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Spiritual Intelligence and the Workplace

Dr. Gary Roberts, professor in the Robertson School of Government (RSG) is passionate about servant leadership. He’s explored the topics in two academic books and is launching a third, Working with Christian Servant Leadership Spiritual Intelligence: The Foundation of Vocational Success.

Taking lessons from personal experience and a careful study of Scripture, Roberts’ new book examines the use of spiritual intelligence in the workplace. He defines spiritual intelligence as reasoning ethically and morally to live life according to Scripture through the Holy Spirit. It pulls from the concept of intelligencies, mental reasoning abilities that enable problem-solving, and combines it with spirituality from a Christian worldview. Roberts says spiritual intelligence reflects a Christian’s growth and knowledge, enhances what he or she believes, produces wisdom and the ability to reason and make decisions.

“If you’re a public administrator, you’re a leader in a public position,” said Roberts. “Perhaps you are making a budget decision about which program to fund. There are principle-based considerations, or you must consider whether the program works and produces good, or you must decide how the program will be implemented in virtuous ways that enhance character and don’t violate any moral principles. Spiritual intelligence says you have to consider all these forms of reasoning to help analyze the situation and make a decision as led by the Holy Spirit.”

Roberts shares personal examples from his own life’s journey and derives all of the book’s advice from Scripture. It integrates his teaching on servant leadership and builds upon three other books he’s written over the past seven years. He interviewed and consulted more than 100 Christians working in law, chaplaincy, military and law enforcement. The book encourages readers to keep a diary of what they’re experiencing in life and includes diagnostic scales for readers to assess themselves.

“The only way I was able to write this book was to set priorities and sacrifice certain areas. Certain things are non-negotiable. I have to spend time with the Lord. It’s all part of a life of Godly balance. There are different seasons where you have to work hard at both ends, and seasons where you rest. You can’t ignore your family and your church and be a success as God defines it. You really have to make some sacrifices and maybe say ‘no,’ to conference trips or speaking engagements, set priorities and follow them.”

Roberts says that’s exactly what spiritually intelligent people do. They give themselves permission to say, ‘no,’ at the right place after being led by the Lord, and they also give themselves permission to do less than “A” work at everything. Although it sounds odd, Roberts says the principle is important to keep from burning out.

He introduced his new book Monday, October 31, at a gathering with RSG faculty and students. In the future, he hopes to re-work the book for a more mainstream audience.

Learn more about RSG.