I then examine whether the idea of soul has utility when applied to organisations as a whole.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEducating the deliberate professional
    Subtitle of host publicationPreparing for future practices
    EditorsFranziska Trede, Celina McEwen
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319329581
    ISBN (Print)9783319329567
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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