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Leading with purpose: a case for soul leadership

Kirsten Graham (Leadership and Organizational Consultant at ShineGEN Inc., Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




This paper seeks to explores the notion that leadership is not the accumulation of leadership skills but the discovery and expression of a leader's true nature. The paper also aims to introduce the concept of the 4Ps of soul leadership.


This paper offers the author's independent perspective and commentary on leadership development in the current organizational context.


The paper finds that the strongest leaders are those that lead through an awareness and expression of their unique 4Ps (passion, purpose, possibilities, place) of soul leadership. This is increasingly true in complex, global environments of unprecedented change.

Practical implications

Leadership development (and skill building in general) is more effective if built on a foundation of self‐awareness and connection to an individual's 4Ps.

Social implications

Soul leadership encourages individuals and organizations to be the best possible version of themselves. In aligning to one's passions and purpose natural leadership, productivity and creativity are likely to come to the fore, which fuels individual, organizational and societal growth in turn.


Reframing leadership as a unique expression of an individual's 4Ps with implications for individuals, organizational leaders and learning and development practitioners.



Graham, K. (2011), "Leading with purpose: a case for soul leadership", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 5-7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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