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Spirituality at Work: 10 Ways to Balance Your Life On-the-Job Hardcover – February 1, 2001
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For anyone who works, this book offers a unique and provocative action guide for developing our spirituality on the job. -- Al Gini, coeditor, Business Ethics Quarterly
Pierce has enabled me to merge the secular with the spiritual. This is NOT a how-to-become-a-saint book; it is a practical guide to a better life. -- Libby Dorsey, president, FundWell.com
This book examines the spirituality of work in the context of such thorny issues as competition, compensation, and social justice. -- Patrick T. Reardon, feature writer, The Chicago Tribune
Traditional pieties just don't harmonize with today's workplace, but what should we put in their place? . . . Pierce's analysis is deeply rewarding. -- David Neff, editor, Christianity Today
Now in paperback—-the book that started the “workplace spirituality” movement.
At the dawn of the new millennium, Gregory Pierce’s Spirituality at Work made the striking claim that the holy, the transcendent, and the divine can be found in the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily work. Pierce’s groundbreaking book remains one of the bibles of the “workplace spirituality movement,” which holds that the work we do has enormous spiritual significance. This paperback edition will find an eager audience among the countless people who are not willing to suspend their spiritual lives when they go to the office.
The ten disciplines of workplace spirituality:
• finding “sacred” objects
• living with imperfection
• assuring quality
• giving thanks and congratulations
• building support and community
• dealing with others as you would have them deal with you
• deciding what is enough . . . and sticking to it
• balancing work, personal, family, church, and community responsibilities
• working to make the system work
• engaging in ongoing personal and
Gregory F. A. Pierce is the president and copublisher of ACTA Publications, a former president of the National Center for the Laity, a leader in United Power for Action and Justice, and a recipient of the Hillenbrand Award for Social Justice from the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Top customer reviews
Gregory Pierce is in the publishing business, he's a husband and father, and he's active in his church and civic communities. The subtitle, "10 ways to balance your life on the job" is really what the book is all about. As he puts it, "It is pretty clear that God is present on our workplaces. Yet the workplace is a difficult place to 'be spiritual.' It is noisy, crowded, complex, competitive, materialistic, tiring, frustrating, dangerous, busy, [and] secular. To find God there, we have [to work hard at it], and most of our traditional spiritual disciplines are not well designed to help us do that."
This is the belief that forms his thesis and Pierce's life experiences provided the motivation for his writing. The writing is crisp and clear, and, unlike similar spiritual books, is not aimed at changing one's belief systems about God, but it's rather a 'how-to' book on achieving a higher level of spirituality in the workplace.
Pierce establishes some common language for us about work, defines spirituality, and he adds some ground rules about how he wants us to focus on what he refers to as spirituality disciplines. He presents ten disciplines, or practices, for spiritual improvement and invites our examination in the context of what we do with each area daily.
This book revealed more about leadership than I first imagined. Woven into each discussion on each of the disciplines are anecdotal quotes concerning how each person practices their spirituality and why it's important for them to do so. Although he didn't use the term servant-leader, Pierce shares this from a social worker who was talking about her boss:
"She was direct and honest but never disparaging of others. She was strategic but not conniving. Her power came from her vision, not just from the authority she held by virtue of her position. She was gentle in her correction or direction of others- affirming not mushy. [She] was passionate but not emotional, smart, tolerant of other views but always clear about her own. She treated others like she wanted to be treated, and others who worked for her eventually began to behave that way too." This reflects that notion of Robert Greenleaf's servant leadership plus the "modeling the way" espoused by Kouzes and Posner.
These ten disciplines remind one of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits, especially Pierce's last discipline entitled "Engaging in Ongoing Personal and Professional Development." This was almost a carbon copy of Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. The book is simply constructed, with just enough thought provocation on each spirituality discipline followed at chapter end by a section prescribing real-life methods of practicing each discipline discussed in that chapter. Great stuff!
This was a well-conceived and well-researched book by an author who convinced me that he had experienced the same kinds of issues and problems faced by those searching to practice spirituality at work. I recommend putting this book on your leadership bookshelf for the practical lessons it teaches and for the timelessness of the author's prescription for a balanced life.
This is not a book about how to cope with jobs that overwhelm and diminish us. It is rather a step-by-step set of instructions, which Pierce terms "disciplines," through which we may actively transform our daily grind (whether we're priests or poets, doctors, lawyers, butchers, bakers or candlestick-makers) into our own best crack at co-creation of the world. It is not a book about getting away from the world, but rather a book about getting really into the world with our spiritual wholeness intact, about remembering to remember that God is present among the daily hum and rattle, if only we have the personal discipline to look. Not a book to read and put away or pass along, you'll want to keep it desk-side, a User's Manual for the spirit, available for ready reference.