Managers af the Future are spirituel ones (article)

Courses: Management is also about emotions and "soft" values.

By Jørgen Hejlsvig in Aarhus stiftstidende 21/3 2000

Spiritual management is entering corporate life. As always the movement comes from America and now the spiritual wave flushes over Europe where faith and spirituality is not limited to the privacy of corporate managers and employees. It has become far more important to bring your feelings into the work place. It is completely in line with the greater conscience of ethics and morality in relation to customers, suppliers and the general opinion of the company. Soft values are considered more important when we as consumers chose a product and companies and managers that do not adapt accordingly have no future.

This trend has resulted in a spiritual merger of two course suppliers - one in Denmark and one in England. 39 year old Mariann Kjerrumgaard from Aarhus and 46 year old Valerie A. Waters from Northern England. They now offer joint courses in Spiritual Management in Denmark and England.
Mariann Kjerrumgaard, M. psych., has taught organisational behaviour at the Aaarhus School of Business and has had private clients since 1978. Valerie A. Waters graduated in psychology at universities in Bristol and London and holds a master degree in psychology. She is a member of the British Psychological Society and International Coach Federation.

The two women made contact during a course in Munich and later met privately in England. They already gave their first joint course at the castle Dale Head in Northern England and have planned a further two courses in Denmark and four in England.

A past as a model

Mariann Kjerrumgaard, mother of two girls, lives in Højbjerg and owner of the company Artemis Psykologi says:
-- "I am well aware that we introduce courses in spirituality earlier than would be expected. Some find that we are at least two years ahead of time with this idea but then that should be quite the right time for corporate life ahead of development."
-- "Consequently, we decided to aim high and I really appreciate the co-operation with Valerie Waters which also means that the courses mainly are held in English."

Mariann Kjerrumgaard has worked as a model and travelled all over Europe in a line of business she describes as very tough and demanding.

At the age of 19 she already made big money as a model in Germany and later Italy but her interest in other people and humanities meant that she left the line of business and started studying psychology at the University of Aarhus.

The love faculty

She stirred attention by authoring her final assignment with the theme "Love as a faculty we may develop" first and foremost inspired by the spiritual scientists Jung and Martinus. 

-- "Love is fundamental for all existence and it is about treating others as one would like to be treated. That lies at the base of our courses," says Mariann Kjerrumgaard.

She is an experienced sparring partner and coach for especially business people and she likes to compare a good coach to a gardener that makes things grow.

The word coach has been part of the Danish vocabulary for a long time but to fully express its meaning in Danish requires several words - words like guide, mentor, person who inspire, trainer, sparring partner, counsel, consultant and entrepreneur. To put in shortly: a person that brings out the best in people and inspires enthusiasm and zest.

-- "British and Danish mentality - Brits and Danes - at the same course provides a splendid mixture. The sense of humour is almost the same and the two nationalities may learn something from each other. The Danes finds it easier to open up to others whereas the British are more gentle and polite in their way of treating others. And we need both qualities," she emphasises.

Emotions and intelligence

To Mariann Kjerrumgaard abilities like emotions and intelligence are linked inevitably together. Emotions and intelligence must merge to pose a good example to others and to be taken seriously. Such a merger is important - also to the managers of the future.

-- "I have worked with courses for top management for many years and they have a high risk of burning out if they are not in touch with their inner emotions, their inner life. Everybody, including managers, need to incorporate their emotions into their work. The inner life must correspond to the outer life."

--"I have experienced several managers who ask themselves the question: 'What have I myself created?' without knowing the answer. Then something is really wrong," she stresses.

- What do you put the participants through at the courses?

-- "They are put into new and unaccustomed situations during which the discover new facets of their personality. Among others we use nature for consciousness assignments and inspiration. The participants may find other and new truths.

--"Everything isn't statistics and logic. In fact, emotions has its own logic," she says.

The participants are exposed to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual assignments that are all starting points for personal goals. The goal must be clear and usually crystallise during the course.

--"Emotions are included in the goal. Unfortunately, these are often taboo for many business managers. I claim that management without emotions yields a great loss of energy in the company and the individual. Thus the manager should see the individual employee as a plant that must be nurtured to thrive and grow, which will ultimately affect the manager him/herself. In short it is a matter of bringing your soul to work no matter what one is doing", emphasises Mariann Kjerrumgaard.